Rats attain sexual maturity early in life. A pair of rats can produce up to 200 litters in one year. The newly born are blind, hairless and completely dependent upon the mother. Rats therefore have well developed nests. The young grow rapidly and are weaned at 3 – 4 weeks.

Rats eat all types of food (omnivorous) when sharpening their chisel like front teeth, they will gnaw through plastic pipe, insulation and electrical wirings. They are disease carrying pests which live and breed in highly unhygienic conditions e.g. sewers, drains and garbage dumps area and are a threat to our health. By gnawing through electrical wirings, they can cause fire.

  • Due to their weak bladder, they urinate freely while feeding – this contaminating food / utensils / surface when they move across.
  • Jaundice and Salmonella is some of the diseases transmitted by rats.
  • Rats also carry rat fleas ( Xenopsylla cheopis) is primarily a parasite of rats. Fleas remain closely associated with their hosts, living in their homes and offices. Diseases vectored by fleas are plague (Yersinia pestis), Murine typhus, Tularemia and worms.
  • The most important economic aspect of fleas is their role as vectors of various diseases of people, pets and farm animals. The ability of fleas to feed on a variety of hosts provides the basis for disease transmission.