Rats

Rats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rats)

The best-known rat species are the Black Rat (Rattus rattus) and the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus). The group is generally known as the Old World rats or true rats, and originated in Asia. Rats are bigger than most Old World mice, which are their relatives, but seldom weigh over 500 grams (1 lb) in the wild.
The term “rat” is also used in the names of other small mammals which are not true rats. Examples include the North American pack rats, a number of species loosely called kangaroo rats, and others. Rats such as the Bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis) are murine rodents related to true rats, but are not members of the genus Rattus. Male rats are called bucks, unmated females are called does, pregnant or parent females are called dams, and infants are called kittens or pups. A group of rats is either referred to as a pack or a mischief.

In Western countries, many people keep domesticated rats as pets. These are of the species R. norvegicus, which originated in the grasslands of China and spread to Europe and eventually, in 1775, to the New World. Pet rats are Brown Rats descended from those bred for research, and are often called “fancy rats”, but are the same species as the common city “sewer” rat. Domesticated rats tend to be both more docile than their wild ancestors and more disease prone, presumably due to inbreeding.

The widely distributed and problematic commensal species of rats are a minority in this diverse genus. Many species of rats are island endemics and some have become endangered due to habitat loss or competition with the Brown, Black or Polynesian rat.

The common species are opportunistic survivors and often live with and near humans. The Black Death is traditionally believed to have been caused by the micro-organism Yersinia pestis, carried by the Tropical Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) which preyed on R. rattus living in European cities of the day; these rats were victims of the plague themselves.

While modern wild rats can carry Leptospirosis and some other “zoonotic” conditions (those which can be transferred across species, to humans, for example), these conditions are in fact rarely found (not true in neotropical countries). Wild rats living in good environments are typically healthy and robust animals. Wild rats living in cities may suffer from poor diets and internal parasites and mites, but do not generally spread disease to humans.

The normal lifespan of rats ranges from two to five years, and is typically three years.

*Some of the cities that Awesome Pest Control in Utah has helped to remove Rats from include: Alpine, Alta, American Fork, Birdseye, Bluffdale, Cedar Fort, Cedar Hills, Cedar Valley, Colton, Copperton, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Eagle Mountain, Elberta, Elk Ridge, Emigration, Fairfield, Genola, Goshen, Herriman, Highland, Holladay, Kearns, Lehi, Lindon, Magna, Mapleton, Midvale, Millcreek, Murray, Orem, Payson, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Riverton, Salem, Salt Lake City, Sandy, Santaquin, Saratoga Springs, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Spanish Fork, Springville, Taylorsville, Vineyard, West Jordan, West Valley City, White City and Woodland Hills.

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