Fast Breeding Rodents

Rats, Mice and other Rodents can breed you out of your home, very quickly if control measures are not taken. For example one of the most common Rats we have in Nashville, Tennessee as a Pest Control issue; is the Norway rat, Brown rat or common rat. They breed year round with the right conditions, and can produce up to five litters per year. Once the female has mated, babies can be produced in as little as 20 days and can be as many as 14 in one litter. These new baby rats can then breed within 5 weeks of being born. They do not care that they are brother and sister, so the 14 new rats will breed with each other and begin the whole process all over again. Do the math and you will see how fast this rodent can eat you out of house and home. At the minimum the mother will give birth to a litter of seven or eight babies. If Litter one of only 8 rats breed they then produce at minimum 32 new rats, those 16 mates then produce at minimum 128 new rats, those 128 new mates then produce at minimum 512 new rats, those 512 new mates then produce a minimum of 2048 new rats, then the final 5th generation of 2,048 new mates produce a minimum of 8,192 new rats. So, in conclusion 2 mating rats can grow to 8,000 or more rats in a single year. That is assuming the bare minimum of 8 babies per litter. If they happen have the maximum of 14 per litter, the numbers grow exponentially to a potential of 15,000 to 20,000 rats in one year.

This is purely a mathematical approach to show how many rats can produce in 1 – year under the right conditions. That being said, the Norway rat has a lifespan of up to 3 – years with many only living one year due to other predators. Either way, nobody wants to see 15,000 rats in their home.

So, you want to keep an eye out in order to spot the first one in order to put control methods in action. Places to watch are basements and crawl spaces. These rats burrow and look for places to breach your foundation, even burrowing through your foundation if they really want entry. Once you can spot rat runs to holes near the foundation or in your crawl space, cellar or basement, there is an issue. They gain entry to your home and are very good climbers to get into walls and your home to find food, moisture and harborage. They will eat most anything, but seem to favor most items in the common household pantry.

For sake of identification the Norway or Brown rat is brown or dark grey and will range in size from 6” to 12” long. These large rats are effective survivors, having the ability to climb, swim in water, and can adapt to live in extreme weather environments. They prefer to live in urban areas where they have plenty of access to moist and food rich structures. Once they invade a structure, they do not venture far from their nest, usually staying within 50’ as long as food is available.

Another concern of having been invaded by this fast reproducing rodent is the possibility of disease that they can carry. Most common diseases that they can carry are a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis (which is mostly spread when the house cat catches the rat and then can transfer it to humans). This is usually transferred through the feces of the cat and can cause flu like symptoms. People with compromised immune systems are more at danger for serious complications from this parasite. So, always keep your cat well fed on pet food, avoid stray cats, wear gloves and a mask when cleaning the litter box and last but not least – wash your hands thoroughly when done.

As you have just read, the breeding cycle and speed of reproduction of Norway rats make it very difficult to control as a DIY project. If you spot rats, or other rodents in or around your home please call Certified Pest Control in Nashville, Tennessee to address the issue with the proper control method. So, choose the only Nashville Pest Control company that is truly “Certified” to give you the personal and honest service a local family owned and operated business can.