Rats are believed to be the most numerous mammals on earth, with billions of them alive today. Here on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, we have two main species of rats that cause trouble for homes and businesses, the roof rat and the Norway rat. Rats are known to reproduce rapidly, causing infestations to arise seemingly overnight. A look at a rat’s life cycle can help explain how this is possible.

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Rat Reproduction

A female rat generally has a litter of 6-10 offspring, though there can be as many as 14. Since her gestation lasts only about 22 days, and she can get pregnant again immediately after giving birth, one female rat can theoretically produce well over 100 offspring every year. Lucky for us, life in the wild does not generally include ideal situations, so female rats typically only produce 4-6 litters in a year. 

Baby Rats

When rats are born, they are blind and have no fur. Over the next 3 weeks, they grow to the point where they can be weaned and venture out on their own. After 5-6 short weeks, rats reach sexual maturity and may start reproducing. This accelerated reproductive cycle means that over the course of one year, just 2 rats can balloon to a staggering 15,000 rats.1 That is a terrifying statistic for those afraid of rodents!

Adult Rats

Rats often live in nests with other rats. Nests can include an alpha male, several females, and some young rats. Access to food and water is paramount to rats when finding a place to live. Roof rats are excellent climbers and will live in trees, shrubs, attics, and more. The larger Norway rat normally stays near ground level or in burrows. Adult rats may travel up to 300 feet from the nest to find food and water. 

Although rats can live up to 3 years, very few make it past their first year. Mortality rates within the first year are nearly 95%. This low survival rate is due to predation by cats, dogs, birds, coyotes, snakes, etc, as well as fighting with other rats, and human intervention in the form of pest control.

Sunshine Coast Rodent Control

Rodent problems can be devastating for businesses and extremely stressful for homeowners. If not controlled quickly, they can spiral out of control. If you need help with rodent control or other pest control in Nambour, Buderim, Bli Bli or other surrounding areas, Radar Pest Control is here to help. Our expert technicians will create a customized plan to take care of the problem. For all of your pest control needs, trust Radar Pest Control.