Rats have many undesirable traits, but they can be quite intelligent. This is what makes them so hard to control – oftentimes they will catch on to what you’re trying to do. However their intelligence and adaptability extends beyond surviving control efforts. Let’s take a closer look at how rats are more intelligent than you think.
Rats establish colonies
One of the reasons rats are intelligent is because they have to live in fairly complex social structures. Once rats mate, they start to build out their burrow into a burrow system, and they expand as their numbers increase. Within this burrow system, there will often be specialized areas that are used for different activities, such as birthing, rearing the young, and storing food. So any rat infestation is actually a single large rat extended family, similar to a tribe.
Rats engage in brutal inter-species competition
Rats are locked in a brutal struggle for survival, not only against their environment and against their predators, but also against other rat species. For example, the roof rat was the primary and most widespread rat species in the US. Like the Norway rat, which came later, the roof rat was brought from Europe and it dominated the rat niche in North America. However, when the Norway rat arrived on the continent, it rapidly outcompeted the roof rat for resources and space, eventually pushing the latter back to the coastal areas of the country. This fierce struggle selects for speed, reproductive capacity, resilience and intelligence.
Rats can use tools
In a variety of experiments, rats were able to use an object to get food. One experiment had rats controlling small remote vehicles that had to reach a designated area, and once the vehicle reached the area, food was released. Rats managed to ace that experiment, and it showcased just how creative rats can get when it comes to finding a new food source.
The intelligence level of rats becomes apparent when we try to implement control measures, and the rats simply ignore traps and poisons, or when previously successful control methods simply start working. This is why the most effective way to deal with a rat infestation is to hire a pro who has the experience and the tools needed to ensure that a rat infestation is removed effectively.
For more information about how rats are controlled, or if you have a rat infestation, contact us today.