10 Interesting Rodent Facts

When it comes to rodent facts, fact number 1 has to be that rats and mice, particularly in the colder months of the year, will look for somewhere warm and dry to set up home, preferably near a food source! There is a saying that you are never far from a rat and while this may be true, you really don’t want them in your house. Let’s take a look at some other rodent facts that you may not know.

The Word Rodent

The word “rodent” (or Rodentia) comes from the Latin (and Italian) verb “rodere” which means “to gnaw, eat away or prey on.”

Their Teeth Keep Growing

The two front teeth of rodents keep growing every day. They never stop. This explains why rats and mice, and other rodents, love to gnaw. They especially love wood, paper and wire to keep their teeth sharp and trimmed. This is the reason that they can cause so much damage.


The fear of rats and mice is known as ‘musophobia’. This name comes from the Latin word ‘mus’ meaning mouse. Are you musophobic?

Rodents Spread Disease

It’s more well known in our list of rodent facts spread diseases, In fact, rats and mice can spread at least 35 diseases to humans including salmonellosis, hantavirus and rat-bite fever. These diseases are spread through their droppings, their urine, bites or via fleas and ticks that have fed on an infected rat.

They Have Lots of Babies

This is one of the primary reasons you don’t want rodents taking up residence in your house. A female mouse, for example, can have up to 15 litters in a year. With an average litter size of 10-12 that’s up to 1800 babies per year. A male and female mouse in your house – now that’s an issue.


Species of Rodent

It may surprise you to know that there are over 4,600 species of mammal in the world and nearly half of them are rodents! It’s not just rats and mice that are classed as rodents but also porcupines, squirrels and beavers. Then there are hamsters, guinea pigs and chinchillas, to name but a few.

You Cannot Flush a Rat Down the Toilet

Of course, we don’t for one minute think that you would try but just so that you are aware, a rat can hold their breath for a long time and are able to tread water for up to 3 days.

What do Rodents Eat?

Rats are omnivores so will eat a selection of fruit, seeds, veg and meat which usually consist of small insects. Mice too are omnivorous rodents but they prefer to eat grain, seeds and fruit. If hungry, they will eat just about everything including everything you do which is why it is important to dispose of your food waste carefully.

They Can Squeeze Through the Tiniest Gaps

You may think there is no way that a rat can squeeze through the small gap in the wall. Let’s be clear – a rat can squeeze through a gap as small as half an inch! When rodent proofing the house, it’s important to get expert advice on filling the gaps around your home. This can be achieved by calling on the services of a professional pest controller. Of course, we would be only too happy to help. Call us on 01752 929292 or contact us for expert help and advice.

Share Your Rodent Facts

Got a fact you want to share? We’d love to hear it. Just pop it in the comments below.

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