Rats are said to be very friendly when tame plus they are intelligent creatures that would make them cute as pets. Compared to gerbils and hamsters, they are less likely to bite, and so if your child is searching for a new pet, your good choice could be a domestic rat. Wild rats though are never good once they infest your home aside from not being cute. And so, if you suspect that their family is starting to take up your home like in the garage, attic or basement, then this should be something to be concern of.
Rats have several sub-species, but the two main kinds are the black and brown rats. Some rats came from Asia, and they are quite small, but their relatives in some towns and cities are much larger.
Just like humans, rats migrated around the world following soldiers and traders along trade routes between Asia and Europe. Imagine them hitching rides on ships sailing between continents and after some time, rats are seen everywhere.
Rats are like pests which are nature’s scavengers, meaning, the more food is available, the more rats will be around. Rats are not fussy with their food, although they prefer diet of meat and vegetables, they will still be happy to loot your trash or raid your vegetable patch. Be warned that rats will also attack smaller animals if they cannot find food in their areas.
Rats are written and spoken about for several centuries and the main topic of concern is that they spread disease. A disease in the past called the black death or the bubonic plague, was transmitted by rats which were infested with fleas, and because of this 25 million people perished in the Middle Ages.
Today, we have now a better understanding of the disease and thus an outbreak of the disease can be prevented. However, the spreading of disease is still possible with rats around and so we need to deal their infestation as soon as possible.
One disease that you should be concern of with rats living and breeding in your vicinity is called leptospirosis, the most common rat-borne disease.
If you consume food or water which are contaminated by rats, you could get the disease called salmonella. Another fatal disease due to exposure to rat droppings or rat urine, is called hantavirus, and this is a fatal one. Very common also in the rat population is e-coli, and rats are also infected with this disease leading humans to be contaminated too from food and water that are contaminated.