Brooklyn Boro

Stats On Rats: Rat facts

June 27, 2018 By Forrest Singletary Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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After some research, here’s some alarming (and quite gross) facts on rats: 

  • In 1944 and earlier, there were two main species of rats: the brown rat and the black rat. Over the course of the 20th century, the more aggressive brown rat forced the black rat out of NYC, for the most part. 
  • The Brown rat is 16-20 inches long and typically weighs  one to two pounds. 
  • There might be as many as 33 million rats or as few as two million, depending on the study you source.
  • Brown rats require an ounce of food and water daily
  • Rats always use the same routes to their food sources
  • Rat infestations have increased due to cuts to the Department of Sanitation and wasteful disposal of food
  • Brown rats congregate in colonies of 30-50
  • They live 100-400 feet from their food source, with most rats rarely traveling more than 600 feet from where they were born
  • The average life span of a brown rat is just one year
  • Rats can squeeze through holes the size of a quarter. Unlike most mammals, brown rats can change the shape of their skull due to the fact that its skull is not plated.
  • Rat can leap four feet laterally and can fall four to five floors without injury. 
  • An adult brown rat can tread water for three days straight
  • Rats can mate at the age of two to three months and produce a new litter every two months
  • Pathogens that rats commonly carry include E. coli, Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and Salmonella, and other exotic pathogens never before seen in NYC
Information gathered from On Point Wildlife, Los Angeles Times, London Review of Books, DNAinfo, The New York Times and The Epoch Times.


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