Rodents: they’re stronger than you’d think!

Emily Nicholson

When you think about strength and power, what comes to mind? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Hulk Hogan? Professional athletes? Bet you didn’t think about rodents! However, mice and rats might be stronger and more agile than all of the above, relatively speaking of course. 

Rodents are mighty pests with some incredible survival skills. Because of this, they are probably one of the most stubborn pests when it comes to getting rid of them. Below, we take a look at a few of these skills and their incredible strength and athleticism. Though these five facts are fun and interesting, they are also why you won’t want these pests in your home this winter. (Don’t forget, our exclusion service is the perfect solution for ensuring your home is rodent-free.)

Need help getting rid of mice or rats in your home or business? Contact an Ehrlich specialist today.

1. Black rats are superior climbers.

Black rats are also known as ‘roof rats’ for their amazing ability to climb. These rats are quick and agile, preferring to nest in the upper areas of buildings, structures, or trees. You may see them climbing brick walls or traveling from place to place via fence posts or utility lines (um, say hello to an electrical problem). Because of their love for climbing, they are often found in cabinets, attics, and drop ceilings.

rat climbing on fence

2. Rats are strong swimmers.

Many species of rats have shown the ability to swim for hours and even days in a laboratory setting. Some species can swim over a mile and some can tread water for three days. Rats who live in urban areas will often travel through the sewer pipes, so they have to be able to swim to survive that type of environment. 

swimming rat

Yes, unfortunately, the rumor is true. Rats can climb up through sewer pipes and into your toilet – gross.

3. Mice are acrobats.

Mice have amazing climbing and jumping abilities. They can jump about 13 inches vertically and can run up almost any vertical surface. If they end up gaining access to your home, they will climb up your stairs, walls, shelves, bookcase, cabinets, or kitchen countertops, all while tracking with them bacteria and potential diseases. Their claws give them the ability to latch onto any rough or uneven surfaces.  However, they will struggle to get up a smooth surface as there is nothing from them to grip onto. 

mouse jumping off of an object

Check out our essential guide to mice to learn more about this acrobatic pest.

4. The house mouse uses its tail for balance.

House mice like to climb up many different surfaces to stay as far away from humans as possible. Lucky for them, they have a built-in balancing bar to keep themselves safe while running and climbing—their tails. When jumping from place to place, mice use their tail for stability. Also, when standing on their hind legs, mice can use their tail for support, a behavior called tripoding.

a mouse using its tail for balance while it eats cheese off of a trap

Who knew a mouse’s tail had a purpose? You’d probably want something to keep yourself balanced too if you were jumping three times your body length.

5. Rats teeth are incredibly strong.

Did you know that rats’ front teeth, their incisors, never stop growing? Rats will chew and gnaw constantly on anything that’s not harder than their teeth to wear their incisors down. Their top incisors are a little over ⅛” long and their bottom incisors are a little more than a ¼” long. In addition to their continually growing teeth, rats also have incredibly strong chompers. Their incisors rate a 5.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale, which is a scale used to weigh minerals. To put that into perspective, iron is rated lower at 5.0.

a rat chewing on a small object

If rats use their pristine climbing abilities to gain access onto your roof and into your attic, they just might start chewing on your electrical wires creating a serious fire hazard.

Let Ehrlich control this athletic pest

Based on the facts listed above, rodents may be more athletic than a lot of us. A rodent infestation is something you definitely don’t want to have. Ehrlich specialists are trained to find where rodents are nesting in your home and will provide the best solution on how to control and eliminate them. Contact us today for a free rodent inspection.

Emily Nicholson
Emily Nicholson

Emily Nicholson is a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Rentokil North America. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two dogs. She loves being outside - mountains or beach - and enjoys working out, walking her pups, and relaxing with her husband, friends, and family.

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