How fast do rats reproduce?

One of the reasons that mouse infestations can grow so quickly is that mice breed at an incredibly fast rate. Rats don’t breed with quite the same fervour as mice, but they still breed much more quickly than many people realise. Under ideal conditions and without any external pressures, a single pair of breeding rats could produce nearly half a billion descendants in just three years. Given these numbers, rat infestations have just as much potential to spiral out of control as mouse infestations do. 

Pest control businesses worldwide have reported a steady increase in the number of rat infestations they are called upon to deal with. Cities worldwide are witnessing an increase in the number of rats when many other species on the planet face the threat of extinction. Numerous factors are driving this change, but the rate at which rats are capable of reproducing is an important factor.

The average female rat will give birth to six litters every year, each of which consists of five to ten rat pups, although sometimes it can be as many as 12. Like mice, rats reach sexual maturity in just four to five weeks after birth, at which point they can start contributing to the number of rats present in a property. Within one year, a single pair of mice can produce around 1250 offspring. Every time a new litter of rat pups is born, half of them will be female and capable of contributing to the total number of offspring after just a few weeks,

Any delays in dealing with a rat infestation after it’s discovered can lead to an explosion in the number of individuals on your property. As soon as you detect the first signs of a potential rat infestation, you should take measures to deal with the issue.

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