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.
How Fast do Rats Reproduce?
Rats have a gestation period of 21-25 days. After birth, rat pups are totally dependent upon their mother for warmth, feeding and grooming behaviors that stimulate growth. A pup will nurse until it is about 25 days of age. A litter of 2-14 pups is born after about 3 weeks of gestation.
Rat females generally have their first estrus period at 16-20 weeks of age, although this can vary greatly among individuals. They can produce six to eight litters per year, with an average of six to eight young per litter. That means a rat population can double in just three months!
So, how fast do rats reproduce? Quite rapidly, it would seem!
Increase in the number of rat infestations
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. 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.
How To Get Rid of Rats
This article, Can Rats Climb Up Walls?, explores the remarkable climbing ability of rats in greater detail. Read more about pest control services for rats in London. Get in touch with Bon Accord your local pest control expert.
Pest advice for controlling Rats from BPCA