Rats have gotten themselves a bad name over the years. They are currently found on every continent, and continue to proliferate. Traveling with humans in boats and even sometimes planes, they have made their way around the world. But even with some of the bad things that rats bring to the table, there are some good one. So how do rats help the environment? Rats are good at limiting populations of the their prey and feeding predators. They are a smart and social species that is an important part of our ecosystem.
Rats can be beneficial to our society and ecosystem. They are used as pets and for testing medical and scientific procedures. They are clean and well kept, and they show care and protection for other rats. Overall, they do have negative effects, but it is important to not forget the positive ones as well.
Rats are often found near dumpsters and trash. They feed on leftovers that we leave. Rats are actually omnivores. Omnivore is a term that describes animals that eat both plant and animal. This is why they have been so successful as a species. This is also why, when they find their way into some place that they are not welcome, you’ll need to call an Oklahoma pest control company to get then out.
Rats also feed on many smaller animals and the eggs and young of larger animals. This helps to keep the populations of these animals in check. Too many of any animals causes an imbalance in our ecosystem that can be detrimental. Because they are often an invasive species, or a species that comes from another place, it is important that they have natural predators. In most places this is true, but some places its not, and that is a problem.
RATS AS PREY
Predators have to eat too. Rats can be a large, juicy meal for many large predators such as coyotes, hawks and owls. These animals are essentially converting waste, refuse and plants into usable food for these predators. Without them, a major source of food would be missing from the picture, causing many of these wonderful creatures to starve. Of course, your Tulsa pest control company can help as well.
Being an omnivore, they also eat plants. Rats specifically like nuts and seed. As they eat these, they will often transport them back to their nest. This means that a few of these seeds will fall off somewhere and grow up to be full grown plants. Because of this, many plants are transported and transplanted longer distances then they would be able to if they were on their own.
Most people do not give rats credit for one of their greatest assets… Their mind.
Rats are very intelligent animals. In laboratory tests, they have been found to have very good memories. One time though even the most complex mazes, and they can remember the right way to go. Rats are also very well equipped in the cognitive thinking department. Yep, the human part of the brain. They can solve simple problems and sort out things.
The Dutch National Police has actually begun to put these animal skills to work. They have trained rats to sniff out cigarettes and counterfeits. These rodents have great smelling ability, so this kind of work suits them. They will never replace dogs, though, because of their size and disagreement with new situations. In Africa, rats are trained to sniff out mines.
THEY ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS
Social animals are any animal that lives, hunts, eats or resides with other animals of the same species. Rats enjoy sharing space with other rats. In fact, rats have been known to suffer depression when they are alone. If other rats find a rat suffering from depression, they will comfort the depressed rat. They will also care for sick or injured rats. These animals will often be happy and show their happiness with chatter or grinding their teeth.
Not only can they be happy, but they actually do laugh, usually while at play. Peer pressure is a thing among rats. A rat will eat an unpalatable food in order to conform with the group if the group is already eating that food. They are actually very clean. They groom themselves and others for several hours a day. They are actually less likely to get parasites or viruses than dogs or cats.
AS AN INVASIVE SPECIES
Rats have been riding with humans on boats for a long time. They find their way to far off places and set up camp. The fact that they can eat anything makes them very successful, regardless of where they end up. But, as good as it is for the rats to find new homes, it often is not so good for the animals that make up the ecosystem of the new home. This is the best time to contact a Tulsa exterminator.
Places such as Australia, New Zealand and the Galapagos Islands suffer from the invasion of rats. Many indigenous species have gone extinct because of these rodents. There are no natural predators to the rats in these places, so their numbers run rampant. And the species of birds, plants and other animals have no biological defense against them. Introducing predators such as owls or hawks has helped some areas, but that can only happen with caution. These predators may also target endangered species, which only adds to the problem.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A RAT PROBLEM
So what happens if you have a problem in your home or business with rats? It’s at this time that it may be beneficial to contact your Tulsa pest control company for help. That’s where TermMax Pest Control comes in. Contact us for a free estimate. We are here to help!