Rats can carry fleas. One of the most well-studied species of rat flea is Xenopsylla cheopis, the Oriental rat flea or tropical rat flea. This is the flea that carries bubonic plague.
Rat fleas can also carry rat tapeworms and a kind of typhus that affects rats and mice. These fleas do not attach themselves to humans unless they must. Under ordinary circumstances, rat fleas prefer to stick to rats and other rodents, but when no living rats are around, human blood serves them as well as rodent blood. This is how bubonic plague spreads; fleas leave a dead host and leap onto any living warm-blooded animal available, spreading the infection. The reason why they do not ordinarily attach themselves to humans is that they thrive in temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but the human body temperature is much higher.Learn More
Depending on species, lineage, and whether or not they are captive, rats live between one and four years. The average pet rat lives two or three years, while wild rats rarely live past one year. Pet rats from certain lineages live longer due to good breeding.Full Answer >
Rats can climb a wide variety of surfaces and objects. They often climb rough wall surfaces, such as brick, wood siding and stucco. Rats also climb trees, pipes and telephone poles if the surface provides adequate footing.Full Answer >
Both of the most common types of rats, the black rat and the brown rat, are omnivores, eating fruits, grains and any waste or unprotected human foods they encounter, along with invertebrate prey when necessary or available. Brown rats are more carnivorous than black rats, will eat more types of meat and have even been observed fishing. These animals are ubiquitous and are major pests in destroying livestock feed.Full Answer >
The Gambian pouched rat is the largest known rat species, reaching lengths of up to 3 feet. Their average weight is between 3 and 4 pounds, although they can weigh up to 9 pounds.Full Answer >