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
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 >
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 have a regular skeleton similar to that of a human or other animals like a dog or cat. The belief that rats do not have bones or have a collapsible skeleton comes from the fact that rats can fit into tiny places and walk through small holes.Full Answer >
The two most common pest species of rat are both native to Asia. Extensive human travel has resulted in their spread around the world. In fact, one of the common names for Rattus rattus, the black rat, is the ship rat, because they so frequently infest large ships.Full Answer >