How Large Can A Rat Infestation Get?

One rat in the home is one too many, but these rodents rarely invade the home by themselves. Rats are tribal animals that live in family groups, so it’s likely that two or more rats will enter the home during an infestation, which means that they can reproduce and go up in numbers. Let’s find out just how big a rat infestation can get.

How fast do rats reproduce?

One of the reasons that rats are so prolific and so adept at survival is their rapid reproductive cycle. A rat female can start reproducing within five weeks, and over its three year life span, it can produce as many as 180 new rats, at a rate of 14 rats per litter. This means that if a couple of rats enter the home, the infestation could number in the dozens within a few months.

What size can a rat colony reach indoors?

How fast and how much a rat infestation grows will depend on the conditions inside the home. For example, if there is plenty of food, and there are not a lot of deterrents in place, the rat population will explode. The limit on this growth is the fact that rats usually live in clans, with each rat colony being a family structure, so there won’t be a lot of inbreeding. This means that the average rate of growth when the conditions are ideal is at around 60 rats per year. However, conditions are not always ideal in the home, so the infestation will grow at a slower rate than that.

Getting rid of a large rat infestation

If rats have been in the home for a while, you can expect to have several of them in the nest. This type of infestation can be very difficult to remove, and you will likely need the help of a pro, who will use baits and poisons to kill all the rats. Then, after the infestation has been cleared, you just have to worry about the cleanup process. Some pros will offer this service as part of the control package, others will offer it separately, and some may not offer it at all, leaving it up to you.

For more information about the spread of rat infestations, or if you suspect that you have a rat infestation in your home and would like to schedule an inspection, contact us today.