This is why rats exist and how they are beneficial

It seems that most people detest these pests but surely they are on earth for a reason? I did some research and I found some pretty interesting facts regarding these little rodents.

Rats surprisingly help people in a variety of ways. They help with genetic research and advances in medicine. They are used to clear land mines which would otherwise be extremely dangerous and fatal to the people living around that area. Some people use them as pets and they can also be used in some religions as hosts for goddesses, read more to find out how.

Advances in medical research

Rats have been at the forefront of aiding in changing the course of medical history. They are easy to maintain, they have a short life cycle and the number of genetic resources on offer is abundant

The advantage of rats being small in size is helpful because we can manipulate their gnomes. The large numbers of them available are beneficial because it is easier to perform surgical procedures and tests

Rats share approximately 95% of the genes that we have. The economic advantages are that they don’t need many resources to maintain, also because their gestation term is very short this enables us to produce them in abundance.

Their help with hearing loss:

The rat plays a big part in identifying the number of genes that are involved in non syndromic hearing loss. This test could not be done on humans because humans haven’t been studied in large families where there have been a number of affected individuals. Scientists can create this scenario in rats. In addition, we haven’t had the ability to perform a detailed analysis of humans over years with no external forces in the experiment. Rats are beneficial as they can be studied in a controlled environments away from exposure to loud noise or infections


For some mammals rats are a great source of food. These animals include fox, cat, wild bogs, and weasels. Although these animals do not feed solely on rats if rats disappeared these animals would suffer.

Birds of prey eat rats as well these include owls, raptors and eagles. Rats are a very beneficial addition to their diet and are a sought after meal.

In the reptile family, large lizards are predators to rats but the main predators are snakes. Snakes love rats, rats are frozen and used as food for pet snakes or fed alive.

The main animals that eat rats are foxes, jackals, and ferrets. Be sure not to try to feed your pet cat rats as you can expose it to health risks. When cats or other pets for that matter get domesticated they are not as strong as they would have been in the wild.


In Asian cultures, the rat is the symbol of good fortune with regards to business. This is because they are seen as adaptable. In addition, if a rat is your spirit animal, you are a person who enjoys the beautiful things in life. You also understand that discipline needs to come before wants but when a treasure emerges you truly treasure it.

In India, there is a temple of rats where it is believed that the goddess spirit of Karni Mata lives in a rat. She was loved for her goodwill, generosity and supernatural powers. She reincarnated her soul with the body of a rat. The temple is filled with rats crawling, jumping, scratching and scurrying around on the marble floor. If you visit the temple and you see one of the two albino rats then it is believed that you will have good luck.

Detecting landmines 

Rats have been trained in Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and a host of other countries to sniff out landmines and even TB. Abandoned landmines are the cause of a number of tragic accidents. For this reason, it’s clear to see why this is a necessity for the people in the area.

The process:

The rats train for about nine months. They are handled by staff and introduced to certain smells to distinguish between TNT positive and negative objects. They also learn how to do this outside and in different environmental conditions.

Rats then enter a field of deactivated landmines. Initially in relatively small mines then moving into larger mines with deeper surface bombs. Lastly, they have to identify targets in a 437 square yard area. If they make a false indication then they do not pass

They are also taught to find the scent of explosives avoiding anything else. The conventional mine clearance procedure is to use metal detectors. When the rats are used over the metal detectors it is less costly than using metal detectors.

When the area is cleared it can be given over to the community members. This is now a safe area to use freely. The community can grow crops, live or do as they please.

Rats as pets

Some people are entertained by having rats as pets as they can be taught to do tricks. Learning won’t take long and it is not difficult as they are intelligent creatures.

If you own a rat as a pet you know that they are happy creatures. Even indulging in swimming, snuggling in your hair or laying on your shoulder and peacefully sleeping. You’ll notice that they sleep for the majority of daylight hours as they are nocturnal. Some pet owners see them as tiny puppies, smart cute and able to love and bond with humans. They can even try and groom their owners

Cats purr but rats can “prux”. This is the sound rats make when they are comfortable. They do this by tapping their teeth together. You can hear a rat do this when it’s relaxing in your arms or on your shoulders.

Interesting to observe

  • Interestingly enough even though they can cause illness in humans and other animals they themselves don’t get sick
  • Their long tails can be used to cool them down
  • They can be flushed down the toilet and survive
  • Rats can spend three days without water
  • We’ve realized rats can build up immunity to some poisons over some generations
  • Rats can determine where food is within a split second  
  • This mammal is very resilient, it can survive falling down from five flights of stairs
  • All in all, they are helpful in the ecosystem. They are intelligent enough to get around obstacles and survive and only attack when provoked.

Reasons to hate rats

  • They can chew on objects in your house and make a mess.
  • Rats can cause illnesses and their droppings can make you and your family very sick.
  • They can contaminate food with salmonella and other diseases.
  • Rats can carry fleas which can bring a host of diseases into your home
  • Rat faeces can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Reactions to exposure can include runny nose, sneezing, tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing
  • Their scratching can be an issue especially when you’re sleeping. Read this article about the scratching and what you can do about it.

Note: If you have a rat infestation be you sure to target them with rat bait, mouse traps, rat repellents, poisons. You can also call a professional to get the job done. You might be shocked to see how many are n your home. Read this article for more information that will shock you.

If you enjoyed this article, found it helpful or think someone else would find it interesting please share it. I would really appreciate it.

This is why rats exist and how they are beneficial
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