Truly Nolen Pest Control: Can Rats Swim?

Drain with flowing water

Most of us are somewhat aware of the problems a rat infestation can cause and do our very best to prevent them access to our homes. However, they can squeeze through impossibly small spaces, are surprisingly quick and will scope out a viable food source before you even know it exists. Even for rat control experts, these pests can present a challenge. The talented rodents seem to be capable of making the most of just about every situation they can find on land, but what happens when water’s involved? Can rats swim?

Can Rats Swim?

The simple answer is yes – rats can swim. Your worst fears have been confirmed. Just when you thought you’d taken every measure possible to prevent rats from entering your home, you now need to consider any water-based weaknesses you may have. Not only can rats swim, but some species are in fact, strong swimmers. Either way, they’ll be sure to use this ability to find a way into your home.

The abilities of these talented rodents seem almost endless: rats are able to hold their breath underwater for up to 3 minutes! They have also been known to swim for three days at a time. In fact, many rats which live in an urban habitat will spend the majority of their time in water. They can navigate the complex sewer systems, usually below a city, and some species will even spend time hunting in rivers and other water systems.

A rat needs to eat and drink every single day in order to survive. If they find that their usual food source has been blocked or removed, they’ll resort to desperate measures. This is why you may find them climbing up your sewer pipes in search of a food source. It is possible for rats to climb up and down your toilet pipes via an entrance in the sewer system and find a way in to your home. When it comes to rats they won’t let any obstacles get in their way.

Different Rat Species Which Are Swimmers

Some rats are better swimmers than others. Black rats tend to stick to land; if you discover them in your home, then your plan of attack is a very different one. Contrarily, Marsh Rice rats are expert swimmers and source the majority of their food in water. This species is generally found in swamps and is known to feed on small crabs and fish. Since they tend to find their food source in the wild, you’re unlikely to find them near your home.

Brown rats (Norway rats), on the other hand, are incredibly able swimmers and are even sometimes known as the ‘water rat’. This species of rat is incredibly able in water and is also known to carry many pathogens and diseases. This is the one which will most likely find its way inside your home. Whether you find them in your toilet or hear them in your walls or attic, you have a rat control problem which needs to be dealt with immediately. Rats are known to expand their population at an alarming rate and it’s better to control the infestation before numbers get too high.

Nobody understands the habits of rodents better than us. Here at Truly Nolen we’ve been the industry experts since 1938 and know how to approach your rodent infestation proactively. By using our proven rodent removal plan, there won’t be an escape pipe, hole or pool that your pest can use to escape.