Rats can easily make their way into your home through the most unlikely place: your toilet.
In case you’re wondering how is this possible, rats are quite good swimmers making them capable of sneaking into your sewer pipe and eventually make it up your loo.
These pests begin their journey into your home from the sewers, which is basically a haven for rodents. Armed with sharp claws, rats are able scale even smooth and vertical surfaces such as pipes that go up into your home.
Rats, which are surprisingly excellent swimmers, can tread water for three days and even hold their breath for up to three minutes. Once they reach the top of your toilet’s U-bend, they are able to swim into your toilet bowl since there’s a tiny pocket of air in that area.
Moreover, these pests can squeeze through small passages like your toilet tubes because they are capable of collapsing their ribcage. Thus, they can navigate in narrow spaces with ease.
However, rats infesting a home through a toilet is considered rare. According to the Washington D.C. Center for Rodent Control, they only get few cases in a year.
Erika Engelhaupt, National Geographic online science editor, chronicled her months long battle with a nest of rats which successfully made their way into her house through her toilet.
Watch the video.
Leptospirosis: A Deadly Disease Caused by Rats
According to the Humane Society of the United States, rats, aside from mosquitoes, carry more diseases that can be passed on to humans than almost any other living thing.
One of the fatal diseases transmitted by rats is leptospirosis or Weil’s disease. Bacteria in rat feces or urine that come in contact with human mucous membranes cause this disease. Some of its symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, rash as well as muscle ache. However, some people may not show symptoms of this infection.