How do rats communicate_Whitworth Pest Solutions

All animals communicate in their own way. For some, it’s through body language. For others, it’s through vocalization, behavior, or social interaction.

Rats are particularly interesting in that they have various ways of communicating. Rats that live in the same community have different methods of identifying each other as opposed to those they are not familiar with. It’s truly fascinating behavior that shows a level of intelligence that researchers are just beginning to understand.

Rats live in complex communities and have various methods of communication with other members of their community. The most common is body language. Rats mature at around five weeks, and males at this age tend to become more aggressive towards each other.

Rats live in a hierarchical community, the more dominant of which achieve alpha status. These physical confrontations are natural behavior for rats and are used to communicate and establish their place within their community.

When meeting strangers, the first communication is usually through body language. They will puff up their fur, fight with one another, and pin each other down. Unless this escalates, rats generally will become friends after this initial confrontation. In fact, rats are social animals. They will nest, eat, play, fight, groom, and sleep together.


Rats can make sounds that are outside of the range of human hearing. Of the sounds they make that we can hear, almost all are related to frustration or distress. Another common sound is known as “bruxing.” Bruxing is the sound that results when rats grind their teeth. This is a standard rodent behavior and is generally a sign that they are relaxed.

Urine Marking

Much like dogs, rats will urinate to establish territory. Urination communicates a lot of information to other rats and other animals in their environment. One rat’s urine can transmit information such as their place in the social hierarchy, reproductive status, age, and gender. By following these trails, rats can determine where they are in the environment and the path to get back to their colony.

Signs of Rat Infestation

Because they are community animals, if you see a rat, or other signs like rat droppings, trails, or notice the smell of urine in your home, you may have a problem. Rat infestation is a serious issue that is best handled by a professional exterminator.

If you live in the greater Seattle area, and you suspect you may have a rat problem, give the professionals at Whitworth Pest Solutions a call. They are experts at the extermination and removal of unwanted pests, like rats, from your home.

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