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How rats communicate using pheromones

Believe it or not, there are a number of ways in which rats communicate with each other. As well as high-pitched squeaks and squeals that are believed to be too high in frequency for humans to hear, rats also click to each other. They have a few non-verbal and non-body-language methods of chatting to one another, however, and it’s all to do with pheromones.

Animals who communicate via pheromones have an organ called the vomeronasal organ, which is essentially a pheromones-detecting organ. Although it is believed that humans can also pick up on pheromones, there are some scientists who argue the can’t be the case, as humans do not carry this vomeronasal organ. Anyway, back to rats.

There are quite a few creatures who have this particular organ which senses for pheromones, and monkeys and elephants are too larger examples. When certain pheromones are in the air, the vomeronasal organ detects them, and this then sends a signal / message to the brain - the hypothalamus to be exact.

This signal could contain a number of snippets of information. Rats tell each other where sources of food are close with their urine, which secretes pheromones, and they can also be used to tell male rats that their female counterparts are ready to mate. They are very powerful chemical signals, and long after the rat has gone, the message can still be passed on, present still in the urine streak left on the floor / wall / surface.

Pheromones are just one reason why it is important to clean up thoroughly when you have had a problem with rats. If you leave just the slightest hint of urine behind, pheromones could still be present, and when other rats are in close proximity, they could pick up on that chemical signal and investigate further. You will be back with a rat problem on your hands again.

For more rat information, visit our rat removal tips page, or for more specific how-to instructions, read the how to get rid of rats page with 6 step-by-step instructions. If you have a problem with rats above your ceiling in your house, read my rats in the attic guide. The most important part of rat control is sealing shut entry holes into the building, but after you've done that, you'll want to know how to kill rats humanely to complete the rat control job. If you need to hire professional help in your city, click on my directory of over 200 rat removal companies servicing 95% of the USA. we can help your with your rat problem!
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