Hiding in the dark and darting seemingly out of nowhere, rats are masters at terrifying unsuspecting homeowners. Of course, rats are typically more afraid of people than the other way around; however, the fear of wild rats is genuinely warranted. Here are three nightmare-inducing facts about rats you should know about.

1. Rats Can Enter Your Toilet Through Sewer Pipes

If you have recently found rats in your home, you likely searched the house for holes used by the opportunistic rodents. But you may actually be getting the rats through the sewer system.

That's right; like something out of a horror film, rats are fully capable of holding their breath for minutes at a time as they take a terrifying journey through pipes to get into your toilet (a place you never want to find them).

Add to that the fact that rats happily consume fecal matter, and they may decide to stay in your toilet for a while, waiting for you to find them at an incredibly inconvenient time. And if you should decide to flush them down the toilet, they may swim right back through the pipes, only to greet you at a later date.

2. One Rat Can Transport Over A Dozen Babies At A Time

If you find a plump rat scurrying around your home, you may think that you have a single rat to find and remove--and you could be wrong.

If the rat is pregnant, it could be carrying well over a dozen baby rats--all of which could soon be infesting your property if the mother-to-be gives birth on the premises. This is how one rat can rapidly infest your home.

3. Rats Can Give You Kidney And Liver Disease

Another truly terrifying fact about rats is that the disease-carrying rodents can actually cause you to suffer kidney and liver failure. This happens when a rat is infected with Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that affects both rats and people.

The infection is spread through contact with rat urine and droppings. When this happens, the person infected can suffer from kidney and liver damage, resulting in many unsettling symptoms:

  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Yellow skin and eyes
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Extreme fatigue

If you have recently come into contact with rats and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see a doctor immediately. And if there are rats on your property, have them removed safely by a trained pest control rats professional.