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10 THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT RODENTS.

If you're squeamish and the mere thought of mice and rats sends shivers up your spine and pangs of nausea to your stomach, you might want to skip to the next article. If you are concerned about the hazards of rodent infestation, though, it might pay to read on. Reckitt & Colman Inc., Wayne, N.J., manufacturers of d-Con rodenticides, offer what they call their "Top Ten List of Mouse and Rat Facts," which they proclaim contains "some fascinating rodent facts":

1. Mice have been a pest to man for thousands of years, and they will probably continue to coexist with humans for many more. Since rodents may be able to smell nuclear fallout, they may even outlast them.

2. A single pair of mice could produce up to 15,000 offspring in one year. In just six months, one pair of mice can deposit as many as 18,000 droppings.

3. As frequently as every three weeks, rats can bear eight to 12 offspring.

4. While rodents do carry many other diseases, rats are not a common transmitter of rabies, contrary to popular belief.

5. Don't bother standing on a chair to escape a mouse. House mice are good climbers, can leap 12" vertically, and can jump down from a height of 12' without injury. Mice also are able to squeeze through spaces as small as a nickel.

6. The rat is a good climber, can leap 36" vertically, and can jump down from a height of 50' without serious injury. Rats can squeeze through spaces as small as a half-dollar.

7. The fear of mice is the third most common dread among Americans, right behind public-speaking and going to the dentist.

8. Rats can swim up to one-half mile and tread water for up to three days.

9. The teeth of rats are harder than iron, and their jaws can exert pressures of 24,000 pounds per square inch. Rats will gnaw on anything from wood to concrete in order to keep their teeth from growing into their jaws.

10. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration destroys approximately 400,000 tons of food yearly that is contaminated by rodent droppings.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
Words:362
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