There are many myths about rats out there, some very exciting, like the mutant rat myth and the Kentucky Fried rat, while others are taken completely as fact. One of the latter myths is the myth that rats love cheese, which as it turns out, is completely false.
Origins of the myth
While rats do not love cheese (they hate the smell in fact), they will settle for it if there is nothing else to eat. During the medieval ages, certain cheeses were one of the few foods that could be stored safely without being preserved in a jar. As such, they were much more easy to reach than other foods, and rats would partake. Noticing this, people back then assumed that rats love cheese, and the myth carried on through the ages. However, researchers found that cheese is not even close to the top of the list of preferred foods, when rats are given a choice.
The foods highly preferred by rats
Rats are omnivores, which means that they will eat both meat and plants. In the wild, they will be out foraging for nuts, seeds, eggs, baby birds, and any meat that they can scavenge. Indoors, they are drawn to similar foods. For example, you can use bacon or hotdogs to bait traps. However, out of all the foods out there, rats really go crazy for peanut butter. Peanut butter is rich in protein, fats and carbs, and it’s pretty much a superfood.
Using this info for prevention and control
Knowing what food the various pests that infest the home prefer can help you with your baits. Using peanut butter when dealing with rats can increase the effectiveness of both traps and poisons, because the rodents will be much more attracted to the control measures. When it comes to prevention, you want to ensure that rats do not have access to any of these foods, including after you throw them away in the garbage. Pet food can also be a big draw, since it is designed to be high in protein, fats and carbs, and it is meant to be very attractive to animals.
A pest control pro will either rely on peanut butter when baiting traps and poison, or use specifically designed attractants that greatly appeal to rats. For more information on the diet of rats, or if you have a rat infestation that needs to be removed, contact us today.