If you’ve ever thought of baiting a rat trap, cheese may have been the first choice that popped into your mind. However, as it turns out, rats will often turn their nose up at cheese – they don’t even like the smell. The myth that rats love cheese has been going on for quite some time, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at its origin, and the foods that rats actually like.

The source of the myth

Back in the middle ages, most foods were stored in jars in order to preserve them, and very few foodstuffs could be left out in the open. Cheese was one of these foods that could be stored without the need of an extra container, which meant that it was accessible to cheese and rats. Because cheese was one the few foods out in the open, the rats would go for it, and this is how we’ve come to regularly assume that rats eat cheese.

What do rats prefer?

Rats however are not big fans of cheese. They will eat it when there is nothing else out there, but rats are also known to be cannibalistic, so that doesn’t really give us an indication whether rats actually like it or not. To find out just how much rats prefer cheese over other foods, researchers ran an experiment. They tested a number of foods against each other to see which rats would choose the most. Cheese, unsurprisingly ranked in the medium to low range in terms of preference. Which food was at the top? Peanut butter. Meat also ranked high for the rats, but peanut butter is their food of choice because it is after all a superfood – high in calories, protein, carbs and fats. It basically has everything.

Using this info

Knowing which foods rats prefer can help you bait your traps and poisons when trying to handle an infestation. However, if you do have an infestation, the best way to deal with it is to hire a pro who will make sure that all the rats in the home are gone. If the rat population is not completely eliminated, then the rats may simply reproduce and grow their numbers once again. For more information on rats and their diet, or if you have a rat infestation that needs to be removed, contact us today.