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Virtually every animal on earth creates some kind of noise to be able to communicate with other animals, including those of its own species. These noises can have a multitude of purposes, including warning potential enemies, letting members of the opposite sex of its species know that it is ready to mate, or to simply communicate on actions that need to occur in the group.
If you get down to the basics of human beings, this is what we use the sounds that we make for. There are meant to communicate warnings, actions that need to occur in a group, or messages that are sent to people of the opposite sex in hopes of mating.
This is why communication is important, because it ensures that the processes that are important for life can continue. Without the ability to communicate life would be a lot more difficult. Even if 93 percent of communication is non-verbal, through the looks we give and the way we say things, being able to audibly make sounds so that others know what we say is incredibly important. This is true of virtually every animal on the planet, including the rat.
You may not have known this, but rats communicate through sounds as well. They are much like other animals on the planet in this way and this helps them to be able to protect themselves and to communicate with other members of their group.
To understand the need to communicate, you must first realize that rats often live in large groups called colonies. Depending upon the area that they live, these colonies can count in the thousands, which is what is frequently seen in the sewers in cities like New York. The rats can be unbelievably large in terms of population, and this is why it is so important that there be a way to communicate with one another. They need to not only let each other know about things that are going on, but warn one another of impending threats, and find a mate when it is time to copulate. This makes communication essential.
Fortunately for these animals, they are able to communicate audibly in three different ways: squeaking, hissing, and the making of a chattering noise. You do not need to get a detailed explanation to understand when it is likely that they will use certain kinds of noises. For example, when a rat is making a hissing sound, it is usually doing so when it is in a situation that it is scared. It is looking to warn its enemy that it is ready to battle, so the hissing sound can be made at other animals, including rats.
The squeaking is used when it is scared as well. At least for the most part. The difference is that this is the sound it makes when it is warning the others that there is trouble. The chattering is used for most the communication between the other rats, and can relay a wide variety of messages. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.