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Can Rodents Learn to Drive?

My friend made the cliche announcement to, “Watch out! My son passed his driving test.” I delivered the courtesy chuckle and congratulated both of them on the new development. As I am sure is normal, my mind drifted over the next few moments wondering which of our mammalian relatives could learn to drive. Does that list end at humans, or would it extend to monkeys and orangutans? What about mice? Can rodents learn to drive?

Mice on Wheels

Well, it turns out, I wasn’t the first to ask this question. In fact, Kelly Lambert conducted one such study at the University of Richmond. She concluded that mice were able to operate a tiny, simplified vehicle when in search for food. This is quite the feat to add to the fun facts about mice list.

Apparently, mice have a higher cognitive ability than once thought. Kelly created a small vehicle made of a plastic container and three copper wires. (I am not sure whether I should be more impressed with the rodent intelligence, or Kelly’s ingenuity) The mouse was trained to grab two of the wires with its paws for steering. The mice used their mouth to operate the remaining wire to signal a forward motion of the vehicle. The mouse would drive its vehicle to the destination for a scrumptious food reward.

Rolling Implications

When the mice pursue food or water, they are not acting in a state of frenzy. Rodents are superlative problem solvers. Part of the study showed during the training phase, the mouse brains produced stress-related chemicals. They were able to track this in their feces interestingly enough.

Once the mouse had learned to drive the vehicle, their brain released a chemical that lowered their stress. What’s the point? If a stressed-out mouse can learn to operate a small vehicle, it surely can find cracks in our home’s foundation. It will find food, water, and shelter. Once rodents find these elements in proximity to each other, they set up shop and nest.

What should be done?

Can rodents learn to drive? Yes. Is this spooky? Yes. Is all hope lost? No!

Luckily enough for you, Rove Pest Control keeps well-trained rodent experts around to solve the toughest of rodent situations quickly. This works for both avoiding mice in the first place and dealing with them when they have already infiltrated your comfort zone. Reach out today to find out where your home and business and can be fortified against these invaders.