Overview of the Rat Life Cycle The different rat species found in our service area have similar life cycles to one another. In general, rats produce about seven offspring per litter and can reach up to 14 at times. Typical gestation periods last only a few weeks, allowing each female rat to produce around five litters a year. Life Expectancy From birth to adult, rats take about three weeks to mature and begin fending for themselves. The rodents reach sexual maturity in about five weeks and begin mating soon after to produce the next generation to start the rat life cycle over again. Life expectancy for rats is about two to three years. However, many rats die after the first year due to predation and interspecies conflict. Control & Removal Building tenants and owners should act quickly at the first sign of rat infestation. Leaving the problem on the backburner only contributes to health hazards and property damage. Begin the exclusion process by locking away or cleaning up potential food sources, including trash, pet and livestock feed, and leftover scraps from uneaten food. Employing poison and rat traps without professional supervision can lead to unfavorable results. Call your local Critter Control office to receive expert advice on removing rats from your home or business.