Can House Rats Hurt You?
People have been dealing with rat infestations as long as there have been cities. Rats enjoy living close to where the people are. People generate all the things rats love: food scraps to eat, nice insulation materials for them to nest in, and weird things to play with.
They're curious and intelligent. They have excellent memories, too. None of this makes them any easier to live with. Indeed, it can mean that they can be a little bit harder to handle.
But are they dangerous?
Do rats really spread disease?
Disease is the greatest danger that rats generally pose to humans.
The most common are:
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
- Rat bite fever
- The Black Plague (it's still a thing!)
You do not have to interact directly with the rats to get diseases from them. Exposure to airborne particles from rodent waste is often enough.
Do house rats attack humans?
Usually rats do whatever they can do to avoid people.
They will hide, run away, or wait until humans are asleep to move about.
They attack when they feel cornered, and they can be ferocious when they do. They can jump 70 centimeters into the air. They can scurry up walls and then launch themselves right at your face!
If you see a rat, do your best to avoid cornering it. A direct rat bite can definitely put you at risk for diseases.
Will rats get into your bed?
If your rat infestation is bad enough, then they absolutely will. Rats like warm covers just as much as you do. They're exceptional climbers and they have absolutely no problem getting into your bed.
Of course, if you surprise each other while sleeping your bed is an excellent place to get bitten, even if you don't mean to make a rat feel cornered. Some rats will bite you if you use shampoo or body wash that smells like food, simply because they're feeling a little hungry!
Will keeping lights on keep rats away?
Rats are not particularly scared of the light. They'll avoid it by preference, but they aren't going to let it stop them from getting to things they want.
All that keeping the lights on will do, ultimately, is show you the rats or the damage they leave behind.
What should you do if you get bitten by a rat?
Wash the wound with soap and water, apply immediate first aid, and go to a doctor to get checked out immediately.
The faster you can catch any disease transmission the sooner you can start treating the disease. This may keep you from suffering the worst effects of whatever it is the rat might be carrying.
Is it OK to live with rats?
Some people do live with a few pet rats they invite into their home. That's fine.
If you're living with a rat swarm, however, then you and your family are in danger.
Don't wait for something tragic or nasty to happen. Contact us to get the rats out of your home both safely and humanely. Let them find somewhere else to feast!
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