Can rats hurt you?

Not only are rats filthy, smelly and nerve wracking with their constant chewing, scratching and running about, they can cause you physical harm as well. Rats carry a number of body pests like fleas, lice, and ticks that can infest you and other animals or cause diseases like the plague. Rats also carry diseases to which we are susceptible. Many of these are fatal like the plague, leptospirosous, ringworm, and other viruses. When rats die in your home, as they begin to deteriorate, they attract bacteria, let off dangerous gases, and become host for flies and other nasty carrion feeders. If a rat feels threatened or becomes cornered, it may attack. A rat’s bite is a great way to get a tetanus infection. It can also be a source for contracting Hantavirus as well as a myriad of other potentially fatal diseases.

In rare cases, Rats have been known to bite people while they slept, but it is widely believed that the victims might have gone to bed with food residue on their hands or face, thus enticing the rat. While rats are generally not aggressive, because of their other undesirable qualities, we do not want them infiltrating our homes. There are a number of ways to help discourage rats form moving in. The most effective ways involve making your home as unappealing to rats as possible. Here are a few tips that can help

Make your yard “too wide-open”
– rats want to hide in piles of brush and debris. They like to scurry along under cover of bushes nestled against the side of your house. They will climb trees with overhanging branches to access your roof and gain entrance through your attic or vents. They will quench their thirst in standing water, or eat from your dogs bowl, bird/squirrel feeders, or bags of garbage. Work to clear up all these problems and the rats may lose interest in your yard.

Locate all access holes in to your home’s exterior
- rats can fit through a hole you can barely see. A space no bigger than a quarter makes a fine door for rats to enter your home. They will also go through vents, ducting, chimneys, and even swim up through your septic system. Eliminate access to your home and they will go elsewhere.

A clean home is a happy home
- Take kitchen and bathroom trash out often. Keep litter boxes and pets cages clean. Do not leave unattended pet food bowls out, and keep your food put away. Secure boxed and bagged food in a cabinet. Do not leave bread, fruit, or snacks out on countertops.

With just a little attention to detail you can have a home that is rodent free. For more help and valuable information, contact your local animal removal service.

Read the How to get rid of rats page for helpful information and to learn more about Can rats hurt you?

Can rats hurt you?

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