Do rats attack human necks?
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Rats are often given quite a bad reputation, a slightly unfair one when
you consider these are just rodents trying to make their way in life.
Used in horror movies, and often depicted as something dangerous,
vicious, and generally unpleasant, they do carry with them their fair
share of nasty and dangerous diseases, perhaps giving you more of a
reason than a horror-story gimmick to dislike this rodents with
As well as carrying with them disease threats, present in both their
saliva, urine, feces, and even their dead bodies, they are quite strong
animals. Much stronger, perhaps, than you first may have thought. Their
jaws are incredibly powerful, and combined with teeth that constantly
grow and are just as sharp as their claws, their chewing and gnawing
action will make it through any material. If they can chew through
concrete blocks and bricks (which they can), human flesh is hardly going
to pose a problem.
Going back to the myth, however, of rats attacking human necks and
throats … Well, if we’re being honest about this, most rats are going to
run away, rather than try to stay and fight. They don’t want to fight
you. They don’t want to attack you. They just want to escape from the
room they are currently cornered in, and be free to go about their
business again. For the record, their business is sleeping for
seventy-five percent of the day, spending the rest of that time grooming
and socializing with fellow rats in the group, and spending the
nighttime foraging for food, which they will then hoard.
Rats are more scared of humans than we humans are scared of them, and
that’s saying something. If a rat was left alone with a baby in the
room, the rat would more than likely run away, scurry through a hole,
never to be seen again. The rat probably won't go for that baby, unless
the baby has the rat cornered and is trying to play with it. If the rat
can’t get away, it will lash out in every and any way that it can, and
if that means going for human flesh, that’s just the way it will go.
Rats do not specifically hunt out human throats, however, and this is
where the myth-bit comes into play. Rats actually have incredibly poor
eyesight, instead relying on their amazing sense of smell and sensing of
air flow to get around. They probably wouldn’t be able to see your
throat / neck, so aiming for it would be quite difficult. There’s a good
chance that the rat is just desperately trying to get out, and with its
dim eyesight, just aims for the light. The neck is the slimmest part of
the human body, and light would penetrate either side of it. Any cases
of the rat trying to “attack a human throat” is probably just a case of
the rat trying to get away.
This is not to say that you will not be attacked by a rat, however, and
that’s why we would always recommend preceding with caution when you
have a rat infestation on your hands. Live cage traps put you in the
direct line of fire of these animals, and with sharp teeth and claws AND
the spread of disease to worry about, this is definitely not a creature
you will want to be in close proximity to.
Rats might not go for human necks, but they will attack if cornered.
Keep away - use snap traps, or give us a call to see how we can rid your
commercial or residential property of rats today.
Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page. You can also read about Do rats bite humans in their sleep? or What if you are bitten by a rat