What diseases do rats carry?
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There are so many things to worry about when you have a rat invasion in
your property, and although damage is one of the more costly side
effects of these rodent visitors, the disease threat is often one of the
biggest causes of concern. Quite rightly too, as these are animals that
can bring with them a whole range of rather nasty diseases, none of
which you will want you, or your family members, to come into contact
Tamed / domesticated mice and rats will generally not carry these
diseases, but wild rats are known to spread or carry them, and they can
be spread to tamed / domesticated rats and other rodents if the two
kinds come into contact with each other. Some of the diseases that they
carry can also be passed onto your household pets, particularly when
you’re talking about problems such as ticks and fleas, and some of the
diseases can even be passed onto you and your family members. They can
prove to be especially dangerous for the elderly and young children, and
also those who are also ill, particularly with a weakened immune system.
Weil’s disease, also known as Leptospirosis, is often present in rats,
and infected animals will often show very little, even zero signs, of
infection. This illness is a bacterial one, and both humans and other
animals can become infected when they have come into contact with feces
and urine from an infected rat. It can bring with it some rather nasty
symptoms, and these include muscle aches and pains, a rash over the
skin, vomiting, a fever, headaches, and more.
The disease will affect different people in different ways, and those
who are already suffering with a weakened immune system will often be
among the worst infected. Often confused with the flu or a common cold,
especially in its earlier stages, it can prove fatal to some patients,
and totally unnoticeable in others. It’s just not worth taking the risk.
Salmonella poisoning is another very nasty bug that rats can bring with
them, and both wild rats and domestic rats can actually carry this
bacteria. We’ve probably all suffered with the bug at some point in our
lives, and it’s easy to see why it wouldn’t be pleasant to invite this
into your home. Causing a very nasty upset stomach, with vomiting,
diarrhea, stomach cramps, a fever, and more, it usually passes after a
few days, but some patients can find that they suffer with symptoms for
a few weeks. After being infected, symptoms will generally materialize
within a few days – 12 – 72 hours. The average time for symptoms to last
is less than a week, but dehydration can often cause complications, and
may require a spell in hospital. In the worst of cases, without the
right treatment, it can prove fatal.
Rats can pass on salmonella poisoning through their feces and urine,
much like Leptospirosis, and that’s why a thorough cleanup operation is
vital after you have had a rat invasion.
Rat-bite fever is another disease often passed on through rats, but,
just as the name suggests, this one tends to be passed on through a bite
from a rat. It can, however, be passed on through scratches, and also
through the urine and feces of an infected rat. Most people aren’t
unlucky enough to get that close. People would much rather run away from
rats generally, and the same works in the other direction – rats would
much rather scamper away than stay and fight.
Rat-bite fever can come in two forms – spirillary and streptobacillary.
The latter will bring symptoms similar to nausea and vomiting, a fever,
muscle pain and a rash, while the spirillary infection often brings the
same rash, but with a fever that recurs, and swollen lymph nodes also.
As you can see, it’s often the feces and urine of the rats that pose the
biggest problems in the realms of disease threats. That’s why rat
removal is actually the smallest part of the job – it’s the cleanup and
repair work that often causes the biggest loss to time, and money also.
You’ll be happy to know that those are just two parts of the full
service that we offer so you don’t need to worry about it.
Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.