Is rat feces dangerous to touch or breathe?

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Believe it or not, one of the most dangerous things about having a wild animal invade your home is the mess it leaves behind. Feces and urine from wild animals such as rats, mice, bats and more can all come with a number of disease threats. Rats can carry a seriously impressive range of diseases, and a lot of these can be transferred to humans and other animals too, including pets.



Have you heard of something called “rat bite fever”? No, it’s not something we have entirely made up, it’s a disease that is passed on via rats, usually through a bite, just as the name would suggest. A bite isn’t the only way in which the disease can be passed on, however, and feces and urine are also to blame. There are two types of this disease, and they both come with their own symptoms. Sadly, the symptoms are often associated with other conditions too, usually less serious ones – colds and flu – and this means they can be quite dangerous. When they are brushed off as other diseases, they are not getting the treatment they need. Undiagnosed and untreated diseases that are passed on via rats can all prove to be fatal, particularly in those who weren’t in full health to start with.

Salmonella – another very well known disease, and yet another one passed on from the urine and droppings left by rats. Many people aren’t aware that rats even carry this disease, let alone that it can easily be passed on to humans. In fact, both wild rats and domestic (pet) rats can carry this disease, which I’m sure makes you think about your home pet choices a little more seriously. With diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, and crippling stomach cramps, we are sure that this isn’t a disease you will want to invite into your home.

How about Leptospirosis? You may also have heard this one being called Weil’s disease? Well, it’s another of the diseases that are often passed on from rat to humans, and is another one that often comes with symptoms that are easily associated with other, less serious conditions first. You won’t know whether or not the rat is sick from looking at it, but in some severe cases, this condition can kill.

There are so many diseases associated with the feces and urine of rats, and they just build up to a much bigger picture – rats are NOT animals you will want in your home. That’s even more so the case when you consider how fast they reproduce. It won’t be long before one rat turns into a hundred rats – they really do breed at a staggering rate.

When you have rats in your property, getting rid of the animal itself is just one part of a much bigger problem. You will need to make sure that you are sealing up the holes that the rat used to gain entrance, and you will also need to ensure that you have gotten rid of everything the critter came into contact with. If this is in the attic, it might mean replacing the insulation. You will need to remove every last trace of the rat, biological matter included, and that’s why we would always recommend hiring a professional to do the job for you. It’s a pretty extensive project for just one man alone!

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.

If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com