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What Diseases Do Rats Carry?


Rats won’t just enter the home and cause destruction, they will also spread diseases, posing a threat to the health of the inhabitants. This is why you want to get rid of a rat infestation as soon as you notice it. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of these diseases and how they are spread.

The Diseases Carried by Rats

According to the CDC, rats are known to spread as many as 35 diseases to humans. These diseases include the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which is a severe respiratory disease that causes dizziness, stomach problems, flu-like symptoms, and eventually extreme shortness of breath. You also have Leptospirosis, which is a bacterial disease that causes jaundice, red eyes, and flu-like symptoms. Other diseases include tularemia, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever and even the plague.

How Rats Spread Disease

Rats can spread diseases either directly or indirectly. They spread the diseases directly when a person touches a rat, its droppings or its urine. Under this category, you also have situations where a rat will contaminate food sources, such as when it comes into contact with the food inside a cereal box, and then a person eats the food. Indirect spread occurs when a disease is transmitted from the rat to a parasite, such as a flea, tick or mosquito, and then the parasite transmits it to a human. In this category, you have diseases like the West Nile disease, Lyme disease and babesiosis.

A rat will be contaminated by a pathogen in the same way as everybody else – by coming into contact with it. Rats will routinely rummage through garbage and swim through sewers, which are areas where pathogens thrive. Once they are contaminated and they enter the home, it’s only a matter of time before they spread the diseases to the residents.

Getting Rid of Rats

Rats can be very dangerous pests due to the diseases that they are able to spread. This is why it’s important to get rid of them as soon as possible, and in order to do this, you will need the help of a pest control professional. Rat infestations can be hard to remove due to the paranoid nature of the rats and their very fast reproduction cycles. If you currently have a rat infestation, contact us today and we will remove it for you.