Rats are incredibly dangerous because they can transmit disease very easily throughout their own population and into yours. Rats are destructive pests that can cause significant damage to your home, property, and health. Rats have been known to cause fires by gnawing on electrical wires or chewing holes through walls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rats are generally found in urban areas where there is easy access to food sources like garbage cans. They live in sewers or basements where there is moisture, warmth, and shelter from predators. They can also find their way into homes through holes in walls or roofs. Rats prefer to live close to humans because they like eating our garbage and food scraps.
Rats are nocturnal creatures that are active at night when people are not around. They will look for places where there is food available at all times of the day or night including kitchen cabinets, pantries, or cabinets with pet food stored inside them as well as in trash bins outside homes or buildings. Rats can also find their way into your home, Scheduled Rodent Control Services should be practiced alternatively to keep rodents away from your home.
They also contaminate food supplies with urine, feces, and parasites. In addition, rats can cause expensive damage to homes by chewing through walls and floors.
Rats have been known to carry more than 40 types of bacteria, as well as viruses such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). These diseases are contracted through direct contact with rat saliva or feces, or by breathing in particles that contain the virus or bacteria. The fleas and ticks that live on rats serve as carriers for disease-causing organisms like the plague, typhus, and relapsing fever, which means that if you get bitten by a rat there’s a chance you could contract one of these illnesses yourself.
The following are some of the most common diseases spread by rats and rodents:
1. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) – HPS is a rare but serious viral disease that affects the lungs and breathing. It is caused by breathing in infected rodent droppings, urine, or saliva. The virus can also live in dried rodent urine for months after contamination of the environment. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, dizziness, chills, and vomiting followed by coughs that produce blood-tinged sputum.
HPS may lead to severe respiratory illness and death. This illness is most common in the southwestern United States, but cases have been reported throughout the country. The virus is transmitted through contact with infected rodents. This is one of the most deadly diseases spread by rats, but it's relatively rare. It can be contracted when an infected rodent sneezes or coughs in your direction. The virus can enter your body through the lungs and cause a deadly form of pneumonia.
2. Salmonellosis – Salmonella bacteria are found in the intestines of humans and animals worldwide. Salmonellosis causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after exposure and lasts 4-7 days without treatment or longer with treatment. Severe cases may require hospitalization due to dehydration from severe diarrhea and vomiting or other complications such as reactive arthritis which causes joint pain due to an immune reaction against normal tissue from a previous infection with bacteria such as Salmonella typhi (typhoid fever). This intestinal infection is caused by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Symptoms usually disappear within days of starting treatment with antibiotics.
3. Typhus fever – Typhus is a bacterial disease spread through fleas on rats, ticks, and lice that live on them or in their nests. Symptoms include high fever, headache, muscle aches, rashes, and enlargement of lymph glands near armpits or groin areas (lymphadenopathy). Death may occur if untreated for several days after the onset of symptoms; however, antibiotics usually cure typhus within three days.