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Health Hazards of Rat Infestations: The Diseases They Carry and Rat Removal

rat removal. Rat in kitchen sink.

Rats are not just pesky creatures that invade your home, but they can also pose serious health hazards. These rodents carry a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to humans through direct contact, contamination of food and water sources, or exposure to their droppings and urine. SWAT Wildlife rat removal services can remove rats quickly and humanely.

This blog post will explore the diseases rats carry and provide tips on protecting yourself from these health risks.

Diseases Rats Carry

Leptospirosis: This bacterial infection is commonly spread through rat urine. When humans come into contact with water, soil, or food contaminated by infected rats, they can contract leptospirosis. 

Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, muscle aches, vomiting, and jaundice. In some cases, it can lead to organ failure and even death if left untreated.

Hantavirus: Hantavirus is transmitted through inhalation of rat droppings, urine, or saliva. Once infected, individuals may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. 

In severe cases, it can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which can be fatal.

Salmonellosis: Rats often carry the Salmonella bacteria in their feces. If human food or water becomes contaminated with rat droppings, consuming these can cause salmonellosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, and vomiting.

Rat Removal. Rat bite blood sample.

Rat-bite fever: As the name suggests, this disease is transmitted through rat bites or scratches. It is caused by two different bacteria – Streptobacillus moniliformis and Spirillum minus. 

Symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and skin rash. Without proper treatment, it can lead to life-threatening complications.

Plague: Although rare, rats can also carry the bacteria responsible for the plague. This disease can be transmitted to humans through fleas that infest rats. 

Symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, the plague can be fatal.

How to Protect Yourself

Seal entry points: Sealing any potential entry points to your home is crucial to prevent rat infestations. Rats can squeeze through small openings, so repair cracks or gaps, seal holes around pipes, and install door sweeps. 

Inspect your home regularly for any signs of rodent activity and take immediate action to prevent them from entering.

Proper food storage: Rats are attracted to food sources, so storing food in sealed containers is essential. Avoid leaving uncovered food out overnight, and promptly clean up any spills or crumbs. 

You reduce the risk of attracting rats into your home by eliminating food sources. Consider using metal or glass containers that rats cannot chew through.

Cleanliness and sanitation: Regularly clean your home and maintain good sanitation practices. This includes keeping your kitchen and dining areas clean, removing clutter that can serve as hiding spots for rats, and disposing of garbage in sealed containers. Also, clean up any rat droppings or urine using proper protective gear. 

Avoid sweeping or vacuuming droppings, as this can release airborne particles. Instead, wet them down with a disinfectant solution and carefully remove them using gloves and a dustpan.

Humane rat removal. Rat in humane cage.

Professional rat removal: If you suspect a rat infestation in your home, it is best to seek professional help for safe and effective rat removal. Pest control experts like SWAT Wildlife have the knowledge, tools, and experience to handle rat removal and ensure your home is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 

We can identify entry points, set traps or bait stations, and guide on preventing future infestations.

Use protective gear: When dealing with rat removal tasks, such as cleaning up droppings or attempting DIY removal, it is essential to protect yourself. Wear gloves, a mask, and long sleeves to minimize the risk of direct contact with the rodents or their bodily fluids. 

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling anything potentially contaminated by rats.

Educate yourself: Stay informed about the signs of rat infestation and the diseases they carry. Be vigilant for signs of rat activity, such as gnaw marks, droppings, or strange noises in the walls or attic. 

Educate yourself on the symptoms of rat-borne diseases so you can seek medical attention promptly.

Conclusion Rat Removal

Rat infestations can pose significant health hazards due to the diseases they carry. Taking proactive measures to protect yourself and your family from these health risks is crucial. 

You can minimize the chances of rat-related diseases in your home by sealing entry points, practicing proper food storage and cleanliness, and seeking professional help for rat removal. 

Always prioritize your safety and take precautions when dealing with potentially infected areas. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and keep your home rat-free for a healthier environment.
If you have concerns about rat infestations or need professional rat removal assistance, contact SWAT Wildlife for rat removal or visit our website at

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