Health Hazards from Rats

close up picture of a mouse

An unwanted animal that enters your home is not only bothersome but is hazardous to your and your family’s health and well being. Apart from all the havoc that they cause to our furnitures and food, what we should really be worried about are diseases. Because of this, many home owners call pest control companies to help them get rid of the nuisance.

Rats, one of the most common household pests, are posing fatal health threats to humans. Rat bites and scratches can often result in diseases, particularly rat-bite fever.

Rat-bite Fever

It is a disease that can be contracted through a bite, scratch or contact with a dead rat. Symptoms include fever, inflammation of the skin and vomiting.


One of the most deadly diseases carried by rats is Leptospirosis, which can be contracted through handling and inhalation of rat scat. Complications include liver and renal failure, as well as cardiovascular problems.

Bubonic Plague

Otherwise known as the Black Plague, it is one of the most deadly rat-borne diseases in history. It can be contracted when fleas from rats bite humans. These fleas were considered to be responsible for the spread of the Bubonic plague that killed millions during the Middle Ages.


It is an infection caused by a bacteria known as Salmonella. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Rats can also carry this disease, which humans can contract by consuming food contaminated by rat faeces.


There are three ways in which this disease can be transmitted: direct contact with rat faeces or urine, inhaling of dust contaminated by rat faeces or urine, and in some cases, due to rat bites.

Some of the known carriers of hantavirus are cotton rats or rice rats. Victims inflicted with this disease initially experience flu-like symptoms. Then they may be incapacitated and have difficulty of breathing.

In order to avoid these disease-causing pests, it is best that we be vigilant in eradicating rodents and drive them out of our homes. Spray suspected areas with disinfectant. Use gloves and respirators with cartridges when handling droppings and dead rats. Better yet, to ensure that the process is safe and effective, hire a pest control company you can trust.