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Diseases From Rats: What Diseases do Rats Carry?

 In Blog, Rat Control

woman lying down on couch, appearing unwell Just hearing the word “rat” initiates an adverse reaction in most people, and for good reason. Rats are pests that can cause severe damage to your property. They can get under the hood of your car, biting wiring and piping, causing different types of malfunctions that can be dangerous for road safety and expensive to repair.

With teeth tougher than iron and steel, they can bite through cinderblock, wood, and other building materials. Rats can chew the pipes in your home, causing water leaks that require extensive wall and pipe maintenance. Rats can also gnaw on the wiring behind walls, sometimes starting dangerous house fires.

When exposed to cat urine infected with toxoplasma gondii, rats can also turn into zombies, losing their fear and becoming bolder and more dangerous. These nasty creatures can weigh up to 9 lbs and eat just about anything in desperation, including human flesh or even each other.

Do rats carry diseases?

When people need the best pest control in Toronto or other cities in Ontario, they call us. We offer the more comprehensive and safest rat pest control methods using our non-pesticide solutions, can-do attitude, and years of experience. As soon as customers tell us they have a rat infestation, we work fast because we know that the diseases rats carry can make you and your family quite sick.

How do diseases from rats spread to a human?

Like any rat, an infected rat in a home must eat and defecate. It moves through the house, looking for food. Along the way, it may shed contaminated hair. When rats find your food supply, they can infect it. Diseases spread by rats to humans through the following:

  • Droppings
  • Urine
  • Saliva
  • Nesting materials
  • Food particles
  • Ticks, fleas, and mites

What diseases do rats carry?

So, what diseases do rats carry, then? It depends. Here is a short list of diseases from rats that may trigger your rat phobia:

1. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

HPS is a severe respiratory illness in humans caused by hantaviruses. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Advanced symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, fluid in the lungs, and tightness in the chest. The disease can be fatal, with a mortality rate of nearly 40%. Rat infestations, especially in poorly ventilated areas, are a significant risk for HPS.

2. Leptospirosis

Rats can trigger a bacterial disease called leptospirosis, sometimes known as “rat pee disease.” Symptoms of rat pee disease range so widely that diagnosing it can be challenging. Additionally, some people display no symptoms.

The most common signs of leptospirosis include fever, headaches, chills, aches, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea. Untreated leptospirosis can result in kidney damage, liver failure, breathing problems, and death.

3. Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV)

LCMV is a neurological disease that can start with exposure to an infected rodent. Initially, people with LCMV may report fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, aches, and a loss of appetite. Advanced symptoms include meningitis and encephalitis. Abnormalities in motor function or conditions such as paralysis in people with LCMV are not uncommon.

4. Tularemia

You can get this life-threatening bacterial disease from ticks, deer flies, rabbits, and of course, rats. Tularemia often starts with a high fever. People with tularemia may also develop ulcers, swellings, eye problems, sore throats, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Tularemia, in severe cases, can be terminal.

5. Salmonella

You probably know salmonella as a food-borne bacterial infection that you may get from poorly cooked meals. But you can also get the disease from rats. Salmonella causes nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, and headaches.

6. Angiostrongylus Cantonensis

The term “angiostrongylus cantonensis” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. That’s why many people simply call it “rat lungworm disease.” The symptoms of rat lungworm disease include headaches, fever, nausea, and vomiting. However, many people experience no symptoms.

a rat close up in the grass, sniffing and creeping around How do I protect against rat disease?

  • Immediately reach out to GreenLeaf Pest Control if you notice signs of a pest infestation.
  • Wear a mask and gloves when handling contaminants.
  • Safely dispose of any potentially contaminated food or drink.
  • Avoid vacuuming droppings, urine, or nests as the action may spread disease.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after eating or preparing meals.
  • Regularly sanitize your kitchen and bathroom.
  • Mop the floors every evening.
  • Don’t leave food lying around and unprotected.
  • Please visit your doctor if you notice any symptoms of illness. Let them know that you may have been exposed to rats to help them reach an accurate diagnosis.
  • Seal cracks and holes outside your home to prevent rodents from entering your property.

How do you eliminate a rat infestation?

Rats are more challenging to eliminate than mice because they’re tougher and more resourceful.

  • Rats can eat their own droppings to survive
  • Rats can eat their own young to survive
  • Rats develop immunities to common rat poisons
  • Rats can live even after being flushed down a toilet
  • Rats can survive without water for over a month
  • Rats can fall 50 feet without getting mortally injured

Despite their resilience, rats don’t have much of a chance when hunted by a GreenLeaf Pest Control team. As the superhero next door, we can remediate your rat problem whether you’re a city dweller, rural homeowner, or a downtown business.

We leverage environmentally responsible methods to ensure that our clients stay safe yet their rat problem is handled. We’re also highly effective at preventing reinfestation — we try our best to ensure that the rats won’t return.

Not only do we offer top rat pest control in Vaughan, Markham, Aurora, Newmarket, Barrie and Toronto, but outside of the Greater Toronto Area too. You can call us from Guelph, Waterloo, Kitchener, and rural areas in Ontario.

Whether you need rat or mice control in Toronto — reach out to GreenLeaf Pest Control. Both these pests can carry various diseases that can make you, your family, your employees, or your customers seriously ill. So, don’t hesitate if you notice the signs of a pest infestation. Call us, your health partners, to safeguard your emotional and physical well-being and your property.

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