Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Rats carry a range of viruses and bacteria that can be extremely hazardous to people and sometimes even lethal. In order to keep these nasty rodents out, you need to make sure your home is as rodent proof as possible, or to have professionals get rid of these animals if you find evidence of their presence. These critters love nesting inside attic insulation material, so it's important to have this part of your property checked and rodent proofed to keep them at bay.
How Do Rats Spread Disease?
Disease transmission from rats to human can be in one of four ways. The first is direct contact with contaminated feces, urine, blood or saliva, which can be done unintentionally. The second is through bites and scratches that can result from trying to capture these rodents by hand. The third way is through inhalation of contaminated air, which can happen if they leave nasty 'gifts' inside your air duct system. The fourth way is through ingestion of contaminated food or drink, which these rodents are on the hunt for, often at night, which is why you should make sure to store these items in safe locations and containers.
Diseases Directly Transmitted By Rats
Humans can catch a number of diseases through exposure to infected animals. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is usually spread via direct contact, either with urine or feces, or through the inhalation of contaminated dust or from a bite. Leptospirosis is a disease of the bacterial type that's transmitted by drinking contaminated water or by swimming in water rats had previously swam in or drank from. Rat-bite Fever, as the name suggests, is transmitted through bites, but also through scratches or any other type of physical contact. Salmonellosis can be contacted by eating food that has been contaminated by these critters.
Indirectly Transmitted Diseases
Many rats around the world carry Plague bacteria (Yersinia pestis), which cycles between rodents and fleas. That's The Plague with a capital P, as in the bubonic kind. People can catch it from flea bites, handling tissue or fluid of an infected animal or from infected air borne particles from a sick person. Colorado Tick Fever is a viral disease and it is transmitted by a tick bit a woodrat. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is a type of parasite that can be transmitted to humans by being bitten by an infected fly that bit a wild woodrat.
Preventing Rat-Borne Diseases
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is definitely the best solution. If you want to avoid the risk of serious infections you must opt for professional rodent proofing of your house and put as many obstacles as possible to foil these pesky pests from invading your home. Our experts will gladly help you with this. We'll seal all possible entry points to your attic, especially around pipes, vents and cables, using wire mesh or expanding foam. We can also install brush strips on the bottom of all doors to prevent rodent entry. If you happen to find any rats, or evidence of their presence, let our team know asap. We'll set traps to catch and remove these critters, and once we got rid of them all, we'll clean your attic and make sure that the insulation material isn't damaged.