Are Rats Dangerous To Humans? – [You Should Know This!]

Rats and mice are notorious for spreading many diseases worldwide. Yes, Rats are dangerous to human health and can carry and transmit more than 40 diseases, including salmonella, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and others.

In This Article, We Will Discuss Rats And Their Dangers To Humans!

Human Relations With Rats:

rats with humans

Rats and humans live very different lives, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t become intertwined in some way. After all, rats are small animals with tiny teeth, it turns out that this isn’t the case at all. Rats, like other rodents, carry plenty of diseases, including some that can be passed on to humans through bite wounds.

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Rats can be cute, or they can be dangerous. Either way, you should know what you’re getting into before you make any decisions about the rodents that are inhabiting your home.

Here Are Some Important Things To Know About Rats:

What Dangers Do Rats Carry?

The lifespan of a rat is usually two to three years. Rats carry a wide range of diseases, but they’re most notorious for carrying the bacteria that causes a disease called leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is an infection that affects the liver and kidneys and is usually transmitted through contact with rat urine.

The symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to those of other common bacterial infections, such as strep throat and urinary tract infections, so it can be difficult to diagnose at first.

How Do Humans Get Rat Diseases?

Rats are known to carry a number of diseases that can affect humans, including the

  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) – Rat urine and saliva are used to spread a viral infectious illness.
  • Black Plague –spread by fleas that humans are bitten by and that is carried by rats. Additionally, typhus, hantavirus, and the bubonic plague are all spread by rat fleas.
  • Salmonellosis –you can acquire this illness if you consume food or drink that has been infected by rat feces.

These diseases can be transmitted in many ways, from direct contact with rats to inhaling particles from their urine or droppings.

Rat and Diseases

Simple Steps To Overcome The Risk Of Diseases:

If you live in an area where rats live, there are things you can do to decrease your risk of getting rat diseases. Some simple steps include

  • washing your hands after coming into contact with rodents.
  • keeping food sources out of reach.
  • It is also good practice to never handle dead rodents (i.e., pick them up) without wearing gloves because they can transmit any bacteria on their body onto yours, especially through bites and scratches.

What Happens If You Get Sick From A Rat?

As stated earlier, different types of rat diseases will cause different symptoms in humans. For example,

  • Hantavirus typically causes fever, chills, muscle aches, and dizziness.
  • Salmonella causes diarrhea.
  • While black plague may manifest as fever followed by painful swollen lymph nodes.

Regardless of what type of disease one gets from a rat, doctors say that it should be taken very seriously and treated quickly. For those who have compromised immune systems such as cancer patients or people living with HIV/AIDS, rat diseases can be deadly.

If you think prevention methods are not enough to keep you safe from rat illnesses, there are vaccinations available for both the black plague and the hantavirus. In certain areas of the world, rat control measures must be put in place so that people don’t come into contact with rodents or their excrement which can contain traces of these diseases.

What Attracts Rats To Homes?

Rats are attracted to homes because they are looking for food and shelter. They will eat through boxes and bags of pet food, eat spilled bird seed, or chew on the insulation in your walls. They will also nest in dark spaces like attics and basements.

In most cases, the rats that find their way inside a home are not dangerous to humans. However, there are some circumstances where you should be cautious. If an individual is bitten by a rat and contracts rabies, it can be life-threatening.

The Centers for Disease Control has compiled statistics that show:

 “1 out of every 20 people who contract rabies die from it”

There have been two documented cases of humans contracting rabies from rats since 1995 according to the National Association of Public Health Veterinarians.

  • One case was from a lab worker who did not use proper safety precautions when working with rats.
  • The other case was from someone cleaning up after exterminating vermin.

How Can I Prevent A Rat Infestation In My Home?

No doubt, Rats are dangerous to humans but you don’t have to live in fear of rats because there are steps you can take to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place.


These Steps Are As Follows:

  1. Put up a fence around your yard or garden so that the pests can’t crawl over it.
  2. Clean out areas where they might hide such as under sheds and porches.
  3. Eliminate any potential entryways such as open spaces near pipes and gaps along foundations by filling them in with cement or expanding metal mesh.
  4. Use exterior traps to capture any rodents who may be trying to enter your property.
  5. Seal all holes big enough for mice to enter with steel wool or expandable wire mesh.
  6. Pick up litter outside since rats love nesting in it.
  7. Keep an eye on small pets who could be susceptible to bites from these critters and keep them indoors at night when they are most active.


Rats are known to carry diseases that can be dangerous to humans. They also carry a lot of diseases such as the Hantavirus, Rat Bite Fever, and Leptospirosis.

It is best to avoid contact with rats at all costs, but if you do come into contact with one it is important to immediately clean the area and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly. If you see any signs of illness in yourself or someone else, it is important that you seek medical attention right away.

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