Do Rats Bite?

Picture of Roof Rat

Rat Bites

Even though they try to avoid human contact, rats will bite in certain situations. Rat bites typically occur when the rodents feel threatened.

In these cases, they will lash out and bite in self-defense. More than 15,000 rat bite cases occur in the United States each year, especially in urban areas.

Symptoms & Diseases

Rat bites can result in bleeding, pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the bitten area. More seriously, rats are known to carry diseases that can be spread by their bites. In fact, the rodents have a reputation for transmitting more diseases to humans than any other pest, with the possible exception of mosquitoes.

Notable rat-borne diseases include bubonic plague (transmitted from the fleas that live on rats), hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat bite fever, and murine typhus. Some of these ailments can be fatal if left untreated.

Rat Bite Treatment

Properly treating a rat bite involves cleaning and disinfecting the wound immediately. Then, seek professional medical attention.

Rat bites should always be examined and treated by a doctor due to the risk of infection and disease. Bites should also be monitored for worsening symptoms, as rat-borne diseases can sometimes take days, or even weeks, to appear.

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