The Risks of a Rat Infestation_ Diseases You Need to Know About

Jul 15, 2023

Rats are often considered a nuisance in urban and rural areas alike. They are notorious for carrying and transmitting diseases that can harm humans and other animals. Pest-control experts have identified several conditions that rats can take, and it is crucial to understand these diseases’ symptoms and risk factors. Listed below are some of the most common diseases that rats can carry:


Leptospirosis is an infection caused by the Leptospira bacteria. The bacteria can be transmitted through rat urine or contaminated water or soil. Symptoms of leptospirosis can range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe, life-threatening complications such as liver and kidney failure. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent the spread of the disease.


Hantavirus is a viral infection transmitted through rat droppings, urine, or saliva contact. Symptoms of Hantavirus can include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and shortness of breath. The hantavirus can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and even death in severe cases. The virus is primarily found in the western United States, but other regions have also reported cases.


Salmonella is a bacterium that can be transmitted to humans in contaminated food or drinking water. Rats can carry Salmonella bacteria in their feces and urine, and humans can become infected by consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, the infection can spread to the bloodstream and cause life-threatening complications.


Plague is a bacterial infection caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. Rats are commonly associated with the disease, although other animals, such as squirrels, chipmunks, and prairie dogs, can also carry the bacteria. Plague is transmitted through contact with infected fleas or inhalation of respiratory droplets from infected animals. Plague symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes. In severe cases, plague can cause septicemia and organ failure.

Rat-bite Fever

Rat-bite fever is a bacterial infection caused by the Streptobacillus moniliformis bacteria. The disease is transmitted through contact with rat bites, scratches, or contaminated food or water. Symptoms of rat-bite fever can include fever, headache, muscle pain, and rash.

Preventing Rat-Borne Diseases

Preventing rat-borne diseases requires a multi-faceted approach. Pest-control experts recommend the following strategies to reduce the risk of rat infestations and associated diseases:

1. Eliminate Food Sources: Rats are attracted to areas with abundant food sources. Store food in airtight containers, clean up spills promptly, and avoid leaving pet food outside.

2. Seal Entry Points: Rats can enter buildings through small gaps and cracks. Seal entry points with caulk, steel wool, or other materials that rats cannot chew through.

3. Remove Clutter: Rats prefer to hide in cluttered areas such as attics, basements, and garages. Remove clutter and debris from these areas to reduce hiding spots.

4. Maintain Cleanliness: Rats are attracted to areas with poor sanitation. Keep living areas clean and tidy, and dispose of garbage promptly.

5. Hire a Pest-Control Professional: Contact a pest control professional if you suspect a rat infestation. They can help identify the source of the infestation and develop a plan to eliminate rats and prevent future infestations.


It is important to know the dangers of rat infestations. Rats can carry and transmit several diseases that harm humans and other animals. It is important to immediately call in a professional pest control expert if you notice signs of rats in your home or property.

Are you tired of sharing your home with unwanted guests like rodents, ants, or bed bugs? Our pest control in Sacramento can help you get rid of these nuisances. We provide the latest technology and techniques to eliminate pests from your home. Contact Jones Bros. Pest Control, Inc. today to schedule an appointment.


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