- Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea.
- “True rats” are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus.
- Many members of other rodent genera and families are also called rats and share many characteristics with true rats.
- Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size; rats are generally large muroid rodents, while mice are generally small muroid rodents.
Diseases Transmitted by Rodents
Rodents, including both rats and mice, can transmit serious and even deadly diseases. This typically occurs when a human comes into contact with their urine or feces, but can also occur when a rat bites a human. The CDC reports that the following diseases can be transmitted by rats and are harmful to people:
- Lassa Fever
- Rat-Bite Fever
- Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
Signs of a Rat Infestation
The signs of a rat infestation are similar to that of a mice infestation:
- Sounds of scurrying or scratching in your cabinets or walls
- Odor of urine in your home, particularly in the kitchen or other areas where mice are likely to be
- Rodent droppings in drawers, cabinets, or corners
The Problem with DIY Rat Traps
Trapping a rat is similar to trapping a mouse, however, the traps are much bigger to accommodate the increased size of the rat. Although DIY rat traps are available in almost every supermarket or hardware store, they’re not necessarily the best option to get rid of rats in your home or business.
Rat poison may harm children if they come into contact with the poison, while pets can be hurt if they eat the poison before the rat does or eat a rat that has already been poisoned. Live traps and snap traps both pose a hazard to humans in that they allow the mouse to urinate and defecate in the area of the trap, and must be handled to be removed.
Simply put, rat traps may kill the rats, but they’re not worth the other hazards they create.
When to Call a Pest Control Professional
If you suspect that you have a rat infestation, don’t wait to contact a pest removal professional. Rats are dangerous creatures and an infestation must be handled appropriately by a licensed professional with experience in eliminating rodent infestations.
At Freedom Pest Control, we use a variety of methods to eliminate rats in your home and to keep them from coming back. You can trust that our methods are safe for you and your family, and we will take action to minimize your family’s exposure to the potentially harmful diseases that rats can spread.