If all rats did was eat your food and cause some damage here and there, they wouldn’t be that serious of a threat. But rats are not just destructive and disgusting, they also spread numerous diseases, some of which are very serious. Let’s take a closer look at the diseases that rats can spread and what you can do to keep your home protected.
The diseases spread by rats
Rats can spread diseases in a variety of ways, but it’s mostly through their urine, feces and direct contact. For example, if a rat comes into direct contact with a surface, and then you place food on that surface, then the food may be contaminated. Given that rats will travel on counters and through drawers when looking for food, the risk of contamination and disease spread is not insignificant. Rats can carry up to 35 diseases including: the hantavirus, leptospirosis, the plague, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis and tularemia.
How to protect yourself
The best way to protect yourself against rat-borne diseases is to make sure that there are no rats in your home in the first place. Your home can be rat-proof with the help of a pro, and you can personally use some DIY approaches to lower the odds of a rat infestation. A main pillar of prevention is exclusion – making sure that rats cannot enter the home. Exclusion measures usually refer to identifying and sealing rat entry points into the home. Sometimes there are cracks or gaps in the exterior of the home, and many pests can use these gaps to gain access to the building, rats included. The entry points have to be identified and sealed in order to have adequate protection against infestation.
If an infestation has already occurred, then it’s time to move onto control. At this stage, it’s best to work with a pro as well, because you want to remove the infestation quickly. This is important, because any rats that are left behind after the control process will reproduce and eventually rei-nfest the home. A pro will effectively use traps and poisons to deal with the rat population, and you can talk to him about implementing prevention methods and post-control cleanup as well. For more information on the dangers of rats, or if you currently have a rat infestation in your home that has to be removed, contact us today.