Hi my name is Brenden Mangnitz and I am the owner of 24/7 Wildlife Control. I have been in business now on my own for nearly five years and I have been in this industry for close to 10 years working with friends, family and other companies, while learning, training and understanding the wildlife removal & nuisance animal control industry. I started off by graduating from the University of South Florida with my Business Management degree. After this degree I got into the field of wildlife control because I knew there was a big issue with rats getting into people's attics and I realized that there are not many professional rat removal companies. I wanted to be one of the most professional and honest rat removal and rat trapping companies out there and I realized that there is a big need to hire professional rat removal companies. You want to always hire a professional rat removal and rat trapper that is properly licensed, insured, bonded, has workers comp, but additionally you want to hire rat removal companies and rat trappers that show up in uniforms, have wonderful customer service, have clean trucks and respect both of you and the animals like the rats being trapped. We treat our animals in a humane way.
Rodents carry many diseases and bacteria. Rodents are experts at adapting to urban and suburban life, and nowadays we commonly see rodents in and around homes, parks, neighborhoods, yards and properties with trash cans and dumpsters. These rodents are carriers of diseases that can spread to people. When spread to people, these diseases are referred to as zoonosis. Pets should additionally be protected from rodents; if a rat scratches or bites you or your pets, they can pass these diseases on to you and your family.
Should you be concerned about rats? Absolutely! You need to make sure you stay protected. What are the common concerns that we deal with regarding rats and the bacteria and diseases affiliated with rats in the attic? Number one is rabies. Rabies is a disease caused by a virus and is almost always fatal. It spreads through a bite and infects the animal (or human). Additionally, rabies is also present in rat saliva. If you have an open wound and a rabid rat spits on you, it can pass the rabies virus on to you. In a study from the CDC, rats are the most frequently reported animal species with rabies in the US, specifically the Eastern and Southeastern parts of the country. If you think you've been exposed to rat rabies, this means that you've either been bitten and scratched or spat on by a rat. You need to make sure you report this rat exposure to your local CDC office immediately. Bites and scratches should be assessed by your healthcare provider and reported to the Public Health Care system.
Another concern about rats is rat roundworm. Many rats carry around one called Viola Securus. Infected rats pass it on through eggs in feces; other animals and other people can be infected with rat roundworm by accidentally swallowing or ingesting these very small eggs from the roundworm in either the soil or the water, or if you had a rat infestation in your attic those rat roundworm eggs are in the feces. If you have air ducts open in your attic and there was roundworm eggs, they will become airborne and can get into the vents and then you can breathe them at night. This is why you need to pay close attention if you have a rat infestation in your attic. Rat roundworm can be fatal if ingested. After the eggs are swallowed, they hatch into larvae and move through different parts of the body and can cause serious illness. Within weeks symptoms may include tiredness, lack of coordination, loss of muscle control, blindness and even a coma. Although rat roundworm infections are rare, if encountered they can be under-diagnosed. If you suspect that you have swallowed rat roundworm eggs or even been in contact with rat poop you should seek health care immediately. Early treatment may help prevent a serious infection and even disease.
Another common concern when dealing with rats in the attic and rat diseases is leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a disease that is normally found in rat poop, rat urine and many other types of contamination. From a rat infestation in the attic, leptospirosis is a disease caused by the leptospira bacteria. This bacteria is carried in the urine of rats. If rats are in the attic they are generally going to pee in the attic. Rat leptospirosis can affect people and animals if it gets onto the skin, inhaled through the nose, the mouth or throat, or even swallowed. Dogs are especially at risk and can die from the disease of leptospirosis. Common concerns and symptoms of leptospirosis from rat urine is influenza-like symptoms, severe headaches, muscle aches, pain high fevers and in some very serious cases of a rat in the attic the bacteria can cause serious liver and even kidney problems. If you feel that you may have the symptoms of leptospirosis you need to contact your CDC immediately and seek medical attention.
With all of this being said you need to make sure that you prevent diseases from having rats in your attic. This is what I normally tell my customers if they're dealing with rats in the attic and rats out around the property: Don't feed the rats!! Don't put food out for them. Make sure you lock the trash cans at night before the rats can eat the trash. If you have pets bring the pet food inside; if you leave the pet food outside rats are attracted to the pet food and they think that you are inviting them to your house. If you feed the rats and provide food for them you will encounter rat poop diseases, so eliminate the factors that attract the rats to your home. They're not going to want to be there plain and simple.
I strongly recommend giving me a call at 247wildlifecontrol.com. My name is Brendan Mangnitz and I'll be more than happy to go over any concerns of bacterial diseases or viruses that rat infestations can cause. If you need any more information you can always visit my How To Remove rats guide for more rat facts.