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First-aid Tips For Rat Bites


Among all the rodent species all over the world, rats are the most troublesome to humans. Not only do they contaminate food, but they also transmit parasites that cause diseases, and can also cause damage to properties. They thrive in any type of conditions, but especially in areas populated by humans because it means they are near food sources. If you are one of those homeowners who are constantly being bothered by rats, you would want the best pest control management in North Carolina to do all the dirty work for you.

Because of the way their entire bodies are made up, rats need to constantly chew on something. Rats are equipped with large teeth that are constantly chewing. When threatened, they can even bite humans, and their bites are painful. Their bites are also very dangerous because they can transmit diseases like leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tetanus, and Hantavirus.

Overview Of Rats

Rats are considered medium in size among all rodents. As per the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, there are more than 60 species of rats all over the world. They have long and thin tails, their tails longer than their bodies.

Male rats are called bucks; females are does, and infants are called pups or kittens. This is according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. They can survive for 20 days without drinking any water. They can get their water from the food they eat though.

In the United States, there are two most troublesome types of rats. There are black rats and brown rats. The most rat-infested city in the United States is Chicago, followed by New York City. Washington D.C. comes in at third.

Black rats -  Black rats have tails longer than their head and bodies combined. These rats are very athletic, so to speak. They are agile, they like to climb roofs, and their nests are above ground. Outdoors, they live on trees. Indoors, they can be found in the attic, ceilings, walls, and even cabinets.

Brown rats -  Brown rats are slightly larger than the black rats. Geographically, they are more adaptable than the black rats, and where there are black rats, there probably are brown rats too. We could not say the same for the black rats, however. They like to nest along with building foundations, under rubbish, beneath woodpiles, and in, moist areas. The brown rats are also known as sewer rats. When inside homes or buildings, they can be found living in basements or ground floors. They live wherever humans live, so basically they are found all throughout the United States.  

Rats As Pests

Rats cause damages to property. They can be a huge nuisance. They have this pesky ability to chew through plastic, wood, and cardboard. Because of this behavior, it enables them to do so much damage inside our homes. They also gnaw on books, papers, and clothes. Food contamination is also possible via their urine, droppings, and saliva.

Aside from being nuisance pests, they are also disease carriers and can transmit them to humans. Hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and the plague are some of the diseases they carry. Rats are known to swim up in sewer pipes and into toilets. Rats are very difficult to trap because they become wary of unfamiliar objects that are set in their paths.  

Why Do We Need To Avoid Rat Bites At All Cost?

Rats have large teeth that need to chew on something all the time. The reason for this is that their teeth are always growing all throughout their lifetime. Constant chewing helps prevent their teeth from getting too long.

Rats generally are very inquisitive, but always try to avoid any confrontation. However, if they are cornered, they will defend themselves and bite humans and animals. Rat bites on humans can cause leptospirosis, tetanus, rat-bite fever, and Hantavirus.

There are some cases though when rats bite sleeping, humans. They wake up not knowing that a rat had bitten them. Therefore it is important to know the signs and symptoms of rat bites. These are redness and swelling on the bite site, pain, and sometimes a pus-filled wound.  

To further understand how dangerous rats are, here is a list of some of the diseases they can spread:  

Leptospirosis - This is a bacterial disease that can infect humans and animals and is caused by the bacteria Leptospira. Considered a very dangerous disease, it can lead to kidney damage, liver failure, and could even be fatal. Signs and symptoms include headache, vomiting, nausea, high fever, jaundice, red eyes, rashes, and abdominal pains. This disease is treated with antibiotics.

Tetanus - This is also a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. These bacteria enter our bodies through breaks in the skin; so a rat bite by a rat carrying this bacteria in its saliva is one of the ways humans contract this disease. Most people call it by the name lockjaw, since its main characterization is muscle spasms that begins with the jaw, and moves on to the rest of the body. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, trouble with swallowing, sweating, fast heart rate, and high blood pressure.  

The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) - The HPS is a severe respiratory disease caused by the hantavirus infection and can be fatal. This disease is transmitted via direct contact with rats, especially if bitten. Aside from being bitten by a rat, humans can become infected through exposure or inhalation of rodent urine, droppings, or saliva. Eating food that is contaminated by rodent droppings, urine, or saliva can also transfer the virus. Early symptoms of HPS include fever, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle pains. According to the Center for Disease Control, the mortality rate for this disease is 38%.

Rat-bite fever - Rat-bite fever is a disease contracted by humans after getting bitten by rats infected with the bacteria Streptobacillus moniliformis and Spirillum minus. Signs and symptoms are fever, headache, vomiting, muscle pains, and joint pains. Symptoms usually begin from 3 to 10 days after the rat bite.

How To Treat A Rat Bite

First of all, stay away from a rat when you see one. Though generally, they avoid confrontation with humans, they may bite when they feel their life is in danger. If confrontation is unavoidable, and a rat bites you, here are some first aid treatments you can perform:

  1. Clean your wound with soap and water. Water should be warm. Wash the wound thoroughly with water, making sure that all the soap would be rinsed away to avoid irritation,  
  2. If there is bleeding, make sure to control it until it stops.
  3. After washing, put an antibiotic ointment then cover with a clean and dry dressing. Rat bites often lead to infection, and this step can help prevent it.
  4. Try to capture the rodent that bit you if possible. This can help determine if the rodent is infected with a disease.  
  5. After performing first aid treatment, seek immediate care from a doctor. Remember that these steps are only for first aid, and not the treatment itself.  

Control The Rat Population

The best way to avoid rat bites is to get rid of the rats altogether. Here are some of the things you can do to get rid of rats:

  1. Good housekeeping. Rats thrive on garbage. They forage for food in our trash. Regularly disposing of our garbage cuts off one of their food sources. Place a cover on your trash bins too.
  2. Store your food in sealed containers. Rats do not target just spoiled food, but fresh food as well. Keep your food out of their reach by putting them in containers that are sealed.
  3. Seal holes and cracks in your home. Rats can sneak into small homes. These holes are possible entry points for these rats.  
  4. Try to eliminate moisture in your home. Fix leaking pipes, faucets, and tubes. Rats do like to breed in areas with high moisture.  
  5. Use traps and baits. Snap traps are still the most effective traps against rats. As bait, you may try peanut butter the size of a pea. Place snap traps beside walls because rats crawl near one. They are very uncomfortable crawling out in the open.
  6. Remove clutter around the house. Old papers, boxes, and cardboards are favorite hiding places for rodents.

If all these steps fail, you can call on the services of the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Home Services.

Why Go-Forth Home Services?

Go-Forth Home Services is the number 1 pest control expert in North Carolina. They have a team of expert professionals who are highly skilled and well trained, using only the latest and most advanced equipment in the business.  

Go-Forth Home Services is a family-owned company and has earned the trust of residents and business establishments in North Carolina for more than 50 years already. You may check us on Facebook, or Google us to see what our customers have to say about us. For more information, just click here or call us at (877) 274-1475.