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Do rats or mice bite?

The idea of being bitten by a rat or a mouse is enough to strike fear into just about anybody. Thankfully, rodents aren’t usually aggressive and rarely bite unless they feel cornered or scared. If they’re near a human, rats and mice are more likely to run away than attack. That said, there are some important things to note about rodent bites:

  • Though rodent bites are rare, they are still possible
  • Rodents infected with rabies are more aggressive and likely to bite
  • Rats are typically more aggressive than mice
  • Bites from a rodent could transmit serious illnesses
  • Most bites swell or turn red, but few become infected
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What Do Rodent Bites Look Like?

Most people will notice a rodent bite as it happens, especially because these pests don’t typically bite unless they feel directly threatened by you. Since rats and mice have strong jaws and long teeth, they can pierce through the skin and draw blood, making it even more likely that you will notice the bite the instant it occurs. 

Most rodent bites will swell or turn red within a few hours. Symptoms like pus or excessive swelling, especially in the following days, could indicate infection and are a sign that you should contact your doctor immediately.

How Dangerous Are Rat Bites?

Rodent bites are very dangerous, despite leaving behind a relatively small wound. That’s because rats and mice are known carriers of a wide range of diseases that could be fatal if not treated by a medical professional. Rat-bite fever and other serious illnesses could lead to symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes

These symptoms may progress over time and lead to serious or long-term health consequences. Seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these problems, even if the bite has already been examined by a doctor.

What to Do If You’re Bitten By a Rodent

Even if the rodent bite doesn’t seem severe, you should seek immediate medical attention. A medical professional can help you properly clean the wound and instruct you on aftercare, including monitoring for infection or disease. If you are ever concerned about the wound during the healing process, it’s best to be safe and consult a qualified expert.

Do All Rodents Bite?

Though rodents aren’t known for being particularly aggressive, most species will bite if they’re scared. That’s why we strongly recommend calling a licensed pest control professional if you come across a live rodent on your property. Attempting to corner the animal on your own puts you at a much higher risk of becoming injured or ill. Experts have the equipment and training needed to safely handle the situation and help you properly treat the infestation.

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