Skip to content

What diseases do rats carry?

Rats and mice aren’t just creepy critters; they’re also a major health concern considering all of the bacteria and diseases they’re known for spreading. Even if you don’t come into direct contact with the rodent, you could contract an illness through contaminated food or other indirect causes if there’s an infestation nearby. In Suffolk County & Nassau County, rats and mice are known for spreading:

  • Hantavirus
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Lyme disease
  • Bubonic plague
  • Leptospirosis
  • Colorado tick fever
Doctor speaking to patient with rat bite

Which Rodents Spread Disease?

Nearly every type of rodent is capable of spreading diseases to humans and pets. However, since rats and mice are most likely to invade our homes or businesses, they’re responsible for most rodent-borne illnesses. From bites and scratches to urine or feces, these pests can transmit diseases to people in several ways. In some cases, the rodents themselves may not be the problem; infected ticks, fleas, or mites riding in their coat or hiding in their nest could be the source of the disease.

Are Rodent-Borne Illnesses Fatal?

While not all rodent-borne illnesses are fatal, most can cause long-term health consequences or become deadly if left untreated. In Suffolk County & Nassau County, there are four main diseases that rodents spread:

  • Hantavirus: Mainly caused by deer mice, this is a respiratory disease that usually starts with fever and chills. It can be fatal without proper medical intervention. 
  • Bubonic plague: Though many people assume this disease is only a historical problem, it’s still around and capable of causing serious problems if it isn’t caught and treated immediately. 
  • Rat-bite fever: As the name suggests, this usually spreads through bites and scratches. However, dead rodents can still spread this disease, which is why it’s so important to handle corpses or clean traps with care. 
  • Salmonella: Also called food poisoning, this illness often causes vomiting or intense stomach pain. It usually spreads indirectly if rodents contaminate your food source or cooking surfaces. 

Do I Have a Rodent-Borne Illness?

If you think you may have contracted a rodent-borne illness, it’s always best to consult your doctor – especially if you know you are dealing with an infestation or have recently come into contact with a live or dead rodent. Some of the most common early symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pains
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ulcers

Have rodents on your property? It’s important to take quick action to protect your health. Reach out to the experts at Suburban Exterminating today. We can get rid of rats or mice quickly and safely while preventing them from coming back.

What Diseases Do Rats Carry in Suffolk County & Nassau County? Serving Long Island and surrounding areas

Richmond | Kings County | Nassau County | Suffolk County

Enjoy the Outdoors!
Learn More About Our New Mosquito Repellant Service