Have mice turned your house into their nest? Do you feel chills at night because you fear they might climb up on your bed and crawl all over you? Creepy little rodents.
The answer to the title’s question is: not really. It’s not that rats are going to do anything particularly bad to you by themselves. They won’t bite or scratch you, unless they perceive you as a danger, but they are still not the best to have around because of hygiene issues.
Relax, they are scared of humans, and they shouldn’t climb on your bed, despite being able to do so. Unless there is something that interests them enough to make them overcome their fear of humans. Namely food and shelter.
If mice think climbing your bed is the best way to reach their nest or find some food, then they will do it.
Do you have rats running around your home?
Keep reading this article to find out what makes them a problem, and how you can solve it.
The Problems with Mice Running Around your House
I think rats are cute. You might agree with me. Or maybe you find them repulsing. It doesn’t really matter. I wouldn’t want wild rats to run around my room freely either.
Here’s a list of reasons you should at least consider taking action to deal with rats in your house:
Hygiene and safety should be your primary concern. These little creatures are great vehicles for diseases, and having them around your house makes it unsafe from a hygiene point of view.
If you find mouse litter around your room (or worse, on your bed), sanitize the environment as soon as possible.
- Rats chew on everything they find
Rats are extremely annoying creatures, because they chew everything. If you wake up and see your cables chewed on, you have been visited by rats. They also chew on furniture, curtains, and just about anything else they can put their little teeth on.
- They disturb/interrupt your sleep
You can hear when a mouse is active near you. Their small paws make the typical noise of nails scratching on the surface they are moving on. Not only the noise in itself is annoying, but the thought of having mice running around your house like that is enough to interrupt even the most stoic philosopher.
The Most Common Diseases Carried by Rats
There are 5 main diseases you risk catching if you are exposed to rat litter, bites, or scratches. Some of these are mild inconveniences, but some can buildup to very dangerous conditions such as organ failure.
Here they are:
Rat bites can cause the plague. Although you might think it ridiculous that the plague still exists, rats do carry it. And even if we have antibiotics that can combat it, its mortality rate is still high at 11%. You do NOT want to catch the plague. Not that you need me to tell you this.
This is an extremely rare diseases you can catch from mice droppings and urine. You might be wondering how you even came in contact with droppings or urines.
Well, it’s actually not that hard. Think about it: you prepared a nice can of energy drink for your mid-morning break. During the night, a mouse climbed the can and peed on the area where you’d place your lips.
The smell is mostly gone by mid-morning, or perhaps your sense of smell isn’t working properly. You drink your energy drink, but you’re also getting in contact with mouse urine.
It’s more likely than you think. Rats are excellent climbers and can easily climb on your desktop or wherever you keep your can of energy drink.
As for the effects, they are similar to that of a regular fever, except they are much more intense: fever, chills, muscles ache, shortness of breath, and a sensation of suffocation. If left unchecked, it can cause organ failure.
What’s scary is that there is no definitive cure to the hantavirus, you’ll have to treat the symptoms and hope your body makes it out by itself.
To catch leptospirosis, your mucus membrane has to come in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected rat. Again, not as hard, just read the example scenario I painted in the previous section.
This sickness causes vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, chills, and other ailments that hit your respiratory system. In the most severe cases, it can cause kidney failure and meningitis.
At least this one is treatable with antibiotics, provided you begin the treatment early. But it’s still going to leave you battered for at least 3 weeks.
- Other diseases
I wish I had the space to tell you about all the ailments carried around by rats/mice, but I don’t have the space, and they are all quite similar to the ones listed above, though often less deadly. Still, not everyone has a strong immune system, and the best way to not have complications is to avoid getting into contact with them in the first place.
5 Ways to Get Rid of Rats from your House.
I hope I convinced you that having rats run around your house is not safe whatsoever. Here are a couple of ways to get rid of them. You can take a more proactive stance of physically removing rats, or a more passive stance of making the environment bad for them.
Whatever the case, you should always have heavy-duty puncture-proof gloves ready to pick up rats (dead or alive), because touching them without protection is asking to catch an awful disease.
1. Block Entrances for Mice
Rats often make nests inside your walls. The Tom&Jerry rendition of a mouse house isn’t that far off from reality. But they can also decide to use the insides of your couch or bed as a nest, if they feel it’s safe enough to do so.
So, how do you deal with rats’ nests? The easiest way is by using expanding foam in any hole inside the wall to block entrance for mice. It’s also a great way to block them from their couch or bed nests. This should discourage them, but be careful: if you leave a hole somewhere else open, they’ll just move there.
2. Place Mouse Traps
There are many types of mouse traps you can find on the market. Snap traps, glue traps, electronic traps, and humane traps. Snap traps are by far the most common. They use a trigger system to catch mice, which activates when the mice enter them and try to move the bait.
As for bait, the best bait isn’t cheese like cartoons would lead you to believe, but something stickier, that’s not as easy for the mice to pick up and carry away. Peanut butter is an example of great bait, as it’s sticky and will slow down the rat so that the trap can do its job.
I suggest getting traps that don’t kill the rat in a gory way. Some traps decapitate the mouse, but trust me, you don’t want these, because then you have to clean the blood which might splatter all around. I found the best traps to be those that aim to break the mouse’s neck.
They will all get the job done, so just purchase the one that makes the most sense for you.
Our suggestion: Victor Easy Set Mouse Traps (Pack of 12)
Safety warning: always, ALWAYS wear heavy-duty puncture-proof gloves when removing the corpse from the trap.
3. Use Rat Poison
Rat poison is also a great way to get rid of any mouse in your home. There are pros and cons to using rodenticide over mouse traps.
Most rat poisons don’t kill rats instantly. It makes them bleed internally and die after a couple of days. Why would it be preferable to rat traps? Well, rats are smart, so if they see their friends are disappearing (because of your traps), they might suspect something is up and be more careful.
The same doesn’t happen with rat poison, because they’ll most likely keep with their normal lives, until they die, seemingly randomly.
However, there’s the risk of having your mouse die in its nest inside a wall. Removing the corpse would be problematic to say the least.
Safety warning: poison can be dangerous for pets or kids in your house. Sure, some brands claim their products are 100% safe for humans and pets, but you never know. And regardless, I wouldn’t want my kid to accidentally ingest any of that stuff.
4. Get a Dog or Cat
This might not be the most feasible solution, but they are a great solution to the rat problem nonetheless. Cats specifically are great rat hunters, and they’ll scare any mouse brave enough to place a nest inside your house.
Dogs are also great at hunting mice, especially the smaller breeds, since they are more agile and can chase rats even in smaller places like under beds.
If you were on the fence about getting a pet, having rats in your house could be what convinces you.
Safety warning: pets aren’t immune to diseases carried by rats. Don’t expect to just get a cat and be done with the issue. Make sure your cat is healthy and doesn’t get infected by the rodents.
5. Call a Disinfestation Service
There are services that specialize in doing rat. Just google “pest control” and you’ll find plenty of such services. They are a quick and easy way to get rid of the problem, though of course they’re also the most expensive solution.
You should call a pest control service if the situation is not under control anymore. You can deal with the problem yourself as long as there are only a couple of rats running around your home, but when the rats start reproducing it’s best to let the professionals do it.
Sleeping with mice/rats in your home is not safe, and you should get rid of them as soon as you find out they’ve been visiting your home.
You should pay extra attention during the coldest months of the year. That’s when rats try to enter homes looking for food and shelter.
Now you are armed with knowledge: don’t let rats fester inside your house. These rodents reproduce quickly and don’t need much food to thrive. You risk having to deal with an infestation if you leave the problem unchecked for long enough.
What are you waiting for? Get rid of the rat problem today, and enjoy going back to your regular sleep!