Do you hear strange noises coming from your attic? If so, chances are you have a pest problem on your hands. There are several types of pests that can find their way inside the attic, however, one of the most common pests that invade the home are rats.
In this article, you are going to find out whether rat droppings in the attic are dangerous and learn how to identify rats even if you don’t see them.
How Do You Identify Rat Droppings and What Does Rat Poop Look Like?
Often the first sign that you have a rat infestation in your attic is rat droppings. Rat poop has a distinctive shape and size that can help you easily identify which animal left it behind.
Rat feces are small in size around ¼ inch in length and are normally light brown in color. As the rat droppings age, they will become darker as they dry out.
Normally, you won’t find these dropping in one little neat pile. Instead, they will be scattered all over the place. The number of rat poop in your attic can be as few as a couple of droppings or could number in the thousands. The longer a rat infestation is allowed to go on, the more rat poop you will find.
Rats don’t care when or where they poop so you will likely find their droppings all over the place. Thus, when searching for rat feces look on the attic floor, under insulation, or on top of HVAC ductwork.
Can Rat Poop in the Attic Make You Sick?
As a homeowner, you might be worried about rat droppings making you or your family sick. This is a real concern and a serious problem. In fact, it is possible to get sick from being around rat droppings and if you have been exposed to it.
Rats carry a wide range of diseases that can be left behind in their poop. Not only do they carry diseases, but rat waste can also contain nasty parasites that will invade your body.
If you breathe in rat feces or come into contact by accidentally touching it, you could get sick. This is why it is very important to avoid any contact with rat droppings.
Diseases and Parasites Caused by Rat Droppings
Some of the world’s worst diseases are carried by rats and can be found in their feces. Below is a list of diseases and parasites you may find left behind by these rodents.
Rat-bite Fever: This is a very nasty disease carried by rats and kills 10% of the people that contract it. While it is most commonly spread by a rat bite, you can also contract it when coming into contact with rat droppings.
Salmonella: When most people think of salmonella, they think of food poising. However, this deadly disease can also be found in rat droppings. Salmonella is contracted when someone eats food contaminated with rat feces. This sounds disgusting but it happens to many people each year. Salmonella can make you very ill and can even cause death.
Bubonic Plague: This disease has been around for thousands of years and has killed millions of people around the world. It is directly associated with rats and can be found in their droppings. It is contracted in several different ways, including breathing in air that surrounds rat waste. While we haven’t had a major outbreak of Bubonic Plague in a while, every year people die from it.
Hantavirus: Hantaviruses may be carried by some rodents like the rice rat and the cotton rat that inhabit the US. The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a rare but deadly respiratory disease transmitted by infected rodents through their feces, urine, or saliva. Hantavirus infection is usually spread when people inhale the aerosolized virus.
Tapeworms Parasites: We have all heard of tapeworms before. This nasty parasite if left unchecked and grow inside the body, can cause all sorts of health issues. Tapeworms are very common in rat droppings and can find their way inside your body by accidentally ingesting poop. This is very terrifying to think about, but it happens more than you think.
What to Do When You Find Rat Droppings in The Attic?
When you find rat poop in your attic, it can be tempting to clean it up right away. However, doing so can cause you to come into contact with one of the diseases mentioned above.
If you are going to clean up rat droppings, make sure you use the proper protective gear. Wearing gloves, face masks, and protective eyewear is necessary.
However, to be on the safe side, you should consider hiring a professional to clean it up for you. Additionally, you should contact a pest control company in your Atlanta Metro area who can help you rid your home of rats.
Call our Peachtree Pest Control team at 855-732-2487 for advice on how to eliminate a rat infestation in the attic and to request a free inspection.