Rats are excellent at hiding from humans. In a place like an attic where they can invade nooks and crannies to stay out of sight, they can be difficult to detect until the problem is widespread. They can also cause significant damage, so it is critical to find and eliminate rat problems as they occur. A rat infestation anywhere in your home is not only disgusting but, it also exposes your family to serious health risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rats can carry potentially life-threatening viruses that humans can contract by coming in contact with infected waste. After a rat infestation in an attic, the best prevention against infection is to thoroughly disinfect all surfaces and to clean or discard rodent waste.
If you have found rodent droppings near food, heard scurrying sounds in your attic just after dark or found burrows in your insulation, you most likely know that your house is infested with rats and, more often than not, they have taken up residence in your attic.
The most common rats that infest houses in the United States are the Norway rat and Roof rat. Not only can rats spread disease, as many as 30 different types of diseases, but they can also chew through electrical wiring, resulting in a fire hazard. Roof Rat is typical 12.75–18.25 in long, including a 6.5–10 inch tail, and weighs 4–12 oz. The black rat is largely confined to warmer areas from wooden structures and thatched roof. Norway rat is a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25 cm (10 in) long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350 g (12 oz) and the female 250 g (9 oz). Indeed, with rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas. The brown rat can breed throughout the year with a female producing up to five litters a year. The gestation period is only 21 days, and litters can number up to 14, although seven is common.
Spotting mouse droppings in your house can be cause of worry, as it can be an indicator of the presence of mice in the vicinity. Before thinking about how to get rid of the rodents, you have to clean up the rodent droppings. Rodent dropping should not be disturbed, as they may release harmful microorganisms that can be transmitted to humans as airborne particles. So, it is wise to avoid removing it with a broom. Prevention is the best cure. There are ways to stop the infestation occurring at the first place, such as blocking access points. Cleaning rodent droppings must be done carefully, after taking sufficient precautionary measures, rodent dropping can be dangerous.
Hantavirus is carried by rodents, especially deer mice. The virus is found in their urine and feces, but it does not make the animal sick. Hantavirus is a life-threatening disease spread to humans by rodents that has symptoms similar to influenza. Humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with such dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosed areas that have been empty for a long time, most people who are exposed to the virus have come in contact with rodent droppings in their own homes. Hantavirus is a serious infection that gets worse quickly. Lung failure can occur and may lead to death. Even with aggressive treatment, more than half of people who have this disease in their lungs die. Dangerous respiratory illness develops. Effective treatment is not yet available and over 50% of cases end in fatality.
If you have rats in your attic, you can take steps to get rid of these crawling creatures once and for all.