Rats are incredibly disgusting creatures that can wiggle their way into virtually any imaginable space. And when rats enter a space, they can bring dangerous infections and diseases with them that may result in serious illness or, in extreme cases, death in people that come into contact with them or items that they’ve contaminated. 

Let’s look at five diseases that rats and other small rodents are known to be carriers of to become better familiarized with the dangers these creatures present to populated areas.


Hantaviruses are found in rodents all over the world, and they’re easily spread through the air as it is released in the urine, feces, and saliva of rodents. This virus can result in fatal respiratory infections or in vascular leakage and acute kidney failure, depending on the severity of the disease.

This disease is not known to be transportable between humans, but as of the publication of this article, there is no known cure, treatment, or vaccine for the hantavirus.


A disease that you may be more familiar with is salmonella infection. Some rat species are known to carry this bacteria in their digestive tracts, and if humans come into contact with fecal matter from infected rodents, they may develop abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and a fever among other symptoms.

Rat-Bite Fever

Rat-bite fever is an infectious disease that is caused by two separate bacteria, streptobacillus moniliformis which is known to be found in North America, and spirillum minus which is found in Asia. People can be exposed to this bacteria if they are bitten by a rat or if they consume water or food that has been contaminated with rat urine or droppings.

Rat-bite fever is treatable, but if you can’t get access to the right medical care, it can become fatal.


Mpox, previously known as monkeypox, presents as a rash that can be found almost anywhere on the body and can include other flu-like symptoms like exhaustion, respiratory system issues, fever, chills, and general bodily aches.

This disease can be spread by both rats and humans, so if you become infected, there is a chance you may be contagious enough to affect other individuals. When rats infect humans with this disease, it is typically caused by contact with contaminated materials or foods or being scratched or bitten by an infected rodent.


Tularemia is commonly found in rats and other rodents like rabbits and mice. It can easily be transferred to a human through tick bites, but rats are also a common carrier for this bacteria. Tularemia cases are reported in almost every American state, and it can be a life-threatening condition if proper antibiotics are not administered in a timely manner.

Key Takeaways

Rats and other rodents are commonly known to be carriers of a wide range of diseases, infections, and bacteria, so you need to make sure your home or business is fully protected against these creatures.

If you think you may have a rat or other rodent infestation, reach out to our superstar team today. We’d love to work with you to rid your property of these potentially harmful creatures using our humane pest-catching and removal systems.