When you think of the Plague (the bubonic plague), you probably think of something from the history books of your school years or have images of filthy medieval villagers, but did you know it was never completely eradicated?
As recently as the 1800s, plague was being carried around the world by rats aboard steamships. It even exists today in many parts of the world, including our own backyard.
In the latest pandemic of plague that started in the 19th century, scientists determined that the disease is spread through the infectious bites of fleas that travel around the world on rats and then infiltrate local ground mammals, such as squirrels and prairie dogs.
That’s what happened in the latest case of plague, identified in Flagstaff earlier this year.
Fleas found on prairie dogs tested positive for the potentially fatal disease.
Yes, even in 2016, there is a chance you could be the victim of plague.
Plague in the Modern World
Although plague travels via fleas, those little critters need a host to carry them places (they do have pretty tiny legs).
Rats are everywhere, and they provide a very mobile host that can get the fleas farther than they can go on their own. And that can mean trouble for you since rats are definitely alive and well in Arizona.
Thankfully, plague is no longer an immediate death sentence. When identified early, it can be treated with antibiotics, and pest control can kill the infected fleas.
More than Plague; Other Rat Diseases
While plague is a real, scary proposition, it’s not the only thing rats can carry that will affect humans.
The CDC provides a list of a variety of diseases associated with rats, including plague as well as Hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, and tularemia.
These diseases are transferred via rat bites and scratches, urine, saliva, and feces.
Rats are troublesome rodents, to be sure, and not to be taken lightly when they are on your property and in your home.
Do You Have Rats?
So before you contract some nasty disease, how can you know if you have rats in your home?
Well, a good first indicator is seeing their droppings. Shockingly, rats can produce up to 40 droppings per night!
Another top sign you have rats is the scratching sounds coming from the roof (indicative of roof rats) or in the walls of under floorboards (perhaps brown rats).
Look around your home for tracks or rub marks from rats following the same paths over and over again. Another great indicator is damage since rats gnaw on pretty much anything they can find. If you have a bigger issue, you may run into nests or a burrow system.
Remember that rats breed quickly, so one or two of the furry rodents can quickly become an infestation problem. Your best bet is to identify the unwanted guests early and take steps to remove them as soon as possible.
Call Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination
There are many ways to rid yourself of a rat problem, but do you really want to deal with them yourself? Trying to figure out where they are, setting traps, and then doing away with rat carcasses isn’t a job for just anyone.
Instead of taking on the job of rat eliminator (and risking getting all of those horrible diseases mentioned earlier), call us!
We’ve dealt with similar challenges, and we know exactly what to do to get rid of the rats in your attic, walls, or anywhere else on your property.