Rats common to the New England area may spread dangerous pathogens/diseases such as the bubonic plague and rat bite fever. Not only do rats carry disease-causing bacteria, but they also spread parasitic pests like tapeworms, ticks, and fleas. Rats cause/vector causative agents of ringworm, salmonellosis, murine typhus, and leptospirosis/meningitis. Several of the diseases caused by rats have the common symptoms of fever, vomiting, sore muscles, and skin rashes.
How Rats Spread Diseases
Rats urinate and leave droppings anywhere they forage or congregate. Humans who come into contact with infected feces or urine become vulnerable to the diseases rats carry. Fleas or ticks that have bitten infected rats may move on to human hosts or domesticated animals and spread diseases like the bubonic plague. Humans, pets, or farm animals often contract tapeworm or salmonella after ingesting food contaminated by rat feces or urine. As indicated by the name, rat bite fever typically infects individuals bitten or scratched by rats, but the disease may also be spread via contaminated foods.