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Do rats or mice bite?

Although rodents are equipped with quite the set of teeth, they are unlikely to bite people. Healthy rats and mice are not particularly aggressive toward humans and would rather scamper away than confront or bite someone. Here’s what to know about bites from a rat or mouse:

  • Bites from rodents are rare, but can happen if the rat or mouse feels threatened. They can also happen if the rodent is rabid.
  • Mice are less likely to bite a person or animal than rats are.
  • Rodents can transmit diseases with their saliva through their bites.
  • Few rodent bites become infected, but they cause pain, redness, and swelling in many cases.
Do rats or mice bite; American Pest Management

What Happens if a Rat Bites You?

A rat bite will typically only happen when the rodent feels cornered or in danger. This can occur when someone attempts to cage the rat or mouse, or if they come across one in the wild. Rat bites can be either shallow or deep, and can draw blood. When rodents bite, there are a few concerns—namely, the risk of contracting a disease. This is because the saliva of some types of rats carries hazardous diseases. While rare, deer mouse bite victims can contract Hantavirus, and rat bite victims can contract rat-bite fever. 

Signs & Symptoms of a Rat Bite

If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a rat, it’s important to always seek medical attention, regardless of your symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of a mouse or rat bite are as follows:

  • Redness and swelling around the site of the bite
  • Mild pain around the site of the bite
  • If infected, the bite may become filled with pus.
  • If a bacterial infection occurs, such as in the case of rat-bite fever, more serious symptoms may occur up to a week after the bite. These symptoms can include a combination of muscle aches, join pain, vomiting, fever, rashes, and ulcers.

Do All Rodents Bite?

Not all rodents are known to bite. Like with any pest, rats and mice can bite if they are under extreme duress. In general, it’s best not to risk it. This means avoiding approaching a nuisance rat or mouse that you find in your home. Instead, always contact your local rodent exterminators to help get rid of the rodents for you.

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