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Rat Feces - Pictures, Danger, and Diseases

Rat Feces - Dealing with poop is horrible whatever animal it comes from, but rat feces is particularly problematic as you will often find these small creatures return to the same site to defecate. This means that once you have identified a rat problem, you will often have a rat latrine with a lot of feces, and it can be a lot of work to clean it up and repair the area, even after you have gone to the trouble of dealing with the rat problem itself. There are a number of precautions that you will need to take in order to be able to deal with rat feces effectively, and it is also very important that you avoid any of the diseases that you can catch from the droppings.

Precautions To Take Before Entering An Area Where You May Encounter Rat Feces

If you are dealing with a rat problem for a company or employer, they will usually insist that you take appropriate precautions before you start work, and it is just as wise to take these precautions when you are working at home. Because rat feces can give off harmful spores into the air when it is disturbed, a breathing mask will filter out these particles in the air, while a pair of goggles will stop these from getting into your body through your eyes. It is also worth wearing long sleeved thick clothing and gloves when dealing with the feces, as it can be sticky and diseases can also be transmitted if it comes into contact with cuts or broken skin.

Identifying Rat Feces As Opposed To The Feces Of Other Animals

Rat droppings are usually fairly easy to identify, because they will usually be found in large groupings, and if you are investigating a rat problem in the attic, they will often be stuck to the insulation. In terms of the look of the feces, rat droppings are usually brown pellets that are around half an inch long, although these are significantly bigger than the droppings of mice, which are much shorter, but are closest in shape to the rat droppings. In order to help verify your findings, look for brown smudges on the walls, which are caused by rat grease that rubs from their fur, and are found in many areas where there is rat activity.

Diseases Found In Rat Feces

A disease that is one of the most serious that can be contracted by people from rat feces is Leptospirosis, and can cause kidney failure, meningitis and encephalitis of brain tissue in the most severe cases. Although it may not be as serious as Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis is another condition that can cause real problem, and can either be transmitted through contact with the feces or the contamination of food or drink, with symptoms commonly including diarrhea and fever. Rat feces is also a potential carrier of Hantavirus, with the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome that can be contracted causing a small number of deaths when people do not take the right precautions in dealing with the feces.

How To Clean Up The Feces

One of the most important things that you will need to do is to make sure that you have a suitable container or bag without holes that you can put the feces into, as you do not want to spread any of the feces further than the area you are cleaning. Depending on where the feces is found, this can be placed in the container or bag by hand if you are wearing gloves, or you can also achieve this by using a trowel if the feces is outdoors. If the feces is stuck to a particular surface, you may need to clean it from the surface or for awkward soft surfaces you may need to cut away the top layer in order to remove the feces.

Disposing Of The Feces

Once you have picked up all of the feces that you can find, there are different ways that you can dispose of it. Using your sealed container or sealed bag, you can place it in the garbage, but if you do choose this option it is best to place an additional bag to make sure that there is a minimal chance of the feces being spread by a bag or container bursting. Alternatively, some states will have places where you can arrange for the feces to be disposed of safely, while it is also possible to incinerate the feces.

Dealing With Rat Feces Contamination In An Attic

Rats are a common problem in the attic, and because it is a confined space it can be particularly problematic to deal with. Making sure you take the usual precautions, you may need to replace some of the soiled insulation, and this is quite difficult to do cleanly, so in some cases it can be better to hire a professional. Once this is complete, make sure that you use a disinfectant spray on all surfaces, to ensure that the feces doesn't cause any future problems.

Go back to the main Rat Removal page for more information about rat droppings, feces, or poop. Are the rat feces toxic or dangerous? What kind of diseases can you catch from rat droppings or excrement.
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