There’s nothing more unpleasant than thinking you may have a rat infestation. These pesky rodents are invasive, will destroy your home, and can spread diseases. The most common signs of a rat infestation are gnaw marks, squeaking, rat droppings, and nests.

Your best option to eliminate rats is hiring a professional pest control company. Professionals know how to properly rid your home of rats and prevent their return.

Common Diseases Caused by Rats in Houston

Below are some of the most common diseases caused by rodents and the pests that they carry. If you have rats in your Houston home, it’s important to have them handled by a professional ASAP. Reach out to Stampede Pest Control in Houston, Tx today for help.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory disease that can sometimes be fatal. Hantavirus is most common in South America but has been reported in the United States. 

The virus is transmitted from rats via droppings in their saliva, urine, and feces. Early symptoms include fatigue, muscle aches, and fever, while progressed symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. 


two rats roaming on dirty water

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that’s spread through the urine of infected animals. If you come in contact with rat urine, the soil they’ve urinated on, or other contaminated areas, you run the risk of infection. 

Symptoms include high fever, headaches, chills, vomiting, jaundice, and rash. Leptospirosis is most prevalent in South Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)

LCM is a rodent-borne viral infection. In the United States, the most common spreader of LCM is the house mouse, but rats can carry the disease too. LCM is transmitted after exposure to rat urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials.

If infected with LCM, you may experience nausea, headaches, loss of appetite, joint pain, and other symptoms associated with meningitis. In some cases, LCM can cause neurological diseases. This is most common in Japan, Australia, Europe, and South America.


Monkeypox is most prevalent in Africa and is carried by apes and rodents. Humans can get Monkeypox via contact with an infected rat, The virus enters through open skin, mucus membranes, and the respiratory tract. 

Monkeypox causes bumps to appear all over your skin. Other signs include muscle aches, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and backaches.


a group of dirty wild rats

Plague is a rare but serious infection caused by a bacteria called “yersinia pestis.” Humans contract plague from the bite of a flea that has fed on an infected rat. Plague can be treated by antibiotics.

Signs of plague include weakness, chills, fever, shortness of breath, bleeding, and skin blackness. It is most common in Asia, Africa, and sometimes in the Western United States. 

Rat Bite Fever

Rat Bite Fever is a bacterial disease caused by the natural flora in a rat’s mouth. If a rat bites you or scratches you, the bacteria can enter your body and cause fever, chills, muscle soreness, swollen joints, and rash. Up to 10% of rat bites may cause Rat Bite Fever.

Rat Bite Fever is most common in Japan. Those who handle rats as a part of their work or live in rat-infested areas are also at risk.


Salmonellosis comes from the bacteria, Salmonella, which lives in the intestinal tract of animals. Rats shed the bacteria in their droppings, which can contaminate food. Humans contract salmonella through contaminated food.

Symptoms of Salmonellosis are diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and pain. It occurs all over the world, and it’s very common.


close up of a rat's front teeth

Tularemia is a rare but infectious disease that rats can spread to humans via bites or other direct exposure. You should get treated immediately if you’ve been bitten. 

Symptoms include exhaustion, chills, fever, swollen glands, and ulcers. It attacks the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Tularemia is common in the South, Central, and the Western United States. 

Stampede Pest Control: Rat Protection You Can Count On

If you suspect a rat infestation, Stampede Pest Control has you covered. From setting rat baits and traps, to complete exclusion and rat-proofing, we’ll get rid of and prevent rats from making your home theirs. 

Our experienced pest control team will help minimize rat attractants on your property and ensure the rodents stay away. Contact us today for effective and professional rat protection!