What to do if a Rat is Not Scared of People, Acting Strange or is Aggressive?
If you run across a rat that does not run away from you, then there may be something wrong with the rat. Rats are arguably the toughest of mammals and have adapted to living around humans. But a rat that shows no fear of humans is quite unusual. That behavior normally signals that there may be an issue which could be a threat to you or your family if the rat is around your home.
Danger of Rats
Although on rare occasions rats will bite humans, for the most part the real danger comes from the diseases and viruses that many rats carry. Exposure to rat excrement is still a source of human illness around the world, which is why the removal of wild rats from living areas is of paramount concern. This is why the elimination of wild rats from areas where humans live is so important. Sealing up all possible entrances, eliminating any possible shelter and food sources near the home, and calling exterminators when seeing a rat is important.
But what happens when you run across a rat anyway? Well, most rats will simply run away. Rats have an instinctive fear of humans along with cats, so they should take off quickly. But what happens when a rat doesn’t run away?
Causes of Unusual Rat Behavior
For the most part, rats are afraid of humans to the point that they will scurry away when they understand we are in their presence. However, just like many humans, rats may keep walking towards people not because something is wrong with them, it’s just that they are preoccupied with something else and simply do not notice. However, there are some specific reasons that may cause unusual or even aggressive behavior in rats. Understanding that will help you know what to do.
Parasite: A recent discovery of a brain parasite in rats causes them to be less fearful of both humans and cats. For some reason, the parasite has managed to alter the fear of humans and cats which is hardwired into their brains. The result is that such rats may tend to ignore humans instead of instinctively running away.
Rabies: Although rabies can affect virtually all mammals, rats are not usually carriers of the disease. For the most part, they only get rabies when they are bitten by fleas that have bitten infected animals. Still, even if you are bit by a rat with rabies, the chances of catching the disease is quite low. Although you should still be treated whenever bitten by a rat.
Other Causes: Two of the more common causes of unusual rat behavior are distemper and lead poisoning. Both may cause unusual behavior which includes wobbling, shaking, and seemingly drunk or directionless movement. Humans are immune to distemper and lead poisoning cannot be transmitted through a bite. When faced with a rat that is acting bizarrely or aggressively, the best course of action is to remove the rat itself along with its family. When confronted by a rat that does not run away, moving back slowly and keeping your distance is the best course of action until you can call pest control.