The House Rat: To Keep or Kill

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The funny thing about rats is that, whatever way you look at them, not everyone will agree what they are. Some see them as cheap, affordable and adorable pets, while others are so grossed out by them and will want nothing more than to get rid of them on sight. So which side of the argument is right? Are ratssuitable pets or do they threaten the cleanliness and health of the family?

Rats as pests 

Rats have a bad reputation. It’s hard to forget the role of the rat as a purported transmitter of the deadly disease that caused millions to die during the Black Death in the 14th century. While technically it was fleas borne by the rats that nearly wiped out half the population of Europe, it’s hard to shy away from the collective dread that man feels towards rats since this devastating pandemic.

Rats can be carriers for disease, contagion and all manner of man-unfriendly things. Even if you’re solidly on the side of those who admire these little critters, you can’t deny that the risk for diseases will always be there. Rats tend to scamper about in the most unsanitary and dirtiest of places and are prone to picking up disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

Even if a rat isn’t exposed to any pathogens like many animals out in the wild, their bites alone can be dangerous. They can possibly carry rabies among other nasty things. Their urine can cause Leptospirosis. Even if rats are domesticated, you do not always have a guarantee that they won’t bite when agitated or bothered. So would you really risk it happening to you or your loved ones?

Rats as pets


You will see rats sold in pet shops. These are often the cute white mice that are also used in testing for their intelligence and adaptability, but that’s a whole different thing. They usually retain their small size and often are domesticated enough to only want to hang around their cages. While they too can bite, they really don’t cause much damage. Domesticated rats sold in pet shops are not disease carriers. Just don’t let little kids put their little fingers inside the rat’s cage to prevent rat bites.

If you want a rat as a pet, go for those little ones that are sold in pet shops. But if your home is infested with the wild, larger sort, it’s not a smart idea to keep one or more of them as pets. The fact is that these can cause more problems that make the upkeep and care of them far from worth it. They will breed fast, get everywhere, and quickly spread any dirt and grime that they pick up from running about. You need to call an exterminator or get pest control services to make sure they don’t start becoming disruptive, destructive and unhealthy for the family.

If you want to prioritize well-being and keep your family healthy, then the only really logical thing to do with the house rat and rodents in general is to control and eliminate them as quickly as possible. This task is best undertaken by a pest control company that uses safe and human-friendly chemicals and products. This way, you always keep well.


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