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Rat feces will be found wherever you find rats — they have a nasty habit of leaving their waste matter wherever they run, and they run basically everywhere around your home or building.
If you live in an area rife with black rats, you will find poop that is between one and two centimeters in length (about half an inch), and with pointed ends. If the ends are more rounded-off than pointed, and the poop is in a banana-like shape, it is more than likely that you have brown rats, the most common rats you will find invading your home. Their black cousins have almost been pushed out by these brown bullies.
One rat will leave around 40 to 50 pellets or droppings in their wake every night that they are out and about, giving you a good indication of how much of the stuff they will be leaving around your home. The more rats you have, the more poop is produced, and the bigger your rat infestation, the more obvious it will be that you have a problem. Rat problems should not go undiagnosed or treated for as long as they do, because it's not like they don't leave enough signs of their existence lying around.
Rat droppings is dangerous, as well as unsightly, and you will need to take special measures when you are clearing up to ensure you don’t put yourself in danger. As well as wearing protective rubber gloves, the thicker the better, you should also make sure you are wearing a face mask. This might seem a little excessive, but there are airborne spores present in rat faces that, when disrupted, could case the spread of hemorrhagic fever. These hemorrhagic fevers include yellow fever viruses, Marbug, Ebola, and Lassa fever. The latter Lassa fever is heavily spread by rats, but only in developing countries, such as West Africa. Generally this is a disease prevalent in rural areas where sanitation and hygiene is poor.
These hemorrhagic fevers, or VHF (viral hemorrhagic fever) as they are also called, are not treatable. In some cases, the fevers will go away on their own, but there are some strains, such as Ebola, that are very dangerous, and can cause loss of life.
As well as containing airborne spores, rat droppings can also contaminate water sources, with diseases such as leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and also tularemia.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.
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