Rodents are perhaps one of the biggest, most common fears in people. The old cartoon-y image of a woman standing on a chair, squealing at the sight of a mouse draws from real experience, as both men and women all over the world share an understandable terror of rodents.
Which makes it all the more unfortunate that rats and mice tend to be some of the most common wild home intruders out there. And one of the most widespread fears around a rodent infestation is that the rat or mouse may crawl over you, or touch you while you sleep.
We’re here to break that down, and provide some insight.
So, do rodents get in the bed? How?
Yes and no. It’s worth keeping in mind that rodents are actually extremely shy creatures. Remember that they are still very small, and understand that in a confrontation between someone of your size, and them, they’re unlikely to win. This makes them highly reluctant to go near humans.
That being said, a rodent is an excellent climber, and may scale the frame of the bed, as well as bed covers or clothes that are draped off the bed and onto the floor. So they can very easily get into your bed at night, if they want to.
And there are typically two reasons why a rodent would want to. Either it’s trying to get somewhere and there’s a shortcut by going through the bed, or they’ve identified food. While deeply shy, if the rodent is fairly certain you won’t move or wake in the night, they’re likely to risk it.
Now, there’s not much you can do about the first reason, but the second is typically invoked when there are crumbs or foods right in your bed. This often happens if you’re in the habit of snacking in bed, or even if you’ve left plates, crumbs, or other food stuff on your bedside table.
Do rodents touch you?
That being said, once in your bed, a rodent will probably limit direct contact with a human being as much as possible. Unless it perceives a threat, the rodent is unlikely to scratch or bite you, and will no doubt seek to get away as quickly as possible. Rats and mice are extremely cautious species, and they’re unlikely to spend more than they need to in dangerous situations.
If you’re worried about rodents in the home, you can ask a wildlife removal company for more information on potential dangers, as well as advice on how to manage an infestation.
Are there risks?
However, a rat getting into your bed should be a cause for concern. While cleaner than most people believe, rodents are still carriers of numerous diseases. For instance, being bitten or scratched by an infected rodent can result in infection with rat-bite fever. Rodent bites can also cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome infection, which can, in rare cases, prove fatal.
Consuming contaminated food or water (which could happen if you left a snack or a glass of water near your bed) can result in salmonellosis infection.
Lastly, you need to worry about being exposed to rodent droppings or urine, which is again possible with a rat in the bed, and can again lead to infection with leptospirosis, for instance.
Note: while there is a risk, rodents are very unlikely to bite or directly attack a sleeping human. The few recorded instances of this happening involved bed-ridden elders, or small infants. Otherwise, rodents probably won’t attack you directly, unless they perceive you as an immediate threat.
What can you do to prevent it?
Keeping your bedroom tidy goes a long way in minimizing the risk of infestation. Cleaning more than you typically would, and limiting the food items you bring into the bedroom can often make the difference between rodent-ridden and rodent-free.
On top of that, if you’re concerned about a rodent infestation, you could look into commercial repellents. Before you invest in anything, however, make sure you do your research, and read the truth about ultrasonic rat repellents, and how well such devices may work.
The most efficient step you can take to protect your home from a rodent infestation is to call a wildlife removal professional.