When it comes to animal species that are not perceived well by people, there are few species that are as unpopular as rats, and many people will have a natural fear that has built up around having any contact with rats. The idea that rats would come into their bedroom and actually bite people is the stuff of nightmares for some people, but occasionally there are cases reported in local and national media where this has happened. However, when you consider the number of rats found in towns and cities across the country, and the number of cases that are reported, the likelihood of being bitten by a rat as you sleep would appear to be relatively low.
The Rat’s Natural Caution Around People
One of the main reasons that people tend to be afraid of rats is that they are very rarely spotted, but it is sometimes easier to see the signs of their presence, and the occasional glimpse of a tail is all some people will see of a rat. Rats are naturally very cautious of people, as they are of any other animal that is significantly larger than them, as they will see people as a potential threat. However, if rats do return to a particular area, and can repeatedly access food sources without any repercussions, then they can start to lose their natural caution around people, which can contribute to bites in some circumstances.
Why Would A Rat Bite A Sleeping Person?
There are many people that would find it strange that rats would bite someone who is asleep, and it is true that it is a relatively rare occurrence, even in cities where the populations of people and rats living in close proximity are very high. One of the main reasons will be that rats are looking for food, and anyone that will have traces of food on their face or hands could potentially be bitten by a scavenging rat if they encounter them. This is rare however, and most rat bites are most likely to be down to the rat being startled, especially if someone was to roll over or move while they were asleep and the rat was in close proximity.
Rats Biting Vulnerable People
The stories that naturally carry the most resonance with people will be the cases where rats have bitten vulnerable people such as babies or the elderly while they were sleeping. The truth is that vulnerable people may be more likely to have food remains on their hands or faces as they are sleeping, but also that they are less likely to react to a rat bite. In some cases, especially where there is a significant rat infestation, if one bite does not trigger a response, this can lead to repeated bites which can then lead to some very unpleasant consequences.
Dealing With A Family Member Bitten By A Rat
The first step if you find that a relative or child has been bitten by a rat is to make sure that the rat or rats are no longer in the bed or cot, and you may also want to move them into another room. If they are bleeding at all, then try to stem the bleeding and clean any bite marks that are present, and bind them loosely to prevent the bleeding, although try not to use plasters, as the doctor may want to see these wounds before dressing them properly. You should then take them to see a doctor or general practitioner as soon as possible, as they will need a number of blood tests in order to see if they have contracted any diseases which need to be treated from the rat bite.
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