Dead rats can pose a serious health risk—they can spread diseases to both humans and other animals. To lessen the risk of disease transmission, you need to know how to dispose of dead rat outside safely, which also enhances your overall health. You don’t even need professional pest control services to handle this task for you.
How to dispose of dead rat outside
Below are the steps to dispose of dead rat outside:
1. Ensure Safety measures are in place
Before handling a dead rat, it’s smarter to take safety precautions seriously to avoid getting sick or spreading diseases. It’s simple — wear protective gear: Put on gloves, a face mask, and goggles to protect your skin, eyes, and lungs from potential infections.
Avoid direct contact with the dead rat even if you are wearing gloves. Use a shovel, tongs, or other tools to handle the carcass.
Avoid taking deep breaths near the dead rat and instead, breathe through your face mask.
2. Prepare a disposable bag
Use two heavy-duty plastic bags or trash bags to contain the dead rat. The double-bagging method helps prevent the spread of germs and reduces the risk of leaks. Keep the bag nearby to reduce the distance you have to move and dispose of dead rat outside.
3. Pick the dead rat to be disposed of
Before picking up the dead rat to be disposed of, you want to disinfect the area. Don’t vacuum or sweep, according to Oregon Metro. Instead, douse the dead rat with a 10 percent bleach solution and allow up to 20 minutes before using newspaper, paper towels, or rags to wipe and pick up.
Use a tool like a tong or a shovel to handle the dead rat. Carefully pick up the dead rat without using a shovel, tongs, or a similar tool.
To dispose of dead rat outside, put it in the trash bag gently without tearing the plastic.
You want to seal the garbage bag to contain the carcass and any possible contaminants inside to be disposed of outside.
Your next step is to put the bag that is sealed inside a second bag to form a double-layered barrier. Securely tie the second bag to stop any pathogens from leaking out.
4. Dispose of the dead rat outside
Follow your local laws to dispose of the dead rat. Get to know the rules for disposing of dead animals in your area, as different places have different rules.
If your local rules allow you to dispose of dead rat outside, put the double-bagged carcass in an outdoor trash can with a tight-fitting lid. In some areas, you might need to get in touch with your local animal control or waste management department for help getting rid of the dead rat.
5. Clean and disinfect the affected area
Remove any visible trash and use a shovel or a broom to clean up the area where the dead rat was found. Remove any nesting materials or droppings and apply a disinfectant. Simply spray a commercial disinfectant or a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) on the affected area. Allow the disinfectant to sit for at least 10 minutes to effectively kill pathogens. Vinegar doesn’t work.
Next, use a scrub brush or broom to scrub the cleaned area thoroughly to get rid of any remaining germs. Rinse the area with water to get rid of the disinfectant and any other contaminants. If possible, get a hose with a spray nozzle to rinse the area.
6. Dispose of contaminated cleaning tools
Put contaminated cleaning tools, like scrub brushes, gloves, or paper towels, in a separate plastic bag. Securely close the bag, then dispose of it.
7. Wash your hands and tools
Remove your gloves, goggles, and face mask, and make sure not to touch any contaminated surfaces with your bare hands. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, making sure to get in between your fingers and under your nails.
Finally, clean and disinfect any tools you used to get rid of the trash, such as shovels or tongs. Apply a disinfectant or bleach solution and let them sit for at least 10 minutes before washing the tools. Don’t store the tools next to your food storage or where people live.
How long does it take for a rat to decompose outside?
How long it takes for a dead rat to decompose outside depends on factors like weather, the number of animals that eat dead animals, and the size of the rat. The decomposition process can typically take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Nevertheless, this time frame can change a lot depending on how and where the rat died.
If the decomposition of a dead rat is influenced by the environment, it can happen more quickly in warm and humid climates since heat and moisture speed up the breakdown of organic matter. Thus, a dead rat could decompose outside in a few weeks.
In colder climates or during the winter, however, the decomposition process can slow down to several months. Direct sunlight will also hasten the decomposition.
Sometimes, how long it takes for a dead rat to decompose can be quicker if there are nearby scavengers such as birds, insects, or other animals. If there aren’t many scavengers, bacteria, and fungi will do most of the work, which may take longer.
What happens if you touch a dead rat?
Rats are known to carry many pathogens, which can be dangerous to human health. So, if you touch a dead rat, it may transmit zoonotic diseases to you through direct contact.
Leptospirosis, hantavirus, and rat-bite fever are some of the more common diseases associated with rats. Their symptoms range from mild flu-like symptoms to more serious complications like organ failure and can be lethal.
A dead rat also carries external parasites like fleas, mites, and ticks, which can give you diseases or skin irritations and infections if you touch it.
What does it mean when you find a dead rat in your yard?
A dead rat in your yard could mean that you have a rodent problem. It could also mean that your pest control methods are working or that there are natural predators in the area.
To identify the underlying cause and take appropriate action if necessary, look into the circumstances surrounding the dead rat you find in your yard.
Do dead rats attract other rats?
Not only will a dead rat smell horrific enough to make you sick, but it can also attract more other rats to your home.
Are dead rats hazardous?
Dead and decomposing rats are hazardous to you, your family, and your pets. Fleas and ticks on the corpse pose the biggest risk, and these parasites spread diseases.
Can I put a dead rat in the bin?
Put that bag in a garbage bag, then tie it up. This may seem excessive, but it’s better to be cautious than sorry. You can dump the rat in your outdoor trash bin.
How long can you leave a dead rat?
Dead rats can smell within 24 hours and last for weeks. The body should be removed and disposed of quickly to reduce odor. The scent of a dead rat can remain for weeks depending on temperature, humidity, and airflow.