Do Rats Bite Sleeping Babies?

Rats are notorious for inflicting bites on everything, from planks of wood to human beings. This is of course in their nature, and they spend the best part of their days gnawing on stuff. Surely, you might be wondering, that is a cause for concern because that means there are all sorts of unwanted places where this pesky rodent is going to sink its teeth, and you would obviously be better off avoiding that. 

It is certainly not pleasant to think about babies being bitten by rats, but is that even true? And what does this mean for you and your toddlers? In this article, let me educate you on this phenomenon as well as its consequences.

Why would a rat bite a baby?

Rats are, for the most part, interested in nothing else but food, wherever they can find it, be it fresh from the pantry or lying at the bottom of the garbage can. It is entirely plausible that your toddler fell asleep while eating, or failed to clean his or her mouth after filling the belly. 

In such a case, the crumbs of food on the infants mouth serve as a perfect attractant for the desperately hungry rats. In an attempt to gobble it all up, they will inadvertently end up biting the skin. Furthermore, the most exposed parts of the body are the toes, fingers and the face. This is why if you are going to see the bite marks, they are going to be visible on these parts.


A rat bite turning into something fatal is a very rare occurrence indeed, but it always helps to know what you can expect, especially as far as your babies are concerned. For starters, the bite would inflict minor abrasions on the skin at best, and cause bleeding at worst. 

If the bite belongs to an infected rat, it can lead to a whole host of diseases, especially Leptospirosis and Hantavirus. This is because a rat is one of the biggest carriers of viruses and diseases in the animal kingdom. Rat bite fever is a more common result, while the bitten person could also be afflicted by tetanus.


Rat bites will cause reddening and swelling of the skin, while pus may turn up in some extreme cases as well. Rat-bite fever is accompanied by headaches, fever, muscle ache, joint pain and vomiting. These symptoms will pop up around 10 days after being subjected to the bite.

Measures to take

The first step that you should do once you discover a rat bite mark on your babys skin is to wash, clean and disinfect it thoroughly. The bite marks will resemble abrasions and punctures on the skin, so you should definitely be on the lookout for them. 

To remain safe, it is best to get your child a tetanus injection as well.

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