So, what to do if you find a dead rat? Whether your beloved family pet has decided to gift you with the very generous offering of a dead rat, or you’ve encountered a deceased rodent in your home or garden, you must take extra care when disposing of it. 

In this article, we’re going to guide you through what steps you should take when you find a dead rat. For example, is it bad to touch a dead rat? What are the risks involved? Can a dead rat make you sick? 

Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dealing with an unwanted dead rodent in or around your home or business…

What to do if you find a dead rat?

So, what do you do if you find a dead rat? We’ll tell you what you shouldn’t do: 

  • Don’t touch it! 
  • Don’t pick it up by the tail and throw it at your wife! 
  • Don’t poke it with a stick! 

All joking aside, dead animals – especially dead rats – can pose a serious health hazard to you and your family, so you should take the necessary precautions and dispose of them immediately. 

We’ll cover the essentials for disposing of a dead rat shortly, but first, let’s talk about the risks involved. After reading the following two sections you’ll almost certainly avoid touching a dead rat like…well, the plague! 

rat was crushed remains of the dead

Is it bad to touch a dead rat?

The short answer is yes. There is never a good reason to touch a dead rat with your bare hands. In fact, even breathing in the air around a dead rat can be detrimental to your health so you must keep your distance! 

Can a dead rat make you sick?

A dead rat and absolutely make you sick – and there is even more risk for your young children so remain vigilant. If you or any of your family members come into contact with a rat carcass or its bodily fluids, you run the risk of contracting a plethora of nasty illnesses and diseases, including hantavirus, salmonella, and leptospirosis.

How to locate a dead rat in your home? 

If you suspect that you might have a dead rat in your home but you’ve been unsuccessful in locating it, simply follow your nose. The smell of a dead rat carcass is incredibly pungent and unpleasant so it should not be too difficult for you to successfully locate it. 

That being said, the last thing you want to do is start knocking holes in walls or ripping up floorboards on a whim. The safest and most effective means of action is to call the expert pest control services and have them locate the carcass on your behalf. With many years in the industry, our pest control specialists are well-versed in pin-pointing dead rats in hard-to-reach places. 

How to safely dispose of a dead rat

In the best-case scenario, you should pick up the phone and contact your local pest control experts so that they can dispose of the dead rat on your behalf. 

Not only that, but a dead rat can be a clear sign of a potential rodent infestation so it’s worth hiring the experts to conduct some additional tests just to be on the safe side. You may well get rid of one dead rodent by yourself easily enough, but ridding your home of a large rat infestation is another story entirely. 

However, if you would rather not have to wait and would like to dispose of the dead rat by yourself as quickly and as safely as possible, here are some safety precautions for you to follow…

Safety precautions when disposing of a dead rat in your home 

Again, you should take every precaution you can when disposing of dead animals – especially rats which are notorious for carrying all-manners of nasty diseases (even when they aren’t decomposing).

The bacteria, viruses, and parasites they can carry pose a serious risk to your health – and that of your family and beloved pets. We recommend that you take the following safety precautions:

  • Wear latex or rubber gloves – NEVER touch a dead rat with your bare hands. It’s not worth the risk. 
  • Consider wearing overalls or a long-sleeved shirt and trousers at the very least. You want to protect yourself from parasites, such as ticks and fleas. 
  • If you have a trash picker/litter grabber handy, consider using that. Just ensure that you clean and de-sanitise it thoroughly after use with bleach and alcohol. 
  • Wear a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) face mask – this will ensure that you aren’t breathing in any nasty particles that will invariably make you sick. If you don’t have a mask, wrap your face in a scarf, breathe slowly through your nose and keep the corpse at arm’s length. 
  • Don’t let your children or pets anywhere near the dead rat. Rat killed by a cat
  • Be sure to seal any containers or trash bags as soon as possible after placing the carcass inside. Then you will be able to properly dispose of it in the trash – then place it outside in your bins ready for collection. 
  • Alternatively, you can bury a dead rat at the bottom of your garden. 
  • When finished, jump in a hot shower, wash your body thoroughly and put your clothes on a high-temperature wash. 
  • HIRE THE PROFESSIONALS: again, it may be worth avoiding the dead rat altogether and leaving the disposal to the experts. Better safe than sorry. 


And that about sums it up! If you want to dispose of the dead rat immediately without the help of a pest control expert, follow the safety precautions listed above to the letter. Otherwise, if you are in Sydney, simply contact us today and we’ll send a pest control specialist to your property immediately.