There are a lot of urban legends out there about rats. One of the most prevalent is that rats can and will eat people alive. So, can rats eat you alive? We dug to find out the answer to this question—and more!
Can rats eat you alive?
No, rats cannot eat you alive. Even though they can bite through bone, their teeth are not strong enough to break through the skin.
However, if a rat were to bite you, it could cause a severe infection. Rat bites are often encountered by people who work near the animals, such as pest control workers or laboratory technicians.
In most cases, the bites are relatively minor and can be treated with antibiotics.
However, rat bites can rarely lead to life-threatening conditions like sepsis or Rabies.
As a result, it is essential to seek medical attention if a rat has bitten you.
Rats and Chewing
Rats are capable of chewing through just about anything. This includes wood, plastic, metal, and even concrete.
So, if they can chew through all those things, surely they can chew through human flesh, right?
Well, yes and no. Rats have sharp incisor teeth that grow continuously throughout their lifetime.
These teeth are great for gnawing and chewing on hard surfaces—but not so much for softer surfaces like skin.
To make a meal out of a human, a rat would have to bite and gnaw relentlessly—and even then, they wouldn’t be able to do much damage.
Rats also have weak jaw muscles.
With their bite, they can only generate about 150 pounds of pressure per square inch.
To put that into perspective, humans have a bite force of around 1,200 pounds per square inch—which means that we’re nearly eight times as strong as rats when it comes to biting power!
So even if a rat could get past the barrier of human skin, they likely wouldn’t be able to do much damage with their bite alone.
Rats are often portrayed as vicious creatures that stop at nothing to get a meal—including eating people alive. However, the truth is that rats are far from being able to do such a thing. Their teeth aren’t designed for soft tissues like flesh, and their jaw muscles are too weak to exert enough force to do real damage. So rest assured—you’re not in danger of being eaten alive by a rat!