Just because you have not personally seen or interacted with mice, rats or other rodents in your home doesn’t mean they aren’t negatively impacting your life. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rodents are responsible for spreading diseases to humans through direct contact and indirect contact by transferring the pathogens to insects or arachnids. Direct contact not only includes bites but also contact with feces, urine and airborne particles contaminated by rodents.
Specific Diseases Transmitted by Rodents
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) – Hantavirus can be carried by rodents and is commonly spread through rodent droppings, urine and saliva. HPS causes severe respiratory distress and can be fatal.
- Leptospirosis – Leptospirosis can be transmitted by consuming food or beverages contaminated with rodent urine or by coming into contact with contaminated water or soil. This disease can cause potentially fatal kidney damage and liver failure.
- Plague – Plague is spread by coming into direct contact with rodents or by being bitten by fleas that were infected by rodents. Without treatment, plague may lead to serious illness and death.
- Salmonellosis – Salmonellosis can occur after consuming food or water contaminated with rodent feces. Also known as salmonella poisoning, this disease causes severe diarrhea, painful abdominal cramps, and fever that may require hospitalization.
Preventing Diseases Spread by Rodents
Preventing diseases caused by rodents can be a dangerous undertaking. In most cases, this endeavor requires you to handle and apply pesticides into the nooks and crannies of your home. In addition, you may need to use power tools to create access points through floors, ceilings, and walls. Traps can also be effective in controlling rodents, but handling the carcasses may be even more dangerous than coming into contact with live rats and mice. To treat rodent infestations efficiently, effectively and safely, call an experienced pest control technician.