In addition to causing damage to your home, a rodent infestation can actually make your family sick. In fact, rats and mice can transmit more than two dozen different diseases to humans. Transmission can occur through direct contact with rodents, their droppings, urine or saliva, or indirectly through contaminated food, infected fleas, ticks or mites.
If you suspect you have rats or mice in your home, call a professional! Handling rodents, infested insulation or any other contaminated materials is a potential biohazard and can lead to these common rodent-related diseases.
4 Reasons to Rid Your Home of Mice & Rats
Salmonella is a food-borne bacteria that affects the digestive tract. Humans can contract salmonella if they consume food that has been contaminated by rodent droppings or food that has been prepared on a contaminated surface. Salmonella symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever lasting 4-7 days. Most people recover without treatment, however, young children, elderly adults and those with compromised immune systems may require hospitalization.
Hantavirus is found in the droppings, urine and saliva of infected deer mice and other rodents, and when inhaled by humans it can cause a rare, but potentially fatal lung disease known as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. Symptoms are similar to that of the flu, and include fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as a dry cough, difficulty breathing, dizziness and headaches. There is no vaccine or cure, however, treatment may involve intensive care, oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation.
While more prevalent in the Western United States than here in New York and Vermont, the bubonic plague bacteria is most commonly transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected flea. Responsible for the deaths of millions in the Middle Ages, plague is now treatable with common antibiotics. However, left untreated it can cause serious illness and death. Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, headache, chills and weakness with one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM, is a rodent-borne virus primarily carried by house mice. Although rarely fatal, it can cause serious neurological problems, including encephalitis and meningitis. Humans typically contract the LCM virus after coming into contact with the urine, droppings, saliva or nesting materials of infected rodents. Early symptoms may present like the flu, with neurological symptoms appearing in the second phase of illness. Common treatments involve anti-inflammatory drugs and hospitalization depending on severity of symptoms.
Prevent Rodent-Related Diseases
Don’t risk your family’s health. If you live in Northern New York or Western Vermont, and you suspect you have rodents in your home, contact Nature’s Way Pest Control for a free inspection. Our professional pest control experts will inspect your home, set traps and remove any potential biohazards. We can also perform attic cleanouts, install special pest control insulation and prevent mice and rats from entering with our professional Pest Block services.