As a homeowner, you care about the state and cleanliness of your home. The safety of you and your household is paramount — which is why you should protect yourself and others from rodents like mice and rats. These rodents can bring diseases into your living space. Educating yourself on the various dangers and using that information to take preventative measures is one of the easiest ways to improve your home’s safety and sanitation.
Which Kinds of Rodents Spread Disease?
Mice and rats are the most common rodent disease spreaders. Wild rodents can create innovative ways to get into your home by finding hidden spots to nest and cultivating areas for disease to grow and migrate to other parts of your house.
Pets such as hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs also have the potential to spread disease. Have your pets routinely guarded and examined by a vet to prevent the spread of common diseases.
What Are Common Diseases Caused By Pests and Rodents?
Rodents can carry a variety of diseases. Combined, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases worldwide. Knowing the symptoms and causes of some of the most common diseases can help determine if rodents have infected your home, so you can build a defense plan to counter unwanted pests.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is one of the most common diseases carried by mice. Mice shed HPS contaminants in their urine, saliva and feces. Then, in a process known as airborne transmission, a person may inhale air contaminates with the disease and become infected.
Hantavirus infection can create symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue. The infected person may also experience headaches, dizziness and nausea that includes diarrhea and vomiting. The symptoms will typically show up 1 – 8 weeks after exposure. HPS is a potentially fatal and dangerous disease with a mortality rate of 38%.
Be cautious when in an area with numerous rat droppings or the potential for rodents, as you could be exposed to HPS.
The ordinary house mouse can carry Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM). Transmission is spread through exposure to droppings, urine, saliva or nesting materials from infected mice. You could become infected if you make direct contact with contaminated materials or if the materials come in contact with your mouth, eyes or broken skin.
Roughly 8-13 days after exposure, the infected person may be feverish, experience a loss of appetite or suffer muscle fatigue, nausea and headaches. These symptoms characterize the illness’s first phase. The infected will probably have a few days of recovery before lapsing into the second stage, marked by fever, confusion, fatigue and inflammation of the brain.
Most people who contract LCM survive, although the disease could cause lasting neurological damage. Pregnant women should be wary of this disease, as they may pass on the infection to the fetus.
Leptospirosis is contracted through contact with bodily fluids from rodents and other animals. The disease can also spread through soil, water or food contaminated by the rodent.
This disease can cause similar symptoms to those mentioned earlier, including fever, headaches, vomiting and yellowing of the skin and eyes. A second stage of the illness may bring more severe symptoms such as liver failure. Though some people may experience the disease without any symptoms at all, other times it may be very serious and take weeks or even months to recover.
Lime disease is is a bacterium transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks commonly carried by deer mice. Once these mice are in your home, the tick may also infest your home where it can be contracted by human hosts.
Typically, lyme disease symptoms begin 3 to 30 days after tick bite, and include fatigue, fever, headache, and a skin rash called erythema migrans. Left untreated, the disease can spread to joints, nervous system, and the heart, causing arthritis, facial palsy, heart palpitations, recurring dizziness, numbness and tingling in the extremities, and inflammation of the brain. Most people treated early with appropriate antibiotics usually recover quickly and completely. Later stages of lyme disease may require longer courses of antibiotics or to be treated intravenously with antibiotics.
How Do Rodents Spread Disease?
It’s helpful to know the diseases that rats can expose you to, and it’s even more crucial to understand how rodents spread these diseases so you can act against them. Diseases can be contracted in two ways — directly and indirectly.
Direct contraction is when you come into direct contact with the disease. You may experience direct contraction after handling an infected rodent, touching feces, urine or saliva from the infected rodent, or being bitten. Nesting materials can also contain contaminants with the disease, so avoid handling any materials that resemble rodent housing.
Direct exposure is an excellent example of why you shouldn’t try dealing with a rodent infestation on your own. Consult a professional, trusted service that knows what it’s doing and can dispose of your rodent problem in a safe, sanitary way.
Diseases can also spread indirectly. Indirect infection means that a rodent has infected another pest that then carries the disease to you. Typical pests that can indirectly infect you include ticks, mites and fleas.
How to Prevent Rodent Diseases
The best treatment for rodent infestation is prevention. Here are a few ways you can prevent rodents and diseases from entering your home:
- Set traps: Traps can be an effective way to fix your rodent problem. There are numerous traps to choose from, ranging from traditional snap traps to more sophisticated electric traps.
- Seal up your home: Rodents can find tiny openings in your home and sneak in. Monitor your home for potential rodent entry points. Check corners, vents and the space between your floor and walls for any holes or breaks. Seal these up so you can be sure rodents won’t chew through them.
- Stay organized and neat: Messes create spaces for rodent homes. If you have bunches of soft materials piled up in corners, you may be attracting mice or rats. Make sure to clean up your house, dispose of any waste, and maintain a tidy environment, so you’ll be confident in your space.
- Be mindful of food: Food is the most common rodent attraction. Food that’s dropped on the ground and left there can draw rodents from all over. Be conscious of how you handle food and be sure to clean up any messes quickly.
- Sanitize and disinfect: If you’ve identified a rodent problem in your home, it’s best to eliminate potential diseases immediately to protect yourself. Sanitize and disinfect areas you think might have been contaminated.
- Consult professionals: You should always consult a professional service to handle rodent issues in your home for your safety and protection. The experts can take care of your rodent problem and show you how to prevent diseases from rodents.
Contact Urban Jungle Wildlife Removal for Fast Solutions
Urban Jungle Wildlife Removal can offer you the services you need to take care of your rodent problem. Trust our expert team for efficient removal services, discreet repairs and fast and effective cleanup and sanitation. We can also provide professional trapping and exclusion services.
Get in touch with us today to get started!