Having mice and rodents in the home is more than just a nuisance, it’s a serious health risk. We’ve already discussed the structural damage that can be caused by rodents in the home. Today, we’re going to discuss the health hazards associated with rodents.
As they make their way through your home, mice and rodents are constantly defecating and urinating. As they do, they contaminate every surface they come in contact with—from your floors to your tabletops, cupboards, and food preparation areas. They spread bacteria and viruses that can make you sick.
Here are common health hazards associated with mice and rodents in the home.
Hantavirus is one of the most serious health risks posed by rodents in the home. It is a potentially life-threatening viral disease that humans can contract through rodents, and primarily, through the deer mouse. Hantavirus lives in the rodents’ feces. You can become infected through direct exposure with feces or even through inhalation of particles if droppings are disturbed.
The early symptoms of Hantavirus are similar to those caused by the flu. For those with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems, such as children or the elderly, the disease can be fatal.
Known as the Black Death, the bubonic plague is infamous for having resulted in the deaths of millions of people in Eurasia during the fourteenth century. This isn’t a disease of the past, however. It still exists today. It can be spread to you by handling infected hosts or being bitten by infected fleas.
The plague causes flu-like symptoms, including headaches, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning that’s spread by mice and rodents. It lives inside their intestinal tracts. Humans get sick when they consume food or water that has been contaminated by rodent feces. If a mouse has walked on your countertops where you then prepare food, for example, you may end up with salmonellosis.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, and dehydration. The illness can be particularly severe in children and the elderly.
Rat-Bite Fever is spread in much the same way as salmonellosis. Humans can contract it when consuming water or food that has been contaminated by rodents. However, contamination typically occurs when the bacteria is transmitted through the rodents’ urine or through mucous secretions. It can also be transmitted through the handling of an infected rodent or through bites or scratches.
Rat-Bite Fever is an infectious disease. It leads to symptoms of vomiting, headache, fever, muscle and joint pain, and rashes. If left untreated, death can occur.
Lyme disease is an inflammatory illness carried by the ticks that live in mice and rodents, as well as other animals, such as raccoons, deer, and chipmunks. It’s spread through the bite of an infected tick.
Early signs of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms and a skin rash. It’s most treatable with antibiotics during the early stages. As time passes, treatment becomes for difficult. Over time, chronic Lyme disease will affect every system of the body and can lead to neurological problems such as paralysis. In Canada, Lyme disease is on the rise.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread by rodent urine that can lead to meningitis, liver failure, kidney damage, and respiratory distress if left untreated. It can also be fatal. You can become infected through direct contact with the urine of infected mice and rodent or through contact with water, food or soil contaminated with the urine.
The little mice living in your walls, basement, or attic are more dangerous than you might think. If you have mice or rodents in the home, contact a wildlife removal company immediately.
Mice removal and prevention is a comprehensive involving minor construction to some areas on the exterior of your home. These measures should only be put in place by professional wildlife companies.