When it comes to household pests, rodents are particularly bothersome. Not only do they increase your chances of experiencing an electrical fire and cause incredible amounts of damage, but they also are famous for contaminating food and spreading illness. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that, worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. Let’s take a look at some of the top four most common of these diseases.
Hantavirus: This potentially life-threatening disease is transmitted primarily through the white-footed deer mouse. Through exposure to infected rodent urine or droppings, people will begin to experience fatigue, fever, and muscle aches. If not treated, it can be fatal.
Bubonic Plague: Anyone who had to study Shakespeare in high school is familiar with this iconic disease. Also known as the “Black Death,” the Plague is highly contagious and famous for killing one-third of the European population during the Middle Ages. It is spread by the bite of an infected rodent flea — usually one who hitched a ride on the back of a rat — and can cause fever, headache, and painfully swollen lymph glands.
Salmonellosis: We’re all familiar with salmonella. Salmonellosis is a variant of food poisoning that is spread by rodent feces. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain; if you notice mouse and rat droppings in your cabinets and pantry, you’re most likely at risk for this uncomfortable illness.
Rat-Bite Fever: Another potentially fatal disease, this infectious illness is spread the same way as salmonellosis; if you eat food that has been contaminated by rodents, you will begin to experience fever, vomiting, headaches, and muscle pain within three to 10 days after exposure.
The best way to keep your family healthy and your home free from the above risks is to employ proper rodent control techniques. Don’t take the chance if you suspect you’ve got a rodent infestation; if you already know that you’ve got unwanted rodents living in your house, there are a variety of rodent removal services you can take advantage of. From humane squirrel removal to live traps for rats, rodent control is simpler — and less cruel — than you’d think.