Even though some people may think they're cute, a rodent infestation in a home is nothing to smile about. Aside from causing damage to the house and being a nuisance, a rodent infestation can be a serious health hazard. Rats and mice both spread disease when they enter homes, and these health risks can be fatal. These illnesses can be spread in several ways, so even if you haven't seen a rodent indoors yet, one could be lurking behind the walls, contaminating your home.
Even though rodent bites are not very common, it is important to avoid them at all costs. A bite from a sick mouse or rat can spread disease to humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infected rodent bites can transmit Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, the plague and other serious illnesses. If there is an infestation in your home, take care to avoid bites by not handling the pests and leave their removal to an exterminator.
Just like humans, rodents need to eat. Because mice will sometimes get into pantries and cupboards for a snack, it is important to store food in airtight containers if a rodent infestation is suspected. Once in a pantry, the mice can contaminate your food with their urine and droppings. Rodents can also contaminate food left out on counters and tables. Unintentionally eating this food can result in the spread of disease to humans. It is not uncommon for homeowners with rodent infestations to unknowingly ingest foods that have been soiled with mouse droppings or urine. Eating these foods can spread Leptospirosis, Rat-Bite Fever, Salmonellosis or Tularemia, according to the CDC.
Breathing contaminated air
Even if you're keeping an eye out for rodents and taking the proper food-storage precautions to deter rodents from your pantry, there's still a chance rodents could be spreading disease. You don't need to come into direct contact with a rat or inadvertently ingest bad food to become ill from a rodent infestation. Simply breathing their air or dust that is tainted with rodent urine or droppings is enough to sicken some households. Unknowingly inhaling contaminated dust can result in illnesses such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Hemorrhagic Fever or Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis.
Because a rodent infestation can be a serious health hazard, it is important to handle the problem swiftly. Making a call to pest control experts will ensure that rodents are eliminated from your home and the risk of disease is eliminated.