Most homeowners, whether you’ve escaped to the wide open country or are nestled in the bustling city, learn how to handle the occasional mouse or rodent visitor. While mouse sightings are often unsettling, can they pose any actual problems? It’s easiest to just get rid of the mouse as painlessly and quickly as possible, but what most homeowners don’t realize is that the mouse’s presence can cause a number of significant health risks and concerns. Many of the world’s most devastating diseases have been carried by rodents, and today isn’t that different.
Common Diseases You Can Get From a Mouse
Mice and other rodents have commonly been associated with carrying a range of different diseases. The most direct ways that diseases like hantavirus, salmonella and rat-bite fever are spread throughout homes is through the mouse’s droppings, saliva, urine or by close contact. These diseases can also be spread using insects — like ticks, fleas or mites — that feed on the mouse and later travel and come into contact with others.
Symptoms of Diseases Spread by Mice
Even if you haven’t heard of the most common diseases spread by mice, it’s important to better understand these illnesses and their symptoms. Rodents and mice often seek shelter as the temperature cools and with more than 21 million homes throughout the United States currently infested with rodents, you and your family should be aware of these diseases and the associated symptoms.
- Hantavirus: A potentially fatal respiratory disease, hantavirus is commonly carried by the white-footed mouse, rice rat and cotton rat. Hantavirus is spread when the rodent droppings are disturbed and the virus becomes airborne, leading individuals to breathe it in. It can also be spread through food that’s been contaminated by rodent urine, feces or saliva. The most common symptoms of hantavirus is persistent headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or dizziness. There’s no treatment or cure for hantavirus, but it can be managed if caught in a timely manner.
- Salmonella: Small rodents carry Salmonella in their digestive tracts. Similar to how other rodents spread disease, salmonella is contracted through their waste and droppings in food or by direct contact. In humans, salmonella symptoms are most often nausea, chills, diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
- Rat-bite fever: Some mice and other rodents carry a disease called rat-bite fever. When bitten by a rat or other animal that carries the disease, the individual may experience fever, muscle pain, skin rash or arthritis symptoms.
How to Prevent Mice in Your Home
To best prevent unwanted disease and other health concerns, homeowners should be proactive about keeping mice and pests away. To keep mice out of your home, consider these tips:
- Seal them out by caulking or covering any openings or passages outside of your home.
- Keep food — including pet food — properly stored in glass or sealable containers, and make sure to remove any excess food debris.
- Limit their available nesting areas by removing piles of leaves, wood or other debris, and avoid using cardboard boxes for storing items indoors.
Are Rodents Scurrying Around Your Home? Reach Out to Spectrum Pest Control
If you’re a homeowner throughout the Pittsburgh area and need an effective, helpful and reliable professional to help control your pest or rodent problem, call Spectrum Pest Control. All of our technicians are state-certified and understand the best methods for completely removing harmful, irritating mice and other pests. To schedule services or learn more about our pest control solutions, call us today at 412-204-7805 or fill out our online quote form for a free estimate.