Rodents such as mice and rats can sometimes seem like an inconvenient problem around the house. However, they can actually carry some nasty bacterial infections and diseases. Here are some of the risks associated with leaving a rodent problem untreated in your home.
Symptoms: Fever, headache, sore muscles, chills, vomiting and red eyes.
Leptospirosis is a nasty little bacterial infection and is usually found in mouse urine. This can then enter the human body through cuts, abrasions or through the lining of the mouth and eyes. If you pick up this infection, you’ll need antibiotics to clear it up.
Rat bite fever
Symptoms: Fever, muscle pain, rash, joint pains, vomiting and headache.
Contrary to its name, rat bite fever can also be caused by exposure to water or food that’s been contaminated with rodent faeces or urine. It’s a bacterial infection, and can also be contracted through rodent bites.
The problem with rat bite fever is the wound may not always be visible by the time you get sick. If left untreated, it can cause deep infections and even sepsis. Again, antibiotics are required to fix it up.
Symptoms: Diarrhoea, fever, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, body aches and lethargy.
There are several forms of gastrointestinal infections you can get from mice and rats. Some of these include salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis. Contaminated food surfaces are often the cause, and rodents love scurrying over food prep areas for crumbs. Most of the time these bacterial infections are just unpleasant, but in rare cases can lead to severe illness.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection
Symptoms: Influenza-like illness, headache and meningism (neck stiffness and pain when looking at light).
This is a particularly nasty infection and is often caused by coming into contact with urine, faeces or saliva of infected rodents. Symptoms may just be mild, but in some cases can lead to meningitis, which is an infection of the fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord. It is also extremely dangerous for pregnant women.
How to avoid illness caused by rodents
The best way to avoid diseases that rodents carry is to get rid of the problem quickly. If you find mice or rats at your home, call a professional pest control service immediately and make sure the problem is managed.
In addition, keep food preparation surfaces clean at all times, don’t leave food scraps or crumbs around the house, and always maintain good hygiene such as washing your hands.
Total Termite & Pest Control recommend an annual pest treatment visit, to ensure that your treatment is always up to date and active, preventing any pests from re-establishing themselves.