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Health hazards you can develop from rodents

Abell Pest Control

During the winter especially, it's not uncommon to find rodent droppings around your home, particularly if you live in a rural, country area. It may not seem like anything more than a nuisance to some, but, unfortunately, rodents invading your home can be a little more harmful than you think. In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association, rats and mice can spread more than 35 different diseases. Diseases spread by rodents can be spread directly, from handling dead or live rodents, or indirectly, through other pests such as fleas or ticks that may have come in contact with an infested rodent.

In order to reduce your chance of becoming infected, prevention is key. Removing pests or their droppings as soon as possible is the best way to eliminate the problem before it happens. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, these are some of the most common diseases associated with rodents - such as rats and mice - that may be living and breeding in your home:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome - HPS is a disease transmitted by rodents - living in North and South America - through their urine, saliva and droppings. Humans can attract the disease by simply breathing in air from the contaminated area. To prevent developing this disease, it's important to practice rodent control throughout your home.

  • Leptospirosis - This disease can be spread by rodents worldwide. It develops when you eat food or drink water that has been contaminated by an infected rodent. Water contact through the skin or inside the nose that is contaminated with the urine can also make you develop the disease.

  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis - LCM is a virus that can be spread worldwide through house mice. The disease develops from breathing in dust contaminated with rodents droppings and urine and direct contact with the rodents and their droppings. It can also rarely occur from bite wounds.

  • Rat-Bite Fever - This disease is contracted from rats and possibly mice worldwide. It spreads through consuming food or water that is contaminated by rat droppings. It also develops from a bite or scratch wound from an infected rodent or contact with a dead rodent.

  • Tularemia -This disease is transmitted through wild rodents such as beavers, squirrels and muskrats worldwide. It can be spread through a number of instances, such as being bitten by an infected insect, breathing in the bacteria, drinking or eating contaminated food or water and handling the animals' carcass. If you're removing a dead rodent, be sure to use safety gloves.


About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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