Clegg's Blog

What health hazards do I need to be aware of when it comes to rodents?

Apodemus_sylvaticus_bosmuisIn North America, the black rat, the brown rat and the house mouse are the most serious of the disease carrying rodents that are able to infect humans. Approximately two-fifths of mammals are rodents and these pests represent real health hazards to humans. Rodents are unique in that they have a pair of constantly growing incisors in both the upper and lower jaws. To maintain their ability to open and close their mouths; rodents must continually gnaw on hard surfaces, food sources and to burrow out shelters in the ground or housing foundations.

How Rodent Diseases Are Spread

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are more than three dozen human diseases attributable to rats, mice, and the ticks, fleas and mites that live on or have fed on the rodents. Diseases are spread to humans by the handling of rodents without protective gloves and masks. Humans can also contract ailments by direct handling of or breathing in of rodent saliva, urine, and excrement. Other health hazards include: breathing in airborne dust that has been contaminated by rodents; eating or drinking contaminated food or water; and through the skin by the use of contaminated liquids. Infections can also result from direct rodent bites or scratches.

Types of Rodent Health Hazards

Some rodent transmitted health hazards are more serious in nature and may result in permanent disabilities or even death. Below are a few of the most dangerous rodent and rodent parasite transmitted ailments.

  • Bubonic Plague
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Lyme
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis
  • Murine Typhus
  • Rat Bite Fever
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Salmonellosis

Prevention of Rodent Health Hazards

The first method of defense in preventing rodent health hazards is to secure your property from potential infestations. Three available avenues are to: seal off outside entryways that rodents may find inviting; place traps in rodent desirable areas; and use masks and gloves when cleaning up rodent droppings, urine or bodies. Thoroughly wash your hands and clothes after contact with rodents or their remains.

Professional Assistance

The best protection against rodent problems for yourself, your family and your property is to call a pest control professional. Don’t wait for a problem to develop when you can be proactive. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

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