There are many reasons that a rodent infestation is a homeowner’s worst nightmare: Structural damage, costly repairs, contaminated food and insulation, and rapid reproduction rates, to name a few. As temperatures drop and close encounters with mice and rats become more common, it is also critical to be aware of the diseases these pests can spread to humans. Here’s what you should know about rodent-borne diseases in New England.
Types of Diseases
Hantavirus: A virus that is primarily transmitted when rodent waste or nesting materials are disturbed, allowing the virus to become airborne. It can also spread via rodent bites or contaminated food.
Rat Bite Fever: As its name indicates, rat bite fever is contracted through a bite or scratch from an infected rodent. It can also be transmitted through contact with a dead rodent or consuming contaminated food or water.
Salmonella: A bacteria that is passed to humans via contact with food or surfaces contaminated with rodent waste.
Plague: Plague bacteria is most often spread by infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with rodents or their waste. Pneumonic plague, the only plague that can be spread person to person, is developed after inhaling the bacteria.
Lyme Disease: Mice can indirectly spread Lyme disease to humans; when a tick feeds on a mouse carrying the bacteria, it can then infect a human host. Additionally, a mouse entering your home could be carrying dozens of infected ticks on its body.
How to Protect Yourself
Hands Off! Avoid handling rodents. If contact with mice or rats is necessary, wear proper protective gear such as gloves and masks. Disinfect the area and wash hands thoroughly afterward.
Pest Proofing: Seal cracks and crevices in foundation and walls, ensure screens are secure and close completely, and close off access points around utility chases and pipes to prevent rodents entering your home.
Professional Help: While there are many DIY options for rodent control, it is not recommended to tackle this problem completely on your own. Pest Management Professionals are trained in the safe removal and prevention of rodent infestations.
The experts at Burgess Pest Management have nearly a century of experience conquering rodent problems of all kinds. We come armed with the latest technology and a variety of services to Protect Your Pad from mice and rats: From Pad Protection Plans, to Home Sealer and Sanitizer + Insulation Cleanout, now with the option of TAP® Insulation for added pest protection, the Burgess team has your back.