Many of us grew up on cute images of mice in cartoons and movies, but the reality is quite different. Having mice or rats in your home is not simply an annoyance or inconvenience. Rodents can be dangerous to you and your family's health because they often expose humans to disease. Here is a look at three lesser-known health problems these small animals can spread if they are left unchecked
This disease is caused by two separate bacteria. The one that is predominates in the U.S is called streptobacillus moniliformis. Many cases of rat-bite fever are in children as they are generally more likely to be bitten by a rodent. The disease is difficult to detect at first because it often develops well after the initial bite. Fever, chills and pain can occur as much as three weeks after a bite occurs.
The disease can cause significant complications if it is not treated. Fortunately, antibiotics work well against it.
Another disease that rodents can transmit to humans is leptospirosis. In some cases, it causes only minimal health issues, while in other instances serious damage is done to the affected person. Fortunately, most cases fall into the "mild" category. The symptoms tend to resemble the flu. The key in the more severe cases is to catch the disease early and administer a course of antibiotics.
It is not necessary to be bitten by a rodent to catch this disease. It's often spread by simply having skin contact with an infected animal's urine.
Unlike the other two rodent-related diseases examined in this article, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM, is generated by a virus rather than a bacteria. It is transmitted by a wide range of animals, but the most common vector is the house mouse. Contact with the urine and feces of house mice can give you the disease. Antibiotics do not work against LCM because the cause is a virus not a bacteria. Fortunately, patients typically recover without them.
Clearly, having mice or rats in your home is a problem that you must address a soon as possible. The three diseases discussed above, and a host of others, have the potential to negatively affect your family's health. A key first step is to have your house checked by a residential mouse removal company. If the inspectors discover any rodents are using your residence as a base of operations, they have the experience and resources to get rid of these pests for good.