If you've ever discovered a nest of shredded paper in your basement, found droppings under the sink, or noticed chew marks on food wrappers in your pantry, you're not alone. Studies show that 37 percent of Americans have spotted a rodent in their homes within the past year, and more than 21 million homes experience a rodent invasion every winter!
Unfortunately, rodent infestations are more than just an inconvenience... they're a health menace. Wild rodents, such as mice and rats, carry a number of diseases that threaten human health. Around the world, rodents are responsible for spreading more than 30 types of illnesses.
Let's look at some common rodent diseases and learn how rodent control can prevent health risks.
Rodents spread illness in multiple ways, all stemming from rodent infestations. Diseases spread by rats to humans may be contracted through:
- Coming in contact with rodent droppings, urine, or saliva
- Rodent bites
- Ticks, mites, or fleas that have been in contact with infected rodents
- Handling pet or wild rodents
Common diseases spread by rat droppings and rodents include:
- Hantavirus: Spreads through dust and causes respiratory, kidney and blood issues
- Leptospirosis: Bacterial infection with wide range of symptoms
- Lymphocytic chorio-meningitis: Viral infection that may lead to neurological problems
- Plague: Caused by bacteria, often transmitted through flea bites
- Tularemia: Bacterial infection that causes fever, skin ulcers and glandular issues
- Salmonellosis: Bacterial infection that affects gastrointestinal tract
Along with the diseases caused by rat droppings, rodent feces and urine may contaminate food, leading to a risk of food-borne illness. In addition, people who have asthma or respiratory issues have higher chances of getting sick from mouse droppings, as rodent feces can make allergies worse.
Rodent Infestation Cleanup
These serious health concerns highlight how important is it to eliminate rodent infestations... and why staying safe when cleaning up after rodents is a challenge best left to the experts. It's easy to see how the chances of getting sick from mouse droppings increase during clean-up efforts, given what's involved in rodent infestation cleanup.
First, all affected areas should be aired out. When cleaning, gloves and protective masks should be worn at all times. However, dust masks won't protect against the hantavirus, which spreads by breathing in contaminated dust. To prevent airborne illness, avoid sweeping or vacuuming affected areas.
Instead, soak contaminated areas with a bleach solution. Then clean up debris and dispose of nesting material, droppings, dead rodents, and cleaning materials in a sealed plastic bag. Nests and dead rodents should be double bagged, then disposed of in a covered garbage container.
Contact RichPro Pest Management
Rodents many be tiny, but they cause big health problems. From disease to property damage, rodent infestation isn't an issue to take lightly. But controlling rodents through DIY methods is difficult to impossible, thanks to the potential for exposure to rodent diseases.
RichPro Pest Management is here to help! Our experienced team of rodent control professionals are experts at eliminating rodent infestations from homes and commercial properties.
When you need help ridding your Richmond or central Virginia home of rodents, simply call RichPro Pest Management. Our licensed, certified team has specialized in rodent control and rodent infestation cleanup since 1975. Whether you're a homeowner or a commercial property manager, contact us today.