What Types of Diseases Do Rodents Carry

Posted by David Outhous on Jan 15, 2020 11:00:00 AM

It’s not only wild rodents that carry disease, but pet rodents can carry disease, too. The most common diseases are leptospirosis, hantavirus, salmonella, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) and tularemia. In addition to introducing disease into your house, wild rodents cause all sorts of damage by chewing on wiring, chewing holes in walls, ripping out insulation and more. If you see one mouse, you can bet there are more. If you can’t get rid of them with traps, call Rich Pro Pest Management for professional rodent control services.

Diseases Spread by Rodents to Humans

Rodent diseases that humans can also get can make you pretty sick. While mice and other rodents can spread many diseases, these are the most common.


The deer mouse, cotton rate, white-footed mouse and rice rat spread hantavirus. This virus is found in North and South America. You can get it by just breathing in the dust from rodent droppings and urine, by touching the rodents or their waste, or by being bit by a rodent carrier.


Rodents carry this bacteria and it is common throughout most places in the world. You can get this bacterial infection by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with rodent urine if the rodent is infected, or by touching soil or water that is contaminated with an infected rodent’s urine.

Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis (LCM)

The house mouse transmits this virus worldwide. You can get it by direct contact with an infected mouse, breathing in the dust that is contaminated with an infected rodent’s droppings or urine, or by being bitten by an infected mouse.


Wild rodents, including ground squirrels, muskrats and beavers carry this bacteria. It is found worldwide. You can get this bacterial infection by handing animal carcasses of infected rodents, if you are bitten by an infected rodent, by breathing in the bacteria or by eating or drinking food and water contaminated by the bacteria.


Rats and mice can transmit salmonellosis. This bacteria is worldwide. You can get this bacterial infection by eating and drinking food and water that is contaminated by mice or rat feces.

Prevention and Control of Rodents

Rodent disease symptoms vary depending on the type of bacterial or viral infection you get. Why do rodents carry so many diseases? Mostly because they will eat just about anything, even if it’s contaminated. Once a rodent is contaminated, it spread the infection to other rodents.

To find out if you have a rodent problem, look for droppings near food, under the sink and in drawers and cupboards. Other signs of rodent infestation include:

  • Shredded paper, plant matter, paper and other material for nesting;

  • Holes in food packages;

  • Stale smells in closed-up areas; and

  • Chew holes in walls and floors.

Make sure you plug up any holes you find and remove leaf and brush piles from outside. Trim shrubs that grow near your home. Keep food and water put up inside and vacuum crumbs off the floor. Make sure your trash cans – inside and out – have tight-fitting lids. If you compost, bury the newly added scraps in the compost pile. If you feed wild birds, buy huskless products – the mice eat whatever the birds drop, including the husks from seeds.

Contact RichPro Pest Management

If you can’t get rid of the rodents in your home by trapping them, contact RichPro Pest Management to help you find their entry points and professionally eradicate them.

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rodent control