In addition to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, there are a number of serious communicable diseases that you and your family could be exposed to if there is a rodent infestation in your home. This includes leptospirosis, a bacterial disease caused by consuming food or water contaminated by the urine of rodents and other animals. You can also contract this if the bacteria makes contact with your skin or mucous membranes. The symptoms of leptospirosis mimic other illnesses and include muscle aches, red eyes, chills, high fever, abdominal pain and more. Left untreated, this disease can cause liver failure, meningitis, respiratory distress and death.
If you are exposed to rodents in the western U.S., you could get the plague, a bacterial disease contracted after a bite from a rodent flea. The plague can cause headache, chills, fever, weakness, swollen lymph nodes and other symptoms. Prompt medical attention and the appropriate antibiotics can help prevent the spread of this disease throughout the body.
How to Control Rats, Mice and Other Rodents
Avoid leaving materials like wood, paper, and other debris around, materials that rodents can use for nesting. Seal any holes or cracks both inside and outside your home to prevent rodents from getting inside. If you have seen evidence of rodent infestation, place traps in areas around your home.
When cleaning any areas that have been infested, protect yourself with a mask and gloves. Be sure to use a mixture of bleach and water while cleaning infested areas to kill any viruses and bacteria that might be present. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional exterminator if there is further evidence of mice or rats.
Controlling rodents is extremely important to avoid exposure to potentially fatal diseases. This means making a top priority of freeing your home from rodents. Fortunately, many of these preventative measures have the added benefit of protecting against other pests.