Diseases Brought by Rodents
If we think about rodents, we often think of one thing, rats. But the term is actually an umbrella for other species. Apart from rats, rodents also include mice, squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, porcupines, beavers, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.
Did you know that rodents are the largest group of mammals? Forty-one percent of mammal species are rodents. They are found everywhere, from the Eastern to the Western Seaborg except in Antarctica.
Rodents have sharp oversized teeth and check teeth which they used for chewing, gnawing and biting predators. The problem is that they chew all things available to them making great damage in homes and businesses. Imagine being the owner of a very successful hotel. One of your main problems would be the infestation of rodents. It could put an end to your career.
Diseases brought by rodents
Unfortunately, these furry mammals do not only cause damage to properties, but they also bring harm to human health. Rodents carry a wide range of disease including viruses and bacteria. They also carry diseases indirectly through ectoparasites such as fleas, lice, and mites.
Usually, a person acquires a disease through direct and indirect contact of their urine and excrement. If you breathe dust that is mixed with the feces and urine of rodents, it could put you in a compromising situation. This is also true when you accidentally lick or eat something that is infested by these creatures. According to nurses, there are also cases when the droppings of rodents get in contact with an open wound. This causes diseases to human beings as well.
Below is a summary of some of the most common diseases associated with rodents: Hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, tularemia, plague, and rat-bite fever.
The Hantavirus was first known in 1993 in the Four Corners region of the United States but is now primarily found in the Western United States. The virus is often carried by the white mouse, deer rat, the cotton rat, and the rice rat.
The virus is often transmitted to humans when an infected rodent’s urine and droppings get mixed up and become an airborne disease when breathed in. I should warn you, this virus is very life-threatening. As of this moment, there is no known cure, nor vaccine. The symptoms of Hantavirus include fever, muscle pain. It may also include diarrhea and vomiting.
The next illness brought by rodents is called Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM. This is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease caused by the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). LCM is often carried by the common house mouse.
Exposure to fresh urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials from infected rodents is the common cause of transmission. The Infection brought by the disease is more common in the colder months when rodents aim to look for a warmer place to stay. It can also be directly introduced into open skin, including the nose, the eyes, and the mouth or even through the bite of an infected rodent.
The infection of LCM has two stages:
The first stage has symptoms that include high fever, malaise, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Less frequent symptoms include sore throat, cough, joint pain, chest pain, testicular pain, and salivary gland pain. The second stage of illness is influenced by neurologic disease. Symptoms may include meningitis encephalitis or meningoencephalitis. Most patients who acquired the neurological disease from the virus survive but the infections and damages in the central nervous system seem to be irretrievable.
Moreover, pregnant women who become infected with LCM may transfer the infection to her child. Infections may result in serious and permanent birth defects, such as vision problems, mental retardation, and hydrocephaly, characterized by an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain.
The third most common disease from rodents is known as Salmonellosis from the Salmonella bacterium. The infection is usually through the ingestion of food and water contaminated with rodent feces and urine.
The symptoms of Salmonellosis usually include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Did you know that Typhoid is another strain of salmonellosis? It is considered a more severe strain. This is characterized by the spread of infection from your intestines to your lymphatic system. This fever (typhoid fever) is more prevalent in developing countries, affecting up to 27 million people a year.
Next, the Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe between 1347 and 1351. It is caused by the notorious bacterium Yersinia Pestis. The Plague bacteria spread through flea bites. If an infected rat dies, fleas will need to seek other sources of blood- including humans and other pets such as dogs and cats. Exposure to flea bite results in bubonic plague. The symptoms are fever, headache, and painful lymph node (called buboes).
The Plague’s transmission is caused by the human contact to a rodent-contaminated fluid. This may result in a septicemic plague which is characterized by diarrhea, delirium, extreme weakness, bleeding in the skin and other organs
The disease can be treated by common antibiotics from the drug store. However, if the illness is not treated immediately, it can result in serious illness or death. To avoid such a horrific incident, consult a doctor immediately when you start to observe the symptoms.
Another disease brought by rodents is called Tularemia. This is widely distributed and in many parts of the United States except in Hawaii. Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Frencisellatularensis. These bacteria have the power to enter your body through the eyes and skin especially when you get in contact with an animal infected by the bacteria. Tularemia is a life-threatening illness and is very infectious. Although this can be treated by the common antibiotics, you would not want yourself to suffer the symptoms.
The most common form of the disease is the ulceroglandular. It is a form of skin ulcer that appears at the site where the organism entered the body. This is eventually accompanied by swelling, in the armpit or groin. Another form of tularemia is an oropharyngeal infection. It results from consuming infected food or water. Symptoms of oropharyngeal tularemia are mouth ulcers, inflammation of the tonsils, and swelling of lymph glands in the neck.
The more serious form of tularemia is the pneumonic infection that is caused by inhaling the bacteria. The Symptoms include cough and chest pain. Did you know that when a person has Tularemia, he could have a fever that can reach as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit?
When a rat is infected with the Spirillum minus and Streptobacillus bacteria, it causes Rat-Bite Fever when it bites or scratches the victim. A person may also acquire this illness by accidentally ingesting the urine and droppings of rodents infected by the bacteria. The virus could induce the swelling of the internal organs that can lead to brain, heart, and lung infection. Symptoms include vomiting, skin rash, fever, and muscle pain.
The presence of rodents in our surroundings indeed brings many dangers to our health. Although most of the diseases mentioned above can be treated with a timely diagnosis and are alleviated by antibiotics, prevention is still better than cure.
Control tips for Rodents
- Identify what kind of rodents you are dealing with. Proper identification can help you choose a control method.
- Destroy nesting materials, travel pathways and water sources especially food to stop rodents from coming. If possible, keep food in sealed containers, cans, tins, or heavy plastic jars to prevent rodents, remember they have teeth specialized for gnawing and chewing.
- Open garbage bin, spilled drinks, leaky faucets, and pet food can attract rodents.
- Put up a fence in your for garden areas. The type of fence and placement depends on the species of rodents.
- Sanitation is a must. Avoid hoarding, this would attract rodents. Remove clutter inside and outside. Keep your house neat and clean.
- Set up traps early. Estimate how many traps you will put or make from the suspected number of rodents.
- Clear or trim trees and vegetation growing along walls or near the house.
- Traps can be effective for reducing rodent numbers.
- Call a professional if electrical wire or equipment is infested or destroyed.
- Set aside rodents by fixing up or covering holes, cracks, and crevices larger an inch than the hole.
- Expect occasional trap failure. Prepare more additional back-up traps.
Seek for the Best Pest Control Service
I happen to know the best pest control service in Mooresville that can provide everything you need to exterminate rodents in your house. This company has been providing service for more than 50 years and has done nothing more but to provide competent and high-quality service.
If you are looking for somebody who can take care of your rodent problems, Lake Norman Pest Control is your go-to exterminator. Their staff comprises of highly-trained individuals who give their 100% to do their duties and responsibilities. All at a very affordable price. With their help, all you need to do is relax and everything will soon fall into place. All thanks to Lake Norman Pest Control.