Sep 11, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Rodent Diseases

Everything You Need to Know About Rodent Diseases

Mice are hide-and-go-seek extraordinaires, avoiding your eyeline while building a family of tens to hundreds within your walls or a barely used cupboard in the spare room. Annoying, scream-inducing and a little bit yuck (there’s something stomach turning about finding tiny bite marks all over a biscuit you’re about to devour), mice are more than a furry inconvenience. They have the potential to be dangerous additions to your home or office; the diseases mice carry can cause anything from fatal respiratory distress and enduring neurological damage to fevers, tummy bugs and joint pain. All it takes is the presence of one mouse or rat to kick off a chain reaction that you can’t take back with disastrous consequences.

But how do you know if the rat you run into is a plague rat or a tularemia mouse? You don’t. Diseased rodents don’t look any different than non-diseased rodents. We recommend a better safe than sorry approach – reach out to Canberra Pest Control at the first sign of sneaking, squeaking presence and avoid the following list of diseases:

  •         Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
  •         Leptospirosis
  •         Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)
  •         Plague
  •         Rat-Bite Fever
  •         Salmonellosis
  •         Tularemia

How do rats and mice transfer disease?

Unlike cockroaches, rodents can directly transmit disease by biting or scratching humans. Don’t let the big ears and little eyes fool you, mice and rats aren’t the sweet little things of Disney movies, they’re carriers of infections, transferring dangerous pathogens through their urine, poop, saliva, hair, danger and nesting materials. Even rodent parasites like lice and fleas can pass on infections for them, so while you deal with your mice and rat issue, ensure parasitic species are also shown the door. Let’s take a closer look at each method of transmission:

Rodent Droppings and Urine

Can rat droppings make you sick? Yes, consuming or inhaling even a minute amount of rodent excrement can introduce some beastly bacteria and pathogenic nasties into the human body. And these little guys poop a lot – a mature mouse moves his bowels up to 75 times per day!

Rodent Saliva

You’ve accidentally left a cake uncovered on the bench or maybe you’ve come back for a second serving of dinner… you don’t notice anything wrong; the house mouse was smart enough to eat from the sides, leaving little trace of its presence. You unintentionally share a bite with said rodent, consuming their saliva and with it, a host of potential diseases.

Hair, Dander and Nesting Materials

Hair, dander and nesting materials can be a nightmare for your respiratory tract, particularly if they find their way into your lungs via your mouth or nose. Not only will you struggle to breathe directly following the incident, but there’s a decent chance those same infections will be absorbed into your systems on the way down. Stay away from rodent nests unless you’re a qualified pest control expert for the safety and sanity of your family.

Handle with Care: Although we’re sure you never would, never pick up a rodent without protective gloves. After use, throw used gloves in the bin outside and wash your hands up to your elbows.

Lice and Fleas

Lice and fleas are irritating vehicles of disease for a range of animals, consuming infected blood before landing on human skin and passing on the infection.

Are Mouse Bites Dangerous?

A rodent bite can have potentially serious consequences thanks to a long list of diseases and infections carried in their saliva. We know, it’s the last thing you want to hear when you’re already afraid of their wandering little feet in the middle of the night, but there’s some good news. Mice and to a lesser extent rats, only bite humans when they feel cornered and threatened without a means of escape. They certainly won’t break into your bedroom, find a juicy toe and chow down just because they can!

Rodent Bite Treatment

Mice and rats can be scary. It doesn’t how small they are, there’s something about their claws and teeth that inspire panicked reactions around the world. If you’re bitten, however, try to remain calm and attend to the wound as soon as possible by following this DIY treatment plan:

  •         Use warm water and a gentle soap to clean the wound and clear any debris from the bite site.
  •         Break out the first aid kit and apply hydrogen peroxide followed by a soothing antibacterial cream.
  •         Bandage firmly and contact your GP for a tetanus booster.

How Do You Know if You’ve Contracted a Serious Infection?

Post-bite, generally well people apply a watch-and-wait approach, attending an emergency department if any of the following symptoms appear:

  •         Worsening pain
  •         Fever
  •         Increasing redness and streaks radiating from the bite area
  •         Swollen lymph nodes
  •         Cellulitis (redness, heat, swelling and tenderness around the bite)

If the victim was elderly, very small (babies and toddlers) or suffering from a weakened immune system, ring your local GP or emergency department for advice immediately.

Go Pro – Talk to Canberra Pest Control today

Minimise the risk of rodent-borne diseases threatening your family. Get in touch with Canberra Pest Control and find out more about our quality guaranteed service.