Hairy Problems: 5 Health Risks of a Rodent Infestation
Since time immemorial, people have been at war with household pests, and today is no different. However, of all of the pests that can invade your home, rodents present the biggest problem. These animals do more than make a mess of your home. They’re also a serious risk to your health. Here are five health risks associated with a rodent infestation.
If you’re constantly suffering from indoor allergies, mold and dust may not be solely to blame. Rodents are common allergy triggers for many people. When you have even a small infestation, fur, dander, feces and urine disperse into the air you breathe. In some severe cases, these can also trigger asthma attacks in people who are prone to them.
Mice and rats are natural carriers of many parasites. Perhaps the most familiar is fleas, which prey on humans and can quickly spread throughout your house. Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, is also carried by rodents and is of particular danger to pregnant women. These vermin even carry several species of tapeworm, which can be contracted through foods and surfaces contaminated with droppings.
Numerous potentially life-threatening illnesses can stem from a rodent infestation. Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection, is present in rodent urine and can be fatal if left untreated. Bubonic plague is a concern in the western portion of the country and is transmitted by fleas that have preyed on rodents. Hantavirus, however, is the most alarming of these. Nearly every known case has been linked to contact with rodent urine and droppings.
Of course, not all rodent-related illnesses are so severe, and some can leave you wondering if you’ve just eaten bad food. Among these are salmonella and listeria, both of which can cause typical symptoms of food poisoning. Like most rodent pathogens, these come from urine, feces and saliva. While these illnesses will normally pass without treatment, in some cases, they can be severe enough to require hospitalization.
Risk to Pets
When you have a rodent infestation, you’re not the only one at risk. Many of the parasites that infect mice and rats will also gladly prey on pets. Fleas, mites and internal parasites can cause serious health issues in your furry friends, and also increase the risk of becoming infected yourself.
Mice and rats have always been recognized as a serious threat to health. When you’re facing an infestation, it’s critical to eradicate the problem in a timely manner. If you think you might have rodents in your home, you should hire a reputable pest control service to hunt down and eliminate these disease-carrying invaders. Rodent control in Stockton and other large cities is especially important, since metropolitan areas attract mice and rats.