In North America, the black rat, the brown rat, and the house mouse are the most serious of the disease-carrying rodents that are able to infect humans. Approximately two-fifths of mammals are rodents, and these pests represent real health hazards to humans. Rodents are unique in that they have a pair of constantly growing incisors in both the upper and lower jaws. To maintain their ability to open and close their mouths, rodents must continually gnaw on hard surfaces, food sources and to burrow out shelters in the ground or housing foundations.
How Rodents Spread Disease
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are more than three dozen human diseases attributable to rats, mice, and the ticks, fleas, and mites that live on or have fed on the rodents. Diseases are spread to humans by the handling of rodents without protective gloves and masks. Humans can also contract ailments by direct handling of or breathing in of rodent saliva, urine, and excrement. Other health hazards include: breathing in airborne dust that has been contaminated by rodents; eating or drinking contaminated food or water; and through the skin by the use of contaminated liquids. Infections can also result from direct rodent bites or scratches.
Types of Rodent Health Hazards
Some rodent-transmitted health hazards are more serious in nature and may result in permanent disabilities or even death. Below are a few of the most dangerous rodent and rodent parasite-transmitted ailments.
- Bubonic Plague
- Colorado Tick Fever
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis
- Murine Typhus
- Rat Bite Fever
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
How to Prevent Rodent Health Hazards
The first method of defense in preventing rodent health hazards is to secure your property from potential infestations. Some easy strategies include sealing off outside entryways that rodents may find inviting, placing traps in rodent desirable areas, and using masks and gloves when cleaning up rodent droppings, urine, or bodies. Thoroughly wash your hands and clothes after contact with rodents or their remains.
Get Professional Assistance
The best protection against rodent problems for yourself, your family and your property is to call a pest control professional. Don’t wait for a problem to develop when you can be proactive. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.