3 Diseases Spread by Rodents

cutout photo of a mouse

While rodents such as rats and mice might look harmless, you shouldn’t let them in your home. They can chew through wires, gnaw holes in walls, and eat your food. They can also spread severe illnesses. Review this guide to learn about a few diseases that mice and rats could bring into your home and how rodent removal will keep your family safe.

What Diseases Do Rodents Spread? 

1. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a respiratory disease caused by a virus spread through the urine and droppings of mice and rats. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, dizziness, and chills. As the disease progresses, a chronic cough and shortness of breath may develop. Hantavirus can spread through rodent bites or contaminated food, but it’s most commonly transmitted through the air. When dust or debris containing rodent urine or droppings is disturbed, the virus becomes airborne. If you have rats or mice in your home, garage, or shed, avoid the risk of hantavirus by scheduling rodent removal as soon as possible.

2. Plague

Rodent removal Plague is often transmitted through fleas carried by rodents, but it can also be transmitted by handling body fluids of infected animals. Many different rodents can carry plague, including squirrels, rats, prairie dogs, chipmunks, mice, voles, and rabbits. Symptoms depend on the type of plague. Bubonic plague involves fevers, headaches, chills, and swollen lymph nodes, while septicemic plague causes abdominal pain and black patches of skin. Meanwhile, pneumonic plague results in chest pains, coughing, and pneumonia.

3. Rat Bite Fever (RBF)

As its name suggests, rat bite fever is caused by bacteria spread to humans through rat bites or scratches. It can also be transmitted by eating foods or touching surfaces contaminated by rodent urine or droppings. The bacteria can enter the body through cuts and scrapes in the skin or through the eyes, nose, and mouth. Symptoms include fevers, vomiting, headaches, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rashes. While rats are the primary culprits behind the spread of RBF, mice, guinea pigs, gerbils, and squirrels can also carry the bacteria that cause it.

To avoid illnesses spread by rodents, seal up holes in your home to keep pests out. Remove potential nesting sites such as leaf piles and excess cardboard or paper. Limit access to food sources by keeping garbage cans covered and storing dry goods in glass containers. If you notice signs of an infestation in your home, consult a rodent removal service as soon as possible

Read on to learn what you can do to get rid of rodents like mice or rats from your Port St. Lucie area property: