As the weather has gotten cooler, rodents such as squirrels, rats and mice are moving indoors, nesting in attics, basements, walls, pantries and other locations out of sight. With little needed to eat and nesting materials gathered from ceiling insulation, shredded paper, cardboard and other household items, it doesn't take much for a few rodents to settle in. Unfortunately, rodent populations grow quickly and the presence of nuisance wildlife in the house carries a host of issues. One such concern is the danger of the disease and parasites rodents carry in with them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents spread more than 35 diseases worldwide, through both direct and indirect contact. These diseases can be harmful to humans, especially young children and older individuals with weak immune systems. While diseases transmitted directly by rodent bites are rare, viruses like the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome are spread through direct contact with the rodents, their droppings or urine, or the inhaling of dust that contains these droppings. Salmonellosis is a bacterial food poisoning caused by the consumption of food infected by rodent droppings. Other viruses are caused by parasites rodents carry on them. For instance, Lyme disease and Babesiosis are caused by the bite of an infected tick, often transported into houses on the bodies of nuisance wildlife. The shedding of hair by rodents can also spread dangerous pathogens throughout a home's air systems and onto your furniture and your pets' fur coats.
The spread of Hantavirus at Yosemite this summer is a reminder of what can happen when rodents inhabit where people live or stay. During the summer of 2012, Hantavirus killed three of the nine people confirmed affected, and more studies continue to reinforce the disease's reach. While Hantavirus cannot be transmitted between humans, it can be transmitted through droppings, urine and rodent saliva, and in confined areas such as cabins, it can be inhaled by exposed humans.
When it comes to health, rodent eviction is extremely important. Through the months of October and November, rodent reports will rise significantly, especially in cooler regions. While mice, rats and other nuisance wildlife can do a significant amount of destruction to your home, it's important to solve your infestations before they grow and before your health is put in jeopardy.
Find out more information from Catseye Pest Control on rats and mice. If you think you have new rodent roommates, don't wait for them to make a mess of your house or your health.