General Contractor Pavel Rombakh Shares Potential Health Concerns from Rodent Infestations
Eek! A mouse! When a furry rodent finds its way into your home, there are plenty of reasons to get pest control on the case or set some traps. Rats or mice can eat your food, damage your home , chew on electrical wiring leading to electrical shorts and fires, and even worse, spread diseases to those in the home, said Pavel Rombakh, a general contractor.
Pavel Rombakh said the most common time to see rodents in the house during the winter, when they seek out a warm, cozy place to spend the winter with lots of food and safety to have their babies. Unfortunately, rats and mice can carry more than 35 diseases, which can be spread to humans and cause serious complications.
Rodents can spread disease in numerous ways:
Through handling live or dead rodents
Through rodent bites
Through rodent feces, urine or saliva
Through fleas or ticks that have bitten an infected rodent
According to the National Pest Management Association, unwelcome rodents enter 21 million homes in the United States every winter— and one of those households could be yours. Pavel Rombakh said the problem is more common than people think, because mice and rats are able to squeeze through tiny spaces to enter a home and sometimes have easy access via a basement or attic. If this happens to you, despite your best efforts to prevent it, it is crucial to get pest control on it as soon as possible, Pavel Rombakh advised.
Here are some of the most common diseases that can be spread by mice and rats.
Hantavirus is typically carried by the deer mouse, white-footed mouse cotton rat and rice rat. The virus is transmitted when particles from rodent urine, droppings or nesting materials are breathed in by inhabitants of the home or if someone eats food contaminated by those substances. Additionally, if a rodent bites someone, the hantavirus can be transmitted.
Symptoms of the hantavirus include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, chills, nausea and vomiting. If left untreated, the virus can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which has a mortality rate of 38%.
Of course, many people are familiar with the plague from the Middle Ages, which made rats infamous for the spread of disease. There has not been an urban outbreak of plague from rats since the 1920s in the United States. However, people are infected by the plague in rural areas in the western United States to this day.
There are many varieties of plague that have different systems. Typically, the plague is spread by the bite of a flea who has been infected. Cats and dogs can bring these fleas into the home, so it’s important to prevent fleas on pets.
Bubonic plague, septicemic plague and pneumonic plague are all serious and can be fatal if untreated, but can be treated with antibiotics.
Tularemia outbreaks are responsible for the deaths of many rodents and rabbits, but then can also be spread to humans through tick and fly bites, ingesting contaminated water or inhaling contaminated dust. This disease is found in most of the United States.
Symptoms include a fever and can also take the form of inflammation of the eye, skin ulcers, sore throat and lymph gland swelling and chest pain, cough and trouble breathing. Tularemia can be treated with antibiotics.
The best way to avoid these and other diseases is to speak with a pest control specialist or general contractor about avoiding infestations of rodents, advised Pavel Rombakh.