The Dangers of Rodent Infestations

A rodent infestation can rear its ugly head in many different ways. You might go up into your attic and be greeted by the powerful, foul-smelling scent of rodent urine. You might slide open a drawn in your kitchen and find that it is filled with rodent droppings. You might see a padded nest in the corner of the storage room above your garage as you’re moving boxes around. You may even have the misfortune seeing a mouse scurry across your kitchen floor and disappear under your refrigerator. However, how you discover that you have mice or rats living in your home is not nearly as important as understanding what it means to have rodents taking up residence inside your home.

Mice and rats chew holes for a variety of reasons. They may chew them to get into your home, to gain access to food storage rooms, or sometimes just to file down their constantly-growing incisors. But this chewing behavior can:

  • Create holes in your exterior walls that allow other pests into your home as well as allow heat or cool air to escape.
  • Damage building materials inside your home which can also allow warm or cool air to escape.
  • Damage live wires in your home which can lead to a house fire.
  • Allow rainwater to get into your home and cause water damage and mold.

Mice and rats are just as comfortable in a dumpster as they are in your pantry. This makes them a mechanical vector for a variety of harmful bacteria. When they bring these bacteria into your home, they can:

  • Contaminate the food in your cabinets and pantry.
  • Taint the dishes in your cabinets and silverware drawers.
  • Taint your cutting boards and other food-prep surfaces.

Mice and rats are biological vectors for human pathogens. Some of the most noteworthy pathogens spread by rodents are hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, plague, and tularemia.

  • Hantavirus is a virus that can progress to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). This is a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal.
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a rodent-borne viral infection that can have serious symptoms. It can also be spread to the unborn children of pregnant women if they become infected with LCMV.
  • While plague is certainly not as dangerous as it was in Europe during the Middle Ages, it is still a threat. It can make a person very sick and, in rare cases, even lead to death.
  • Tularemia is a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. The most common form of this disease is ulceroglandular disease which is accompanied by a regional swelling of the lymph glands.

Mice and rats can often bring parasites into a home. As if it isn’t bad enough to have rodents crawling around inside your walls and getting into your food, these rodents can also be the start of a flea, tick, lice, or mite infestation! And not only can these parasites be tormenting, they can also bring their own list of illnesses into a home such as Lyme disease, alpha-gal allergy, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, bartonellosis, spotted fever, cat scratch disease, Murine typhus, and more.

Since mice and rats present so many health risks and other issues, it is essential to hire a licensed professional to control them. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Pest control professionals are trained to inspect homes for the presence of rodents and monitor for rodent activity. Mice and rats are timid and don’t prefer to be seen. This can lead you to think that your infestation has been arrested and allow for problems to persist, particularly illness.
  • Pest control professionals know which products work. There is an endless sea of rodent-control products available. However, if you choose the wrong ones, not only will you be wasting your money, you could be setting yourself of for continued infestation!
  • Pest control professionals know how to apply these control products. It is possible to get the right rodent-control products and still have no success in removing the rodents from your home. This is because rodents are suspicious of new things placed in their environment. Traps must be placed in a way that overcomes this defensive behavior.
  • Pest control professionals will make sure the job is done. If you get the right traps and place them in the right locations and in the right way, you may catch rodents. But catching rodents is only one part of the solution. Those rodents need to be kept out as well!

For assistance with professional rodent control in Topeka, KS and the surrounding area, click here.

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