Different Diseases And Problems Associated With Rat And Mice Infestations

In any home, the presence of rats and mice can be a great nuisance. These rodents have learned to live in the presence of humans both in urban and rural areas. They may be small in size but they are capable of causing vast amounts of damage and are carriers of disease. These rodents find food and shelter in buildings and homes causing an infestation of rats or mice in a matter of weeks or months. This is associated with a great number of problems that people have to face.

Facts About Rats

The two common types of rat found to live amongst us is the Norway Rat (brown rat) and the Roof rat (black rat). Rats are nocturnal rodents particularly found in urban areas. They can be found indoors, outdoors and sewers. The rat is a large rodent weighing about 300 grams. Rats are omnivores and feed on anything they find. They consume about 30 grams of food daily. 

Facts About Mice

Mice are typically found as the common house mice but field mice can be found in rural areas. Found in both rural and urban areas, this rodent is quite small and weighs around 15 grams. They are nocturnal just like rats and prefer to feed on seeds and grains but can destroy large areas of crops as they have a habit of discarding half eaten items. However, they can only consume about 3 grams of food per day.

Problems Caused By Rats And Mice

Rats and mice can easily enter any building or home. They only need a small hole or a small crack to make their way in. Both these rodents usually scavenge around your home in search of food and when accessed they will contaminate them with their urine and feces. These droppings can pose a dangerous risk to our health. Probably the most annoying issue is that both these rodents chew on anything they come across. This can range from electrical wires, curtains, wooden furniture, clothes and paper. Chewing on electric wires and cables can be dangerous and is a fire hazard and the repair process will be a very costly one. 

These rodents can cause additional problems as many of them carry fleas and mites on them that can get passed onto your household. In addition they can cause injuries to humans. Some humans get scared at the sight of a rat and mice and injure themselves with broken bones or fractures. Both these rodents produce offspring in abundance and if they have built their nest in your home, you will have more than one rodent to deal with and trapping them all will become a bigger problem.

Diseases Caused By Rats And Mice

Having been responsible for causing some of the most damaging outbreaks of all times rats and mice are known to carry and transmit about 55 different types of diseases. One of the most deadly diseases that these rats can cause is the bubonic plague. They are transferred by a bite of an infected rat or rat fleas. This disease is fatal and can lead to death as soon as symptoms begin to appear. Another devastating disease is the Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The disease is transmitted by inhaling air droplets from rodent urine and feces. The result is very severe respiratory complications and kidney disease leading to death at times. Salmonellosis is food poisoning caused when rat or mice droppings make contact with food we consume. It can be a fatal disease in immunocompromized individuals and elderly but in other cases can cause vomiting, abdominal cramps and nausea for up to a week. 

Another disease transmitted through the urine of these rodents is Leptospirosis and cause fever and jaundice. If this isn’t treated it can lead to kidney damage, liver damage and meningitis. Rickettsialpox is transmitted through the bite of infected mites and symptoms include fever, aching muscles, fatigue and rash. Although not fatal, treatment is essential. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a viral disease and is transmitted from the urine and saliva of rats and mice. Fever, muscle aches, nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting are some symptoms the disease. Sometimes inflammation of the central nervous system occurs and leads to meningitis which can be fatal. Apart from these diseases, Rat bite fever, Tularemia and Lyme disease are others that are associated with rats and mice. 

Prevention Of Disease

In order to avoid any disease from being passed on, all rat and mice urine and feces must be removed when you come across them. If you find any nest material they should be discarded in air tight bags. All suspected areas should be disinfected thoroughly before clearing to prevent airborne transmission of some diseases. It is best to use gloves and be cautious when handling contaminated food and rodent material.