Mouse Infestation Health Risks: More Serious Than You Might Think
When buying a home, you can expect a certain number of obligations. To be sure, you can expect to have to do a run-through of the house’s appliances; to check and make sure that it’s as clean as you would expect it to be. However, you may have to further check to make sure that your house doesn’t have any pests — especially if you’re buying an older home, which may be more prone to certain levels of wear and tear that you wouldn’t find in new construction houses. The fact is that older houses can be prone not only to insects like termites and fleas, but rodents as well. A mouse infestation is a very different thing to worry about, compared to a flea or termite infestation — however horrible each issue may be to deal with. But there are certain mouse infestation health risks to worry about that you wouldn’t have to necessarily consider with insect infestations. Although fleas, ticks, and other insects can be disturbing, they don’t share the same problems as mouse infestations health risks exhibit. Mouse infestation health risks can affect everyone in the house — not only adults but children as well — and must be taken seriously. This is why, as seriously as you should take any and all pest issues, you should consider rodent infestations even more so.
For that matter, if you’ve been dealing with a mouse infestation without even necessarily realizing it, you must be proactive about the mouse infestation health risks that you may have already been unknowingly exposed to. It’s important to be in touch with pest control services immediately, to not only eradicate the pests that are already in your home but also receive professional advice on the health problems you may have been exposed to. While you don’t necessarily need to go to the hospital preemptively, you should be cautious about the mouse infestation health risks that you may be dealing with. Be careful — and think about all the places in your home that a rodent infestation may have affected. Let’s look into how you can take care of a rodent infestation and what health problems you should be on the lookout for.
Where Do Rodents Invade Your Home?
Although pest issues can occur in any space, they’re especially prominent in older homes, precisely because they’re more prone to siding and foundation erosion. Pests, particularly rodents, take advantage of this type of erosion and invade wherever they can. Of course, these types of problems can occur more rapidly in homes that are poorly constructed. It’s important to be up front with your real estate agent when buying a new home — question them about pest control issues that existed in the home before you buy it, and be honest about your concerns regarding mouse infestation health risks. For that matter, remember that you need to have a home inspected before you buy it. A home inspector can often bring up areas of concern, and sometimes even discover pest infestations before you move in. While it may be awkward to bring up mouse infestation health risks before you buy a home, you’re perfectly within your rights to do so. It’s better to be honest about the worries you may have, rather than finding out about a mouse problem later.
When it comes to where you should look for pest problems and mouse infestation health risks, you should start with the kitchen. While some pests will target any area in the home, rodents in particular are drawn to places where warmth and food sources are concentrated, like in cabinets. This will, of course, lead you to the kitchen and dining rooms. Living rooms can also be common targets for rodents, as they’re often heat sources — as well as the primary locations for fireplaces and soft carpet.
While you should be especially concerned if you’re a homeowner, renters also need to feel free to ask about mouse infestation health risks. You may very well move into a rental quickly, without looking into these issues — but if you become concerned about them after noticing telltale signs in your kitchen, living room, or beyond, you need to report them immediately. You have the right to feel safe, clean, and healthy in the home you’re living, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter.
What Are The Signs Of Rodent Infestations?
It may be difficult to prevent rodents from touching your home entirely. If you’ve moved into a house and have noticed a few mouse droppings here and there, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to start worrying about mouse infestation health risks. But you should be on the lookout for signs that could indicate a more serious rodent infestation at play — and you need to be in touch with professional pest control services as soon as possible if that’s the case. Don’t hesitate to go ahead and call pest control — once a rodent infestation becomes that noticeable, you shouldn’t waste any more time!
Of course, droppings are perhaps the most obvious signs of a rodent infestation. You’ll probably notice them in your kitchen, or as previously mentioned surrounding heat sources in your home. You should also look at your furniture and insulation. You may notice some signs of rodents chewing around these areas. Most rodents have sharp teeth, and their gnawing is quite easy to see over time. Rodents have also been known to chew around windows, in order to easily burrow in and out of homes. Hopefully, you’ll notice these types of signs before you’re exposed to any serious mouse infestation health risks. However, if there have been rodents in your home long enough for them to make these types of impacts, it may be too late — and you may want to consider scheduling a check-up at the doctor’s office, just to be sure that you and your family are safe and healthy.
What Are Common Mouse Infestation Health Risks?
So — what are some mouse infestation health risks that you should be careful about if your home has been plagued by rodents? Many people are under the impression that mice and other rodents are just pests — nothing to be overly concerned about. In fact, lots of people don’t bother with looking into the different health problems posed by rodent infestations. They focus instead on the threats that rodents pose to the physical aspects of their homes. However, rodents happen to invade most homes during the winter — which makes it even easier for them to pose health risks. They’re especially problematic to homes that house the young and elderly, as well as those whose immune systems have been compromised by disease. If you’re already dealing with the flu or a cold, you may be more vulnerable to the diseases brought in by mice and other rodents.
Unfortunately, it’s true that mice and other rodents often bring with them a variety of different viruses. The hantavirus is one such disease, and it’s potentially life-threatening. The white-footed deer mouse is the primary carrier of the hantavirus among rodents, and they transmit it through their saliva, droppings, and urine. Dizziness, chills, and abdominal issues are classic symptoms of the hantavirus — and if you become aware of rodents in your house, you should be aware of them. Something you may brush off as the flu could be the hantavirus — which may have a far greater impact on your health than any other type of virus you might carry. You may not have heard of the hantavirus — but chances are that you’ve heard of salmonella, a type of food poisoning. While salmonella can be transmitted through tainted food, you can also contract it through exposure to rodent droppings. If you’re exposed to salmonella — characterized through fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain — you may attribute it to eating food that wasn’t properly cooked. However, it could be traced back to mouse infestation health risks. Rat bite fever, as you can imagine, is another disease that can be traced back to rodent infestations. Potentially fatal, it is either spread by the infected rodents directly, or by the consumption of food that has been contaminated by such rodents. Fever, vomiting, headaches, rashes, and muscle pain are associated with this particular rodent-born disease. If left untreated, it could cause death. With that being said, it’s not quite as famous as a disease that many people think is long-gone — the bubonic plague. Sometimes referred to as the Black Death, this disease eradicated a large portion of the European population and is often connected to rodents and mice, though it’s more specifically spread through fleas carried by rodents. Fever, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes characterize this disease, which is rare but still present. In fact, it has been diagnosed as recently as 2012. If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek out immediate care.
What Should I Do About Rodent Infestations?
If you’re at all concerned about the health risks associated with mice and other rodents, you need to be proactive. Visit emergency care if need be, or a hospital. While many of the diseases transmitted by rodents are treatable, they will be significantly less so if you wait too long before seeking help. But whether or not you and your loved ones receive a clean bill of health from the doctor, your next step should be to eradicate the pest issue from your home.
Now, there are homemade remedies available for rodent problems. Often, pest control service providers themselves advise keeping a cat in the house to ward away rodents (though these same cats can often fall prey to insect pests, like fleas). With that being said, you cannot rely solely on yourself to take care of pests. Yes, you can set individual mouse traps. But this is often a painstaking process, killing rodents one by one. It’s not efficient, and it can also be difficult to deal with, both on a practical level and an emotional level. If you’re not comfortable with dealing with the mouse traps, that’s okay! You don’t have to do so if you don’t want to. You can work with professional pest control services, which will not only take care of the actual eradication of the pests initially but help you ensure that your home isn’t subject to pest issues in the future. If you want help in rodent-proofing your home to prevent further problems, there is no one better to work with than professional control services.￼
Ultimately, no matter how you end up taking care of your pest problem, you should take the issue seriously. While we may not spend a lot of time thinking about the health problems presented by pests — instead focusing on the “ick factor” inherent in pest infestations — they remain present and problematic for people across the globe. If you find yourself experiencing any odd symptoms after discovering the presence of rodents, or any other types of pests in your home, don’t brush them off. Even if the pest issue seems minor, all pests shed skin and leave behind fecal matter that can affect human beings. Take the problem seriously, and handle it quickly. Otherwise, you could be dealing with issues for months, or even years, to come.
AUTHOR: CAROLINE SIBLEY
Caroline is a freelance content creator and creative writer. VCUArts alum with a focus on the arts, travel, and culture.