Do Mice Pose A Serious Health Threat?

As temperatures cool off, mice and other rodent pests will seek shelter indoors. Even species such as the field mouse that prefer to be mostly outdoors will invade the home. Of course, we all know that these rodents are a giant nuisance once they are inside, chewing wiring, walls and furniture, and getting into the food supplies. But do they pose a serious threat? Let’s find out.

Are mice dangerous?

In short – yes, mice are dangerous. They are capable of spreading a variety of serious illnesses, either directly or indirectly. Directly, they will spread the illnesses through their feces, urine, saliva, bites and even mere contact. Indirectly, they will spread them through mites, fleas and ticks. Mice are ridden with parasites and other pests which they will also bring into the home.

In terms of the disease they can spread directly you have:

  • The Hantavirus: This virus is most commonly found in deer mice and it is spread through their feces and urine. Not only that, but mouse feces will dry up over time and turn into dust, which then makes the spread of the disease even more likely. If you do get infected with the hantavirus, you will experience chills, headaches and fever at first, but as the disease progresses it can lead to shortness of breath, kidney failure and even death.
  • Salmonella: Since mice eat a large variety of food, they will often look for meals in garbage cans, or in areas that may be contaminated with salmonella, and once the mice come into contact with the bacteria, they will spread it everywhere they go. This means your kitchen, cupboards and any other area of the house where the mouse looks for either shelter or food. Salmonella, also known as food poisoning, can be very serious, leading to fever, severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV): A rodent-borne viral infection, LCMV causes severe neurological problems including encephalitis and aseptic meningitis. It is mostly carried by house mice, but hamsters that come into contact with wild mice may carry the disease as well. LCMV is transferred through droppings, saliva, urine and nesting materials.

The diseases spread by mice indirectly are no less of a threat. These diseases include Lyme, Colorado tick fever and even the plague. This is why getting rid of a mouse infestation as soon as possible is so important. Contact us today if you are having problems with mice in your home.

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