Every time I sit with my grandkids and watch their favorite movie, Disney’s, Ratatouille, I can only picture in my mind the “cute”, humanized rats running around a kitchen, peeing and pooping uncontrollably even shedding hair and their fleas and mites as they create fantastic meals for their human patrons. I am so grossed out! You see, being in the pest control industry for over 20 years has taught me a lot about animal habits and physiology, and although it is a myth that they have no bladders and no sphincter muscles, it’s a fact that rats and mice constantly eleminate their waste wherever they happen to be and quite frequently. So, wherever they roam, they leave a trail of feces and urine behind. “ICKY”!
These pests are more than just a nuisance. Rodents, such as rats, mice and even rabbits, are associated with a number of health risks. Rats and mice alone are known to spread more than 35 diseases and these diseases can be spread directly to humans, by the handling of live and dead rodents, through rodent bites and through contact with rodent feces, urine and saliva. Indirectly, diseases can be transmitted through fleas, ticks and mites that have fed on the infected rodents. Rats and mice carry parasites, like tapeworms and are also responsible for eliciting allergic reactions, as their hair, dander and particles of feces become airborne.
Scary fact; a single mouse is capable of depositing up to 25,000 fecal pellets in a year. That’s approximately 70 pellets each day (not to mention free flowing urine). So, there is no question that prevention and prompt removal of these dirty guys, is of paramount importance.
Guard your home. Guard your health.
Take precautions before cleaning up rodent infested areas. Get rid of the rodents first, then seal up any entryways to ensure that rodents can’t get in in the future. Then it’s time to clean. Here is a link to the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention so you have the latest info on how to safely and efficiently clean up after rodents. If cleaning up after rodents is just too much for you or too ICKY! Check out Corky’s Pest Control’s, Rodent Service program.
Vector control (a county program) has several suggestions for minimizing rodent infestations like trimming back trees and shrubs, cleaning up pet food and fallen fruits outside, closing entrances to your home larger than a quarter inch and cleaning up rodent feces and urine with a disinfectant that is rated for killing viruses. They warn to not use a vacuum. It could push pathogens into the air and increase the chance of someone breathing them in. It is suggested that if you must use a vacuum, thoroughly spray entire infected area with a disinfectant that kills viruses, then let it stand until it’s dry. Then vacuum carefully with a hepa-filter equipped vacuum. Don’t forget your face mask!
The following diseases are transmitted via rats:
- Plague …more
- Salmonellosis …more
- Murine Typhus …more
- Rat-Bite Fever (RBF) …more
- Leptospirosis …more
- Eosinophilic Meningitis …more
The following are transmitted by Mice:
- Salmonellosis …more
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) …more
- Lymphocytic Choriomenginitis (LCMV) …more
Want to identify the “dirty rats” or “marauding mice” that are invading your space, check out these links: