Rodents and the Health Risks They Pose

Television and Disney often glamourize rodents, personifying them, and giving them a magical quality that is all their own, and not quite aligned with reality. Stuart Little is a charming little mouse that gets into mischief of his own and even learns to drive a magical matchbox car. And of course, Cinderella’s magical mice become horses to help whisk the princess to and from the ball where she dances gaily with her adoring prince.

If only mice were truly such magical creatures.

In reality, many of us might scream and jump to higher ground when coming into contact with a mouse. Surely, we won’t, and for good reason, reach down to scoop up the furry critter to befriend it and welcome it to live on our home. And it is good that we give ourselves some distance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents carry a variety of diseases that can be seriously harmful to humans.

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
  • Lassa Fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Plague
  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • South American Arenaviruses
  • Tularemia

How diseases are transmitted from rodents to humans

These illnesses and diseases can be transmitted to humans through the handling of rodents, and by coming into contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva. And if we are bitten by a rodent, we can pick up the disease by its ability to get into our bloodstream, and not to mention, we’ll have to deal with the care of a wound as well. In fact, if you are bitten by a rodent, it is best to seek medical treatment immediately.

More specifically, be aware of the main ways that rodent diseases are transmitted to humans:

  • Inhalation of dust, contaminated by rodent urine and feces (droppings)
  • Coming into direct contact with rodents, their urine, or their feces
  • Being bitten or scratched by a rodent
  • Consumption of food or water that has been contaminated by rodent urine or feces
  • Person to person contact (if an infected person comes into contact with another person)
  • Swimming, wading, or kayaking in water contaminated by diseased rodents

In the past 100 years, it is estimated that over 10 million humans have died from diseases spread by rodents. While we don’t necessarily come into contact with these rodents in our daily lives, it is imperative that we are aware and watchful of the presence of rodents, as these rodents are modes of transport for diseases to humans. And, it is important to note that while the rodent might not show any sign of illness as a carrier of these diseases, the human body is not designed in the same way, and is often unable to avoid complications from these same illnesses, especially if left untreated.

When to call for help with rodent extermination and removal

In many cases, homeowners may wish to turn to a professional rodent control service, and indeed this is recommended. Only a professional trained in rodent extermination and removal will be able to properly assess your home for risks and can work with you on a strategy for long-term rodent control.

When you work with a professional, they will often provide you with a list of preparation items so that your home can be ready for them to get to work when they arrive. A lack of proper preparation can prevent or delay treatment of your home, increasing the risk to you and your family., is an independent and family-owned business, serving the Los Angeles greater metropolitan area. Our specialties include rodent control, pest prevention, rodent expulsion and clean up, attic sanitation, and attic decontamination. Our team is ready to serve in order to help you solve your rodent issue, for good. Contact us at 818-583-7287, or by visiting our website at