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What diseases do rats carry?

When it comes to rodent infestations, one of the major concerns is the fact that rats and mice are both infamous carriers and transmitters of dangerous diseases. These diseases can be spread directly (Through exposure to infected droppings, urine or bites) or indirectly ( Through infected ticks, mites or fleas). Which rodents carry disease? As a whole,  rodents spread over 35 major diseases and illnesses worldwide, including:

  • Hantavirus
  • Salmonellosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV)
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Lyme disease
What Diseases Do Rats Carry In Wisconsin? | Batzner Pest Control

Dangerous Diseases Spread by Rats & Mice

Out of all the diseases carried by rats and mice, there are four main offenders that cause the most concern in Wisconsin, and the world as a whole. The most common rodent-related diseases are:
  • Hantavirus, which is found most often in the urine and feces of deer mice. Hantavirus is a respiratory illness that can cause fever and chills and, if left untreated, is potentially fatal.
  • Salmonella, also known as food poisoning. It’s spread by rats and mice walking over and tracking dirt and bacteria over food surfaces, and can cause severe stomach cramps and vomiting. 
  • Rat-bite fever, or RBF. It is passed through bites and scratches from an infected rodent. Even a dead rat can transmit it, which is why it’s so important to be careful when disposing of rodent bodies.
  • Bubonic plague, probably the most widely-known rodent disease in history. It’s mostly spread through fleas living on rats before spreading to humans.

How Do Rodents Contaminate Food?

Rat and mice diseases can spread to people directly or indirectly. To spread directly, an individual would have to come into direct contact with rat or mouse droppings, saliva or urine, This is why food industry workers take all the precautions necessary to prevent rodents from contaminating surfaces and keep their food safe. Despite all that, Salmonella is still one of the most common diseases people contract after contact with rodents.

Signs of Disease From Rats or Mice

Whether transmitted directly or indirectly, rodent diseases like the ones we listed above can cause mild to serious symptoms. This might look like shortness of breath, muscle pains, fever, headache, ulcers, dizziness or abdominal problems. If you’re experiencing any of this and think you may have come into contact with rodents, it’s crucial to consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

What Diseases Do Rats Carry in Wisconsin? in Wisconsin

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