It’s never pleasant to see a small mouse scamper across your floor or hear gnawing in the walls, but having a rodent infestation isn’t just unpleasant, it can also expose you and your family to dangerous diseases. Rodents are known for spreading everything from salmonella poisoning to rat bite fever and even plague. A rodent problem can be a major health concern. 

In this blog post, we are going to discuss four diseases that can be spread by rodents in your home. Continue reading to learn more and when you’re ready to bring in the professionals to rid your home of rodents, contact Earthwise Pest Management.  

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is the disease caused by the infection of Salmonella bacteria. We commonly refer to this as just salmonella or salmonella poisoning since it is often transferred through food. Rats and mice can carry the salmonella bacteria and contaminate our food with their feces, urine, blood, and saliva.  

Salmonellosis usually does not require medical treatment, except for extreme cases, in which individuals are treated with antibiotics and given fluids to keep hydrated. In very rare cases, salmonellosis can cause death. 

Symptoms of salmonellosis:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloody stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by a bacteria Leptospira. It is typically transferred by animal urine. An individual that has a break in their skin can come into contact with bacteria from soil that the animal has urinated in. Rodents of all kinds are susceptible to leptospirosis. 

Leptospirosis usually does not require treatment and will clear up by itself in about a week. More serious cases require antibiotics. If severe cases are not treated, they can occasionally become life threatening, causing kidney failure, bacterial meningitis, and respiratory distress. While there are a wide variety of symptoms associated with leptospirosis, many infected individuals experience no symptoms at all. 

Symptoms of leptospirosis:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash

Plague

The bubonic plague is known for causing devastation throughout Europe from the 1300’s into the late 1600’s. While we have a cure for this disease now, that was not always the case. We now understand that there are three types of plague including bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, that are caused by the bacteria Yersinia Pestis. Plague is spread by infected rodents and fleas that have bitten infected rodents. If someone comes into contact with either, they can become infected with plague. 

If you contract plague, you must be treated with strong antibiotics, preferably within the first 24 hours, which will increase your chance of survival to about 89%. If plague is left untreated, it will cause death. 

Bubonic plague symptoms:

  • Swollen lymph nodes that are about the size of an egg and tender and firm to the touch
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue or malaise
  • Muscle aches

Septicemic plague symptoms:

  • Fever and chills
  • Extreme weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding from your mouth, nose, rectum, or under your skin
  • Shock
  • Gangrene of your fingers, tose, or nose

Pneumonic plague symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Bloody mucus
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain

Rat Bite Fever

Rat bite fever is caused by two different bacteria, however, only one exists in the United States: Streptobacillus Moniliformis. It can be spread when an individual comes into contact with an infected rodent, especially from a scratch, but can also be transferred by means of rodent urine and feces. When someone becomes sick after eating food that has been contaminated by an infected rodent, it is called Haverhill Fever and has similar, but sometimes, more severe symptoms. 

Rat bite fever should be treated with antibiotics as the symptoms can come and go for about a year if the individual remains untreated. About 10% of untreated infections result in death. 

Symptoms of Rat Bite Fever:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Rash

Call the Sacramento Pest Control Experts 

If you have unwanted rodents in your home, don’t risk exposing yourself or your family to any of these diseases. Hire the Sacramento pest control experts at Earthwise Pest Management to rid your home of rodents and any other pests you may need help with. Contact us today to learn more about our rodent control