Some Facts About Rodents, Fleas and the Bubonic Plague
The recent news that a resident of Marquette County in Northern Michigan has been diagnosed with bubonic plague has certainly raised eyebrows and prompted questions. It has not been determined where the woman contracted the disease – she recently visited an area in Colorado where plague activity has been reported – but it serves as a reminder of the dangers pests can present.
Plague is an infectious disease that affects rodents, certain other animals and humans, and is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people most commonly acquire plague when they are bitten by a flea that is infected with the plague bacteria.
The infected fleas can be transported on rodents (rats and mice) and domestic pets, especially those who roam outdoors, that have come in contact with another infected animal. Cats are more prone to infection since they hunt rodents.
People can also become infected from direct contact with infected tissues or fluids while handling an animal that is sick with or that has died from plague. Finally, people can become infected from inhaling respiratory droplets after close contact with animals and humans with pneumonic plague.
While bubonic plague is a rare occurrence, this is the first confirmed case in Michigan history; there have been 14 reported cases in the United States in 2015, mainly in Colorado, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon.
Griffin Pest Solutions does not want to unnecessarily alarm our customers about pests; our goal is to be your go-to source for pest information and to protect your family from pests and pest-related diseases that can do you harm. Plague is treatable with common antibiotics, but outcomes are better with earlier detection.
How to avoid flea bites
Flea bites are the primary transmitter of the plague and if you are planning on traveling to one of the Western states where plague activity has been reported we offer the following tips to limit your exposure:
- Avoid direct contact with rodents or ill domestic pets that might have been exposed to flea bites.
- Wear long pants when camping, hiking or working outdoors.
- Use insect repellent on clothing and skin to repel pests.
- Do not feed small rodents in plague-endemic areas.
The health threats posed by rodents and other pests including cockroaches, birds, mosquitoes and stinging insects are very real and should be taken seriously. Griffin Pest Solutions team of highly-trained technicians use the latest products and service techniques to effectively eliminate harmful pests that threaten you and your family.
If you have questions or concerns about harmful pests call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@http://griffinpest.com/ for more information.