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What diseases do rats carry?

Nobody wants to find a rat or a mouse in their home, especially when you consider all of the health risks they can pose. Rodents are infamous for spreading bacteria and transmitting potentially deadly diseases. Worldwide, rats and mice are known to spread over 35 different diseases, including:

  • Hantavirus
  • Salmonellosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV)
  • Bubonic plague
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Lyme disease
What diseases do rats carry in Kalamazoo; Griffin Pest Solutions

Which Rodents Spread Disease?

All rodents are capable of spreading diseases, though rats and mice are the most common in Michigan. Most people assume that rodents can only spread bacteria and viruses directly through things like bites, scratches, or exposure to contaminated urine and feces. However, rodents can also transmit disease indirectly by bringing infected ticks, mites, or fleas into your living space. So, if you notice the early signs of an infestation, it’s important to seek professional help quickly even if you don’t see the rodents.

Can Rodent-Borne Illness Be Fatal?

Yes, without proper treatment, some rodent-borne illnesses can be fatal. Here in Michigan, there are four main diseases that are cause for serious concern:

  • Hantavirus: This is a respiratory disease that is most frequently spread by deer mice. It can cause fever and chills and may be deadly without medical treatment. 
  • Salmonella: Most commonly known as food poisoning, this illness is spread when rodents walk over our food services. It can cause vomiting and intense stomach pain.
  • Bubonic plague: Known throughout history, the bubonic plague is a very severe disease that spreads through contaminated fleas. Without prompt treatment, it can be fatal.
  • Rat-bite fever (RBF): This disease primarily spreads directly through bites and scratches. However, it’s important to note that even dead rodents can spread RBF.

Signs of Diseases From Rats

Rodent-borne diseases can be fatal if they are not treated quickly, which is why it’s important to know what symptoms to look for. If you suspect you have an infestation or have recently come into contact with a rodent, be aware of these early symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle pains
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Ulcers
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms and are concerned about a rodent-borne illness.

What Diseases Do Rats Carry in Michigan? Serving Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids

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