Are Mice Dangerous?
A Mouse in the House Leaves St. Louis and Missouri Homeowners Worried
When thinking of mice entering your St. Louis home your first thought is probably that they are a nuisance, but not that they are dangerous. However, having a mouse problem can put yourself, your family and your home at risk. Not only can a mouse infestation in the house put your dwelling and possessions at risk for damage, mice can cause health issues for people living in an infested space.
Signs There Are Mice in Your Home
- Finding mouse droppings around your home is a major clue that you have a this furry friend somewhere in your home. These droppings are commonly spotted behind appliances, in cabinets, and on floors. Mice will leave behind droppings as they travel throughout your home foraging for food. Their droppings are about ¼ of an inch in length and are tapered at one end.
- Mice are active at night, so if mice are in your home, you will hear scratching-like sounds as they travel above you in the attic or behind your walls.
- You may see chew marks on personal belongings and structural elements of your home.
- If mice are in your home, you may notice an ammonia-like smell, especially in small, closed-in spaces like closets, cabinets, and drawers.
What Damage Can Mice Cause?
Once a mouse has entered a house, they love to nest in areas behind walls, in attics and in basements. These areas of the home are where most of the electrical systems are; if a mouse starts to chew through electrical wires without you knowing, a short circuit could happen and result in a fire, putting the structure and people within it in serious jeopardy. Along with the electrical damage they can cause, mice have the ability to chew through pipes and structural timber. This can lead to costly repairs, including addressing water damage and flooding issues. Not much is safe from this rodent’s incisors as they will also chew on containers, furniture and other common household items. Additionally, if rodents find their way into your home, they more than likely didn't just walk through the front door. There is a good chance they found a hole or a crack somewhere in your walls or roof area. Sometimes rodents will find water-softened wood and will chew their way through. Sometimes there is a hole that isn't quite big enough, but they use their sharp, ever-growing incisors to make the hole bigger so they can squeeze through.
Are Mice Dangerous to Our Health?
In addition to property damage, a mouse problem can be a danger to you and your family's health. Mice droppings can contaminate your food and food preparation surfaces and may spread diseases including:
- Rat-bite fever: If a person comes in close contact with a mouse or rat, and is bitten or scratched, it is possible to contract rat-bite fever. Symptoms of this condition include inflammation of the skin, fever, and vomiting.
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome: Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If untreated, this disease can lead to severe respiratory illness and can be fatal.
- Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome: Initial symptoms begin suddenly and include intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision.
- Lassa fever: Onset of symptoms are usually gradual and include a general weakness and malaise. More serious symptoms include: a headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, and abdominal pain.
- Leptospirosis: Symptoms of this disease may include fever and chills, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, muscle pain (particularly in the lower back and calves), a rash, red and irritated eyes, and jaundice.
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis: Fever, headache, and stiff neck are just a few of the symptoms associated with this disease.
- Salmonellosis: This stomach-related infection causes bloody stools, diarrhea, cold chills, fever, headache, and vomiting.
- Tularemia: Symptoms of tularemia can include a skin ulcer at the point of contact with an infected animal or at the site of a bite, and swollen lymph nodes near the ulcer, severe headache, fever, chills, and fatigue.
- Plague: Plague patients suddenly develop fever, headache, chills, weakness, and one or more swollen, tender, and painful lymph nodes.
Besides spreading disease, they are carriers of parasites such as fleas and ticks which can introduce more problems into your home.
How to Prevent Mice
- First, we are going to start with what you should not do. Do not attempt DIY pest control techniques to rid your home of a mouse problem. The most common way homeowners try to control mice is by using mouse traps. However, mouse traps are not a great way to get rid of the mice in your home. More often than not, the mouse trap does not actually kill the mouse, leaving the mouse suffering and you having to take care of the situation.
- Also, they are generally not placed in the correct locations within your home. Which means, while they may get rid of the one or two mice currently living in your home, they don’t take care of the route of the problem which is how the mice are entering into your home. This means sooner than later you will have other visitors taking the place of their kinsmen.
Unfortunately, mice are not the only types of rodents in St. Louis capable of causing this type of damage. In fact, rats, squirrels and other rodents are just as likely to cause the same kind of structural damage and introduce the same health issues into your environment. If you think you have a mouse or other rodent infestation, you should contact a trusted St. Louis pest control company immediately; the sooner you call and get the situation under control the better for your home and family. Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions is a trusted St. Louis pest control provider that has been in business since 1956. Contact us today to see how our residential pest control service in St. Louis can help you get rid of mice or other rodents and eliminate the dangers that are associated with them.