Beyond sneaking into our residences and breaking into our food supply, rodents are also a significant concern because they can transmit several diseases to humans through waste and other forms of contamination. Mice and rats can carry more than 35 different diseases, so getting rid of them at the earliest sign of an invasion is imperative. Read on to learn about some of the diseases they carry.

Caused by the bacterium salmonella, this disease can be spread through contaminated food. The bacteria causes food poisoning; symptoms of which include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
This potentially life-threatening disease spreads through deer mouse waste by means of direct contact with urine or feces, consumption of contaminated foods, or bite. This virus can take one- to five weeks to completely develop symptoms, which typically manifest through fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or other abdominal issues. The virus can also become fatal if not properly treated.

Rat-Bite Fever
This disease is caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis and Spirillum minus bacterium. It spreads to humans through contact with an infected rodent or eating contaminated food. Symptoms generally manifest three- to ten days after exposure and can include fever, headaches, rash, vomiting, and muscle pain. Antibiotics can cure this ailment.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM)
A viral infection caused by contact with rodents, this can be transmitted via a mouse’s urine or feces, touching its nesting materials, or a bite. Symptoms come in two phases which include fever, muscle aches, lack of appetite, headache, nausea, and vomiting to start. Then, those infected can experience stiff neck, drowsiness, confusion, sensory disturbances, motor abnormalities, paralysis, and brain inflammation. It’s not usually fatal but can cause hospitalization or permanent neurological damage.

Bubonic Plague
The most famous rodent-caused sickness due to its deadly effect on humans during the Middle Ages, the bubonic plague (also known as Black Death), is transmitted through rats. Fleas with the bacterium Yersinia pestis infect the rats and can also infect humans through handling a contaminated animal, fluid, or tissue. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes. Antibiotics can treat this disease quickly, but it can be fatal if left untreated.

Caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, this disease can spread through rabbits, flea and tick bites, airborne dust particles, and contaminated water. The most common symptom of tularemia includes skin ulcers or swollen lymph nodes. It is usually curable through antibiotics but can be life-threatening.


Do you have a rodent issue? Contact Northern Pest and let our pros handle the problem today.

Northern Pest is a local, family-owned and operated insect and wild animal control company spanning six counties in Michigan’s central upper peninsula. We’ll help you find the least-invasive and most cost-effective plan to handle any irritating pest problem affecting your home or business. We are licensed and insured to provide pest control services, building maintenance, and repair work caused by wildlife damage. As a comprehensive animal and insect control company, Northern Pest is honored to give our customers peace of mind by providing solutions for troublesome wildlife. Contact us today at or call 906-553-4841 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

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