There’s a good chance that you probably grew up with someone who had a mouse as a pet. Perhaps you didn’t understand why, but as you watched the critter scurry around its cage and run in its exercise wheel, maybe you thought to yourself that society has it all wrong about these little guys. They’re clean, safe, and fun. Even cute at times.
Of course, that was a mouse bred for captivity, a far cry from those that are trying to get into your home and eat your food. The fact is that there are several types of mouse infestation health risks that you should be aware of. Today, we will concentrate on two very important ones.
This is the one that homeowners are usually most worried about. Like all rodents, the biggest mouse infestation health risks include different types of diseases that these animals can spread. To illustrate how serious this problem can be, consider the fact that between rats and mice, there are more than 35 diseases that can be contracted by humans.
You may think that as long as you don’t touch a mouse, you’ll be safe from anything it might be carrying. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Very often, a mouse will have microorganisms in its bloodstream, and those microorganisms may be carrying hantaviruses and other such diseases. These are transferred to the mouse’s feces and can be breathed in through a person’s lungs. This is why it is very important to wear a face mask and ventilate the area when cleaning up rodent feces. And let’s not forget that parasites such as ticks carried by the mouse could find their way to you, too.
Mice love to chew through things. Their incisors are big, especially for their size, and they can gnaw through a wide variety of substances around the house. Most of the time, this is limited to wood, which they use to get into your cupboards to find food. And once they’re inside your cupboards, it won’t take long before they’re gained access to your food, whether it’s by chewing through cardboard boxes or plastic bags, both of which don’t present much of a challenge.
Access to your food supply can lead to a number of mouse infestation health risks due to the contamination of your food. This happens for two reasons. First, mice have no problem walking in filth, which can stick to their feet or body. And second, mice don’t have the ability to hold their bodily fluids. Which means that mice will often walk through their own urine and feces. Once a mouse has gained access to your food, it is important that you discard it right away.
Photo Credit: Wualex via Wikimedia