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What diseases do rats carry?

One of the biggest issues with having a rodent infestation on your property is the risk of being exposed to dangerous diseases. Rodent-borne diseases can spread directly through their droppings, urine, or bites, or indirectly through ticks, fleas, mites, and other vector pests. Rodents are known to carry more than 35 documented diseases, including: 

  • Hantavirus
  • Salmonellosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV)
  • Plague
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Lyme disease
What diseases do rats carry in Central TN; The Bug Man

Dangerous Diseases that rats and mice spread

Out of the many rodent-borne diseases, there are four in particular that cause the most concern here in Central TN:

  1. Hantavirus. This virus is most often found in the droppings and urine of deer mice. Hantavirus can cause fevers, chills, aches, and pains. Untreated cases can lead to shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  2. Salmonella. Rats and mice can track dirt and bacteria along the surfaces they walk on. Salmonella, commonly called food poisoning, can lead to stomach cramps, vomiting, and more. 
  3. Rat-bite fever: RBF can be passed to humans through bites and scratches or contact with a dead rodent.
  4. Bubonic plague: The disease infamous for tearing through Europe in the 14th century is carried by fleas that fed on infected rats.

How Do Rodents Contaminate Food Products?

Rodent diseases can spread to people directly and indirectly. Direct spread comes through close contact with droppings, saliva, or urine. The threat of contamination is very alive in the food industry. Food service and production workers must take extra care to prevent rodents from getting into and contaminating their products. One study suggests that at least 20 percent of the food in the world is either eaten or contaminated by rodents! This leads to salmonella in many people. 

Signs of Disease Caused by Rats or Mice

Whether contracted through direct contact or through a vector pest, rodent-related diseases can cause serious symptoms. With effects ranging from aches and pains all the way to ulcers and infections, you want to avoid rodent bites at all costs. If you think you’ve come into contact with rodent waste or you’ve received a bite from a rat or mouse, contact a medical professional right away. 

What Diseases Do Rats Carry in Central TN?

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