Rodent Droppings Disease - What Can Be Transmitted to Humans


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A rodent infestation can be a costly and stressful experience for homeowners. Another problem is that and parasites can be transmitted to humans too. While many of these are relatively minor and will not cause serious illness, some have the potential to be extremely serious. Anyone dealing with a rodent problem should become familiar with what diseases are borne by rodents and can be transmitted to people, and how they are transmitted.

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How Droppings Pass Disease

Diseases can be passed from rodents to people in many ways:

  • From breathing in dust that has been contaminated with rodent urine or droppings.
  • From direct contact (touching) a rodent.
  • From direct contact with the rodent's urine or feces.
  • From consuming contaminated food or water.
  • From being scratched or bitten by a rodent.

Diseases That Can Be Passed to People

Some of the more serious diseases that rodents can pass to humans include:

  • Hantavirus - a respiratory disease that can be fatal.
  • Leptospirosis - a bacterial disease that can lead to kidney and liver problems, respiratory problems, and even death if left untreated.
  • Rat-Bite Fever - a bacterial disease that can be fatal if untreated.
  • Salmonellosis - a bacterial infection that usually runs it course in about a week. However, it can be much more serious in some people, leading to hospitalization and even death.

For a much more involved discussion about the types of diseases that can be passed to humans, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most common parasites that can be passed to humans include mites, fleas and ticks. While these might seem relatively minor or innocent, these parasites may have fed on an infected rodent and can indirectly pass more serious diseases to humans.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the rodent droppings disease and parasites that can be passed to humans. If you have rodent problems, be sure to always take safety precautions to protect your health. It is particularly important to learn how to safely clean up rodent feces and other rodent debris. If you are unsure of what to do, contact a professional pest control service who will have the experience and appropriate equipment to safely clean up a rodent problem.