Cooler Weather Has a Drawback
The cooler weather is a nice change for us in the central Texas (like Georgetown, Florence and Round Rock) area. The holidays are around the corner and you may have a holiday checklist miles long while making warm apple cider, baking delicious pies and wrapping presents. Unfortunately, the cooler weather is an open invitation for unwanted guests in your home, as well. Rodents may have already settled in your home and they pose real possible threats to your health.
(The following excerpt is taken from Pestworld.org.)
Health Hazards Posed By Rodents
It’s not uncommon, especially during the winter months, to have an unpleasant encounter with a rodent who has made its way into a home uninvited. What many people do not realize, however, is that these pests can be much more than a nuisance. Rodents, such as rats, mice, prairie dogs and rabbits, are associated with a number of health risks. In fact, rats and mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of live or dead rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, and through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through fleas, ticks, or mites that have fed on an infected rodent.
This is especially concerning as the weather cools and rodents start to look for snug warm places to overwinter – like our homes. The National Pest Management Association estimates that rodents invade about 21 million homes in the United States every winter, squeezing through spaces as small as a nickel.
Rodent droppings can trigger allergies and transmit food borne illness such as salmonella, and as mice are capable of dropping up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, an estimated 70 times each day – prevention and prompt removal in case of an infestation is key.
Below is a summary of some of the most common diseases associated with rodents: Hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, tularemia, and plague.