A mouse pushing a red ball

Rodent diseases & prevention tips


So you have seen the signs of rats or mice within your home and/or workplace. But what next? Should you leave Rat with New Year's balls on a white backgroundthem alone as they are harmless little creatures just looking for a home? Well not exactly, these small vermin bring a
range of diseases with them when finding a new nesting area, causing a major health risk to your family and your employees.

How Can Rodents Make You Sick?

Rodent activity means one thing – diseases! Although they look harmless rodents can spread diseases through to all the food and water in your home and/or workplace. Rodents spread diseases by contaminating  your food and water sources with their urine and droppings.

A rodent’s urine and droppings are known to contain the following pathogens:

  • Leptospirosis^
  • Salmonellosis^
  • Rat-bite fever^
  • Tularemia^
  • Meningitis*
  • Weil’s Disease*
  • Tapeworm*
  • Infectious jaundice*

Are there other ways to catch a disease from a rodent?

Yes, especially if you decided to remove any dead rodents without any professional help.

Diseases you can catch from rodents:

  • Weil’s Disease* – This can be transmitted through direct contact with bacteria found in the urine and feces of rodents. Weil’s disease finds its way into the human body by entering the skin through open wounds or scratches on the skin.
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)^ – LCM is transmitted via dust that is contaminated with rodent urine and feces and is inhaled. LCM can also be contracted through direct contact with rodents.
  • Rat-Bite Fever^ – Rat-Bite Fever is a horrible disease. It is contracted by getting bitten or scratched by a rodent as well as touching a dead rat or mouse.
  • Tularemia^ – This disease is passed on by touching a dead rodent or being bitten by one. Tularemia can only be caught if the rodent in question is carrying the disease.

How to Eliminate Rodent Diseases

Once you have successfully rid yourself of a rodent infestation, the next step is to thoroughly clean and disinfect any surfaces the rodents might have encountered on their journeys. This will help ensure that your home and/or workplace is completely disease-free. Unfortunately, the classic spray and wipe won’t cut it.

Rodent Control

At Ehrlich, we highly recommend investing in a pest disinfection service to help battle any potential, harmful, bacteria rodents leave behind.

Our pest disinfection service is a unique biocidal solution which is specifically designed to target the harmful diseases in which rodents can transmit. The solution is a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-corrosive spray. When applied to an area previously occupied by rodents will successfully kill all harmful bacteria and will reduce the spread of the infectious pathogens left behind by the un-invited house guests.

This pest disinfection spray can be applied by your Ehrlich specialists after a rodent problem has been managed.

How To Keep Rats & Mice Away

For more information on our rodent control services, call 888-986-2074 or contact us online.

^ For additional information: https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/diseases/direct.html

* For more information: https://iceh.uws.edu.au/docs/rats_rodents.html

Ashley Smith

Ashley is a Digital Content Manager with Rentokil. She loves drinking coffee and spending time with her dogs.


  1. I am visiting my mother in Florida while her care giver is on vacation. I noticed my dog sniffing around the pantry. When I opened the pantry it was neat and organized, but there was a smell of rodent(s). I asked my mom,”do you have mice. Why no, she said. Prior to the care giver moving in with all her belongings my mother keeped most of her fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Now these are kept (out) in a four tier bin. For the most part the fruit and vegetables on top are good looking, but the ones underneath are rotten (watery.) I am concerned. Last July, in the garage, I had a dryer and outside vent installed for my mother. Could they be coming in through the dryer vent? Should the fruits and vegetables return to the refrigerator? Could the care giver (who brought her belongings to my mothers) have brought them with her? I am concerned as I have found a healthy dead mouse in the garage trash can. I’m sure the dead mouse was put into the trash by the care giver, but nothing was mentioned to me. How can I stop problem? My mother never had mice before.

    • Hi C. Cogley,

      I sent your question to one of our on-staff entomologists, Judy and got the below answer. Hope this helps!

      My advice is that a thorough inspection by a pest management professional should be done. Input from the caregiver to the PMP will be helpful. Unless you work with them a lot, it is difficult to distinguish a “dead rodent odor” with many other foul odors, such as rotting vegetables. Could they be entering the structure through an improperly installed dryer vent – yes. Could the caregiver have brought mice in with her belongings? Possible, but not likely. More possible if the caregiver brought in upholstered furniture. My parents live in Florida and because of fruit fly potential they keep their fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. If mice were feeding on the vegetables you would see damage. They would feed on the fresh produce before going after rotting produce. Keeping vegetables in or out of the refrigerator – if there is an active mouse infestation I would keep them in – to reduce food sources for the mice. If there is not a mouse issue the factors to consider are the rapidity of reaching an over ripe state in FL and fruit flies.

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