How To Deter Mice

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Are mice dangerous?

mouse walking through a house underneath a table

During the cooler months, mice and other rodents may make their way indoors. A field mouse might just end up spending some time as a house mouse if it can find a way into your home. Of course, you know mice and rats are a nuisance if they get indoors. They eat your food, chew up wires, chew furniture and walls, but one of the most common questions we’re asked is: are mice dangerous?

The truth of the matter is mice in your house are dangerous. It’s not because they bite or because they have poisonous fangs or some hidden stinger, but because mice pose a number of health risks for a number of different factors. This is why getting rid of mice in your house is so important, and the sooner you can, the better.

If you have seen the signs of mice around your home, you should contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control specialist right away. We’ll track them down, offer the best mouse control solution for your needs and provide advice on how to keep mice away.

Are mice in the house dangerous?

The short answer is – yes. The fact is a number of serious illnesses and health risks have been traced back and attributed to mice. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), mice spread numerous diseases worldwide. The diseases are spread to humans directly: through contact with mice feces, saliva or urine, mouse bites and mere contact. Mouse diseases, however, can also be spread indirectly: ticks, fleas and mites that have fed, at some point, on the infected mouse and then transmit that infection to humans.

Mice make a huge mess. In order to mark a place as their own, they start to urinate and defecate all over the place. It is messy and nasty, to be sure, but mice waste also carries a number of known pathogens that can be very serious and lead to health problems. For example:

  • Hantavirus – this is most often found in deer mice. Found in rodent urine and feces, the virus can be transmitted to humans if they come into contact with either of those substances. What’s more, mouse feces and urine can dry and turn into a dust and that can carry the virus as well. Hantavirus starts like so many other illnesses with a fever and chills, combined with aches and pains. However, if not treated, it can quickly turn more serious and lead to shortness of breath and kidney-failure which can lead to death.
  • Salmonella – because rodents like mice go looking for food, and will eat just about anything they can get their tiny paw and sharp teeth on. That means they will walk over kitchen counters or all over your pantry and cabinets, tracking dirt and bacteria across other food substances that might also be in there. One of the most dangerous of those is salmonella, which if often just referred to as food poisoning. Fevers and severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms and it can become very serious and dangerous.
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV) - this is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease that causes serious neurological problems, including aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the meninges that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). It is primarily carried by the house mouse, but hamsters in contact with wild mice at pet stores can also carry the disease. Individuals become infected with LCMV after exposure to fresh urine, saliva, droppings or nesting materials. 

The other thing to remember is that mice and other rodents are not neat and do not shower every day. This means they are often covered in parasites like ticks and fleas. Several diseases have been linked to parasites mice carry, including:

  • Lyme disease – which is transmitted via ticks, which mice often carry with them. Ticks can easily become an infestation and they can transmit this very serious, very health-averse disease which can have long-term effects.
  • Plague – yes, the Bubonic plague was thought to be caused by mice and rats, but it turned out to be caused by the fleas they carried. Fleas eat blood, just like ticks and mosquitoes, and can transmit this potentially lethal disease.
  • Colorado Tick Fever – another very serious and life-threatening disease transmitted by ticks carried by rodents like mice.

There are other mouse-related diseases linked to the parasites they carry. Getting rid of mice inside your home is more than just saving the furniture from having holes chewed in it, it can be dangerous to leave them on the loose. If you've come into contact with mice, be sure to take the proper steps and seek medical treatment if necessary.

mouse in a hole in the wall

What are the health risks to mice in the house?

The reason a mouse infestation in the home is so dangerous stems from the diseases mice carry. Mice do not generally bite (unless handled), so that is not the risk. The biggest problem that turns them from a nuisance to a danger are the health risks they bring with them from diseases and parasites. Mice can contaminate food and food surfaces. They are a key contributor to spreading diseases and bacteria which can be risky and potentially lethal to humans.

However, there are other risks such as their tendency to chew on wiring in the walls. They will destroy property because their teeth keep growing and in order to manage their chompers, they have to chew on wood and other hard things to keep them filed down. If they end up inside the walls, they might chew on wiring, too. Exposed wiring can cause a short and that can cause an electrical fire behind the walls.

Ehrlich gives you peace of mind

Ehrlich Pest Control mouse control specialists know all of the places mice can hide. They understand the risks and can spot even the smallest signs of mice around the home or property. They also have the training and experience to know what kind of mice you have and where they might be getting in. Working with you, your dedicated pest specialist can develop an effective method of removing the mice and stopping them from returning. Knowing the signs of a mouse infestation and being able to prevent it will not only keep mice out of your home, but also the diseases and health risks that come with them.

It's best to stay safe and act quickly if you start seeing the warning signs. If you think you’ve spotted the signs of a mouse infestation in your home, heard their little feet scampering in the walls, or worry about mice on your property and their potential health risks, just contact Ehrlich and set up a free property inspection.


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