5 Types of Diseases That Rodents Carry

Uninvited rodents are widespread in homes, especially during the winter months. However, many individuals are unaware that these pests can be much more than a nuisance. Rodents offer health risks. Rodents and mice spread over 35 illnesses. These diseases can be transmitted to people through direct contact with living or dead rodents, contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, and rodent bites. Diseases transmitted by rodents can also be transmitted to people indirectly via fleas, ticks, or mites that feed on an infected rodent.

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Some rodent illnesses are:


Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection in people and animals. It can be found all throughout the world, but it is more frequent in temperate and tropical climates. Some people infected with leptospirosis will show no symptoms at all, while others can get critically ill. Cattle, pigs, dogs, raccoons, and rats are among the wild and domestic animals that carry the Leptospira bacteria and transmit them in their urine. The most prevalent sources of human infection are soil or water contaminated with infected urine.


A plague is a deadly human infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is typically caused by a flea bite from an infected wild animal, such as a rat, chipmunk, or prairie dog. It frequently develops big lesions and abscesses in the arm and leg glands. Dogs and cats, in particular, can become infected and spread the disease to their human friends. Although wild animals in Washington do not contain plague germs, humans and domestic animals such as dogs and cats may be bitten by infected fleas while traveling to other parts of the country. Antibiotics can be used to treat the plague.


Tularemia is a bacterial disease that is most typically observed in wild animals and is caused by Francisella tularensis (e.g., wild rodents, squirrels, rabbits, hares, and beavers). Tularemia can be contracted through coming into contact with infected dead or ill animals, as well as by animal bites and exposure to tainted blood or raw meat. Tularemia can also be transferred through the bite of an infected arthropod (e.g., ticks, biting flies), contact with polluted water or soil, and bacterial inhalation. Every year, one to ten cases of tularemia in humans are reported. To avoid tularemia, avoid handling dead or ill animals, animal bites, tick and deer fly bites, and direct bare-hand contact with blood and raw flesh from wild animals. Drinking untreated water in locations where tularemia is known to occur in wild animals is not recommended.


Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a serious sickness induced by contact with the virus-carrying deer mice’s droppings or urine. Each year, one to five hantavirus cases are reported in Washington State, with one-third of the cases being fatal. When cleaning up an enclosed location such as a shed, cabin, or trailer where mice have nested, or mouse droppings are present, it is critical to take measures.


Some rodents carry salmonella bacteria in their digestive tract, making any interaction with rodent excrement, particularly the eating of infected food, a possible risk for salmonella infection. Chills, fever, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of the symptoms.

Need Pest Control Experts?

Contact the trained professionals from the Facility Pest Control team immediately if you have any questions about rodents or would like more information on how to avoid or get rid of infestations in your house.