Rodents are more than just a pesky pest to have around your home. In addition to being annoying, aggravating, and all around off-putting, they pose many potential risks to your health and safety as well. Rodent infestations can happen rapidly, sometimes without the homeowner even noticing. It’s important to know exactly what to keep an eye out for so you can catch these infestations early on, as well as knowing just why these infestations are so risky. Let’s check it out!
Rodent populations grow quickly due to their ability to multiply at a rapid rate. Many little rodent babies can come from the same litter (sometimes as many as 14!), and they begin to have litters of their own after just a short time, since they reach reproductive maturity very soon after birth. Female rodents can have 5 to 10 litters per year! It is because of this rapid reproduction that even going unnoticed for a couple of months can result in an immeasurable infestation.
Speaking of going unnoticed, rodents have the habit of hiding out of sight as much as possible, only showing their faces when no one is around. There are certain telltale signs to look out for in and around your home, however. If your crawlspace or attic smells strongly of urine, you might have many rodents lurking around. Discovering droppings in drawers, cabinets, closets, or your garage points to rodents as well. You can also keep an eye out for nests created in cozy corners or dimly lit spaces as well. Lastly, look for chewed power cords, baseboards, drywall, boxes, or anything of the sort, as rodents enjoy gnawing for a handful of reasons.
Now that you know how rodent infestations become a problem so quickly, and some things to keep an eye out for in your home that let you know rodents might be running amuck, it’s essential to understand just how risky it is to have these four-pawed pests around.
Rodents like rats and mice carry numerous diseases, more than 35, in fact! The diseases and pathogens that they carry can be spread to humans whether the rodents are dead or alive. They also can be spread through their droppings or urine, saliva, bites, and the pests they bring along with them. Some of the most notable afflictions are hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, plague, and tularemia. Hantavirus can lead to horrific respiratory illnesses and diseases that may even result in death. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a viral infection carried by rodents that has serious consequences for humans, and can even be transmitted between mother and unborn child. Tularemia can include ulceroglandular disease, causing abnormal and often painful swelling in the lymph glands.
In addition to the diseases that rodents can bring along with them, it also must be taken into consideration the diseases that are carried by pests that hitch a ride on their rodent friends. These illnesses include Lyme disease, Rock Mountain spotted fever, cat scratch disease, typhus, and many more. These are common afflictions that occur when humans come in contact with fleas, ticks, or mites that have been around or fed on a rodent.
Rodents pose risks for more than just your health. They also threaten the safety and well-being of your home. They can chew through walls, both interior and exterior, leaving your home exposed and vulnerable to other pests. These holes also allow for an air exchange between the inside and outside, which wastes energy spent on heating or cooling your home. Depending on how extensive the damage is to your home, it can also result in structural integrity issues, causing walls to shift, crack, or cave. Rodents can chew through cords and wires, leaving you without power, or causing a fire within your house. If they make their home in the attic, they may chew through protective layers that keep rain and other outdoor elements from permeating your roof. This can lead to mold, mildew, water damage, and more.
Rodents pose many risks for your health and safety, as well as for the well-being of your home. If you spot signs of an infestation in your house, reach out to the pest experts at Tri-X to get rid of them for good!