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Is it a big deal when a mouse or a rat gets into your home? You might not think so if you imagine only one little rodent hiding in your walls. Unfortunately, a rodent infestation is rarely one little rodent. Mice and rats are typically quiet. If you hear one, it is likely that you're only hearing one of many. But, on the off chance that you are actually hearing the only mouse or rat inside your Fort Worth home, you should know that it doesn't take long for rodents to reproduce. A female mouse can get pregnant as much as ten times in a year and can produce as many as 14 pups in a litter. If we consider an average of seven pups per litter, that is 70 mice that could come from the one female. When you also consider that there will be female mice within those 70 mice she produces, you can see how a home can quickly become filled with mice. The numbers are similar for rats. As we discuss the dangers rodents can pose to your health and property, keep in mind that the more rodents you have, the more of a threat they can be.

A House Fire

Let's start with the worst possible scenario. When one little rodent gets into your home, it can cause a house fire. This is because mice and rats can chew on wires, gas lines, and matches. How likely is it that a rodent will cause a fire in your home? While rare, this scenario is not nearly as rare as we'd like. Experts estimate that 20 to 25 percent of property fires that spark from an unknown source are likely to be rodent-related.

Secondary Pests

Next on our list are the parasites that mice and rats can bring into Fort Worth homes. While rodents are directly related to the spread of illness, they don't have anything on fleas and ticks. When you have a rodent infestation, it is important to understand that you are at greater risk of exposure to the diseases that can be spread by fleas and ticks.

 

Here are a few to consider:

 

Plague. While certainly rare (and dying from the plague is even rarer) it still happens. Fleas get the plague from rodents—particularly squirrels. When a flea bites an infected squirrel, and then bites a mouse or rat, that flea can present a threat to you as it can be brought into your home by the mouse or rat.

 

Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease can be a threat if medical treatment is not sought. The case-fatality rate of this disease is 30 percent in untreated patients. Even with treatment, it can still be dangerous to get this tick-borne disease. Some hospitals have reported a four percent case-fatality for patients with this disease. 

 

Lyme disease. This is a disease that is spread by ticks—particularly black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks). If you are bitten by an infected tick and contract the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, it can lead to chronic disease if not treated early.

There are many more diseases that can be dangerous, such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and more, but for the brevity of this article, we're going to move on.

Food Poisoning

One of the most common ways mice and rats make people sick is by exposing foods, food-prep surfaces, dishes, silverware, and other sensitive items to invisible organisms, such as bacteria and parasitic worms. This is because rodents get into garbage, sewers, compost, and sometimes feed on animal waste.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

This is a potentially serious respiratory condition that can result from cleaning up nests created by mice or rats—particularly deer mice. If you have the unfortunate task of removing rodent nests, be sure to wear a respirator or mask. The CDC reports that the rodents associated with HPS are deer mice, cotton rats, rice rats, and white-footed mice.

Property Damage

Rodents have incisors that never stop growing. They use these teeth to chew on things. They'll chew holes in your exterior and continue to chew on things when they get inside.

  • Holes created by rodents can present a health hazard as they can lead to a mold problem.

  • Rodent damage can cause structural issues and a structure collapse can cause injury.

Bites

While mice and rats are not predisposed to biting humans, they can when they are trapped or provoked. This is particularly true of rats. You should never go into a closed space with mice or rats.

Mitigate The Threat

If you're having issues with mice or rats, the best way to mitigate the threat is to hire a rodent control professional. Contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for rodent control in Houston. Our service professionals are not only training in rodent control, they can address fleas, ticks, and other issues that can arise from a rodent infestation.

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