The importance of Rodent Proofing
The first danger of rodents or mice in the attic is the threat they pose to the structure of your home. Mouse holes can lead to a problem with leaking and water damage and rodents can gnaw at and ruin insulation. If you have rodents in the attic that are fond of wiring, you have a potential fire hazard on your hands. You’ll also find everything from the corners of cardboard boxes to the edges of rafters breaking or wearing down from incessant gnawing. Other dangers include the ushering in of other animals and insects through their holes, distracting noises and diseases that humans can come in contact with through food contaminated with mouse urine.
Diseases Directly Transmitted by Rats
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. This is a viral disease that is transmitted by the rice rat. This disease is spread in one of three ways: inhaling dust that is contaminated with rat urine or droppings, direct contact with rat feces or urine, and infrequently due to the bite of rat.
- Leptospirosis. This is a bacterial disease that can be transmitted by coming into contact with infected water by swimming, wading or kayaking or by contaminated drinking water. Individuals may be at increased risk of Leptospirosis infections if they work outdoors or with animals.
- Rat-bite Fever. This disease may be transmitted through a bite, scratch or contact with a dead rat.
- Salmonellosis. Consuming food or water that is contaminated by rat feces bacteria can cause this disease.
Diseases Indirectly Transmitted by Rats
- Plague. This disease is carried by rats and transmitted by fleas in the process of taking a blood meal. Domestic rats are the most common reservoir of plague.
- Colorado Tick Fever. This is a viral disease that is transmitted by the bite of a tick that has taken a blood meal from a bushy-tailed woodrat.
- Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. This disease is a parasite that is transmitted to a person by the bite of an infected sand fly that has fed on a wild wood rat.