Rodents are a common household pest. And several different rodents can infest your home. The mouse and rat are the two most common rodents that you will find in your home or outbuildings. There are several dangers when it comes to rodent droppings. So in this article, we will look at how to identify rodent droppings, the health risks of rodent droppings, and how to remove the rodents from your property.
What Diseases Can Rats and Mice Transmit to Humans?
Through droppings, rats and mice carry two types of diseases: salmonellosis and leptospirosis. These can be very harmful to the general health of those living close to the rodents.
Salmonellosis is food poisoning. Normally infection is done when a mouse or rat has previously been in an area, leaving their droppings behind. The bacteria will increase and when the rodent returns they can walk over this and pick it up on their feed. They will then walk over to other food items, transferring the bacteria to the food that is then consumed by humans.
Salmonellosis can make the person very sick, with common symptoms being diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, headache, and blood in stools. Treatment can vary, but it can require hospital treatment in serious cases.
Leptospirosis is another bacterial type of food poisoning. It similarly infects the food. Many of the symptoms are the same, including high fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, and stomach cramps. However, there are also some differences between red eyes and jaundice, unique symptoms of this bacterial infection.
In addition to these common diseases, rats are known to carry viral diseases that can cause respiratory diseases. These are normally transmitted when a human is cleaning up the rodent droppings and breathing in dust from the droppings.
Finally, there are concerns about ticks, fleas, and mites that might also be present in the rats/mice. When in close contact, these can transfer to the human, bite them and cause significant problems. This is an indirect problem that can often be hidden.
When are Rat and Mouse Droppings Normally Noticed?
There are two periods when rat and mouse droppings are normally noticed. The first is when there is a noise heard at night. Homeowners tend to try to find out what is causing the noise and search the area where the noise is coming from. However, what happens is that they then come close to the droppings, which contain a vast majority of the diseases, and get infected because they’re not protected.
Another period when transmission can happen is when a person is cleaning their garden. They pull out patio furniture or something else and there is evidence of rats/mice behind that.
What About Urine?
Urine can also be a problem and this can transmit the diseases just as easily. However, spotting this can be more troublesome, especially as both rats and mice urate so little during the day. To spot these, you are looking for something that looks like a water stain near other evidence of droppings or rodent activity (i.e. bedding furniture).
There might also be a pungent odour near the droppings.
How to Clean up a Rat/Mouse Infestation
If you do find that your home or property has become home to a rat/mouse, then you must attempt to keep your home clean. However, this is a prime time for transmission, especially when you have dried rodent poop.
So what you need to do is to take precautions. The first thing you should do is to have a face mask, disposable gloves, and other protective clothing. Clean the area thoroughly using a disinfectant.
Then you need to get changed, have a shower and place all the clothes in a very hot wash. Disposable gloves and face masks can be thrown away in a bin bag.
Numerous disinfectants can be used which can be effective. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can be very effective.
How to Remove Rats/Mice From Your Property
Rats and mice are a pest on your property. And you should remove them. However, that doesn’t mean that they have to be harmed. There is no reason to kill the rodents unnecessarily. There are ways that you can deter them from the property through the use of good precautions and devices. Here are some suggestions.
Remove Food Sources
When it comes to rodents, they’re in an area because of the sources of food nearby. By using secure bins, removing bird food, or better hygiene in the home, you can remove the sources of food from the area. And not growing your food can also deter rats and mice. Rats are particularly fond of beans when grown in the garden.
In addition, you might want to remove water sources. While this won’t affect mice (who don’t need to drink daily), rats require a lot of water every day to survive and therefore will leave an area if they don’t have access.
Ultrasonic devices are those that emit a sound that rats and mice don’t appreciate. It will irritate and annoy them so they go and find a new area. These devices can also work on other animals, like possums.
Motion-Activated DeviceAn alternative for an outdoor device that could keep rodents out of your home is a motion-activated water sprinkler. It uses an infrared sensor to detect the body heat of animals and birds. Once triggered, it deploys a startling burst of water combined with unexpected noise and motion creating a safe, highly effective deterrent against all kinds of pests.
Dogs can be an effective deterrent for rats and mice. They’re known to be a predator of rodents and so will deter the rats/mice from the area.
While cats are often thought to be effective predators, they’re not often good at catching larger rats, who can sometimes rival them in size. Chickens on the other hand can be a good deterrent, especially when kept in a flock of between five and six. Chickens are pack hunters and will hunt for the rats to deter them from stealing eggs, which are a particular favourite food of rodents.
Final Word: Keep Your Home Safe: Understanding the Dangers of Rodent Droppings
Rodent droppings are a particular threat to human health. Above are the details of what dangers they present to humans and also what can be done to clean them and deter rats/mice from entering your property. Early prevention is always safer and easier than cure, so try to prevent them from getting access to your property in the first place.