Rodents and the Health Risk They Pose

What diseases do mice & rodents share?

It is not uncommon for mice and rodents to move into your home during the colder Winter months. So, you may wonder what are the rodents and the health risk they pose. Mice and other rodents can bring up to 35 different diseases. Obviously not all disease in one rodent, however they can have multiple diseases. These diseases can be transmitted to touch, bites, feces, urine, and the handling of these animals.

Here are several common diseases:


First identified in 1993, Hantavirus mostly is found in the Western states. The virus causes kidney, blood, and respiratory problems in humans. Symptoms start one to five weeks after exposure. Symptoms include: fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, and chills. Quick treatment decreases the severity of the illness. People get infected by urine (most common) or feces being disrupted and the particles go airborne. The particles then are breathed in or land on food and surfaces.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV)

This virus is found in the common house mouse. Approximately 5% of all house mice have this disease. Pet hamsters do not normally carry LCV but hamsters in the wild can be infected from mice. Humans get infected by urine (most common) or feces being disrupted, bedding materials, and the particles go airborne through broken skin, the nose, the eyes, or the mouth. Symptoms include: non-specific flu-like signs and symptoms such as fever, malaise, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting. If untreated, the next phase symptoms may include meningitis (fever, headache, stiff neck, etc.), encephalitis (drowsiness, confusion, sensory disturbances, and/or motor abnormalities, such as paralysis), or meningoencephalitis (inflammation of both the brain and meninges). LCM is generally not fatal.


The plague is not just a disease of the Middle Ages. Really! It affects humans and other mammals. The bacterium, Yersinia pestis, is transmitted by the bite from a rodent flea or by handling a rodent that is positive for the plague. Dogs and cats can accidentally bring infected fleas into the home. The last urban outbreak was in 1924. Bubonic plague symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, and weakness and one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes (called buboes). The plague is a very serious illness, but is treatable with commonly available antibiotics if caught very early on. However, without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death.

Those are some of the common diseases cause by rodents and the health risk they pose. If you suspect or know that you have a rodent issue, call us at 615-220-1933. The sooner we get involved, the sooner your problem goes away.


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Absolute Pest Control is dedicated to making your home safe for you family. If you have a question about pests or any other pest problem, please call us at 615-220-1933 or click HERE to email us. We service most of Middle Tennessee including Smyrna, Murfreesboro, and LaVergne.