The Case For Killing: 5 Reasons To Get Rid Of Rodents In Your Home, Fast

Even if you have a place in your heart for every animal on Earth, addressing a rodent problem humanely, by not killing them, may not be in your best interest. Mice breed throughout the year, with a quick gestation period and large litters possible, so by the time you catch a couple of them, their relatives have bred and spread all over your home. Beyond the annoyance of hearing mice around your home and being startled when you run into one, they can be very hazardous to your health and that of your children and pets.

1. Salmonella

While some states suffer from a greater number of Salmonella cases than others, nobody wants to deal with the stomach aches, chills, fever, and bloody stools associated with a severe infection. Some species of Salmonella can actually introduce Typhoid Fever to your system, too, which can be far more serious still. Rat and mouse droppings can contaminate anything in your home, which could then transfer to food and water supplies. Even if you don't see the rice-sized poop scattered near your sink or stove, the animal's tiny feet could leave tiny bacterial traces as they meander about your home, eventually causing sickness among your family members.

2. Antibiotic-Resistant E. Coli

Escherichia coli, otherwise known as E. Coli, is a nasty bacteria found all over the environment, including the intestines of rats and mice. E. Coli will leave you in severe abdominal pain, along with a bout of particularly intense diarrhea. Unfortunately, many forms of the disease aren't treatable with antibiotics, and to make matters worse, it's transmissible between humans, meaning if one member of your family gets it, others are likely to soon follow.

If you have infected rodents in your home, the most likely means of E. Coli contamination would be from exposure to fecal matter. Cleaning up after rodents may seem like a simple process, but unless you throw out the broom and dustpan you use and wear gloves and a breathing mask, you could be putting yourself at risk by not allowing a professional to quickly eradicate your uninvited house guests.

3. Streptobacillary Fever

Sloshing away in rodent's bodily fluids is a bacteria that could eventually wreak havoc on your heart, lungs, spinal cord, and even brain, called Streptobacillary, or rat-bite fever. You (or someone in your family) could be exposed to this bacteria through a bite or scratch from the rodent, but sometimes an animal that consumes the infected rat, such as a dog or mouse, can also put humans at risk. While the wound typically heals normally, within a few weeks, horror movie symptoms develop, like violent vomiting, pain all over, dizzying headaches, and a grotesque rash on the hands and feet.

4. Toxoplasmosis

As innocuous as the cute and fuzzy mouse may look, it could be carrying a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite can affect your pets, along with your family, and it's particularly threatening to women who are pregnant. While symptoms usually mimic the flu, if you have a compromised immune system, Toxoplasmosis is much worse, often leading to serious and even life-threatening infections.

Having pets and/or children and rodents can be a precarious situation, as the rodents themselves pose a risk to both, but the pest control treatments are also potentially hazardous. When you contact a professional, discuss strategies to combat the rodents while protecting your loved ones.

5. Roundworms

Worms and eggs from rodents end up in soil and other areas around your home, but if you have a dog, roundworms are even more likely to be a problem for your family. If your dog eats a contaminated rodent or its feces, expect to see diarrhea and a bloated, uncomfortable belly in your pet. It's not too difficult for people to catch roundworms from dogs, which might leave you with digestive complications, aches, chills, and fever. If your dog was exposed to toxoplasmosis, he'd be even more susceptible to the worms, so in addition to consulting your family physician about a rodent infestation, if you have pets, you'll likely need to contact your vet as well. 

You may be like most people and can't stand the thought of harming any living creature; however, when rodents are in your home, your family is in danger. While you can take measures to discourage a rat infestation, such as keeping your trash a good distance away from your home and sealing possible avenues into the house, once they're there, it's tough to get rid of them. Ask a pest control professional from a place like the Pioneer Exterminating Company about trapping, first, but follow their recommendations for the fastest method of rodent control, to avoid unnecessary risks.