DEC 9th, 2019 by Rebecca Wallace
Rodents can be a big problem for both your health and your home. Not only can rodents carry multiple diseases that can be potentially fatal, but they also can destroy your home. Rodents like to burrow in walls, tear up insulation, chew up chords and gas lines, eat your food and make a mess. It is actually estimated that nearly 20-25% of all home fires of unknown origin are due to rodents. And in the winter, there is always an increase of indoor rodent activity because the rodents are trying to find food and warm shelter. Rodents are a problem most people do not think could be hazardous, but it is a hazard. Having a trained professional come and take care of the problem for you is always recommended.
The first step in ridding your home of rodents is having a pest control company come out, assess the situation and start a treatment plan. Sometimes this can last 1 week, and in extreme situations, it can last months. Once the rodents are out, you will need to get the rodent droppings and urine remediated which includes sanitation. You never want to sweep or vacuum up the droppings yourself. This can release the disease into the air and cause even more problems with air quality. So, having the area impacted by the rodents professionally remediated is extremely important. There is specialty equipment and chemicals needed to remove the droppings safely and effectively which a professional company should have. Sometimes rodents have destroyed ceilings, walls, insulation and a slew of other things. The rodent remediation company should also be able to remove the impacted areas where needed.
Diseases that rodents carry can vary widely and are geographical as well. For instance, in Arizona, we have deer mice that carry hantavirus. Hantavirus is found more in Northern Arizona than anywhere else in the state, but it is found statewide. Hantavirus usually starts with fever, chills, muscle aches, dizziness, nausea, and a cough. If you do have any of these symptoms and have been around rodent droppings, please contact your physician. Hantavirus has a 40% fatality rate in Arizona, so minimizing exposure and getting medical attention quickly if you are exposed are extremely important. Arizona has also had confirmed cases of the plague in Northern Arizona. Exposure to infected rodents is one of the ways to be at risk. There are other types of disease in rodents, but in Arizona, hantavirus is the most prevalent.
If you find rodent droppings in your home, hear scurrying or have a home inspection where rodent activity is found, please call a professional. There are many resources that can help you reclaim your home and help you feel safe again. Don't hesitate to reach out to one.