The Effects of Rat and Mice Infestation on Your Home and Health

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It is a well-known fact that rats can cause significant amounts of damage to a home and, more pressingly, impose health risks on both humans and pets. However, not a lot of homeowners know exactly what kind of damage and health risks rats and mice cause—and that lack of knowledge can make it difficult for them to mitigate the dangers that these pests bring.

That said, here are the specific types of damage and health risks that rats and mice can cause—as well as some tips on how you can prevent them:

Structural damage

Rats and mice will chew on just about anything that they can use to build their nests, be it wood, paper, fabric, leather, etc. That said, an infestation can easily cause significant structural damage to your home, weakening its integrity and leading to a host of issues, such as sagging floors, cracked walls, loose windows, and more.

The longer these pestilent rodents stay in your home, the more damage they can cause as they multiply and build more nests. So, once you spot signs of rats or mice, call a reliable home pest control service as soon as possible.

Car damage

If rodents manage to get into your vehicle, they can burrow into the seats to create cozy nests. Apart from that, they can chew up leather, wiring, plastic accessories, and nearly everything else in your car. If they manage to chew through an important component, you may be looking at quite a hefty repair bill at the mechanic.

To avoid attracting rodents to your car, always ensure that your car is free from food residue and packaging, especially if you park outside your garage.

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Electrical damage

One of the many causes of wiring problems in a home is rodent damage. Just like wood, paper, and fabric, rats also like to chew on the insulation that surrounds wires. This can cause lights, appliances, and other electrical goods to short circuit, malfunction, or even ignite. Hence, having a rat infestation in your home can be a significant fire risk.

Once you see signs of electrical problems, call an electrician first to rule out other problems. As soon as they confirm that rodents are the cause, it’s time to call pest control services ASAP.

Insulation damage

The insulation in your walls and ceilings also make for great nest materials, which means that they are susceptible to rodent damage.

Damage to valuables

As you probably know by now, almost no item is safe from rats and mice. They can destroy books, clothes, paintings, irreplaceable family heirlooms, important documents, and many other things that are difficult or impossible to replace.

Health hazards

Aside from damage to your home and belongings, rodents can also pose significant dangers to human and pet health. Here are some of the most common ways they can cause harm to your family:

  • They can transfer diseases through their urine, feces, hair, and saliva.
  • They can transfer diseases through bites.
  • Ticks, fleas, and mites from infected rats can transfer illnesses to humans and pets.
  • They can contaminate food and water sources.

Rats and mice can carry and transmit 35 different diseases, such as:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis
  • Tularemia
  • Salmonellosis
  • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Lassa fever
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Plague
  • Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome

General tips to prevent rats and mice

  • Keep your home clean. A dirty home has higher chances of attracting all sorts of pests, including rodents. Keeping your home clean is the best way to prevent pests from invading your home.
  • Secure food sources. Ensure that all of your food items are secured in proper storage containers, including pet food. This is especially important if you store food stocks in the garage.
  • Seal entry points. Inspect the exterior of your home for possible entry points for both small and large pests. Seal any gap, hole, or crack that you see to prevent them from entering your home.
  • Set up traps. If you live in an area with a high rodent population, set up traps around your home to help reduce their numbers.
  • Cover and clean your garbage cans. Always ensure that your garbage cans are properly covered. Moreover, clean them regularly to remove trash residue that can attract pests.

Among all the pests, rats and mice are some of the most destructive and hazardous to human and pet health. Luckily, taking proactive measures against these pestilent creatures can significantly reduce your risk of infestation, especially if you live in an area that has a high population of wild rodents.

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