Mice and rodent infestations are always a problem. They carry ticks and can chew through wallboard and wiring – creating fire hazards. Estimates say that up to 25 percent of the household fires in the United States could be caused by rodents chewing electrical wires.
In addition to physical damage to your house, did you know that rodents can also trigger allergies and make them worse? The allergic reactions aren’t limited to just rodent dander. Mice and other rodents can also trigger asthma and a wide range of other allergies. In fact, sometimes people assume they’re allergic to dust and mold when really the allergy is rodent related.
Why Are There Mice in My House?
Mice and other rodents like rats, squirrels, etc. often seek shelter inside homes when weather is harsh. That usually means winter, when an estimated 21 million homes are infested, but could also include extended periods of rain, high winds, tropical storms, etc. They also might infest a home to get away from predators while having easy access to a steady food source – your kitchen.
While you might think that having pets like dogs and especially cats would deter mice and rodent infestations that’s not always the case. The rodents may still enter but stay in places the cats and dogs can’t get to, like inside walls, attics, etc.
How Do Mice Trigger Allergy Attacks?
The first, and most obvious answer is that anyone specifically allergic to mice or rodents in general will have an allergic reaction to their fur and dander. Worse, it’s unlikely to be noticed. The dander would mix with dust and the shed fur would probably be ignored or assumed to be from another source, like a pet. It’s still enough to set off someone with allergies.
Rodent droppings and urine contain a particular protein that can cause serious allergic reactions in some people, according to the Fairfax County Health Department in Virginia. As both droppings and urine dry, it can become airborne and inhaled.
Studies have even shown that 35% of all homes have rodent urine at quantities that can trigger allergic reactions. Trace amounts of rodent urine have been found in 82% of homes.
Laboratory workers who handle mice and rats were also found to have a much higher degree of allergy and asthma symptoms. Research from 2004 proved that a similar issue existed in private homes, whether through exposure to pet mice and rats or a rodent infestation.
Mice and other rodents can also be carriers of ticks, fleas and parasites that can bring their own diseases and allergic reactions. Additionally, rodents have also been shown to transmit salmonella, hantavirus, tularemia, rat bite fever, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, leptospirosis, and bubonic plague.
How to Prevent Mice Infestations:
- Eat in one area and clean up thoroughly afterward
- Keep your home clean and uncluttered
- Store food, including pet food, in tightly sealed containers
- Keep garbage in a sealed trashcan
- Clean and mop at least once a week
- Fix water leaks and plumbing problems
- Seal gaps and holes in and around pipes, walls, etc., with steel wool because mice can’t chew it.
If You Have a Rodent Problem, Call Arrow
Whether they’re in your walls or digging holes in your yard, rodents can be difficult to eliminate. Call the professionals at Arrow Exterminating to handle it.