Does your family have any funny rodent stories? Mine does–see below!–but having rodents in the house can actually be more dangerous than fun.

If a mouse strikes fear into your heart, you probably already think rodents are dangerous, but many people’s outdoor cats bring them presents of this sort all the time. And during the drought more small wild things are making their way into California homes looking for water.

Why are rodents dangerous?

Even pet rodents can carry what are called Zoonotic diseases–diseases which can be caught by humans from animals. All it takes is a scratch. Severe allergic reactions can come from tiny exposures to urine. Remember when your kid held that mouse and it peed? Yeah, that.

Many zoonotic infections go undiagnosed as flu, but mortality rates can be extremely high especially among young children and the immune compromised. Hantavirus has an approximately 34% mortality rate. Children are both unreliable hand washers and rougher with animals than more mature people and are therefore more likely to be bitten when handling a pet rodent.

How can you prevent getting sick from rodents?

  1. Do not handle wild rodents–No matter how friendly, do not try to pet that squirrel or chipmunk. It could bite or scratch.
  2. Buy pets from reputable sources–A friend of a friend with some baby mice is probably not doing proper health monitoring.
  3. Inspect potential pets carefully–Choose a rodent with good body weight, healthy hair and no sign of illness.
  4. Take your new pet to the vet right away–A new pet is a nervous pet and more likely to bite or scratch. Make sure your pet is healthy before letting children hold or play with it.
  5. Don’t offer food or water–Sometimes wild rodents do get into houses and try to make their home inside where there is access to food and water. Make sure that access is restricted.
  6. Call for help–If you do have rodents in your homecall a professional to have them removed as soon as possible!

Alliance Environmental Group is happy to offer Rodent Removal and cleanup services. Our process does NOT use dangerous poison, but rather high temperatures to deal with rodents and the viruses and bacteria they can leave behind:

The heating process causes rodents to flee the structure and kills kills bacteria and viruses that may be left behind by the rodents. Thermal imaging then helps our technician identify where heat is exiting the structure and therefore find possible points of entry for rodents. Once the process is completed, these points of entry can be repaired and reduce the chances of future infestation.

Time for a personal story. Worse than mice or rats even, skunks decided to next in the basement of my childhood home. There is nothing like the lovely smell of a very close by skunk in the middle of the night to drive you out into the back yard! Ah, memories!

Today, we have a neighbor who rescued a baby squirrel, which now lives in her yard. And everyone else’s. One day, her pet actually jumped on the mail carrier! If only we had it on video!

Rodents can be cute and can make great little pets for a small home or apartment, but it is still important to be thoughtful about the risks. And if your cat isn’t taking care of your rodent problem, call Alliance before they start having babies in the attic!

Download a free copy of our Asbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.