Many home owners have become a little complacent about controlling mice and other rodents in recent decades. It may be partly because we now frequently see mice and rats for sale as pets, and so don’t feel as threatened by mice and rats as we once did. It may also be because our generation hasn’t had to witness anything like the deadly Bubonic Plagues of the early 1900s. The fear factor may have been reduced but there are still very good reasons for keeping mice and rats away from your home or farm.
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Why mice are still a problem
Mice still carry the same diseases they did back in the 1900s. We know much more about them now and of course, in some cases, advances in modern medicine have rendered some of the viruses and infections transmitted from mice to humans or pets less deadly. Nonetheless, we still don’t want to be on the receiving end of some of the conditions that mice and rats can spread like:
• Toxoplasmosis – a parasitic infection that may result when a parasite is transmitted from mice to cats and then to humans. In healthy humans, the risk of illness is considered low however, where other conditions have reduced immunity, eye damage and inflammation of the brain, among other problems may occur.
• Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s disease) – infection is thought to come from food, water or soil that has been contaminated by rodents. Olympic rower Andy Holmes died of this disease in 2010 apparently after coming into contact with contaminated water.
• Hemorrhagic fevers – a group of viruses that affect multiple organs. Vaccines are only available for a few viruses within this group so prevention is all important.
•Salmonellosis – yes, the all-to-common Salmonella bacteria. Infection comes from consuming contaminated food however few people understand how the food in question becomes contaminated. Food can be contaminated by droppings from animals that are infected – including, but not limited to, mice.
How mice spread disease
Mice spread disease in three ways – via the droppings and urine the mice leave when they come into contact with food or utensils; by biting or otherwise coming into contact with humans or animals; and by infecting fleas that in turn infect humans or pets.
Controlling mice can be difficult – and if neighbouring homes or properties are well protected from mice, your home may well become the preferred feeding and breeding ground for the local mice.
How to Get Rid of Mice
So how do you control mice? Prevention is your first line of defence against mice. Don’t leave snacks out for the mice – keep surfaces clean and free from food crumbs and properly seal packets of food that you store in the pantry. Block off gaps through which mice may enter your home.
It might also be a good idea to consult a pest control expert if your infestation is serious, you can contact us if you would like advice with regards to an infestation or to arrange an appointment by calling us on 0414 267 273.