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Published on May 5, 2016
Almost everywhere across the globe where people have settled, rats and mice can also be found. These rodents often try to live in and around people’s homes, schools and businesses as they seek shelter and food.
Unfortunately, the presence of rodents can lead to both property damage and health concerns. In addition to chewing through wood, insulation and many other materials, rodents are known to gnaw at electrical wires. This could result in a dangerous and costly fire. Rodents are also known to chew through water and drain pipes which could result in flooding and water damage as well as sewage contamination. While most homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage for gradual damage caused by pests, most will cover sudden and unexpected damage.
The presence of rodents can cause allergies in some people and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.”
Some of the diseases transmitted directly to humans by rodents according to the CDC include: • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome • Leptospirosis • Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis • Plague • Rat-Bite Fever • Salmonellosis • Tularemia
A partial list of diseases indirectly transmitted by rodents, as reported by the CDC, include:
If faced with having to clean up a rodent infestation, it’s important to take safety precautions. The CDC provides advice and tips that can be found at the following website: www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/
These are just a few things to know about rodent infestations, property damage and indoor environmental concerns. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, occupational, health, safety or property issues, please visit the websites shown below.