Some of the reasons a pest infestation is a problem are obvious. For example, they’re gross and they can damage your home, but did you know that they can also be a serious health hazard? Rats and mice alone can carry over 35 diseases that can then be transmitted to you and your pets. Proper pest control is needed to not only give you your home back but also keep you and your loved ones healthy. The following are just a few health hazards you might face with a pest infestation.
1. Foodborne Illnesses
Many types of illnesses are caused by bacteria found in food. Often, this bacteria is left there by pests such as flies, mice, and cockroaches. Illnesses such as gastroenteritis, salmonella, and dysentery are all conditions that can develop from bacteria in food. Aside from contaminating our food through direct access, such as crawling into a cereal box, pests can also leave behind bacteria by crawling over our counters and utensils. If they travel through your kitchen in the middle of the night, they could contaminate your food preparation areas and equipment without you even knowing it.
2. Asthma and Respiratory Issues
Rodent and insect infestations can also be a health hazard for those who suffer from asthma and allergies. Cockroaches are especially known to cause allergy and asthma flare-ups. Their shedding exoskeletons, feces, and saliva can all trigger allergy or asthma attacks. Similar to dust mites, cockroaches cause these common symptoms when their parts get stirred up into the air:
- Ear infections.
- Sinus infections.
Cockroaches and their feces can also cause respiratory issues for individuals who aren’t typically prone to allergies. If these insects remain in your house long enough, the constant exposure can damage your family’s lungs.
Hantaviruses are very serious viruses that are typically transmitted through rodents such as mice and rats. The viruses are often spread from the pests’ saliva, feces, and urine, but you don’t need to come into contact with these bodily fluids to ingest the viruses. Hantaviruses are airborne, so people can ingest them by breathing in the contaminated droplets from urine or saliva or dust from feces and contract a hantavirus infection.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a serious disease cased by hantaviruses. It typically takes one to five weeks for symptoms to appear, but once the syndrome is in its early stages, it progresses quickly. Roughly 36% of people with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome die, so you want to make sure not to expose your family to hantaviruses.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused by rodents. This disease is spread by eating or drinking food that’s been contaminated by infected rodents. It can also be picked if a person’s skin or mucous membrane comes into contact with infected soil. Leptospirosis can cause a wide variety of symptoms including:
- Muscle aches.
If leptospirosis is gone untreated, it can lead to serious health issues, such as kidney damage, meningitis, respiratory distress, and liver failure. It can lead to death.
If you find yourself facing a serious pest infestation in your home, eliminate the health risk by contacting one of the professionals in pest control Houston has to offer, such as Bulwark Exterminating.