A mouse infestation is one of the most common problems in many households. These rodents often leave their droppings almost anywhere, creating possible health risks. Unfortunately, their droppings can sometimes find their way into your food, so it’s important to know the potential dangers.
Eating mice poop can cause several diseases that may lead to health problems which can be mild to severe. Mice are known to wander in very unsanitary places, and their feces often carry various pathogens that can harm humans.
This article will discuss the consequences of consuming mice poop and how to manage these pests in your home.
Can You Get Sick From Mouse Poop?
Mouse poop can make you sick since mice are notorious disease carriers. In particular, mouse poop can infect you with the hantavirus if you ingest it. It can also travel into the body through areas like your eyes and nose.
Adult mice typically excrete 50-75 droppings per day at random areas of the house. They may contaminate your kitchen, bedroom, and even your living room, where there are high chances of contact.
The best way to avoid getting sick from mouse poop is by wearing gloves and a mask when cleaning the droppings and disinfecting the area right after. It’s also important to keep your environment clean to make an infestation less likely.
What Illnesses Can You Get From Mouse Poop?
Mouse poop carries pathogens that cause certain illnesses like:
Salmonellosis is a disease caused by salmonella, a food-borne bacteria found in the feces of animals, including rodents. Salmonellosis is an infection spread through the fecal-oral route. Humans are usually affected by eating foods contaminated by an infected carrier.
Symptoms of this illness include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Most people recover without treatment, but some severe cases require the prescription of antibiotics and even hospitalization, especially if diarrhea gets worse.
Listeriosis is a severe disease caused by listeria monocytogenes, a food-borne bacteria that mice can spread through their infected droppings. Similar to salmonellosis, humans become ill by ingesting food contaminated by listeria.
Listeriosis affects pregnant women and newborns, most significantly, as well as people with compromised immune systems.
Symptoms of this illness include diarrhea, fever, and muscle pains. Listeriosis is invasive since it can cause infections in the bloodstream and brain, which are severe occurrences.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records that out of the 1600 people who contract listeriosis, 260 die, and more than 90% of the infected get hospitalized. This makes listeriosis among the most dangerous food-borne diseases transmitted by mice.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, or HPS, is a rare infectious disease that can lead to acute heart and lung problems. People become ill through direct contact or inhalation of infected droppings that are stirred up in the air.
HPS is an extremely serious and sometimes fatal respiratory infection characterized by fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. Some conditions may cause headaches and gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Complete recovery from hantavirus pulmonary disease can take days to months if given proper medical care. However, about 40% of people with the disease die.
How to Stay Safe From Mouse Poop
There are two major things to do to keep yourself safe from mouse droppings and the diseases that come with them:
- Keep your surroundings clean
- Get rid of mice in your home
Keep Your Surroundings Clean
Here are some tips on cleaning clean up mice poop and killing any germs it harbors:
Put On Protective Gear
Mouse poop can carry all sorts of germs. Knowing how to clean it out properly is essential to avoid getting infected. Wearing a mask and gloves when removing mouse droppings can protect you from contracting a disease by avoiding direct contact or inhalation.
Disinfect the Area
After carefully removing mouse poop, you must clean out the area afterward. Germs may have already spread in the surrounding area, and contact with its surface may still cause harm.
Using a disinfectant such as a bleach solution or antiseptic spray is recommended to sanitize the area. Wipe it off with paper towels and dispose of it in a separate trash bag. Throw the garbage immediately into the dumpster. Do not let it stay inside your home.
Call Pest Control
It’s unlikely for a single mouse to invade your home. Investigate if there are droppings in other areas or if you notice mouse activity like rustling or scratching sounds, holes in your food containers, or ammonia-like smells in your home.
If you confirm a mouse infestation and can no longer handle it, it is best to call your local pest control service to help you out with your problem. This way, they can better address the issue and provide you with practical solutions to get rid of these destructive animals.
Get Rid of Mice in Your Home?
House mice typically hide in your attic, garage, or cabinets. Generally, any place suitable for shelter and near food sources is a viable hiding place for them. You can get rid of mice at your home by regularly cleaning your space, clearing out their nests, and storing food securely.
Mice breed so fast that their females can get pregnant about ten times yearly and produce an average of 6-8 offspring each time. These pups then mature over the year and breed another generation, which can become a big problem.
Here are some tips on how to get rid of mice at home:
Set Mouse Traps
Contrary to popular belief, cheese is not the best bait to trap your house pests. Nuts, fruits, and grains attract are far more effective in luring them into the mousetrap. Use gloves or tongs when placing the bait, as mice consider human smell a threat and might be wary of your set-up.
Use Natural Mice Repellents
You may be surprised that simple household items can help fend off mice. Peppermint, clove oil, and pepper, are very effective mouse repellants. You can use them as they are or as essential oils. Place them in areas where mice usually hide, like cupboards, behind cabinets, drawers, and attic or garage entrances.
Try Ultrasonic Mouse Repellents
Ultrasonic mouse repellents are a relatively new technology for getting rid of pests, but they are quite effective. These devices are readily available for purchase online and in stores; all you have to do is plug them in. You just have to ensure that the device is in an open space and not blocked by any furniture to work effectively.
Bring In a Cat
Bringing in a cat will perhaps be the most fool-proof solution you can do to address your mouse infestation problem. If none of the family members are allergic, cats can do a great deal of help in warding off those unwanted rodents.
Mice are pests to every household. They not only destroy your things but also carry around many diseases that can affect your family’s health. Eliminating mice in your home is a must to ensure your family’s safety.