Mice Infestation: Do Mice Bite And Carry Diseases?
You may have seen a mouse gnawing away on something and wondered if mice bite people, and more importantly, whether they can transmit a disease to you.
Do Mice Bite?
The first thing you need to know is that mice fear people, and they rarely bite people. They have more to fear from us than we do from them.
However, don’t assume you are always completely safe from a bite by their teeth. There are some situations that can put you at a risk of being bitten by these gnawing mammals.
When Do Mice Bite?
There are numerous reasons that can make mice bite you. The most common situation is when a mouse is cornered, and lacks a place to escape. It can become anxious, and if it feels you are blocking its way, it will attack you to escape.
Also, mice bite if they feel they are being hunted for extermination. They are terrified and will do anything for their safety including biting you if necessary to survive.
Another reason that can make mice bite you is sickness or death. Just like humans, mice can be moody. When they are sick, they are in a bad mood. Also, when their loved ones die, they feel sorrowful just like people. A mouse in such a situation can bite you upon the slightest provocation.
It is worth remembering though that a mouse will not bite you if it is not provoked.
If you have mice in your home, it is best not to engage them yourself, but instead, contact a professional pest control expert to remove the problem for you.
Signs and Symptoms of a Mouse Bite
If you are unfortunate to have been bitten by a mouse there are signs and symptoms you need to be aware of which include:
- An obvious wound and a bite mark
- Reddening and inflammation of the area surrounding the bite site
- Numbness of the bite site
Many people can blow a mouse bite out of proportion; the truth is the bite is usually a small puncture wound.
What to Do If Bitten by a Mouse?
If you’ve been bitten by a mouse it is important that you clean the bite site. Use a mild cleanser and then rinse it lightly with running water. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you are worried the bite may escalate to a more serious problem. They will be able to advise you the best way going forward.
Do Mice Carry Diseases?
The answer is yes. In fact, studies show that mice carry and spread more than 30 diseases to people. The most common include:
- Rat-Bite Fever
- Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
Mice transmit these diseases directly to humans through their saliva, feces, and urine. When a person comes into contact with these, they pick up the pathogens responsible for the disease which the mouse is carrying.
Mice can spread diseases through ticks and fleas as well. These diseases include:
- Lyme Disease
- Colorado Tick Fever
Common Mouse Diseases
Hantavirus is a serious disease that can cause fatalities among people. In most scenarios, it is a deer mouse that carries and transmits the viruses responsible for the illness. The viruses are found in the urine and feces of an infected mouse. Interestingly, the mouse will not get sick despite carrying the virus.
Important to know that Hantavirus cannot be transmitted directly from one person to another.
A person with hantavirus can show some of the following symptoms:
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- Muscle pains
With time, the victim may develop other more serious symptoms such as :
- A dry cough
- A headache
- Breathing difficulty
- Nausea and vomiting
- General malaise
If allowed to advance hantavirus can lead to severe respiratory infections that can be fatal.
Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the salmonella bacteria and is food-borne. Although in some cases people get this disease as a result of eating undercooked meat and eggs, food contaminated by infected mice feces can also cause it. One can also pick up the bacteria from food that has been prepared on a contaminated surface.
A person suffering from salmonellosis can experience some of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pains
The symptoms normally last for a short period, at most seven days, and then disappear on their own. The majority of the victims of the disease recover from the symptoms without having to take any treatment, but in case of serious complications, you are advised to seek a doctor’s attention.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM) is a viral disease caused by Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). You can become infected with the virus if you are exposed to an infected mouse’s (especially house mouse) fresh urine, feces or nesting materials.
The initial symptoms of LCM share many similarities with the flu, and they include:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
Over time the disease can cause more serious symptoms such as aseptic meningitis, brain inflammation, and increased brain fluid.
Rat-bite fever is both a bacterial and viral infection that is a result of being bitten or scratched by infected rodents. Handling an infected animal can also put a person at risk of the infection.
The infection can stay for three to ten days before you start to experience the early symptoms of the disease which include:
- Muscle pains
- Skin rash on the hands and feet
On the other hand, the viral version of rat-bite fever causes the following symptoms:
- An ulcer at the scratched or bitten area
- Swelling near the wound
- Swelling of lymph nodes
You don’t have to freak out when you spot a mouse because the animal is harmless unless it is provoked. However, be careful when dealing with them because they can make you and your family extremely sick. Don’t allow them to enjoy the comfort of your home, but make sure you handle them in a way that will not make you a victim of their anger and get bitten.
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