What Diseases Do Mice Carry?

Dealing with Diseases from Mice in Your House

Food Contamination and Other Damages

House Mouse

A mouse may contaminate your food supply with its feces and urine. House mice gnaw through electrical wiring, causing fires and failure of freezers, clothes dryers, and other appliances. A mouse's tooth mark is about 1/8 inch wide.

Diseases That Mice Carry

Hantavirus: Mice can carry a wide variety of diseases transmissible to humans. A very real problem with the infestation of mice is the Hantavirus, which has been a threat in the arid southwestern part of the country. While the house mouse is not a Hantavirus carrier, other Mice (white-footed and deer mice) have been noted carriers.

The house mouse has an overall gray color. The white-footed mouse and deer mouse both have a white underside. The house mouse's tail has very little fur on it; the deer mice and white-footed mice have more fur.

Salmonellosis: Salmonellosis is another concern. Salmonellosis can be transferred to food preparation and food storage areas. Salmonella lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals, including birds. Salmonella is usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces.

Disposal of Dead Rodents and Disinfecting Traps

Gloves: Always wear plastic or rubber gloves when handling dead rodents. Wear gloves when cleaning any items contaminated by rodents. Place the dead rodent in a plastic bag. Place that bag in a second bag and tightly seal it.

Trash Cans: Use trash containers with tight lids when disposing of dead rodents (placed in plastic bags).

Disinfect: Use bleach to disinfect the traps. Use three tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water. You can also use a commercial disinfectant.

Wash Gloves and Hands: After the disposal of dead rodents, cleaning the traps and resetting traps, thoroughly wash the gloved hands. Afterward, remove washed gloves and wash hands with soap and water.

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Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.

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