4 Diseases from a Rodent Infestation

14 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog


A rodent infestation can be a real problem. Rodents carry harmful diseases that can be life-threatening. Here are a few diseases to which a rodent infestation can expose you and your family:

Rat-bite Fever

If you touch a dead rat, ingest contaminated food or water, or are bitten by an infected rodent, you could contract rat-bite fever. Rat-bite fever is a bacterial infection that, in North America, is caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis.  The symptoms include fever, muscle pain, rash, and vomiting. 

Once you get the disease, symptoms will usually present in about three to 10 days. However, for some people, symptoms may not be apparent for up to three weeks. After your body temperature becomes elevated, a rash of flat, red areas with little bumps may arise on your feet and hands. In addition, your joints may swell and become painful.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that you can contract from water, food, or soil that has been contaminated by the urine of an infected rodent. It is named for the bacteria leptospira, which causes the disease, and occurs most frequently among people who enjoy outside water activities, such as swimming or kayaking.  

If you develop leptospirosis and don't receive treatment, you can incur kidney or liver damage or and meningitis. The disease can be fatal.


Salmonellosis is caused by the bacterium salmonella. You can contract salmonellosis by ingesting food that is contaminated with rodent feces. The symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever.

If you contract the disease, you will most likely recover within four to seven days, even without treatment. However, the diarrhea associated with the illness can become so severe that hospitalization may be required. In addition, salmonellosis can spread from the intestinal tract to the blood and other areas of the body, causing death. Treatment with antibiotics is usually successful.


If you touch a dead rodent, get bitten by an infected tick or insect, breathe contaminated dust, or consume contaminated food or water, you may contract tularemia. The disease is caused by a bacterium called Francisella tularensis. Even hamsters from pet stores have been known to spread the disease. 

Symptoms vary depending on how the contaminant entered the body. However, the disease is always accompanied by a fever.  

A rodent infestation on your property can cause serious health problems. To eradicate an existing infestation or prevent one from occurring, contact a pest control service provider today like Choice Pest Control.