Rodents, bats, and some birds may damage/destroy property, eat and contaminate stored food, spread diseases, carry allergens, and serve as hosts of for certain insects in mites.
- Experts estimate that rodents are responsible for nearly 25% of fires of unknown origin, due to their chewing on wiring.
- Rodents can harbor or transmit a number of disease-causing pathogens.
- They are common hosts of ectoparasites like fleas, ticks, and mites, which serve as vectors of disease-causing pathogens. The bubonic plague was caused by the Oriental rat flea and the rats that carried them into human dwellings.
- The deer mouse is the primary carrier of hantavirus.
- Food poisoning caused by rodents is a great health threat. Salmonella and other bacteria may be spread to food and food-preparation surfaces via rodent urine or droppings.
- Urine from rats and mice are potent allergens. They can become airborne, and are linked to asthma.
- Humans can become infected with virus particles through contact or inhalation of infected rodent urine, saliva, or feces.
The three most important rodent pests in the U.S. are the house mouse (Mus musculus), the roof rat (Ratlus rant’s), and the Norway rat (Ratters norvegicus).
Many rodenticides (the pesticides used for rodent control) are anticoagulants (blood thinners). Anticoagulants prevent blood from clotting, so rodents die from internal bleeding after ingesting them. Some rodenticides that are not anticoagulants include zinc phosphide, bromethalin, and cholecalciferol.
Special care must be taken when using rodenticides as they are toxic to all mammals, including humans and our pests. For this reason, special care must be taken when using rodenticides. It’s extremely important to read the label of all bait product used.
Rodenticides are most effective against larger populations of rodents. Both large and small infestations can often be managed by using traps or other non-chemical measures. When using traps, however, you must ensure the devices are set properly. This is because many rodents learn from bad experiences and avoid devices that have caused them stress.
Bats are in the order Chiroptera. About 40 different species of bats are found in the U.S.
Some bat species are considered beneficial, as they serve as important predators of insects. Others contribute to pollination.
Unfortunately, Bats are also capable of transmitting disease-causing pathogens, such as the rabies virus, and fungal pathogens such as Histoplasma capsulatum. In some regions of the U.S., Histoplasma capsulatum grows in bat feces. It can become airborne and may cause a lung disease called histoplasmosis.