How Dangerous Are Mice In The Bay Area?

house mouse hiding

When we think of dangerous animals, mice don't typically come to mind. Sure, one little mouse can cause some Bay Area residents to squeal and jump up onto a chair or table for fear of being attacked; but how much harm could one tiny mouse really do? While a mouse is probably not going to bite you, and if it does, it is likely to only cause a minor wound, they aren't nearly as harmless as you might think. In fact, you might be startled to know how dangerous a little mouse can be. Here is a quick guide to the dangers of mice in the Bay Area.

One Little Mouse Can Cause A Big Fire

Let's start with the worst-case scenario. When a little mouse gets into your home, it is going to chew on lots of things. If it chews on the wrong things, such as a gas line, electrical wire, or a match, it can create a fire. Okay. That's scary. But, how worried should you be? It is estimated that 20 percent of all structural fires in the United States that result from undetermined conditions are the result of rodent habitation. That's one-fifth of all mystery fires. If you don't like those odds, it is a good idea to quickly address a mouse infestation when you detect warning signs.

The Bubonic Plague Is Still A Thing

mouse on a plant pot

If you live in the Bay Area, it is likely that you are aware that the plague is still a threat. While there is a cure, the bubonic plague continues to put West Coast residents at risk in the United States. If you notice dead rodents on your property, or your pet is exhibiting symptoms, you should take quick action. Fortunately, there hasn't been a plague fatality in the United States since 2015. The most important fact to consider with this disease is that it is spread by fleas or exposure to contaminated material through an open wound in your skin. 

There Are Many Diseases That Mice Can Transmit To Humans

When mice get into your home, plague is the least of your worries. While certainly dangerous, plague is very rare. Here are two diseases that are common.

Food Poisoning — Mice pick up harmful bacteria and microscopic parasitic worms when they get into dirty places, such as dumpsters and sewers. When a mouse gets into your home, and into your stored foods, it can contaminate those foods. These invisible organisms are attached to the hairs on the mouse and may also be transmitted through saliva, feces, and urine. When you eat contaminated food, it can lead to flu-like symptoms.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome — This is a respiratory illness that can arise from breathing in airborne contaminants from mouse nests or feces. If you need to clean up an area where mice have been nesting, we strongly recommend wearing a mask or using a respirator.

Mice Spread Disease-Causing Fleas And Ticks

Where do we start with this one? There are so many diseases that can be spread by fleas and ticks. What's worse is that mice can be reservoirs for the diseases that fleas and ticks transmit to humans. This is definitely a combination of pests no Bay Area resident needs in their home.

Diseases Spread By Fleas — Murine typhus, tularemia, tapeworms, the bubonic plague, and more.

Diseases Spread By Ticks — Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis, and more. 

Mice Cause Allergies

It is estimated that about 20 percent of inner-city children become sensitized to rodent allergens. This leads to the development of asthma. How are these allergens spread? They are spread by the dander, fur, feces, and urine from infected rodents. Asthma is a potentially life-threatening condition and it can create complications and hardships for families in the Bay Area.

What Should Your Response Be?

If you detect mice, the best solution is to contact a licensed pest management professional for control and decontamination. A little mouse may not seem like a big threat, but it certainly can be. It is also important to keep in mind that this threat increases with every mouse you have in your home. There are many estimates for how quickly mice can reproduce in a home. On average, a female mouse will produce between 5 and 10 litters a year, with each litter containing between 3 to 14 pups. It doesn't take long for one (or a few) mice to turn into a whole bunch of mice.

Stop Mice In Their Tracks

If you're detecting rodent issues, contact Bay Pest for an effective rodent control solution. Our technicians are highly-trained and experienced pest management professionals. We can guide you toward an effective solution for your rodent issue.

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