6 Rodent-Borne Diseases: Risks, Symptoms and Prevention

Rodent-Borne Diseases: Know The Risks, Symptoms and Prevention

Rats and mice harbor pathogens capable of infecting humans. Direct contact with rodent feces, urine, saliva, or bites provides routes of disease transmission to people. Working with a professional wildlife management company like Green Valley Wildlife Solutions can help identify rodent infestations and implement control methods to prevent the spread of rodent-borne illnesses.

According to Green Valley Wildlife Solutions, some of the most common rodent-borne diseases include:


Some species of mice and rats cause Hantavirus. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. It can progress to potentially life-threatening breathing difficulties. Transmission occurs through inhaling dust contaminated with rodent droppings, urine or saliva.


Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria that infect rodents pass in their urine. When humans come into contact with contaminated urine, water or soil tainted by it, they can contract leptospirosis. Symptoms include high fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice, red eyes, stomach pain, diarrhea and rash. The infection can progress to potentially fatal kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure and breathing difficulties if left untreated.

Rat-bite Fever 

Rat-bite fever is caused by bacteria transmitted through rodent or rat bites, scratches, or contact with rodent feces or urine. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, headache, muscle aches and rash. If left untreated, the bacteria can spread to infect the heart, brain, lungs or other parts of the body.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM) 

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) is caused by a virus that rodents shed in their saliva, urine and droppings. Humans can contract LCM if exposed to these infected rodent excretions. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting and neurological problems. In severe cases, LCM can progress to potentially dangerous meningitis or encephalitis infections.


Rodents can transmit Salmonella bacteria by contaminating food or surfaces that humans come into contact with. If humans ingest the bacteria, it can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. 


The rodent-borne illness, typhus, is transmitted when infected fleas that live on rodents bite humans or when humans come into contact with infected flea feces or rodent fur carrying the bacteria. Symptoms of typhus include fever, headache, chills, body aches, nausea, vomiting and rash. Without treatment, typhus can lead to serious health complications.

To help prevent rodent-borne illnesses, Green Valley Wildlife Solutions recommends:

6 Rodent-Borne Diseases: Risks, Symptoms and Prevention
  • Keep your home or business clean and clutter-free to eliminate nesting sites and food sources that attract rodents—store food in sealed metal, glass or plastic containers. Clean up spills and crumbs right away. Take out trash and recycle regularly.
  • Inspect for signs of mice or rats like droppings, gnaw marks, rub marks, urine stains, burrows or nests. Contact a professional exterminator like Green Valley if you see any evidence.
  • Identify and seal any entry points mice or rats could use, like holes in walls, floors, ceilings or foundations, gaps around pipes or wires, cracks around doors or windows, damaged vent screens, etc.
  • Trim vegetation and debris from the building’s exterior to eliminate cover and nesting sites. Make sure drain pipes have functioning screens to prevent entry.
  • Avoid leaving pet food bowls out overnight. Use sealed-lid containers for pet food storage. Clean up under bird feeders, which can attract rodents.
  • Wear protective equipment like gloves and masks when cleaning areas with rodent infestations to avoid touching contaminated materials. Ventilate the area well before cleaning.
  • Take precautions when traveling to avoid rodent-infested areas when camping or hiking. Don’t pitch tents or sleep near noticeable burrows. Avoid setting up camps or sleeping near refuse areas. Store food securely.

Put Up Your Guard and Prevent Rodent-Borne Diseases

Green Valley Wildlife Solutions serves Ohio’s Franklin, Delaware, Knox, Licking, and Richland counties for professional rodent control and exclusion services. Contact us today at (614) 555-1234 or contact us via our online form to schedule a free inspection.

Our wildlife experts can assess your home or business, identify entry points, and implement customized solutions to eliminate rodents and prevent recurrence.

Protect yourself, your family, guests, pets. If you are a business owner, protect your employees and customers from the risks of rodent-borne illnesses this season. Get help creating a rodent-proof home or commercial space with Green Valley Wildlife Solutions, your wildlife management experts.