RODENT CONTROL - Elite Pest Control Ltd

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Rodent Infestations and The Spread of Infectious Disease

Published on: February 3, 2023
Frank Meek, BCE, PHE, PCQI
Rodents are known to transmit more than 35 illnesses. What signs should environmental services personnel and infection preventionists look for?

A tiny mouse can cause significant issues.

While rodents are active year-round, they seek shelter indoors when outdoor temperatures are low. This creates a season of vulnerability in rodent infestation in both businesses and homes. For health care facilities, in addition to impacting business reviews, damaging public perception, and causing extensive property damage, rodents can also spread diseases and jeopardise the health and safety of patients and staff.

Rodents—and the parasites that they can carry with them—can pose significant health risks and are known to transmit more than 35 illnesses. Rodents can both directly and indirectly spread diseases, which means that some diseases can spread directly through a rodent bite. In contrast, others can be passed indirectly through droppings, urine, saliva, blood, or exposure to the fleas and mites they carry.
Some of the most common diseases that rodents have been linked to are:
  • Food poisoning (including Salmonella): Spread through rodent faeces by contaminating areas where food is handled or stored, ingesting contaminated food can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and other intestinal disorders.
  • Hantavirus:From 1993-1994, an outbreak of Hantavirus resulted in more than 50 deaths in 17 states. This disease is most commonly spread when rodents’ faeces, urine, or bodily fluids come into contact with humans
  • Rat-bite fever: This occurs when bacteria in the mouths and noses of rats and mice are transmitted through biting.
  • Bubonic plague: Perhaps one of the most notorious rodent-borne illnesses, this disease is spread from bites from infected fleas. The Bubonic plague killed more than a third of the human population in 1347, and even today, there are more than 600 annual cases.
  • Hepatitis E: Usually spread through contaminated water, hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Although rare in developed countries, the disease is now linked to rodents.
  • Leptospirosis: Usually caused by exposure to contaminated water, such as floodwater, leptospirosis is also spread through direct contact with urine from infected animals—such as rodents—or through water, soil, or food contaminated with their urine.
It’s important to note the health risks rodents can pose to employees and customers; however, the frequency of rodent-transmitted disease is low compared to the relative volume of these pests.
Thank you for the great article. "Key Industries Pesties Newsletter.

Preparation Steps for extermination of Rats and Mice.

You can help your PCO rid your home of a mouse or rat problem by doing the following things prior to service:

Make sure that all food that is not in a can or jar is stored in the refrigerator or heavy plastic container for at least two weeks following service.

This includes chips, candies, nuts, cereals, breads, any grain-based food, pet foods, etc., that are normally stored in upper or lower cabinets, on counter tops, or on top of the refrigerator.

Although usually bagged, rodents can chew right through plastic bags to get to foods.

Homeowners should repair any holes in walls, around baseboards, or doors that don’t seal properly; apartment residents should report these to management for repair.

(Mice can enter through gaps as small as 5mm inch and rats through holes as small as 10 mm in diameter.)

Remove all items from the top of the refrigerator and from directly underneath the kitchen sink to allow access to these areas.

When the PCO arrives, discuss the situation with him or her, making note of areas where mice or signs of mice have been seen.

The PCO may be setting and placing any of a variety of baits and traps. These should not be touched or disturbed during or after the service.

For ongoing control, clean, sweep and vacuum the home regularly.

Take out trash on a regular basis, keep lids on trash cans, and keep area as clean as possible.

Eliminate any unnecessary storage including boxes, paper, and clothing as rodents (and other pests) will take shelter here, gnaw the items to make their nests, and even breed in such undisturbed areas.

Listen to our Pod-caste about Rodents, click the link below

Watch our 2016 CTV Show discussing Rats & Mice.

Dawn and Tim setting up a commercial IPM programme to control Rats.

Do you have a bad smell in your house?


EarthCare Odour Remover bags are used by Pest Control Operators to remove dead rodent odours even when the carcass cannot be located. 

Dead Animal and Infestation Odor Remover