Serious Health Issues Spread by Common Pests


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Household pests, such as insects and rodents, are not only annoying; they can also spread serious health conditions. Preventing the spread of dangerous diseases is one of the main reasons you need to keep your home pest free. This article examines some of the most serious health issues caused by common pests.

West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes are responsible for a number of serious diseases in humans, with one of the most significant being West Nile Virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disease is the most common cause of mosquito-borne disease in the country. Most people who are bitten by a mosquito that carries the virus do not develop serious symptoms.

About 1 in 5 people who are infected, however, will come down with a fever and possibly other severe symptoms. Because the disease currently has no cure, keeping mosquitoes under control around your home is essential.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, which can cause severe health issues in humans if left untreated, is spread by the bite of an infected tick. In most parts of the United States, the tick species that spreads the disease is the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headaches, tiredness, and skin rash.

Fortunately, most cases of Lyme disease can be resolved with a course of antibiotics that kills the bacteria responsible for the disease. Lyme disease is just one of several diseases spread by ticks, so you should remove or treat any tick habitat on your property, such as wood piles and leaf litter.


Salmonella is a food-borne bacteria that causes gastroenteritis. A person with gastroenteritis will typically suffer abdominal pain and belly cramps, in addition to symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. One way that humans get salmonella is by unwittingly eating food that cockroaches have contaminated.

To reduce the chances of cockroaches transmitting salmonella to you or any members of your household, keep your kitchen as clean and sanitary as possible. You can also have a pest control service inspect your house on a regular basis for any signs of cockroaches.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is caused by hantaviruses, which are carried by certain rodents in the United States, especially the deer mouse. The primary means of transmission to humans is when a person inhales air that contains the virus. Hantavirus gets into the air when it escapes from rodent urine and droppings.

The first signs of a hantavirus infection include fever, chills, vomiting, and pain in the abdomen. After several days of these symptoms, which are hard to differentiate from flu symptoms, more serious complications, such as low blood pressure, fluid in the lungs, and heart problems, will develop.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a serious disease that can potentially be life threatening. According to the Mayo Clinic, effective treatments for the disease are limited, so a rodent-free home is the best way to prevent serious illness. Although the chances of getting hantavirus from a rodent are low, there is no reason to take any chances with a potentially deadly disease.

Clearly, household pests can transmit very dangerous diseases to humans. The diseases highlighted above are only a partial list of the potentially serious health issues that insects and rodents in your home can cause.

The best way to deal with any pest issues in your home or on your property is to let trained professionals, such as the experts at PermaTreat Pest & Termite Control take care of the problem. Contact us for more information.

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