5 Sickening Reasons to Get Rid of Rodents

roof ratWe always hear that “rats carry diseases,” but without anything more specific, it’s easy to write that off as an old wive’s tale. After all, most diseases can’t travel between species anyway, right? Not quite. Below are five diseases carried by rodents that can be passed on to humans — five very good reasons to utilize pest control services to prevent disease transmission.

Murine Typhus

Murine Typhus is a type of typhus that is transmitted by fleas, often by those that have traveled on rats. Caused by the bacteria Rickettsia Typhi, murine typhus is identified by symptoms including headache, fever, joint and muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting. In many cases, a rash will also show up within a few days of infection.

Murine typhus is treatable with antibiotics, but if left untreated it can be fatal. Unfortunately, for the very young, very old, or those with suppressed immune systems, the illness may be fatal even with treatment.


Leptospirosis, also called Field Fever or Rat Catcher’s Yellows, is caused by a bacteria called leptospira. It is most commonly spread by rodent urine, which may come into contact with humans via soil or contaminated water. Some people are lucky enough to have no symptoms, while others may have a wide variety ranging from headaches, muscle pains, and fevers to symptoms as dramatic as bleeding from the lungs or kidney failure.

Treatment of leptospirosis is usually an antibiotic, sometimes followed by dialysis in some extreme cases. In severe cases, this illness can have a severe impact on the patient’s health for years to come.


Rickettsialpox is an illness that is passed on by mites, which are often carried by rats and mice. The illness is a type of spotted fever, resulting in symptoms that are very similar to the flu, including fever, chills, aching muscles, and weakness. The most distinctive symptom is a full-body rash that breaks out soon after infection. The illness is easily treated, but very unpleasant while it lasts for 2 to 3 weeks.

Rat-Bite Fever

This disease’s name is very apt — rat bite fever is most often conveyed to humans via, as the name suggests, a rat’s bite. If you are bitten by a rodent, you can reduce your chances of contracting the illness. However, it can also be passed on via the rodent’s urine or feces. It can be caused by two different strains of bacteria.Symptoms can range from inflammation around the bite to fever, chills, and inflamed lymph nodes. This illness is often treated with antibiotics, but without treatment, it may last for as long as a year, and in some cases may be fatal.


This disease’s history of wiping out significant swathes of population lend it a special brand of fear, but it is not as wiped out as most people think. The plague is still present, and still carried by fleas that are often infected and carried by rats. While the illness can usually be treated fairly easily with modern medicine, it is incredibly unpleasant and very dangerous, not to mention highly contagious.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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