Even if you love visiting Mickey and Minnie in Orlando, odds are you're not too keen on the idea of mice or rats sharing your home. Many people have an inherent dislike or fear of mice and rats and, considering how dangerous they can be to humans, that's understandable.
Mice, rats and the parasites that come with them can carry a number of diseases, some of which are potentially deadly to humans, like Hantavirus, Listeria, Rat-Bite Fever and Salmonellosis. Oh, and what about Bubonic Plague, also known as Black Death? That little disease wiped out 30-60% of Europe's population in the 14th Century. Admittedly, most of these diseases are more common in other parts of the world than they are in Florida, but it should help you understand why people and non-domesticated rodents should maintain separate residences.
Mice and rats can also play a large role in contributing to dangerous allergies. A national study detected mouse urine in levels that could trigger allergies in 35% of homes. Trace amounts or higher were found in 82% of homes. Mouse droppings are also an allergy issue. There are as many people allergic to mouse droppings as there are to mold and dust. Exposure to mouse allergen is a known cause of asthma in children and adults.
In addition to health issues, mice and rats can also take a toll on your home. They're known to eat just about anything – including parts of your house. Their teeth can gnaw through insulation, wallboards, card board, even wood. Some are especially fond of electrical wiring and that can lead to real danger. Exposed wires resulting from mice are believed to cause 25% of U.S. house fires.
As we move into winter, your home becomes even more appealing to mice and rats. Colder temperatures lead them to seek refuge in warm places and your house fits the bill. An estimated 21 million homes are infested by rodents each winter.
Many people believe if they've never seen a mouse or rat in their home, they're not there. That's overly optimistic. Rodents can be quite secretive and live in your home for a long time without you noticing. Even if they're not in your home yet, they soon could be. A mouse can enter into your home through an opening as small as ¼-inch. Once inside your home, mice and rats reproduce quickly. In no time, you are fighting a full-on infestation.