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Health Risks, Even After Animal Removal

The urine, feces, ticks, fleas, and parasites which wildlife can leave in your attic and inside your home can cause many health issues as well as horrible odors. Rodent Solutions can handle all your odor, cleanup, and decontamination needs to neutralize these risks. While we are experts in the pest control field, we are not medical doctors. The true nature and intent of the following information is to give you a description of potential health risks that can occur from wildlife exposure. It is not intended to be used to diagnose any health issues. If you are having any of the health issues listed you should seek the immediate attention of a doctor. If you have been exposed to any of the wildlife listed or their droppings, inform your doctor so he may consider this when diagnosing you.

Rats / Mice

Hantavirus (HPS)

Hantavirus (HPS) is a potentially deadly disease that attacks the pulmonary system caused by a virus that becomes airborne when fecal matter is disturbed. It can be ingested through the mouth, nose, eyes, and open wounds through contact with urine, droppings, or saliva from infected rodents. The hantavirus is the most dangerous rodent-borne health risk. Although it is considered rare, it has been reported in 34 states so far. Most recently the hantavirus killed 3 visitors to the Curry Village in Yosemite National Park and left several others still fighting for their life. Its early symptoms mimic the flu so it often goes undiagnosed. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups-thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms. Four to ten days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear. These symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath, with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a "...tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face" as the lungs fill with fluid. The CDC reports that the hanatavirus is fatal and has a mortality rate of 38%.

Rat Bite Fever

Rat bite fever is a disease is caused by a rat bite. The first symptoms are usually swelling at the site as well as swelling in the lymph nodes. Then flu like symptoms occur including fever and chills, headache, muscle aches, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and sore throat. Two to four days later a rash of small red bumps usually forms on the hands and feet. The rash can also occur on the arms, legs and trunk. Arthritis in the knees and hips is very common too. Symptoms can continue for several months and 13% of untreated cases are fatal. In some cases, the infection can cause pneumonia and can travel to the heart and brain causing damage and abscesses. The initial wound may persist with swelling and ulceration and reappear at the onset of systemic symptoms. The main symptom is a cycle of fever lasting from 2 to 4 days. Symptoms usually continue for 4 to 8 weeks but may continue for up to one year. Complications may include infection of the heart, meningitis, hepatitis, and enlarged spleen. If left untreated, death results in 6% to 10% of the cases.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning can occur due to contamination of foods by rodent urine or feces. This is a common cause of salmonella.


Rodent urine and urine proteins have been shown to greatly complicate the symptoms of asthma and asthma-related ailments. It is the second leading cause of asthma.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM)

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM) is transmitted through contact with rodent feces. The effects can vary from incidental symptoms to a form of meningitis.

Bubonic Plague

Spread by fleas feeding on the rodent. It is an aggressive bacterial disease whose symptoms include chills, fever, diarrhea, headaches, and swelling of the infected lymph nodes as the bacteria replicate. If left untreated, the rate for the death is 50-90%.

Rickettsial Pox

Rickettsial Pox is transmitted via rodent-borne mites. It causes lesions followed by fever, headache, and rashes.


Rabies is the most commonly feared and talked about health risk with any wildlife problem our customers have. Rabies can be fatal to humans if treatment is not given before to the onset of severe symptoms. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.


Raccoon Roundworm

Raccoons are the primary host of a very dangerous roundworm called Baylisascaris procyonis. Roundworm eggs are passed in the feces of raccoons. Raccoons leave there their droppings in shared sites called latrines. Raccoon latrines can be found at the base of trees, inside infested attics, or on flat surfaces such as logs, tree stumps, rocks, decks, and rooftops. Predator animals, including dogs, may become infected by eating an animal or feces that has been infected with Baylisascaris. In dogs, the roundworm may grow to adults and pass eggs in the dog's feces. The millions of eggs that are excreted by raccoons are not immediately infectious. The eggs will develop in the environment for 2 to 4 weeks. Once fully developed, the eggs are able to cause infection. Roundworm eggs are resistant to the most severe conditions and with moisture can survive for years. Young children and the mentally disabled are particularly at risk for raccoon roundworm infection as they tend to put their fingers, soil, or objects into their mouths. Humans become infected by ingesting fertile eggs. Once inside the body, roundworm eggs hatch into larvae in the intestine and travel throughout the body. Depending on where the larvae migrate, the infection can affect the brain, spinal cord, eyes, and/or other organs. Signs and symptoms depend on how many and wherein the body the larvae travel to. Symptoms of infection may take a week or so to develop and include nausea, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, lack of attention, loss of muscle control, blindness, coma, and in severe cases even death. The infection is often incorrectly diagnosed as it can mimic flu symptoms. No drugs have been shown to be totally effective for the treatment of Baylisascaris infection.


Rabies is the most commonly feared health risk with any wildlife. Rabies can be fatal to humans if treatment is not given before to the onset of severe symptoms. Rabies infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.



Rabies is the most commonly feared health risk with any wildlife. Rabies can be fatal to humans if treatment is not given before to the onset of severe symptoms. The rabies infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.

Tick Fever

Squirrels attract fleas and ticks. They transport them into your attic leave them in their nest. When a squirrel leaves the nest for a lengthy period of time, fleas or ticks will look for new hosts. If you contract tick fever you can have flu like symptoms including fever, chills, severe headache, achy muscles, stiff neck, light sensitivity, and a spotted rash.

Powassan Encephalitis

Early signs of Powassan encephalitis can include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, and sleepiness. Advanced signs such as respiratory distress, tremors, confusion, seizures, coma, paralysis and even death can occur.



Bat guano (droppings) carry Histoplasmosis, a fungal infection that normally affects the lungs. People with immunity disorders, the elderly, the very young, or those that have asthma are at much higher risk for developing meningitis. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, chest pains, shortness of breath, neck stiffness, mouth sores, skin lesions, body aches, rashes, and skin nodules. Complications can cause scarring in the chest that can can cause problems with major blood vessels, the esophagus, heart and lymph nodes.


Rabies is the most commonly feared health risk of any wildlife. If you suspect you have been bitten, get medical attention right away. If you are sleeping and awake to find a bat on you, do not wait for symptoms to develop. Have it looked at by your doctor immediately as bites are not often felt or noticeable with the naked eye. Rabies is almost invariably fatal to humans if treatment is not administered prior to severe symptoms. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.


Bats also carry mites and are often mistaken for bed bugs. Many exterminators mistake them for bed bugs. If you experience a bat infestation make sure you inform your pest control professional. Often times they will treat for bed bugs only to have you call them back over and over again.


The most common problems with opossums are fleas, ticks, and lice. Any of these can make their way to cats, dogs, and humans. If an opossum is left to inhabit your attic, crawl space under a mobile home or your business, they can infect the soil. All these little bugs can find their way into your home, causing expensive treatments from your pest control company.

Cutaneous Larva Migrans

Cutaneous larva migrans come from the larva from opossum droppings. They appear like red wormlike burrows visible underneath the skin. The infection causes a red intense itching eruption. The itching can become very painful and if scratched may allow a secondary bacterial infection to develop.


Tuberculosis is a common and in many cases lethal infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria. It normally attacks the lungs. The classic symptoms are chronic cough, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.


Rabies is the most commonly feared health risk with any wildlife. Rabies can be fatal to humans if treatment is not given before to the onset of severe symptoms. The rabies infects the central nervous system ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.


Tularemia symptoms generally include a skin ulcer at the site of infection, swollen and painful lymph glands, fever, chills, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and exhaustion.

Spotted Fever

Spotted fever is a bacterial infection spread through tick bites. Symptoms include chills, confusion, fever, headache, muscle pain, a rash covering most of the body, diarrhea, light sensitivity, hallucinations, loss of appetite, nausea, extreme thirst, and vomiting.


An infection from a parasite from animal droppings by ingesting infected particles. Symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes, headache, fever, muscle pain, sore throat, confusion, retinal inflammation that causes blurred vision, and seizures.


Coccidiosis is a parasite that infects the intestinal tracts of animals. Contact for humans normally occurs from the shedding of the parasite from infected feces onto food or in water and ingested. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, weight loss, fever, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Chagas Disease is a parasite transferred by reduvid bugs which commonly tag onto wildlife. Symptoms include fever, flu like symptoms, swelling of one eye, swollen red area at the bite area, constipation, digestive issues, abdomen pain, and swallowing difficulties.



Leprosy has two common forms, tuberculoid and lepromatous. Both forms produce sores on the skin. The lepromatous form is most severe. It causes large lumps and bumps. Lesions have decreased sensation to touch, heat, or pain. Symptoms include muscle weakness, numbness or lack of feeling in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Studies have shown that as many as 20 percent of armadillos are infected with leprosy.


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