RODENTS AS DISEASE VEHICLES
In the past century alone, more than 10 million people have died from rodent-borne diseases. Although rodents are not major threats to our everyday health, it is justified to be concerned over the potential for rodents to transmit diseases. By their very nature and design, rodents make excellent “vehicles” for harboring and rapidly transporting diseases.
Rodent infestations should be controlled with the use of multiple solutions including traps and rodenticide baits. Preventative control is also an important aspect.
Be sure to rodent-proof your home, blocking any access that is larger than the size of a dime. All sources of food and water should be eliminated. Proper yard management should be practiced to limit outdoor harborages, including the elevation of woodpiles and garbage cans at least 1 foot off the ground.
Water-resistant gloves should always be worn when removing deceased rodents. Rodents should either be burned or placed in well-sealed plastic bags.
When you begin cleaning, it is important that you do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up droppings or urine. Also be sure to open windows to properly ventilate the area. Mix 1 part bleach with 8 parts water. Wear water-resistant gloves and disinfect the area with the solution. Under no circumstances should you ever come in direct contact with rodent droppings.
Avoid rodent burrows and do not disturb dens. If camping, do not pitch tents near rodent burrows or if you see other signs of feces. Do not sleep on the bare ground - it is best to be at least 1 foot off the ground. Keep all food in containers, and bury garbage to prevent rodents from investigating the area in search of food.