Do Deer Mice Spread Disease?
Contact with deer mice and their saliva, waste, or parasites may lead to illness. Because some deer mouse diseases have a serious impact on public health, it's important to understand the risks of an infestation.
Common Deer Mouse Diseases
While they prefer to live outdoors in fields and meadows, deer mice sometimes move into homes to escape cold weather. This puts the pests close to people, where they can pass on a variety of diseases. The two most common are hantavirus and salmonellosis.
In North America, deer mice are the main source of the Sin Nombre strain of hantavirus. Because this disease is spread by airborne particles of the pests' waste, living or working in an infested area can result in infection. This deer mouse disease is fatal in about one out of three cases.
This ailment comes from ingesting food tainted by deer mouse droppings. Caused by Salmonella bacteria, the disease may lead to flu-like symptoms and is most harmful for children and the elderly. Homeowners who suspect a deer mouse problem should check pantry goods for droppings or holes in packaging.
Deer mice can cause other infections such as Lyme disease and plague. Ticks and fleas in the pests' fur can transmit these diseases to people, pets, and other animals. As the rodents move between indoor nests and outdoor food sources, their parasites can easily hitch a ride into homes.
Because deer mouse diseases are harmful, these pests are more than just a nuisance. People concerned about deer mice and hantavirus should contact the wildlife experts at Critter Control. Trained technicians will conduct a thorough inspection to find and remove any problem rodents.