Can Mice Carry Lyme Disease?

Image of a White Footed Mouse

Are White Footed Mice & Lyme Disease Connected?

Blacklegged tick bites are the main cause of Lyme disease, a serious bacterial infection. To pass the illness to people, a tick must first pick up the bacteria from infected wildlife and hitch a ride into a residential area. This is where the relationship between blacklegged ticks, white footed mice, and Lyme disease begins.

The Perfect Host

White footed mice make an effective vector for Lyme disease and a prime host for blacklegged ticks for several reasons. The first is that they can ferry infected parasites into houses. Ticks can't travel far on their own, so they need a host to move long distances. White footed mice are highly mobile and often move between outdoor food sources and the indoor shelter provided by homes.

However, white footed mice provide more than transportation. These rodents also carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, so they can infect parasites that feed on them. These ticks may, in turn, pass the condition to people and pets.

Problems with White Footed Mice & Lyme Disease

While these rodents damage property and pose other health risks, one of the most serious concerns with white footed mice is Lyme disease. Infected people may have symptoms like joint pain, fever, and fatigue. If allowed to develop, the condition can spread to vital organs.

People can't catch Lyme disease from white footed mouse bites or feces, but the pests' tendency to carry ticks is a problem. Once indoors, the parasites can drop from mice at any time to move to a new host.

Prevention & Removal

To keep mice from coming indoors, patch any holes or cracks in the house. Homeowners who live near woods or fields should be cautious since these are common habitats for white footed mice and blacklegged ticks.

If prevention fails, a rodent infestation can be hard to remove without help. Residents concerned about white footed mice and Lyme disease can contact Critter Control for reliable pest exclusion and removal.

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