One of the most infamous known disease carriers, rodents inspire fear, mar social status, and conjure images of filth and waste. These creatures are scavengers and de-composers in the natural world, but they are also one of the most prolific multipliers in the world as well. Because they are de-composers and scavengers, they are also vectors or carriers of some of the deadliest diseases the world has ever known throughout history.

Diseases Carried by Mice

Zoonotic infections and illnesses (illnesses and diseases spread from animals to humans) are common in the world. In fact, some of the most lethal diseases ever known have come from animal-borne diseases and pathogens. If an insect or animal is infected with a virus or bacteria that causes illness, they are called vectors for the disease. Mice are vectors for diseases like Hantavirus, Salmonella, Leptospirosis, rat-bite fever and the plague. These diseases can be spread to humans through mice, directly and indirectly.

Salmonella and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is transmitted by contact with mouse droppings, breathing in dust contaminated with feces, and by bite wounds, but especially through water contaminated with fecal matter. Hantavirus presents symptoms like flu-like aches and pains, renal failure, and severe respiratory distress. Salmonella is also spread through mouse droppings and water infected with mouse droppings. Salmonella symptoms include gastrointestinal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

Leptospirosis and Rat-Bite Fever

Leptospirosis is a bacterium that is spread through mouse urine, which can stay in water and soil for months. Leptospirosis symptoms include muscle aches, diarrhea, jaundice, and high fevers. Normally one would associate rat-bite fever with rats, but it can also be spread through mice. The disease is spread by bites and/or scratches as the name suggests, but it can also be transmitted through the handling of an infected rodent or by consuming food or water that was infected by a rodent. Rat-bite fever symptoms are body aches, vomiting, a red rash with small bumps and fever.


There are three known types of plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. These plagues are contracted through fleas infected with the bacterium and through handling an infected rodent. All three plagues start with weakness and high fevers. Bubonic plague symptoms also include painful, swollen lymph nodes.  Septicemic plague includes bleeding into skin and organs, abdominal pain, and shock while pneumonic plague symptoms include respiratory failure and shock. This type can be spread from person to person where the others cannot.

Rat-Borne Illnesses

Rats spread the same diseases as mice, but they also are vectors for diseases like Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV) and Tularemia. LCMV is a viral infectious disease transmitted through the saliva and urine of rats. LCMV produces neurological problems, such as nerve deafness, sensory issues, sensorimotor symptoms and in rare cases paralysis, though it is usually not fatal. Tularemia is a bacterial infection that can affect organ systems, including the central nervous system, heart and liver and can cause meningitis, endocarditis, and hepatitis.

These diseases are general directly transmitted by rats, but other diseases like Lyme’s Disease, Colorado Tick Fever and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis can be transmitted from parasites like ticks, mosquitos, sand flies, deer flies and others that have fed on rats and mice then fed on humans.

If you have rat and/or mouse infestations call All-Natural Pest Control today at 877-662-8449 and let us help you get rid of all of your unwanted pests for the safety of all of your loved ones beneath your roof.