Common Diseases Caused by Pests

No one likes pests and if a homeowner is experiencing severe allergies, dealing with extreme sinus congestion or having trouble breathing, it might be a sign that there are pests present in the home. Homeowners should keep in mind that there are various disease and illnesses that can be spread from having animals in the home that can lead to fleas, cockroaches, mice, rats, ticks, mosquitoes and other pests.

Even if a homeowner has a dog or cat, vermin can get in if they smell food that can be left behind in crumbs from a pet treat. Animals can also bring in unwanted pests in their fur. To avoid diseases and illnesses, home environments should be kept clean and tidy and homeowners may want to contact a pest control company to minimize pest invasions.

Diseases caused by pests

  • Babesiosis: Transmitted through black-legged ticks that dogs can carry, symptoms include chills, fever, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Advanced stages may cause liver or spleen distention.
  • Bacillus cereus: This is a food poisoning caused by cockroach droppings.
  • Cat Scratch Disease: A common bacterial disease spread by fleas, it is often experienced after a cat bite or scratch. Symptoms include chills, fatigue, vomiting, chills, nausea, fever and enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Chikungunya: Caused by mosquitoes, this is a pathogen that started in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. As of 2014 it has been found in the US and is rare in the West Coast. Symptoms can include joint pain, headache, muscle pain and fever.
  • Chloriomeningitis: This is a disease spread by mice and it can lead to cerebral meningitis. It has been found to occur in the West Coast. People have been known to use Pokeroot, an herbal remedy, to treat it.
  • Dermatitis: Transmitted by mites on mice, when these insects bite humans, it can lead to dermatitis. Symptoms include itchy skin, inflammation and blistering.
  • Ehrlichiosis: This disease is caused by ticks considered “Lone Star and are found in the Midwest and West Coast. Symptoms can include rashes, fevers, diarrhea, muscle aches, cramping, nausea, confusion, joint pain, fatigue, and cough.
  • Favus: Favus is a contagious skin disease caused by a fungus spread with domestic fowl and other animals. Symptoms include itching, inflammation and pain.
  • Leptospirosis: Known as Weil’s Disease, it can be found in the US in mild climates and is spread by the urine of infected animals. Symptoms include fever and jaundice.
  • Lyme Disease: Spread by deer ticks, dogs can bring this type of tick into the home or people can get it from being in tall grass or woods where ticks are present. Symptoms include flu-like illness, joint pain and neurological problems. It can lead to respiratory illnesses.
  • Murine typhus: Symptoms include stomach pain, backaches, joint pain and cramping, fever, a cough, and a rash developing. Severe versions include Epidemic typhus and symptoms can include bleeding in the skin, low blood pressure, delirium, and death.
  • Rat bite fever: Rat bite fever is a fever that is caused by rat bites. More common on the East Coast, it can cause septicemia and can be debilitating with muscle pain, fever, and arthritis and body weakness.
  • Rickettsialpox: Spread by mice and other small rodents, its symptoms include fever, chills, backaches, headaches and rashes. The culprit is mite bites.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Caused by dog ticks, symptoms include stomach pain, fever, headaches rashes, diarrhea, headaches, and joint pain.
  • Salmonella and E. coli: Spread by cockroach and rodent droppings, the bacteria can cause food poisoning and make people sick if the food they eat has picked up the droppings from counters that haven’t been wiped down thoroughly.
  • Shigella dysenteriae: This can cause dysentery and is spread by cockroaches.
  • Tapeworm: This disease can be transmitted through dogs and cats and can be transferred to humans making them sick with fever, stomach pain and cramping.
  • Tularemia: Spread by ticks, this disease can cause swelling of the lymph nodes in humans, fever, headaches and chills.
  • Typhus: This is a bacterial disease that can be caused by fleas.
  • West Nile Virus: Common more on the East Coast, it is spread by mosquitoes in areas that have stagnant water and can cause fevers, chills, headaches and rashes.

Because rodents and other pests carry the potential for various diseases with them, if a homeowner has a pet and have seen evidence of rodent droppings or they have noticed changes in their health or breathing, or if they’ve developed rashes, it might be time to contact a pest control center that can help to rid the home of any infestations.

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