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What Diseases Do Mice Carry?

Types of Diseases Spread by Rodents

Deer Mouse Illustration

Types of Mouse Diseases

Mice are some of the dirtiest pests that infest homes.

These rodents carry a variety of bacteria and other disease organisms, which they spread by leaving their feces and urine around houses. Residents should be aware of the following mouse diseases that are directly transmitted by mice:

Hantavirus: This disease is generally a problem when the viral organisms causing Hantavirus are inhaled along with dust particles while cleaning up or when coming into direct contact with droppings and urine where outdoor rodents such as deer mice and white-footed mice have lived and built nest sites. Nest sites for these mice may be inside or outside. One of the more likely places to discover these mouse nests are inside outdoors storage buildings. Early symptoms of Hantavirus include fever, headache and muscle pain. If the disease goes untreated, more serious symptoms such as severe coughing, fluid in the lungs and possible death can occur.

  • Salmonellosis: This disease often causes stomach upset in humans. Contact with rodent feces or urine in food or on food preparation surfaces are the most common ways to contract this illness from mice.

  • Leptospirosis: Spread through mouse and other animal urine-tainted water, this disease may lead to kidney damage and liver failure without treatment.

  • LCM: This condition can cause anything from a fever and headache to brain damage. LCM is especially troubling for pregnant females whose fetus can develop birth defects or possibly die. The sources of LCM is from direct contact with waste or inhaling waste tainted dust, so people cleaning up mouse droppings without protection are at high risk.

The Problem with Mouse Diseases

It's no secret that having mice in the house is bad news. However, recent studies of New York mice show that it might be more dangerous than ever. Some mice show evidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Human viruses have become stronger in an effort to resist modern medicine. Since mice gather around sewers, drains, and other sources of waste, they come in contact with many types of bacteria, including these superbugs that are highly resistant to many antibiotics. The more potent mouse diseases get, the more serious infestations become.

Controlling Mice

Currently, the best defense against mouse diseases, highly evolved or otherwise, is keeping a clean home. Storing food in sealed containers, vacuuming regularly, and making sure vent covers fit perfectly and cracks and gaps are sealed are effective ways to keep mice out of houses.

Once an infestation begins, homeowners should contact professionals. The team at Orkin can safely remove mice and work to prevent future problems.


Dig Deeper on Mice

What can we do about the mice above the ceiling?


Our basement is finished with JYP rock tiles on the ceiling, and we can hear at times (especially at night) mice scurrying above. What can we do?

Is it a mouse or a rat?


I can't tell if I have large mice or adolescent rats.

What should we do about mice in crawl space and attic?


What should we do besides put traps out?

Is it a mole or a mouse?


No websites give any information on getting rid of one in the house. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mice in the oven


How do you make sure there is no infestation, or that they have been removed? Is it safe to use the oven?

Mouse droppings in the house


We cleaned out the closet by the kitchen where we have seen the old droppings and have not seen any more. Are they gone?

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What attracts mice in your house?

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Field Mice

Field mouse illustration

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