When you think of rodents, you might picture the cute little mouse running around your home. Or, you might think of a groundhog popping up out of its hole to eat some tasty vegetables from your garden. But did you know that some rodents can be dangerous? In fact, some rodents carry diseases that can be harmful to humans and animals alike. Read on to learn about the top three most dangerous rodents in the United States.
#1: The Norway Rat
The Norway rat is one of the largest types of rats, growing up to 18 inches long from nose to tail. They are brown or gray in color and have small eyes and ears. Norway rats are found all over the United States, but they are most commonly found in urban areas. These rats are good swimmers and climbers, which means they can access your home through sewers, holes in walls, or trees next to your house.
Norway rats are dangerous because they can carry a number of diseases, including hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonella. They can also transmit these diseases to humans and animals through their urine, droppings, or bites. If you think you have seen a Norway rat in or around your home, contact a pest control professional immediately.
#2: The Roof Rat
The roof rat is smaller than the Norway rat, measuring only 13 inches long from nose to tail. They are black or dark brown in color and have large eyes and ears. Roof rats get their name because they are excellent climbers and often build their nests in high places like attics or trees. Roof rats are found all over the United States but are most commonly found in coastal areas.
Roof rats pose many of the same dangers as Norway rats because they can also carry hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonella. They can transmit these diseases through their urine, droppings, or bites—just like Norway rats. If you see a roof rat on your property, contact a pest control professional right away to have it removed before it has a chance to multiply and cause more damage.
#3: The Deer Mouse
The deer mouse is one of the smallest types of mice—only growing up to 6 inches long from nose to tail—but don’t let its size fool you! These mice are very prolific breeders and can have litters of up to 12 baby mice multiple times per year. Deer mice are tan or brown on top with white bellies and feet; they also have large eyes relative to their small size. Deer mice are found throughout North America but prefer wooded areas with lots of vegetation.
Deer mice may be small but they pack a powerful punch when it comes to disease transmission; in fact, deer mice are considered the primary carriers of hantavirus in North America. This virus can cause severe respiratory illness in humans and even death if left untreated. If you suspect there may be deer mice on your property, call a pest control professional right away so they can safely remove them before anyone gets sick.
Mice might be small but some species can carry dangerous diseases that pose a serious threat to human health—and even life! If you think you see a mouse on your property, don’t try to handle it yourself; instead, contact a pest control professional who will know how to safely remove the animal without putting you or your family at risk for disease transmission. Stay safe this winter by staying rodent-free!