3 Diseases Transmitted by Rodents

A graphic of a rodent with the words "transmitted diseases" on it

Although rodents can carry more than just three diseases, these are the most common diseases transmitted from rodents to humans.

Disease #1 - Hantavirus

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses.

Anyone who encounters rodents that carry hantaviruses is at risk of HPS. Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are at risk for HPS infection if exposed to the virus.

It's possible to get HPS from breathing the same air as a rodent with Hantavirus. Another common way of contracting this disease is by touching your face or eating something with rodent droppings, urine, or saliva on it.

Disease #2 - Salmonellosis

This disease, commonly known as Salmonella, can also be spread by rodents. This disease can be transmitted to anyone who accidentally ingests salmonella germs into their body. People who use "Feeder Rodents" are one group of people who can get this disease. Feeder rodents are mice and rats—both frozen and live—used to feed some reptiles, such as certain snakes and lizards, as well as some amphibians. Of course, this isn't the only way to get Salmonella, but everyone should still be aware of this transmittable disease from rodents.

Disease #3 - Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, LCM, is another spreadable disease rodents can carry. This disease is most common in a house mouse. However, it has been reported that hamsters can also transmit this disease and can contract the infection from a home environment or a pet store. Like the other diseases rodents carry, a human can get this disease from contacting rodents, mice droppings, saliva, urine, or even their nesting areas. One way of getting this type of disease is if you get bitten or have the germs come in contact with your face.


Aside from frequently washing your hands and keeping your home and business clean and tidy, professional rodent control is the ideal way to avoid contact with these spreadable diseases. Since humans can still contract these diseases from breathing the same contaminated air, it's best never to vacuum up rodent droppings. Instead, use gloves and a disinfectant spray to clean and dispose of them in a trash bin that is regularly emptied.

Old South Exterminators Can Help You

At Old South Exterminators, we've been helping our Beaufort and Ridgeland communities prevent rodent damage since 1968, and we can help you today! Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about rodents in your home or business.

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