The differences between cute cartoon mice and undomesticated rodents could not be starker. While their TV and film alter egos may make you soft on these furry mammals, mice and rats are not your friends.

Wondering why it is so important to keep rodents out of your home? From property damage to health risks, here are several dangers associated with a rodent infestation.

Rodents Damage Property

Rodents can chew up almost anything in your home. This includes, but is not limited to, drywall, wood, insulation, plastic pipes, blankets, clothes, and linens. If left unchecked, a rodent infestation can cause thousands of dollars in property damage. While many things can be replaced, rodents do not discriminate which objects to chew through based on their sentimental value.

Rodents Create Fire Hazards

One of the biggest dangers of rodents in the home is that they can chew through electrical wires, creating a serious fire hazard. This type of damage is quite common, because rodents like to nest around warm objects and areas, making electronics all the more desirable. Rodents may be responsible for as many as 20 percent of fires without a known cause according to a professional fire investigator. To make matters worse, many home insurance policies do not cover fires caused by a rodent infestation.

Rodents Spread Disease

Rodents are responsible for spreading more than 35 diseases around the world according to the Centers for Disease Control. They spread these through their saliva, urine, and feces, whether transmitted via direct human handling (such as a bite) or left behind on food or surfaces humans touch (such as droppings and urine pillars). While some of these bodily excretions are easy to spot, a black light reveals even more than can be seen by the naked eye on surfaces you might think are clean.

Ticks, fleas, and mites that feed on diseased rodents can also go on to spread that infection to humans and household pets. Don’t forget, rats and the fleas they carried were responsible for spreading the bubonic plague (AKA the Black Death) that wiped out roughly a third of the European population in the 1300s!

Rodents Reproduce Quickly

Once a few rodents enter your home, it does not take long for them to reproduce and create an infestation. The average female mouse, for example, reaches reproductive age at just two months old. With a gestation period of three weeks, she can give birth to 5-10 litters per year, with 6-8 baby mice in each litter. Considering such rapid rates of reproduction and few indoor predators, rodents can take over your home in no time.

St. Louis Pest Control for Rodents

The best way to avoid the dangers of a rodent infestation is through effective pest control management. Seeing signs of a rodent infestation in your home or want to be pro-active in protecting your family? McCarthy Pest & Termite Control is here to help. For active infestations, we perform a six-point inspection of your home to assess where the rodents are getting in, remove them from your home, and stop them from returning. Learn more about pest control for rodents and call today for a free consultation!