Most common households pets are best known for chewing through wires and leaving itchy bites on unsuspecting residents. Those are the most common problems, but they aren’t the most dangerous ones. Although it is rare for pests in the developed world to spread serious diseases compared to those in the developing world, it does happen. Some of those diseases can put a person in the hospital, so cutting down on the pest population can be a sound medical choice. This is especially true in areas that have recently recorded cases of any diseases that the pests can spread.
Fleas and Ticks
Blood-sucking parasites are very good at spreading diseases. Mosquitoes are the most famous culprits, but it’s important to avoid overlooking the problems that fleas and ticks can cause simply because they get less attention. Fleas and ticks get exposed to bacteria when they feed on an infected host, and they can retain that bacteria for a long time. They pass the bacteria on to every new host when they feed, which provides an opportunity for infection. Infection is not certain, since the host’s immune system can sometimes fight against it and wipe out the infection before it becomes a serious problem, but they are still one of the main causes for the spread of blood-borne diseases.
This is especially true for people who own pets. Pets pick up fleas and ticks when they are outside, which exposes them to infections. The parasites can then transfer to humans when they come into contact with their animal companions. In some cases, the pet becomes an additional vector of infection. Lyme disease is the most famous problem that these parasites can cause, but cat-scratch disease and many others also have their roots in a parasite problem.
The best way to prevent their spread is to keep the flea and tick population as small as possible. Regular veterinary treatment can make a big difference by keeping pets safe, and pest control experts can clean them out of the environment.
Rats and Mice
If there is one species that is famous for spreading disease, it is the humble rat. Mice are less famous for it, but they are often the more dangerous of the two. In both cases, the animals can spread disease by harboring fleas and ticks. They can also spread infections through their bites.
That having been said, their droppings are the most dangerous vector of infection. They can contaminate food and water, which spreads dangerous diseases like Salmonella. Rat-bite fever is also a common problem, and despite the name it can come from exposure to droppings, scratches, and almost any other type of contact with rats or mice. Professionals can remove the problem animals without risking infection, so they are the best way to remove an infestation that can spread infection.
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