In a study published in the July 2017 Public Library of Science (PLoS) journal conducted at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine
and the Florida Museum of Natural History, researchers revealed that rats in some Florida Counties are infected by the rat lungworm parasite. As the name implies, the parasite requires rats to complete its life cycle. Humans, while accidental hosts, face health risks if they accidentally ingest the parasite. Disease symptoms include nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, and headaches, closely resembling bacterial meningitis. However, complications due to an infection can occur leading to neurological disorders or in some cases death. While Parrish (Manatee County
) was not one of the counties with infected rats; neighboring county Hillsborough County
was. While this can be reassuring information, rats do not recognize county lines, and it would not be surprising to find infected rats in neighboring counties. To best protect your family, prevention and control are the best options. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), simple hygiene measures can help combat the spread of the disease. However, rat trapping and rat removal from areas around homes and gardens can also help control the proliferation of the disease.
While rat lungworm is one of the many diseases spread by either mice or rats, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is one of the viral diseases spread by mice that live near residences in Florida. The last study conducted by the Florida Department of Health two decades ago on the mice population in Florida revealed that 13 percent of the mice tested had the virus. The Department currently reports that there have not been any recent reports of HPS since 1994. Despite this good news, the Health Agency still recommends the removal of mice from around homes because the infection by the Hantavirus occurs when people inhale particles from a mouse infected with the virus. Mouse removal can help control viral spread.
By now you are probably asking; “How do I get rats out of my house?” If you live in Parrish, Florida there are rat trapping services, and, both mouse removal and rat removal services that can help get rid of the mice and rats and lower your risk of contracting diseases that are spread by the rodents.