How Do Pest Infestations Affect Human Health?

If you are like most people, you probably don’t like the idea of having pests in your home. After all, nobody wants his/her home to be invaded by mosquitoes, roaches, fleas, termites, mice, rats, and other bugs. Pests are not just annoying and nasty; they can also affect your health and the health of your family.

How Do Pest Infestations Affect Human Health?

Here are 7 ways a pest infestation can affect human health:

1. Respiratory Problems and Asthma

Pest infestations are not only nasty but also pose a major health hazard, particularly to people already suffering from asthma and allergies. Roach droppings and carcasses release a protein that’s a known trigger for allergic reactions in susceptible persons. This may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Long-term exposure to such bugs and their droppings can cause a lot of harm to the lungs even if nobody in your family is currently suffering from respiratory problems. As the infestation grows and persists, the chances of greater harm increase exponentially. Pest infestations are thus not only unsanitary and gross but also have the potential to be dangerous too.

2. Salmonella and Gastroenteritis

Salmonella and gastroenteritis are usually caused by roaches contaminating food and work surfaces especially if food is not stored safely. The problem can be made worse if flies are allowed to land o the food thus further spreading the germs.

Salmonella and gastroenteritis can both become a serious issue if not properly dealt with and can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and severe stomach cramps. Mice or rats contaminating your food can cause similar problems too.

3. Dysentery

Dysentery that’s caused by pets is of two types, namely dysentery caused by shigellosis and dysentery caused by amoebiasis. Both forms of dysentery infect the intestines after ingesting food or water that’s contaminated or through contaminated hands or objects. They become contaminated as a result of the flies or roaches that carry pathogens on their bodies or in their guts.

4. Hantavirus and Leptospirosis

Rodents that carry Leptospirosis and Hantavirus spread these diseases through their droppings and urine. Hantavirus usually leads to hemorrhagic fever, respiratory problems, or even death while leptospirosis can cause brain swelling, liver failure, and possibly even death.

The only way to truly ensure that your family isn’t exposed to such illnesses is to make sure that rodents don’t have access to your home. If you start noticing signs of rodents in your home, make sure that you call in a professional exterminator within the shortest time possible since rodents tend to reproduce quickly and an infestation can quickly get out of hand.

5. E-Coli, Pneumonia, and Listeria

Water that’s contaminated by bird droppings can potentially cause listeria and e-coli. If you allow bird droppings to accumulate in your home and dry it can cause a dust that causes respiratory infections along with other health problems such as pneumonia.

6. West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is an incredibly serious health hazard that has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. It is transmitted by infected mosquitos when they bite humans. The virus can cause a life-threatening illness in humans and isn’t something that should be taken lightly.

Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable, which is why you should utilize some sort of mosquito control to protect your family and home. Getting rid of standing water in your yard can help reduce the number of mosquitoes, but if there’s a slow-flowing creek or pond close by, chances are they will still be present.

You may require professional assistance to get rid of the mosquitoes for good, which includes outdoor treatments that deal with mosquitoes and their breeding grounds at the source.

7. Weil’s Disease

It can be caused by water that’s contaminated by mouse or rat urine. It gets into the body via the mouth, ears, nose, eyes, or even cuts in the skin. Fortunately, it is not so common and is more likely to happen in farm environments. Its symptoms are similar to those of the flu, but it can escalate into far more serious damage such as liver damage or meningitis.

Final Thoughts

Fortunately, all the 7 health problems attributed to pest infestations discussed here are quite rare and can even be avoided completely with appropriate hygiene standards. Still, the severity of the illnesses highlights the importance of acting fast in case of a pest infestation.

Freeing your yard and home of potentially harmful pests, especially large colonies of them, is a must to keep you and your family safe. Allowing pest problems to escalate can be dangerous, which is why you should hire a professional pest extermination service to help you get rid of them.

Besides calling in a professional to help you get rid of pests, you should consider practicing preventive pest control. If you use such a two-pronged approach to pest elimination, you will keep your interior and exterior surroundings free of pests and their accompanying health hazards.

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