Ticks And Rodents: Three Perspectives On The Illnesses They Transmit
Tick-related illnesses are primarily transmitted through tick bites. Sounds obvious, right? However, not all tick bites are dangerous, as far as disease transmission is concerned. It takes an infected tick to transmit these illnesses. Some of the tick-related illnesses include Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Powassan Virus Disease, among others. On the other hand, rodents also pose a risk to humans. They transmit many diseases too. These include Hantavirus, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Salmonella, Rat Bite Fever, and Plague, among others.
The interesting thing about tick-borne illnesses is that they have some kind of association with rodents and vice versa. Wondering how these two are related? Read on to find out more.
Rodent-borne illnesses and ticks
There are many different species of rodents. Some are out in the wild, while others are primarily in residential areas. The first thing to note is that both ticks and rodents can transmit diseases to humans. Secondly, ticks can also transmit some rodent-borne diseases! Find out how:
There are many species of rodents, including squirrels, chipmunks, beavers, prairie dogs, rats and mice. Rodents native to the United States play an important role in the health of grasslands and forest, and are a major source of food for many predators and scavengers, including hawks, fox, bobcats, and even wolves. However, some types of rodents, especially non-native species including the Norway rat, the roof rat and house mice are pests when they infest houses, threaten public health, and destroy property…
In addition to damaging property, rodents may also spread diseases, posing a serious risk to public health. Rodent-borne diseases can be transferred directly to humans through:
Consumption of food and/or water or breathing dust contaminated by rodent droppings and other waste products.
Indirectly by way of ticks, mites, and fleas that transmit the infection to humans after feeding on infected rodents. Read more at EPA
Tick-borne illnesses and rodents
Apart from ticks feeding on infested rodents and transmitting the disease to humans, there’s another association between ticks and rodents. If you know that ticks only survive by sucking blood from a host, then you know where this is going. If the rodent population in or around your home is high, there’s a likelihood you’ll have more ticks as well. And that’s bad news for you.
Did you know that the acorns we see in our yards could be connected to Lyme disease? It might sound like a stretch, but the amount of acorns in the late fall and early winter could predict the tick population for the next spring.
What do acorns and Lyme disease have in common?
Mice, specifically, dine on acorns to help them survive the winter hibernation. While this is happening, ticks happily attach to these mice for all of their meals.
You may not know that a tick’s palette goes beyond deer and humans. Just about any vertebrate host will do; making the mouse a top choice for ticks, who rely heavily on the mouse population in the winter months to stay alive. Read more at JP Pest Services
Ticks and rodent pets
Another twist to the association between rodents and ticks is where pets are concerned- rodent pets, that is. Did you know that your rodent pets are at risk of infection if they experience tick exposure? This is enough reason to invest in tick control around your home premises, in spite of studies showing that reduced tick populations may not reduce incidences of tick-related diseases in humans. Find out more in the following post:
Tickborne diseases (TBDs) such as Lyme disease result in ≈500,000 diagnoses annually in the United States. Various methods can reduce the abundance of ticks at small spatial scales, but whether these methods lower incidence of TBDs is poorly understood. We conducted a randomized, replicated, fully crossed, placebo-controlled, masked experiment to test whether 2 environmentally safe interventions, the Tick Control System (TCS) and Met52 fungal spray, used separately or together, affected risk for and incidence of TBDs in humans and pets in 24 residential neighborhoods. All participating properties in a neighborhood received the same treatment. TCS was associated with fewer questing ticks and fewer ticks feeding on rodents. The interventions did not result in a significant difference in incidence of human TBDs but did significantly reduce incidence in pets. Our study is consistent with previous evidence suggesting that reducing tick abundance in residential areas might not reduce incidence of TBDs in humans. Read more at Pub Med
Now, if you had a choice between having ticks around your home or eliminating them, what would you choose? If you’ve followed through this post, you know there’s nothing good about having pests of whatever kind within your vicinity. At Backyard Bug Patrol, we passionately hate pests of all kinds and that is why we exist. We offer you efficient and effective pest control measures that are sure to give you the peace of mind you deserve. Our barrier spray programs for tick control and perimeter rodent control packages are worth every dime. Get in touch with us to pest-proof your home today!
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