I found a dead rodent in my office – is it safe to touch?November 30, 2016
What to do About Office Rodents
It’s important to never touch any rodent you encounter in your home or your place of work. Some rodents carry the disease Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and to be on the safe side, it’s best to leave rodent control to the professionals.
How do you contract HPS?
It’s possible to contract HPS by simply breathing in the virus or by handling or cleaning up after rodents and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. For example:
- While cleaning up droppings, urine, or nest material of rodents inflicted with the virus
- While cleaning up a camp, cabin or shed that’s been boarded up for a while
- While working in barns or other places rodents occupy
Who is at risk?
If the rodent you’ve encountered is inflicted with HPS, you are at risk—regardless of your health or age. For this reason, everyone is considered at risk.
Not all rodents carry the HPS disease, but because it’s hard to know what kind of rodent you’re dealing with, particularly when you’re left dealing with droppings, you should error on the safe side.
How do I clean up after rodents if I find signs of them?
First of all, any time you see signs of rodents, call pest control professionals to eradicate the issue. To clean up, always wear gloves and use bleach, water and disinfectant while cleaning. Wash or disinfect your gloved hands before removing the gloves.
Never vacuum up mouse or rat urine, droppings or nests because it will cause the virus to be spread through the air.
Steam clean, shampoo, or spray on disinfectant to furniture. Mop floors with bleach and water. Wash clothing in hot water.
What are the symptoms of HPS?
Within one to five weeks of contracting HPS, the following symptoms will occur:
- Severe muscle aches
- Difficulty breathing
- Headaches, chills, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain
What can you do to prevent HPS?
Pest control services are a sure-fire way to ward off rodent epidemics to begin with, but if you haven’t been proactive about rodent control, St. Louis-based Blue Chip can get your office or home in shape.