raccoonPests aren’t just creepy looking. Some of them can spread serious diseases to people, which is why pest control services are necessary. Watch out for these six scary diseases that pests can carry.

  1. Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that’s almost always fatal once symptoms appear. It’s spread through the saliva of infected animals. In the eastern United States, raccoons are the primary carriers, though skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes can also be infected. If you’re exposed to a potentially infected animal’s saliva, you need treatment immediately. Thanks to the availability of post-exposure treatment, human fatalities are rare.

  1. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma is a parasite that can infect small animals such as rodents and birds. Cats eat these infected animals and then spread the parasite to humans through their feces. The infection may not cause symptoms, though it’s still a concern. If pregnant women get toxoplasmosis, their babies could have brain or eye damage among other problems.

  1. Chagas Disease

Chagas disease is caused by a parasite. It can be transmitted by kissing bugs. These blood-sucking bugs usually feed on people’s faces, which is how they got their name. The disease can be symptom-free initially. Years later, however, complications such as heart disease can develop. Kissing bugs are native to Central and South America, but in recent years, they’ve spread to Florida.  

  1. E. coli O:157

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common bacterium that can cause food poisoning and E. coli O:157 is a particularly nasty strain. It grows in the digestive systems of animals such as cows and horses, but pests such as gophers are also affected. Contact with gopher feces can make you sick with severe diarrhea or even kidney failure.  

  1. Typhus

Typhus fevers are bacterial diseases spread by fleas or lice. These tiny pests typically pick up the disease from infected rats, and then they pass it on to humans. Symptoms are usually flu-like, though damage to major organs like the liver or kidneys can sometimes occur.

  1. Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterium that’s often associated with undercooked chicken. In your garbage cans, minor amounts of salmonella can multiply. When raccoons or other scavengers feed on your trash, they can then spread the dangerous germs through their droppings. Contact with these droppings can cause food poisoning symptoms, like bloody diarrhea.

To keep yourself and your family healthy, Tampa pest control is essential. By controlling potentially harmful pests both indoors and outdoors, you can reduce your risk of getting pest-borne diseases.