Are Mouse Traps Harmful to Humans?

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Despite their small size, mice are one of the worst pests that infest homes. In addition to the structural damage their gnawing teeth cause, these pests also carry deadly parasites, viruses, and bacteria. One of the best ways to eliminate them is using mouse traps around the house, but it’s extremely important to use these devices correctly to prevent more harm or damage.

So are mouse traps harmful to humans? Some mouse baits and rodenticides may cause accidental poisoning if used incorrectly. People may also experience injuries when they accidentally trigger mouse traps. Cleaning up the dead mouse in a trap should be done with caution because they can transmit serious diseases to humans like leptospirosis and hantavirus.

Read More: How to Keep a Mouse Trap Stationary

Are Mouse Traps and Baits Harmful to Humans?

Mice infestation is quite common among American homes with about 14.8 million reports of mouse or rat sightings every year. Most of them hate having these pests in their home, which is why they attempt to get rid of them quickly with store-bought mouse traps.

Although snap traps, glue traps, electric traps, and live traps are effective in catching or killing mice, they might also cause harm to people, children, and pets at home. Here are some of the dangers that come with using mouse traps and the best ways to prevent them: 

Injuries from a Mouse Trap

Snap traps are some of the most commonly used types of mouse traps because they’re easy to use and effective in catching mice. Their snapping force is strong enough to kill a mouse, but this may also cause injuries to adults, children, and pets at home.

When loading the bait and placing the mousetrap, individuals might hit the trigger and accidentally snap their fingers. Make sure to put the mouse bait like peanut butter and pet food on the trap carefully to prevent this from happening.

The accident might not break an adult’s finger bone, but it’ll definitely hurt. It may even lead to severe bruising and pinched nerves. On the other hand, children who are curious about how the snap trap works might also get severe injuries when their tiny hands accidentally trigger the mouse trap.

Glue boards are another type of mouse trap that may cause you some trouble. The special adhesive used in these traps might get stuck to hairs and extremities. Adults are less likely to get caught in a glue trap, but curious children might play around with it.

Regardless of the type of mouse trap or bait used, make sure to follow the instructions that come with the product when installing it. This lessens the chances of accidentally triggering the trap and getting injured. 

Accidental Poisoning from Rodenticides

Rodenticides or rat poisons found in most homes contain different active ingredients that are toxic to mammals, including humans. Depending on the type of chemical and exposure to it, people may experience side effects like skin irritation, vomiting, internal bleeding, and more.

Unfortunately, most of the symptoms of accidental rodenticide poisoning take several hours or days to show which is why it’s important to monitor the patient closely. Here are some of the most common ingredients in rodenticides and the kind of symptoms they produce in cases of human poisoning:

  • Anticoagulant – Blood thinners that are common in most rodenticide products. Symptoms of human poisoning include external bleeding (skin, nose, or gums), vomiting, nausea, shortness of breath, pain, and lightheadedness.
  • Bromethalin – Neurotoxin that induces cell death in the peripheral and nervous systems of mammals. Symptoms of human poisoning include upset stomach, confusion, lethargy, vomiting, headaches, mental disturbances, and behavioral changes.
  • Cholecalciferol – Type of Vitamin D that causes heart failure, calcium toxicity, and kidney damage. Symptoms of human poisoning include dehydration and increased urination.
  • Zinc Phosphide – Chemical compound that turns into gas once consumed and causes organ failure. Symptoms of human poisoning include vomiting, chills, convulsions, breathing difficulty, and anxiousness.
  • Strychnine – Another chemical compound that causes severe seizures. Symptoms of human poisoning include muscle spasms within the first 15 minutes.

It’s crucial to contact a poison expert immediately if a loved one accidentally ingested rat poison. Don’t attempt to treat it with natural remedies or medications. Rodenticides also come with first aid instructions to make sure to follow those while waiting for medical help.

The good news is that most rodenticide baits are available as blocks or contained inside tamper-proof traps and bait stations. Refrain from buying and using rodenticides that come as loose baits or pellets to keep pets and children safe. These baits should also be stored in cool, dry places that are out of children's or pets’ reach. 

Cleaning Up Dead Mice

Solving the mouse problem at home doesn’t stop when all the mice have been caught or killed. One important part of the mice extermination efforts is disposing of the mouse carcass from the used mouse trap.

Rodents like mice and rats are spreaders of many deadly diseases. The parasites, bacteria, and viruses from these pests are transmitted through contact with a living or dead rodent, as well as their saliva, feces, or urine. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning up dead mice in a mouse trap:

  • Wear protective gear like goggles, masks, and latex gloves especially when cleaning up mouse traps near a nest.
  • Spray a disinfectant (or a mixture of water and bleach) around the dead mouse and its surrounding areas.
  • Carefully remove the rodent from the mouse trap and place it inside a trash bag. Ensure that the bag plastic is tightly sealed. Put it in another bag then seal it.
  • Different states have different regulations for dead animal disposal, so make sure to check it before dumping the mouse carcass.
  • If the mouse trap is reusable, clean it thoroughly to remove all blood, saliva, other bodily fluids, and leftover bait. Rinse it with clean water, lather it with soap, and scrub the mouse trap with a disposable sponge until all residues are gone.
  • Remove the gloves and wash the hands with water and soap. Spray some alcohol on both hands to disinfect them properly. 

3 Ways Mice are Dangerous

Mice aren’t as scary as rats for most people because of their small size. However, these rodents are also capable of causing harm if left alone. These are the three ways that mice are dangerous like their bigger rodent relatives:

They Carry Bacteria and Viruses

These pesky rodents carry a wide variety of viruses and bacteria that are potentially fatal for humans, especially for a patient with a weak immune system. Direct contact with a live mice or even mouse droppings, urine, or saliva may cause the following viral or bacterial human diseases:

  • Tularemia – This rare infectious and bacterial disease is caused by the Francisella tularensis bacteria. This condition attacks the patient’s lungs, lymph nodes, skin, and eyes. Tularemia is usually transmitted when a mouse scratches or bites a person. This disease also has different types that show different symptoms.
  • Salmonellosis – A bacterial disease caused by the Salmonella bacteria. It’s one of the most common food-related diseases in the country. Salmonellosis is often contracted when a person consumes contaminated water or food that contains mouse feces. Patients who had salmonellosis may experience pain, fever, diarrhea, and stomach ache for about four to seven days.
  • Leptospirosis – This bacterial disease caused by the genus Leptospira results in organ failure. It’s usually spread through contact with rodent urine. The symptoms of leptospirosis usually show within the first two weeks of rodent exposure. Patients may experience fever, muscle aches, headaches, jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and skin rash. 

They’re Vectors of Parasites

Aside from bacteria and viruses, mice are also known carriers of different parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites. A bite from these parasites might result in painful and possibly deadly health conditions like:

  • Typhus – The infectious disease is caused by the spread of fleas from the dead or live mouse. If left untreated, typhus might lead to serious respiratory problems.
  • Pox – This disease is caused by the mites from an infected mouse. It results in headaches, fever, and lesions on the skin.
  • Plague – This infamous disease is transmitted by the fleas found in rodents. There are different types of plague with different symptoms, but the bubonic plague is the most common one. This infectious disease may cause fever, skin lesions, and death in severe cases.
  • Lyme Disease – This vector-borne disease is caused by the transmission of ticks from an infected mouse. It has 3 different stages that have overlapping symptoms like circular rash on the skin, fever, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. 

They Cause Property Damage and Fire Hazard

Mice love gnawing on different surfaces because of their continuously growing front teeth. It’s common for these pests to sneak into walls, basements, and attics where they find different objects to chew on – like wirings, cables, and water pipes.

This kind of damage prevents homeowners from using the heating, air conditioning, and appliances in their homes. It also puts them at risk of electrical fires which affect thousands of American homes every year. 

3 Safe and Natural Ways to Eliminate Mice

Peppermint essential oil

Since many rodenticides and traditional mouse traps are dangerous for pets and children, many homeowners choose homemade remedies and natural repellents instead. Here are some of the most common methods to eliminate mice at home naturally: 

Use Homemade Repellents

Natural repellents are safe for humans and effective for keeping mice away. Homeowners prefer these kinds of repellents because they’re a lot cheaper than store-bought rodenticides and mouse traps. Here are some of the most common homemade repellents to eliminate mice at home:

  • Peppermint Oil – This essential oil emits a strong smell that mice hate. Their strong sense of smell finds the aroma overwhelming and irritating. It’s best to use 100% peppermint oil as a mouse repellent because it won’t quickly lose potency. Just buy peppermint oil from an online or local store then put a few drops of it into cotton balls. Place the cotton balls in suspected mouse entry points throughout the house.
  • Steel Wool – Unlike peppermint oil that relies on scent, steel wool is used for physically keeping the mice off the property. Mice have strong jaws and teeth that cut through almost anything, but they find it difficult to chew through steel wool. Insert steel wool inside holes and crevices around the house to prevent the mice from getting inside. Add caulk to the steel wool to seal it completely.
  • Used Cat Litter – Cats are natural predators of mice. These pesky rodents have keen senses, which is why even the scent of cats or their litter scares them away. Put some of the used kitty litter at the gaps around the house which mice might use to enter. 

Find Entry Points and Close Them

Mice easily enter the house if there are small gaps and crevices in the walls, doors, and windows. Check inside and outside the house for holes and other possible entry points. Close them with caulk and steel wool. Here are also other places to check for different signs of rodent activity:

  • Baseboards and kitchen cabinets
  • Behind appliances
  • Beneath cracked concrete slabs
  • Air vents
  • Pipes and drains
  • Basements and crawl spaces
  • Garage
  • Attic 

Learn More: Do Mouse Traps With Fake Bait Work?

Clean Up Inside and Outside the House

Aside from an available water or food source, mice are also attracted by clutter. These rodents love burrowing which is why they often seek cluttered areas to build themselves a nest. Clutter easily builds up over time and becomes difficult to clean so make a habit out of decluttering regularly.

Some of the most common cluttered areas at home are attics, garages, and storage spaces. Throw away everything that’s not needed anymore and avoid storing piles of boxes and papers that the rodents might chew on.

Although they help keep mice out, it’s important to avoid relying on these practices alone. The best way to safely and effectively get rid of a mouse infestation for good is to call a pest management professional. These experts have the right tools and knowledge to get the job done quickly so homeowners won’t have to worry about pesky creatures nesting in their homes. 

Excellent Rodent Extermination Services by Pinnacle Pest Control

professional pest control worker for pinnacle pest control

Ready to eliminate the mice at home for good? Pinnacle Pest Control is only one call away for residents near Sacramento, CA.  Our professionally trained team uses reliable and earth-friendly solutions to get rid of mice, so you won’t have to rely on store-bought mouse traps and bait stations that might only cause harm to the family.

Remove the mouse problem and prevent re-infestations with expert pest control services by Pinnacle Pest Control. Call us now at (916) 381 – 5793 to get a free quote.

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