It’s no secret that rodents and food simply do not mix. The sight of a single rodent deters customers and is associated with major health issues and public safety concerns.

The How

Rodents are dangerous pests that are associated with many diseases. Rats and mice don’t bother to wipe their feet before entering, and they certainly don’t care where they take care of their bathroom needs. As a result, many rodents are dangerous transporters of food-borne pathogens through their saliva, urine, and droppings. In just one day’s time, a single rat can produce 50 half-inch droppings – that’s over two feet of coverage per rat.

The What 

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is spread through direct rodent contact or by humans breathing in dust contaminated with rodent urine or droppings. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, stomach problems, dizziness, and chills; and late symptoms, occurring within 4 to 10 days, present as coughing, shortness of breath and lungs filled with fluid. It is not only your customers who are at risk, but your employees’ health as well.

Humans exposed to rats carrying rat-bite fever bacteria can get sick even if they aren’t bitten. Rat-bite fever causes fever, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and rash. It is curable with treatment, but possibly fatal if left untreated.

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that humans can contract after eating food contaminated by rat feces. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps and can last four to seven days. Severe cases require hospitalization.

Lastly, leptospirosis is a bacterial disease from food or liquids, which have been in contact with rodent urine – even a little amount. Most infected experience minor symptoms such as headaches, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, while 1 in 10 infections can result in meningitis, liver failure, kidney damage, and, in some cases, even death.

However, there are many more threats such as listeriosis, tularemia, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.

Mouse in the corner of a restaurant floor.

Protect Your Brand

Fighting rodents and food-borne illnesses must be a part of every business plan to ensure the safety of your customers. Copesan works with businesses nationwide to put pest management programs in place that protect the public health and protect company reputations that can be threatened by rodents. Learn more about our commercial pest control programs for restaurants and the foodservice industry.

Copesan offers you the most complete commercial pest management, including rodent control. Our extensive, coast-to-coast coverage, paired with our network of local experts, assures geographically-specific pest protection – no matter where your facilities are located. Contact Us Today!

Learn more about rodents and how to protect your business with our YouTube rodent-specific video playlist!