Baltimore Rodent Control



Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist: MIce Borne Diseases

Hi, and welcome to Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist. Yesterday, I had a chance to talk with Dovid Davis the Director of A # 1 Pest Control of Baltimore Maryland. He asked me what I wanted to learn about, and I answered mice .”Okay,” he said, “We’ll talk about mice.

Mice , Dovid noted, are generally 2-3 inches long, they weigh from half an ounce to an ounce and 1/2 generally they are brown or grey. Some of the things they prefer, food wise, include cereal, fruit, vegetables and meat. Mice are strange in their behavior pattern in that they do not eat a lot of food at once, they tend to nibble 20-30 times. But altogether, their daily consumption of food is less than 1/10th of an ounce.

There are some interesting facts about mice that people should know. Mice  are excellent climbers. They can climb up on walls; they can climb up on furniture. However, the range of how far they travel is less than 30 feet. So they won’t go more than 30 feet for food water or shelter. Since they don’t go more than 30 feet from where they’re nesting, if their food source is more than 30 feet away, they’ll move their nest.

Mice are nocturnal, which means that most of their activity, their running around their exploring and feeding takes place after sunset and before sunrise. Most people don’t realize, that when mice travel and they are healthy they travel at 12 feet per second. And that’s why it’s so hard to catch them. And one mouse, the average mouse, makes approximately 50 droppings a day. Ugghh!

So how do we catch these critters? The traditional way is with mouse snatch traps, and or placing commercial strength rodenticide, in areas that are not visible and not accessible to children or pets. It generally takes 72 hours for them to be attracted to the bait, to eat it, and to die.

I wanted to know what happens to the mice  when they die, because no one wants dead smelly mice lying around their house or kitchen. But Dovid assured me that the poison makes the mice thirsty so they tend to go outside and eat grass and drink water, and die outside. But if they do die inside the house they are only odorous for no more than 72 hours. Then they start to disintegrate. Well I don’t know about you, but I am not crazy about the idea of smelly decaying mice in my house, even for less than 72 hours. However, it does beat having live mice.


The Origin and Meaning of the Word Pest

Baltimore Pest Control

Pesticide Spray

In modern parlance, the word pest, as in the term pest control has come to refer to a myriad of small creatures that invade the house, and bring with them filth and disease. Typical pests include mice, roaches, termites, bedbugs, fleas and other insects, wild birds, wild animals, spiders and snakes. But when we go back into time, we find the word had a different twist. the word pest didn’t refer to the animals we call pests today, but to the deadly filth and disease which they carry. Lets examine the facts.

Checking in Etymon’s online etymology dictionary, we find that the term pest appears first and foremost in various imprecations, such as “a pest (or a plague) upon you.” Going back further in time to 1539, we find that the word “peste” in Middle French, had the same meaning as its antecedent “pestis” in Latin, and meant deadly contagious disease. Etymological derivations of other pest related words indicate that “pestis” also meant “plague.” The modern word pestilence, derived from the 13th century Old French word pestilence, and from the Latin pestilential meaning plague, noun of action from pestilentem (nom. pestilens). In this derivation, Entymon notes that pestilens derives from pestis, which can also mean plague. A mouse, in and of itself, is not a deadly contagious disease. However, a mouse carries Leptospirosis, a dangerous microbe, and it can also carry dangerous or even deadly viruses. Likewise, a pigeon, is a bothersome creature, especially when it uses our porches and sidewalks as a bathroom, but it isn’t contagious. However, pigeons can carry and transmit histoplasmosis, and other dangerous or deadly respiratory conditions. The plague, the deadly scourge of the Middle Ages, was transmitted by rats and fleas. While rats and fleas both bite, they are not, in and of themselves causes of contagious diseases. However, they do transmit disease causing viruses and bacteria. such as the organism that caused the plagues that ravaged Europe during the Middle Ages. Bats, another frightful household pest are not in and of themselves deadly. However, their bite transmits the virus which causes rabies, a progressive invariably fatal condition. Not only their bite, but in some cases their well aimed spit can transmit this incurable virally transmitted illness.

This historical background provides perspective that enables us to understand the true meaning of the phrase pest control ,which was first seen in use about 200 years ago. In a clasical sense, pest control means controlling pests, (deadly viruses and microbes which cause disease), by removing the animals and other creatures which carry these illness causing organisms from the domestic environment . But in modern parlance, the original associations is often lost, and people relate the term pest to the creatures and animals that spread filth and disease, and not the creatures that cause disease.

It must be noted that when taken in this light, the term pest control has come to have new connotations. Classically, for example pest control and mice control were not synonymous. It would be more proper to say that mice removal is a form of pest control because we are removing disease carrying rodents from our home. However, we could control mice by putting them in a cage, as is done in a laboratory, and this might not remove the pests they carry from our environment. Termites do not carry disease, and yet “termite control” is considered to be a form of “pest control” in modern parlance. These usages lead further credence to the belief that the words pests, like many other words, has taken on an enlarged meaning. In the classical sense, vaccination, isolation and testing might classically be considered forms of pest control, becasue they help to protect us from disease causing viruses and microbes, but in general, pest control has specifically come to refer to the removal of small creatures between the size of mites to the size of large animals that carry filth and disease into the home.

Mouse Borne Diseases


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Mice Transmit Leptospirosis

Mice  not only introduce horrid smells and dirt into the home, they also carry serious illnesses and consequently should be removed from the home at the first indication of an infestation. To illustrate my theme, I will present various illnesses conveyed to humans by mice. Mice  transmit the bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium. While not the most dangerous of bacteria, Salmonella Typhimurium can cause irritating intestinal complaints, which include loose stool, bowel pain, nausea and wretching. The salmonella related intestinal symptoms can prove fatal for people with a weakened constitution. The bacteria is spread through food contaminated by mice droppings and is the most common cause of food poisoning.

Mice  can transmit tapeworms. Mice become infected with tapeworm when they inadvertently eat food contaminated with a parasitic worm. Humans become infected if they ingest food contaminated with infected mice  droppings. This can frequently happen after people touch mice  or mice  droppings and then neglect to wash their hands thoroughly before eating.

Murine  Typhus is a mild disease that can be transmitted by both rat and mice fleas. The disease is contracted when a human bite victim scratches the place where he has been bitten by an infected flea. While scratching he inevitably pushes flea feces into the blood stream, and that permits the typhus to enter the body. Symptoms, which begin 6 days to 2 weeks after the bite, include fever, aching muscles and headache.

Leptospirosis is a more serious disease transmitted by mice . It appears in many forms and levels of severity and is one of the major reasons homeowners should assiduously work to rid their home of these disease carrying rodents . When full blown the disease is alternatively called infectious jaundice or Wiel’s disease. Symptoms of Leptospirosis include vomiting, high fever, chills, a rash, achy muscles and jaundice. Other complications of Leptospirosis can include difficulty breathing, kidney damage, liver failure and meningitis. Leptospirosis is usually transmitted by mouse  urine.

The most serious mouse  borne illness is Hantavirus. This rare condition is found throughout North and South America. The disease can be contacted through inhalation of dust contaminated with mice urine or droppings or through direct contact with mice or their urine or droppings or rarely through a mouse bite. The virus causes Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which is a potentially deadly disease.

One other condition transmitted by mice  is Polio. Polio was once a serious and potentially fatal condition but is prevented, today, by vaccination.

These six diseases transmitted by mice  are six good reasons why you should call an exterminator