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Learn About Hantavirus & Affected Pests

Hantavirus was first identified in the U.S. in 1993 and found to be carried by the common deer mouse. It causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in the U.S. and should not be confused with hantavirus originating in Asia which causes Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS).

What is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus causes HPS, a disease carried by infected rats and mice that causes flu-like symptoms and pulmonary distress. Rarely, it can be fatal. Early symptoms include muscle aches, fever, fatigue, headache, dizziness, chills, nausea, and abdominal issues. Later symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. Later symptoms occur four-to-ten days after infection and result from fluid filling the lungs. Full respiratory distress may result in death.

Affected Pests

Hantavirus is known to be carried by rats and mice, particularly the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse. Infected rats and mice shed the virus in their fecal droppings, urine, and saliva, all of which can become aerosolized; humans can end up inhaling tiny droplets of air that carry the virus. The virus can also be transmitted by direct contact with rodent fecal matter, urine, and saliva, but not by human-to-human contact. Both the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse inhabit Texas, as does the common rat. Because there is no vaccine, medical treatment, or cure for HPS, people in areas where rats and mice are found should be vigilant about prevention.

Preventing Hantavirus

The only way to prevent HPS is to prevent the possibility of coming into contact with hantavirus. People who live in Houston or other areas where rats and mice may be present should rodent-proof their homes and yards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the “Seal Up! Trap Up! Clean Up!” protocol for ridding your home and yard of mice. Seal holes leading to the outdoors, trap and dispose of mice properly, and keep your home and yard clean.

It takes a professional to completely eradicate rodents and prevent further infestation. At EnviroCon Pest Control, our extermination methods are environmentally-friendly and guaranteed to be effective. Our mission is to provide efficient pest control in Cypress, Tomball, Spring, Woodlands, Houston, and surrounding areas while considering the possible long-term environmental and health effects of extermination practices and products.