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How Rodent/ Rat Infestation Can Impact Mental Health

Rodent Infestations

Rodent infestations are among the major causes of damage to property and crops all over the world. Estimates say that rats and mice have contaminated or eaten at least 20% of the world’s food annually. Unfortunately, this is not all they do. They can directly affect humans and other animals as well.

Can rat and mice infestation make you sick? Yes, rodents are not only a danger to your home but also to the health of inhabitants. Rodents can carry other pests like ticks and fleas. They can also carry several diseases like the Hantavirus and the rat-bite fever (RBF) disease. And if this isn’t bad enough, their presence can impact a homeowner’s mental health as well.

How Can Mice and Rats Affect Your Mental Health?

The presence of rats on your property, especially in the home can trigger stress. Rodents inside the home are considered an invasion. Constantly worrying over this matter will affect your mental health, leading to chronic stress, acute depression, and even phobia.


The stress that results from the constant presence of rodents in the property can lead to the development of musophobia, the fear of rodents. Here are some of the reasons why a rodent infestation can trigger stress that can lead to anxiety and fear:

  • They can damage your belongings.

    Musophobia is the fear of Rodents
    Musophobia: Fear of Rodents
  • Rodents are electrical and fire hazards.
  • Sounds of activity at night like scurrying, scratches, and gnawing will affect your sleep.
  • You worry about being bitten while asleep.
  • Rodents can contaminate the food.
  • Rodents can endanger the health of household inhabitants.
  • The Bubonic Plague, which wiped out a large number of humans in history, is associated with rats.
  • If guests see a rat in your home, it can place you in an excessively embarrassing situation.
  • It can trigger a previous traumatic experience.
  • It can condition children to be afraid of rats.

Symptoms of Musophobia

The following are symptoms associated with musophobia:

  • A mouth that is dry and sticky
  • Always tense (cannot relax)
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Body aches and pains
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Focus or concentration problem
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Jumpy or panicky over small movements in a room especially on the floor
  • Prickly sensation on the skin
  • Quick flare-ups or temper

Treatment of Musophobia

All mental health concerns should not be ignored and must be addressed by professionals. Fear or phobias, when ignored, can cripple your ability to function properly in life and society. Medications will be prescribed for the symptoms and are combined with therapy to address the psychological issue. Some of the therapies they will administer are the following:

  • Counselling
    Counselling is a short-term therapy that will only last for weeks to 6 months. With counselling, both the therapist and the patient will work together to solve the problem. The therapist will offer advice or suggestions.
  • Hypnotherapy
    With this therapy, the patient will be placed under hypnosis or a trance-like state. A patient under this state will become more open to the therapist’s guidance and suggestions. Through this therapy, the therapist guides the patient in exploring their subconscious for memories of a past experience that serves as the root cause of the problem.
  • Psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy is a long-term intervention that could last for many years. It focuses more on the past experiences and feelings of the patient. Guiding the patient to fully express their bottled-up emotions is one of its goals.

Signs of Rodent Infestation

Watch out for the following signs to know if rodents are already in your house:

  • Allergies – If you have sudden or frequent bouts of allergic reactions or sneezing even if the house is clean, then something is in the air. Their fur and droppings can be airborne, negatively affecting indoor air quality.
  • Bad Smell – If you can smell musky odours, you may be smelling their urine. As they grow in number the smell becomes worse. Worse, if one of them dies, you may end up smelling something rotting between your walls.
  • Behavioural Change in Pets – If your pets start acting strangely, like barking or scratching at walls, in certain areas of the house, then it could be a sign of an infestation.
  • Bite Marks – You will find bite marks on your possessions, especially food containers. Check containers, since they may have chewed their way in to get food.
  • Droppings – During an infestation, you can see their droppings around their frequent haunts, which are usually in or near the kitchen, especially under the sink. Don’t pick these up by hand, use gloves. Do not sweep them since this can release pathogens and allergens into the air.
  • Footprints – You can see tracks made by rodents on dusty areas or smooth surfaces like glass or metal.
  • Grease Marks – Rodent fur has oils that can create streaks or grease marks on surfaces. Watch out for such marks around the kitchen.
  • Holes – To create new routes, entryways, or shortcuts, rodents will chew their way into certain areas, usually walls.
  • Itching – If you notice yourself scratching more than usual or if you notice the presence of ticks and fleas, even if you don’t have pets, you may have a rodent infestation.
  • Sounds of activity – You can hear activity sounds like gnawing, scratching, running, or even an occasional squeak. The sounds are even more audible at night.
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Vacumming is not the best solution for Rodents.

What to Do If You Have a Rodent Infestation

 If you’re thinking along the lines of, “What if I vacuumed mouse droppings?” Don’t do it.

It’s not advisable to sweep or vacuum rodent droppings. Doing so can release harmful pathogens into the air. If you have already done so, open up the windows, and turn on the ventilation of the house so it expels potentially contaminated indoor air. Leave the ventilation on for a few hours.

The next thing to do is to remove any possible contamination in the area including on you. Disinfect all surfaces within that room. After disinfection, remove the clothes you are wearing and wash them right away preferably using hot water. Go for a hot shower to cleanse your body from any pathogens.

Then, call pest control.

The best way to deal with the problem is to address the cause of the stress — rodents. It should be removed from the vicinity in order to regain peace and calm. To do so effectively and without causing any further harm to those in the area, you need to call pest control services.

Pest control companies have a variety of tools and equipment at their disposal that allows them to eliminate the presence of pests completely.

If you live in Roodepoort, Randburg, or Midrand areas and are looking for a residential or commercial rat and mice control near you, get in touch with Accend Pest Control Solutions. We provide reliable and eco-friendly removal of rodents, from the attic down to the basement. Call us at +2768 474 7303 for a free estimate on Rodent Control.