Top 4 Pests That Threaten Your Family's Health

Household pests aren’t just a nuisance; they’re a danger to your family’s health! Even small insects are carriers of diseases that can make your children or elderly family members ill. While rodents certainly carry their own risks, there are other pests that pose their own unique threat to families.


These masked critters aren’t just mischievous and intelligent. They carry some nasty viruses, too. Raccoons are mostly known for carrying rabies, but there are other diseases to be aware of when these animals hole up under your home. Their feces carries a type of roundworm that children are more prone to getting because they play in the soil around the home. While these types of infections are rare, the CDC believes them to be underdiagnosed. More dangerously, raccoons shed leptospirosis, a dangerous bacteria, in their urine. This infection causes very serious liver and kidney problems, and it’s especially dangerous in small children.


Rat-borne diseases are plentiful. Rats also carry leptospirosis, and since they urinate everywhere, it’s likely that water around your house is contaminated with their urine. They also spread a viral infection, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), through their urine and saliva. It isn’t deadly, but it can make you very sick. Their feces are riddled with salmonella bacteria, so a rat infestation exposes your family to this serious bacterial infection.


Cockroaches give new meaning to the word “infestation” because of the sheer numbers they appear in. Cockroaches have a protein in their feces that trigger allergic reactions or asthma symptoms in children. Some people get skin rashes while others experience difficulty breathing. Studies have shown that cockroaches spread at least 33 different types of bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, six species of parasitic worms, and seven types of human pathogens. If you have cockroaches, consider contacting a pest control company to help protect your family.

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If you’ve ever had a squirrel in the attic or your walls, you know how destructive they are. While they can cause an obscene amount of damage to your insulation and siding as they move their families in, squirrels are responsible for a large number of electrical fires. While other pests are dangerous because of their disease transmission, squirrels are mostly dangerous because they eat through electrical wires, greatly increasing your home’s chances of experiencing an electrical fire.

Most pests carry a risk of transmitting diseases to your family. Whenever you notice signs of a pest, it’s time to call your local professional to keep both your family members and your property safe.