Can Rodents Spread Coronavirus?
While rats can carry certain coronaviruses, they currently do not transmit SARS-CoV-2. At Anderson Pest Solutions, we are staying up to date with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continue to focus on serving our local communities. We know this is still a developing situation, and more information is coming out about both the nature of the virus as well as how it is spread. While new facts are coming out daily, there is currently no evidence to suggest that rats or mice carry or transmit COVID-19. While they have been linked to other coronaviruses and other rat-borne diseases, COVID-19 is not one of them as of now.
Rats During COVID-19
The three most recently discovered human coronaviruses—including the virus causing the current pandemic, SARS-CoV-2—have all caused epidemics with large numbers of serious infections and deaths. All three viruses have also been genetically traced to a bat origin that crossed over first to other animals and then to humans. So far, rats have not been linked to directly transmitting COVID-19, even though they can carry other coronaviruses. According to a study, the rodents found to carry coronaviruses were kept on farms, in markets and restaurants in Vietnam with many other live animals in poor conditions. These unique circumstances make the risk of rats transmitting coronavirus to humans in other situations extremely low.
Other Dangers of Rodents in a Pandemic
While rats aren’t currently a danger by transmitting SARS-CoV-2, there are several other reasons why it’s important to prevent and control rodent problems in the midst of the pandemic.
- Rodents can spread other diseases, including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and plague. They also can indirectly transmit diseases from ticks, mosquitoes, lice, and fleas. Some of these include Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Due to the lockdowns, there have been many cases of rats and mice becoming more bold and rampant in the absence of food sources. This activity in itself increases the risk of infestations and rodent-related issues.
How to Keep Rats Away During COVID-19
There’s no questioning why rodent infestations are more common than ever right now. With restaurant closures, rats and mice alike have been forced to drastic measures to seek out new food sources. Although you can rest easy knowing rodents won’t transmit COVID-19 to your family, they can still pose a number of other health risks. For this reason, it’s important to do everything you can to prevent rodents in your home or business. If you spot rodents, always contact your local rodent control team for assistance.