by Jeffrey May—Healthy Indoors Magazine
Unfortunately, in modern life, many (if not most) people in our country spend up to 90% of their lives indoors: in their homes, their work spaces, and even cars, trains and planes (these are still “indoor” spaces). Many people also exercise indoors – whether in health clubs or in basement “work-out rooms.”
A growing number of these spaces are tightly constructed to save energy, and the mechanical systems that are supposed to provide fresh air into a building are often not operating as intended due to poor maintenance practices.
We all want to breathe air that is clean: air that does not contain contaminants like mold spores, bacteria, soot particles, unpleasant odors, combustion products, and formaldehyde.
A mouse infestation inside a building can be a source of airborne contaminants. Several studies have noted that home occupants suffer significantly more asthma symptoms in homes with elevated levels of mouse allergens in droppings and urine (Johns Hopkins Medicine). http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2005/02_10a_05.html
“Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a serious respiratory disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus….Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are at risk for HPS infection if exposed to the virus.” (Southern Nevada Health District; https://southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/health-topics/hantavirus.ph).
In buildings with long-standing mouse infestations, I usually see reddish-purple stains in the paths of well-trodden mouse trails. These patchy-colored trails, dotted with droppings, are often found on the tops of foundation walls or on the floors at the floor-wall intersections in basements and garages.
Read the full article in the September 2017 issue of Healthy Indoors Magazine HERE.