How Rodent and Wildlife Droppings Can Impact Your Health

Updated on June 15, 2020

You could make a pretty reasonable wager that most people in the world do not want rodents or wild animals in their homes. Whether people dislike them for their looks, being scared of being attacked by them, or just blindly hate these creatures, rodents, and wildlife cohabiting your home with you does not work too well. Beyond all of these reasons, there is a more serious reason to not want rodents and other animals living in your home. The feces from these animals can be seriously harmful to your health, as well as the health of your family and friends. Keep reading for some alarming facts about how rodent and wildlife droppings can affect your health. 

Contaminated Food

This point applies to mice and rats more so than critters like raccoons, opossums, and other larger animals. Rodents are widely known to be carriers of many different diseases, viruses, maladies. Everyone knows that feces are filled with bacteria and diseases and that this is harmful. What not everyone knows is that these bacteria and diseases from the feces can spread around and not be seen. Even if you have trapped the rodent and cleaned up the droppings, there will still be bacteria from the feces that remain and can be spread by you unknowingly by stepping in or touching that spot. If you do not wash your hands by the time you get ready to eat or prepare food, you just contaminated the food with these germs. Food contamination is an often overlooked problem of rodent and wildlife droppings.

Allergic Reactions

Many people have allergies that they don’t find out about until later in their lives. Maybe they haven’t ever been exposed to that allergen before, or maybe these allergies have developed as life goes on. In either case, wildlife and rodent droppings can easily spread allergens. If you think about all of the objects that these critters eat and come into contact with, it is not hard to see how they can cause serious allergic reactions in people. There is a good chance that wild animals have caused many slight or serious allergic reactions in this way, and most people weren’t able to pinpoint what caused it. This is a fairly unknown health consequence of how rodent and wildlife droppings can seriously affect your health.


Hantavirus is a serious disease that can be fatal. Hantavirus is primarily spread through rodents that have been infected with this disease. This virus is scary because an early diagnosis often will not be possible, as the disease shows very little symptoms. Rats and mice infected with Hantavirus are usually located west of the Mississippi River, though there have been some cases in some of the Eastern United States. Even if you never see a rodent or its droppings, you can still easily come into contact with it. It can spread through urine, small feces that are hard to see, nests and nesting materials, and even through saliva. Simply living with rodents in your house or in a building can be the strongest risk factor, as you are breathing in air that they are exhaling full of the nasty disease. If you start feeling symptoms such as a fever, muscle pain, and nausea, make sure to tell your healthcare provider that you have possibly been in contact with rats and mice. Always be cautious around living or dead rodents, their feces, and their nests. For more information, visit here for all rat diseases


All wild animals and rodents are capable of spreading salmonellosis through their feces. There are usually around 40,000 cases of salmonella poisoning in the United States per year. Basically, it can be summed up as the Salmonella bacteria from an animal’s feces inadvertently coming into contact with food or food preparation utensils, as well as cooking surfaces. Though you might think the critter droppings have been cleaned up, the Salmonella bacteria can still be present and live for a long time. You will more than likely inadvertently move them in some way and it can easily come into contact with food. The symptoms are much like most cases of food poisoning, as the infected person will experience diarrhea, stomach pain, and potentially a fever. It can be fatal in some cases. Always make sure to disinfect any area where a rodent or wild animal has been or has left droppings.

Giardia Infection

If you have ever heard of Giardia infection, you probably have heard about it from people drinking contaminated water. It is a tiny parasite that spreads easily and lasts for a long time on surfaces and in water. Every kind of animal that can come anywhere near or in your home has the potential to carry this infection with them. In addition to being one of many squirrel diseases, it is also most commonly spread in the feces of raccoons, opossums, and almost every other animal you can encounter. Luckily, this is an easily curable infection. Always dispose of animal feces with caution and care. 

Raccoon Roundworm

Raccoons are incredibly adaptable creatures. If there is even a chance they can find food and shelter around your home, they will. This will cause them to stay near your home and it will defecate frequently. The problem with this is that droppings of raccoons infected with roundworm can contain millions of eggs. These eggs will eventually become infectious and can survive for many years. If you, a family member, or friend gets infected, it can potentially be fatal. It is a hard disease to diagnose and is impossible to cure. It can cause brain infection and comas, loss of muscle control, and blindness. Always exercise caution around alive or dead raccoons, as well as their feces, as these can contain roundworms.

As you can see, it is incredibly important to be cautious around rodent and wildlife droppings, as they can be a host to all kinds of diseases and maladies. Many of these infections have no cure and are very hard to diagnose. Always exercise the utmost caution around any living or dead animal, as well as their feces.

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