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Mice Occasionally Bite
Yes, mice do occasionally bite people and their pets. However, the occurrence is quite rare, accounting for just over 1 per cent of all reported bites when grouped with other rodents. Typically, these bites have no adverse effects when properly cleaned. However if you notice symptoms or infection in the area of the bite, you should seek medical treatment.
How to Prevent Bites
Avoid handling mice that you find in your house or in fields. Use a net, if possible, or wear heavy leather gloves that a rodent cannot bite through if you must handle mice. Do not use live traps to catch wild mice. Block holes that mice are using to enter your home or garage with steel wool. Try to eliminate problem areas that attract mice, such as boxes of old magazines, clothes and feeders that leak. Use traps, poisons or qualified exterminators to eliminate any current populations of mice.
When to Seek Medical Treatment
Seek medical attention after a bite if you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, liver disease or you are in a country with a high volume of rabies cases. If you notice infection in the bite, seek medical advice for possible antibiotic treatment. Otherwise, infection can lead to blood poisoning, stiffening of the joints and tissue damage. Mice can spread germs through their saliva if they are carriers and can transmit a variety of diseases, including hantavirus, salmonella, tapeworms, leptospirosis and ringworms.
Preventive Measures to Take After a Bite
Get a tetanus booster after a bite if you are not sure when you last had one or you know that it has been more than 7 years. Clean the bite thoroughly as soon as possible with soap and water. After applying bleach to an area occupied by mice and allowing it to sit for at least 15 minutes, wear gloves and a HEPA mask while cleaning the infested area. Taking these precautionary measures will reduce your risk of getting an infection or contracting a disease.
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