6.5.3  Public health importance of rodents

Rodents cause a number of problems:

  • Disease transmission: rats are the natural hosts of fleas that may carry bubonic plague and murine typhus or endemic typhus from an infected rat to a human.
  • Food damage: mice and rats will eat stored food, mainly grains, and will spoil food by leaving their droppings. One rat can consume 15 kilograms of food per year. Rats are estimated to destroy 20% of the world’s crop production.
  • Material damage: gnawing by front teeth to doors, windows, wood, boxes, bags, clothes, etc.

6.5.2  Behaviour of rats

6.6  Vector management and control