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What Diseases Do Pests Carry? Not Coronavirus!

Good news! Pests can’t carry or spread coronavirus (COVID-19)! But that doesn’t mean you should let your pest control fall by the wayside. Pests do carry many kinds of diseases and bacteria – we are just glad coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t among them.

Its positive impact on public health and safety is one of the main reasons The Department of Homeland Security named pest control an essential service right now. We think it’s more important than ever.

What kind of diseases can pests carry? Here are just a few:

Malaria & EEE

According to the CDC, the most cases of Eastern equine encephalitis virus (Triple E as it is commonly called around here) have been reported in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina and it’s been around since the 1800s. And the parasites associated with malaria were actually discovered in mosquitoes that had been ensconced in amber and date back to the Paleogene period – that’s about 30 million years ago. Both of these rather old and rather dangerous diseases are carried by mosquitoes, which is why many scientists regard them as the most dangerous animal in the world, despite the fact that mosquitoes do not carry coronavirus.

Lyme Disease

Not only is Lyme disease the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, but it originated right here in New England (Lyme, Connecticut to be exact). We all know ticks are the culprits when it comes to spreading Lyme disease, but it’s not just that one they carry. The Center for Disease Control actually has a long list of diseases associated with those pests.


Mice, squirrels, rats, opossums… almost any rodent can carry and transmit ringworm. Ringworm is a fungus that causes itchiness, a ring-shaped rash, red, flaking, cracked skin, and can even cause hair loss.


Cockroaches carry this and many other bacteria on their feet and as they walk on surfaces or food, they can spread that bacteria onto it. There is no special treatment for Salmonella and those who do contract it suffer with diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Some may even require hospitalization.

This, of course, doesn’t discount the great news that pests don’t carry COVID-19. It’s a ray of sunshine in this strange time of social distancing in our history. But you shouldn’t discount the fact that pests do carry other diseases. It’s ok, though, because Waltham Pest Services can help with those nasty pests and the nasty diseases they can bring with them. No wonder pest control businesses are remaining open as part of essential infrastructure right now! Call Waltham Pest Services today. We can help.

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