Rodent Cleanup
(Rats, Mice, Pigeons, Bats, Cockroaches)

Steri-Clean, LLC specializes in the removal and disinfection of areas affected by pigeons, rats, mice, cockroaches and other rodents and/or insects that unfortunately often take residence in our homes and businesses. We are one of the only companies in California offering rat, mouse, pigeon and other rodent droppings removal with disinfection. There are dozens of diseases that can be found in these droppings (see chart below). Most of the time the threat is exaggerated, but in certain cases, there is a real danger through direct contact or simply by breathing the air in these contaminated environments. Crime Scene Steri-Clean, LLC can quickly and effectively remove all droppings and any dead rodents, as well as disinfect the involved areas. Unfortunately, even when rodents are exterminated, their scent remains which attracts other rodents to take their place. These areas must be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and sealed to prevent an ongoing infestation. From attics to basements and garages, there is no areas of a home or business that we can't completely clean and disinfect. Call for a free inspection and estimate.

Pigeon and Bird Proofing
Steri-Clean is an authorized installer for Bird-B-Gone Products, and all bird and pigeon proofing products. If you have an issues with pigeons, bats, owls, or any other birds, let us know. We can install netting, wire, spikes, and other bird preventors...whatever you need, we can do. We will bird proof the area to prevent it from becoming an issue ever again! One call, can get your property cleaned, disinfected, and bird proofed.

    

Often times a pigeons nest or roost is the area of biggest concern. Over several years pigeon droppings can accumulate and bacteria as well as parasites can be present. Even if the droppings are dried over long periods of time the danger is still present. Diseases can be contagious through the air or direct contact. Caution should be used when around areas with heavy droppings, especially in a poorly ventilated areas such as attics.

The photos to the right show typical pigeon and rat infestations. Signs to look for if you think you have a problem are:

RATS/MICE
Small black oblong droppings along walls and floor.
Walls and pipes where rats and mice frequently travel will have a dirty brown oily coat on them.
You will often find small gnaw marks on just about anything, especially food containers and packaging.
Danger: Hantavirus and bacteria

PIGEONS
Obvious bird droppings.
Pigeons usually will perch on the highest point of a home or business.
Nests/roosts can be large or small.
Danger: Histoplasmosis and bacteria

RAT/MICE-BORNE DISEASES (Pigeons Below)
Common Name
Scientific Name
Disease
Deer Mouse
Peromyscus spp.
 
xx
 
 
 
xx
House Mouse
Mus musculus
 
 
xx
xx
xx
xx
Norway Rat
Rattus norvegicus
 
 
xx
 
xx
xx
Roof Rat
Rattus rattus
 
 
xx
 
xx
xx
Wood Rat
Neotoma sp.
xx
 
 
 
 
xx
xx
 
Indicates Rodent is known to carry the disease.  Note: Deer mice and Wood Rats are not normally found in urban areas. 
These rodents tend to be found in more rural habitats. 
 Confirmed human cases for most of these diseases are rare.
·         Description: A rodent transmitted viral disease.  Arenavirus infections are relatively common in humans in some areas of the world (not the United States) and can cause severe illnesses. The arenaviruses are divided into two groups: the New World or Tacaribe complex and the Old World or LCM/Lassa complex.
·         Cause: Disease caused by many types of viruses belonging to the Arenaviridae.
·         Incubation: period varies with the type of viral infection.
·         Symptoms:
Varies with the type of viral infection.
·         Diagnosis: By physician.
·         Treatment: Varies with the type of viral infection.  Supportive medical care and management of fever is important.
·         Mode of Transmission:
Contact with infected rodent urine, droppings and nesting materials. Also by stirring up - or aerosolizing - rodent urine and droppings when cleaning contaminated areas.  By consumption of contaminated food or by direct contact of broken skin with rodent excrement. Wild rodents transmit this disease by contaminating food and drink with their feces and urine.
 

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
·         Description: A viral disease that may be contracted through direct contact with, or inhalation of, aerosolized infected rodent urine, saliva, or droppings.
·         Cause: Disease caused by a virus found in the saliva, urine and droppings of some species of wild rodents, especially deer mice.
·         Incubation: period 1 to 5 weeks.
·         Symptoms:
Fever, severe muscle aches, fatigue. After a few days, difficulty breathing, dizziness, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.
·         Diagnosis: By physician.
·         Treatment: Supportive care by a physician.
·         Mode of Transmission:
Contact with mouse urine, droppings and nesting materials. Also by stirring up - or aerosolizing - mouse urine and droppings when cleaning contaminated areas.
 

·         Description: A bacterial disease that may be contracted through contact with water or ingestion of food contaminated with the urine of infected rats and mice. Also known as Weil’s disease, Canicola Fever, Hemorrhagic Jaundice, Mud Fever, Swinehard’s Disease.
·         Cause: Disease caused by a bacterial spirochete, Leptospira icterohaemorhagiae.
·         Incubation: period 4 to 19 days.
·         Symptoms:
Fever, headache, chills, severe malaise, vomiting. Occasionally meningitis, rash, jaundice, anemia. Clinical illness can last up to three weeks.
·         Diagnosis: By physician although laboratory tests difficult and not always conclusive.
·         Treatment: With antibiotics.
·         Mode of Transmission:
Ingestion of contaminated food or water with the urine of rats and mice.  Also contact with water, soil and vegetation contaminated with the urine of infected animals.

·         Description: A viral disease also known as LCM, Benign or Serous Lymphocytic  Meningitis. 
·         Cause: Disease caused by a virus.
·         Incubation: period 8 to 21 days.
·         Symptoms:
Sometimes begins with flu-like symptoms, sometimes begins with inflammation the brain (encephalitis) or both the brain and the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord (meningoencephalomyelitis). 
·         Diagnosis: By physician isolating virus from blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
·         Treatment: Supportive care (fluids and management of fever).  Most cases make a full recovery.
·         Mode of Transmission:
From exposure to infected House Mouse urine, feces and saliva.

·         Description: A bacterial disease caused by the bites of infected fleas.  Also known as Flea-borne typhus, Endemic typhus fever, Shop typhus.
·         Cause: Caused by the bacterium Rickettsia typhi.
·         Incubation: period 1 to 2 weeks.
·         Symptoms:
Headache, chills, fever, general pain; spots/rash appear on the fifth or sixth day on upper body and ultimately spread to all of body except face, palms of hands and soles of feet.
·         Diagnosis: By physician with lab tests.
·         Treatment: Antibiotics and supportive care.
·         Mode of Transmission:
By fleas associated with rats.  Rats are the reservoir for the bacterium.  Fleas bite both rats and humans.  Infection in rats is not apparent.
 

·         Description: A bacterial disease caused by the bites of infected fleas.  Can present itself as bubonic plague, pneumonic plague or septicemic plague.
·         Cause: Disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.
·         Incubation: period 2 to 6 days.
·         Symptoms:
Bubonic form: Swollen tender lymph nodes, especially in/near the groin area.  Fever usually present.
Pneumonic form: involves above symptoms but disease has progressed and includes the lungs resulting in pneumonia.  This form is highly contagious being passed from person to person through droplets of sputum when the infected individual coughs.
Septicemic Form: Plague in blood and being spread to all parts of the body.
·         Diagnosis: By physician with lab tests.
·         Treatment: Antibiotics and supportive care.
·         Mode of Transmission:
From the bites of infected fleas.  Various rodents (squirrels, chipmunks, rats, etc.) are the natural reservoir for the bacterium.  Fleas of rodents bite humans when sufficient rodent hosts are no longer available.

·         Description: A bacterial disease that can be contracted from the bite of a rat or mouse.  Rat Bite Fever is also known as Streptobacillary Fever or Spirillary Fever.
·         Cause: Streptobacillary fever is caused by the bacterium Streptobacillus moniliformis.  Spirillary Fever caused by the bacterium Spirillum minor.
·         Incubation: period 1 to 3 weeks for Spirillary Fever; 3 to 10 days, rarely longer, for Streptobacillary Fever, following a history of a rat or mouse bite, which has normally healed.
·         Symptoms:
Abrupt onset of fever, chills, headache and muscle pain.  Later followed by a rash which is most pronounced on the extremities.  One or more large joints then become red, swollen and painful.
·         Diagnosis: By physician and lab cultures using blood, lymph or joint fluid samples.
·         Treatment: Antibiotics, without treatment fatality rate is 7 - 10%.
·         Mode of Transmission:
Usually following a bite from an infected rat or mouse.

·         Description: A bacterial food poisoning that may be transmitted when rodents contaminate food by contact with their own feces or urine.
·         Cause: Disease caused by a Salmonella spp. bacteria, especially Salmonella typhimurium.
·         Incubation: period 6 to 72 hours.
·         Symptoms:
Sudden onset of headache, acute abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, sometimes vomiting, fever. Potential for dehydration especially in children.
·         Susceptibility: Children are the most susceptible to the virus.
·         Diagnosis: By physician.
·         Treatment: With antibiotics.
·         Mode of Transmission:
By consumption of contaminated food or water or poorly cooked foods. Domestic pets and wild rodents (rats/mice) can also be carriers of this disease. Wild rodents transmit this disease by contaminating food and drink with their feces and urine.
PIGEON-BORNE DISEASES
More than 60 transmissible bird diseases (some of which are fatal) are associated with geese, pigeons, starlings and house sparrows. Here are some of the more severe.
Common Name
Scientific Name
Disease
 
 
Pigeon
Columba fasciata
XX
XX
XX 
XX 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus (Histoplasma capsulatum) found primarily in the areas drained by the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Both humans and animals can be affected. The disease is transmitted to humans by airborne fungus spores from soil contaminated by pigeon and starling droppings (as well as from the droppings of other birds and bats). The soil under a roost usually has to have been enriched by droppings for two years or more for the disease organism to reach significant levels. Although almost always associated with soil, the fungus has been found in droppings (particularly from bats) alone, such as in an attic.
Mode of Transmission:
Infection occurs when spores, carried by the air are inhaled — especially after a roost has been disturbed. Most infections are mild and produce either no symptoms or a minor influenza- like illness. On occasion, the disease can cause high fever, blood abnormalities, pneumonia and even death. In some areas, including portions of Illinois, up to 80 percent of the population show evidence of previous infection. Outbreaks of histoplasmosis have occurred in Central Illinois.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has reported a potentially blinding eye condition — presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (OHS) — that probably results from the fungus. NIH estimates that 4 percent of those exposed to the disease are at risk of developing OHS.

Cryptococcosis

Pigeon droppings appear to be the most important source of the disease fungus Cryptococcus neoformans in the environment. The fungus is typically found in accumulations of droppings around roosting and nesting sites, for example, attics, cupolas, ledges and water towers. It has been found in as many as 84 percent of samples taken from old roosts. Even when old and dry, bird droppings can be a significant source of infection.

Mode of Transmission:
Like histoplasmosis, most cryptococcosis infections are mild and may be without symptoms. Persons with weakened immune systems, however, are more susceptible to infection. The disease is acquired by inhaling the yeast-like cells of the organism. Two forms of cryptococcosis occur in humans. The generalized form begins with a lung infection and spreads to other areas of the body, particularly the central nervous system, and is usually fatal unless treated. The cutaneous (skin) form is characterized by acne-like skin eruptions or ulcers with nodules just under the skin. The cutaneous form is very rare, however, without generalized (systemic) disease. Outbreaks (multiple cases at a location) of cryptococcosis infections have not been documented.

Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.

St. Louis Encephalitis, an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness, headache and fever. It may even result in paralysis, coma or death. St. Louis encephalitis occurs in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over age 60. The disease is spread by mosquitoes which have fed on infected house sparrow, pigeons and house finches carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.

Salmonellosis often occurs as "food poisoning" and can be traced to pigeons, starlings and sparrows. The disease bacteria are found in bird droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes and food processing plants.

E.coli. Cattle carry E. coli 0157:H7. When birds peck on cow manure, the E. coli go right through the birds and the bird droppings can land on or in a food or water supply.

Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance birds are frequently associated with over 50 kinds of ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite humans. About two-thirds of these pests may be detrimental to the general health and well-being of humans and domestic animals. The rest are considered nuisance or incidental pests. A few examples of ectoparasites include:

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) may consume up to five times their own weight in blood drawn from hosts which include humans and some domestic animals. In any extreme condition, victims may become weak and anemic. Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are known to carry bed bugs.

Chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) are known carriers of encephalitis and may also cause fowl mite dermatitis and acariasis. While they subsist on blood drawn from a variety of birds, they may also attack humans. They have been found on pigeons, starlings and house sparrows.

Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), perhaps the most common beetle parasites of people in the United States, live in pigeon nests. It is found in grain or grain products, often winding up in breakfast cereals, and may cause intestinal canthariasis and hymenolespiasis.

West Nile Virus while West Nile is technically not transmitted to humans from birds, humans can get infected by the bite of a mosquito who has bitten an infected bird. The obvious lesson is that the fewer birds there are in any given area, the better. This translates into a smaller chance of an infected bird in that area, a smaller chance of a mosquito biting an infected bird and then biting a human.