Rats and mice are genetically similar to humans and therefore are often used in medical research. They carry the same diseases as humans and have been responsible for enormous losses of life. The plague, spread from rats to humans by the oriental rat flea is said to have claimed more than 25 million lives in Europe during the 14th century.
They still pose a serious threat to our health; particularly by spreading the salmonella bacteria. Tapeworm, meningitis, typhus and Weil’s disease are also spread directly or indirectly through contamination by rats and mice.
Gnawing can damage buildings and equipment, books, upholstery and food packaging but more significantly, stripping of electrical wires can result in destructive fires.
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