Dealing with a Mouse Bite: Steps and Precautions

Mice and rats can spread diseases. They do this through their saliva, urine, or feces. They can also carry fleas, mites, and other parasites that can pass diseases onto humans.

Fortunately, mice aren’t typically aggressive and generally only bite humans when they feel threatened or cornered. Barring direct handling, the chances of you getting bitten are remarkably low.

Mouse bites are usually minor. However, it’s always wise to see a doctor after a bite. This is because of the risk of infection. Mice can be carriers of various bacteria and viruses that could lead to serious, potentially lethal conditions.

Let’s explore what mouse bites look like and their possible risks.

Characteristics of a Mouse Bite

Mice, with their robust front teeth, can pierce your skin if they bite. This bite may feel like a sharp pinch and may draw blood, typically resulting in a single puncture wound.

Mouse bites are most likely to occur when you’re handling a mouse. In rare circumstances, a mouse could bite if it perceives a threat, even unintentionally.

A 2018 news report from Canada describes an incident where a woman was bitten on the leg by a mouse in a theater, even without provocation.

Possible Risks and Side Effects of Mouse Bites

Mouse bites can lead to risks. The main risks are bacterial or viral infections. Some people may also have allergic reactions to these bites.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have given some information. They say that it’s rare for small rodents like mice and rats to carry rabies.

It’s important to note that the type of mouse can influence the specific risks involved. Certain diseases such as Hantavirus are more commonly associated with specific types of mice like the white-footed mouse and the deer mouse

Understanding the differences between house mice and deer mice, as detailed in our blog “Deer Mouse Vs House Mouse”, can therefore be crucial in assessing and managing the potential health risks in your home.

Allergic Reactions

An instance recorded in 2014 details a caretaker for animals who suffered an allergic reaction subsequent to a bite from a lab mouse.

A person aged 55 experienced a bite on the central digit of his hand, which swiftly led to an all-over body itchiness and an arm rash within a timespan of 10 minutes. Subsequently, his lips swelled, and he experienced dizziness. His symptoms subsided within eight hours of being admitted to a hospital.

Rat-Bite Fever (RBF)

Rat-bite fever is an infection carried by certain bacteria that reside on some rodents. The method of transmission can be via bites or ingesting food and water that’s been polluted with rodent droppings or urine.

Symptoms of RBF usually surface within 3 to 10 days of contact. However, in some instances, it can be delayed up to 21 days. The disease manifests symptoms such as vomiting, fever, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or pain, and rash.

Antibiotics are quite effective at curing rat-bite fever if it’s addressed promptly. If left untreated, the fatality rate exceeds 10 percent.


Hantavirus is not common but can be deadly. White-footed mice and deer mice can spread this disease, which has a fatality rate of 38 percent. This viral infection has initial signs include:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Aching muscles
  • Dizziness
  • People can also experience chilliness, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort.

Some people may get more symptoms 4 to 10 days after infection. These include shortness of breath and coughing. They might feel a band tightening around the chest and have fluid in the lungs.

Transmission of the Hantavirus through mouse bites is rare. It is more commonly spread via airborne transmission or through mouse saliva, urine, or feces.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis

The viral illness known as Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is found in rodents. It’s estimated that 5 percent of house mice in the United States carry a virus. This virus can pass to humans through blood, saliva, droppings, or urine.

Symptoms usually start within 8 to 13 days of exposure. They often include fever, malaise, loss of appetite, headache, and vomiting.

The infection could become worse, turning into serious conditions like meningitis. Meningitis affects the tissue lining the brain and spinal cord.

Steps to Take Following a Mouse Bite

If you sustain a scratch or bite from a mouse, make sure to clean your injury immediately using warm, soapy water. After washing the wound, use a clean towel to dry it. Then apply an antibiotic cream and cover the wound with a bandage.

While it’s important to understand the risks associated with mouse bites and the diseases they can potentially transmit, it’s equally crucial to understand the behavior of these rodents. This includes their activity patterns and why you might encounter them during the day. Delve into the world of mice and their habits to better understand how to prevent them from becoming a nuisance in your home by reading out blog “Do Mice Come Out During The Day?”.

Consulting a Doctor

It is always prudent to consult a doctor if you’ve been bitten by a rodent. A wound from a rodent may seem minor. But rodents can carry harmful bacteria and viruses in their saliva. These can lead to serious health problems.

Right now, there are no tests to find out if a mouse has the bacteria that causes rat-bite fever. Therefore, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics as a preventive measure against potential infection.

The best way to avoid these risks is to maintain a rodent-free environment. Learn more about how professional pest control services like On Demand Pest Control can help you achieve this in our blog post about our mice extermination strategy.

Getting Professional Pest Control

While mice seldom bite, they might if they feel cornered or in danger. If you are bitten by a mouse, it’s important to clean the bite immediately with soapy water and seek medical advice. Most infections from rodent bites can be managed well if treated promptly.

However, the best way to prevent these situations is to maintain a rodent-free environment. Professional pest control services like On Demand Pest Control can provide an effective and lasting solution to your rodent problems. With our expertise, you can ensure a safer and healthier home, free from the risk of rodent-borne diseases.

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