Pests are not just bad organisms for plants or crops. Without pest control, they are also capable of spreading diseases to human beings. Some are the primary carriers or intermediate hosts of these human diseases. The pathogens they can likely to carry around are protozoa, viruses, bacteria and helminthes.
We list down the top ten diseases that are caused by bugs or pests, so we may all realize the importance of pest control.
Typhus fever has been responsible for thousands of deaths in the past. If we are not very careful, it may happen again. We blame it to the tiny organisms called rickettsiae. They are passed on to humans by lice, fleas, mites and ticks. They are present in every corner of the world. As of now, there are no available vaccines to fight of typhus.
You know you’ve been infected if you have these different symptoms: skin rashes, fever and severe headache. Antibiotic therapy can fight off the disease. However, when it’s not given early enough, typhus can be fatal.
Plague is named the Black Death for a reason. This is perhaps the oldest known disease that had infected the whole world. It was even mentioned in the Holy Bible. In fact, this disease is so deadly that it wiped out one-third of Europe’s population. Rodents are the primary hosts of the bacteria carrying this disease. The pests that transfer them to humans are the rat fleas that feed on the blood of the rodent that’s infected with plague. If left untreated, it can spread throughout the body in a staggering speed via the lymphatic system.
3. Chagas Disease
Assassin bugs or kissing bugs are not at all charming and sweet. These biting bugs carry a very serious disease called Chagas. Though, you need to worry about them when you are out during the day. They are some kind of nocturnal as they only go out to feed at night. The symptoms of the disease include swelling around the area where the bite is, fever, and enlargement of the lymph glands. It doesn’t sound dangerous, right? It could be, but when long term exposure to the symptoms can damage your heart and paralysis of the gut, which causes severe constipation. Another bad news is that there is no available vaccine to prevent the disease, and science has not discovered yet a drug to cure the infected host.
4. Lyme disease
Tick bites can cause red rashes, headache, fever and muscle and joint aches, which are the symptoms of Lyme disease. Though, this can be prevented easily through applying repellent on the skin and clothing. If infected with the disease, oral penicillin would be enough to save you from the more dangerous stage.
5. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
Rodents can’t get enough of all the viruses in the world! The bad thing about this disease is that it’s not active until after one to five weeks. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle aches, fever and occasional chills and headaches. Ten days after the symptoms become evident; the infected individual will have a difficulty in breathing. There’s no specific cure to this disease. However, oxygen therapy can fight it off if diagnosed in the early stages.
This disease is spread by the bite of an infected deer tick. If the tick is attached to your skin for at least 24-36 hours, the germs will spread. Mild symptoms may appear after 1 to 8 weeks and they can last for several months. Those with weakened symptoms may develop potentially dangerous symptoms. Among the possible signs are fever, headache, fatigue and nausea.
7. Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis
Deer tick can also spread this disease through blood sucking. The bacteria carried by these ticks infect the white blood cells. If you’ve been diagnosed with this disease, you are likely to experience fever, headache, chills and shaking.
8. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Beware of this disease because it has been reported to be the most lethal rickettsial illness in the US! Dermacentor ticks are the culprits. If you are experiencing a sudden onset of fever, headache and muscle pain, consult a doctor.
9. Boutonneuse Fever
Your dog ticks can be dangerous. The bite looks like a black ulcerous crust. But no worries, if you are diagnosed early enough, you will live. Symptoms include high fevers and muscular pains. You must undergo incubation for seven days for the signs to show up.
10. African Tick Bite Fever
Not because it is named African, it means the United States is safe. This is another disease caused by a tick bite. As the name implies, it is characterized by high fever. Additional symptoms are rashes and muscle pain.
Some of these diseases look and sound horrible however many of them can be avoided by using basic pest control services to rid yourself of the possibility of illness or worse. It is worth it to yourself and your family to be aware of the small dangers and protect yourself!