Rodents include rats, bandicoots and mice which live in homes, agricultural fields and forests. Rodents are hazards to health. Also they cause damage to buildings, food stuffs and other materials. Rodents transmit diseases through:

1. rat bite e.g. rat bite fever.

2. rat fleas e.g. plague and typhus.

3. contamination


of food or water e.g. leptospirosis

Diseases transmitted by rodents

The rodent borne disease are classified into

1. Bacterial diseases Plague, salmonellosis,tularemia


2. Viral diseases Encephalitis, Lassa fever

3. Parasitic diseases Amoebiasis, leishmaniasis

4. Rickettsia diseases Rickettsia pox, scrub typhus.

5. Miscellaneous diseases Ring worm infection,rat bite fever.


Control of rodents

Rodents and the diseases transmitted by them can be control­led by the following measures:

1. preventing the growth and multiplication of rats by a. good housing b. maintaining a clean environment c. proper storage of food d. closing the holes where rats live.

2. By trapping rats using baits and killing them.


3. Fumigation using appropriate chemicals.

4. Using rodenticides like barium carbonate and zinc phosphide.


Rodenticides are chemicals which are used to kill rats. They can be classified into:


1. Single dose rodenticides: e.g. barium carbonate and zinc phosphide. They kill the rats after a single ingestion.

2. Multiple dose rodenticides: e.g. warfarin, pin done and diphacione. They kill the rats after repeated ingestion for 3 or more days.

Barium carbonate and zinc phosphide are effective rat poisons. They are mixed with wheat or rice flour and kept near the burrows of rats. The rats eat these poisons and die in 2 to 24 hours.

The multiple dose rodenticides like warfarin are anticoagu­lants. They produce internal hemorrhage and death of rats in 4 to 10 days.