Pests in your home and office are not only unsightly, but are also harmful to your health. They can spread diseases by biting and stinging, or by transmitting harmful bacteria on your food and surfaces. Staying mindful of these harmful household pests is crucial to keeping you and your family safe from diseases. Here are 5 common diseases that are associated with household pests:

Lyme Disease

This disease is brought to your house by ticks—these pests transmit the disease by biting, and get picked up by your pets, or when you take a walk in wooded and grassy areas. Early symptoms include the appearance of a red, circular rash on your skin around the bite area, flu-like illness, joint pain, neck stiffness, headache, heart palpitations, and facial paralysis.

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is carried by flies, cockroaches and rodents, and is caused by the bacteria Salmonella. Consumption of any food or drink that has been contaminated by flies, rodent feces and cockroaches can lead to the symptomatic infection. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.

Dysentery

Spread by cockroaches and flies, these pests carry the pathogens on their bodies or inside their gut and may contaminate food or water, including other objects and people’s hands. Oral contact with anything contaminated can cause an infection in the intestines, leading to the disease. Bloody diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain and fatigue are some common symptoms of dysentery.

Tick Bite Fever

Tick bite fever is similar to Lyme disease in that it’s also transmitted through a tick bite. Bacterium Rickettsia africae causes the African tick bite fever and is carried by the Amblyomma type ticks that are commonly found in tall grass and bush. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, skin rash and malaise.

Cholera

Vibrio cholerae is a type of bacteria that causes cholera. It’s carried by flies that pick up the bacteria from infected feces and contaminated things. These flies then transmit the disease on to food and water, from where you can ingest the contagion that infects your intestine.

Areas with poor sanitation and hygiene are more prone to inhabiting cholera. Symptoms to look out for cholera include heavy watery diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle cramps.

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