We have compiled a list of Public Health Advisory Bulletins issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Environmental Health.

  • LA County Health Advisory- Rodent-Borne Diseases
  • Rat and Bird Mites in Los Angeles County
  • The Norway Rat in Downtown Los Angeles
  • Endemic Typhus

LA County Health Advisory- Rodent-Borne Diseases


  • Rodents in Los Angeles County can pose a risk to human health. Surveillance conducted by the Vector Management Program has shown that rodents can carry viruses and/or bacteria that can cause disease in humans
  • These pathogens can be transmitted to people by various routes. Some are contracted by the bite of an infected rodent flea. Others can be transmitted by direct contact or inhalation of aerosols from infected rodents, their urine, feces, or nesting material
  • Examples of these pathogens include the causative bacteria of plague and murine (endemic) typhus, hantaviruses and arenaviruses. Additional surveillance has uncovered evidence of other organisms, which are currently under investigation, that have unknown human health implications
  • To reduce the risk of exposure to these organisms, the Vector Management Program offers the following general recommendations:
  • Maintain your property in a sanitary manner, so as to reduce the potential for rodents on the premises.
  • Rodent-proof all structures, using durable materials such as 1/4 inch mesh metal hardware cloth or sheet metal. Check foundation vents, conduit/wall junctures and door thresholds. Eliminate all gaps greater than 1/4 inch.
  • Reduce available food, water and harborage that can be used by rodents.
  • Do not leave pet food out at night, and remove fallen fruit promptly. Thin vegetation and either remove cast-off items or elevate 18 inches above the ground to reduce harborage.
  • These recommendations are aimed at making the premises less attractive to rodents, thus reducing the potential for rodents to invade or occupy the premises. This will reduce the likelihood of encountering rodents, their feces, urine or ectoparasites.
  • If an infestation does exist, take prompt and effective measures to eliminate the rodents. Since infestations can vary as to the species of rodent involved, the type, location and condition of the structure, and other factors, each situation should be evaluated separately. However, the following are some important points to consider when abating a rodent infestation.
  • Indoor: In most cases, snap traps are preferable within a structure. The use of poison bait may cause a rodent to die in an inaccessible area within the structure, causing odors and nuisance vectors, such as flies.
  • Outdoor: Properly applied approved baits can be effective in some situations, but adjacent structures should be properly rodent proofed before baiting. In a rural setting, the use of poison baits should be carefully considered, noting the potential impact on natural predators (i.e., hawks, owls, coyotes), and the limited long-term efficacy of baiting large areas to reduce rodent numbers in such a setting.
  • Because rodent fleas will seek another host to feed on after the rodent dies, fleas should be controlled in an approved manner prior to baiting or trapping, especially if a plague or murine typhus is a concern where you live. California ground squirrels, deer mice and Norway rats are examples of rodents that can transmit pathogens through their fleas.
  • Always read and follow the instructions on the label of all pesticide products you are using.
  • Keep baits, dead rodents, and traps out of the reach of children and pets to prevent accidental poisoning, injury or illness.
  • The following guidelines should always be used when controlling rodents and when cleaning rodent-infested areas:
  • Avoid contact with live rodents
  • Always wear rubber, latex, vinyl or nitrile gloves
  • Avoid disturbing contaminated material so as to prevent creating aerosols
  • A dust mask may provide some protection against dust and other particles, but it should not be relied upon to protect against airborne pathogens. Special purpose respirators can provide effective protection when equipped with the appropriate filters and when properly fit-tested to the specific user
  • Open doors to unoccupied structures and allow them to air out prior to entering and cleaning
  • Disinfect snap-trapped rodents and any surfaces or materials contaminated with rodent droppings or urine, including nesting material, by wetting them down with a household or general purpose disinfectant. Use at maximum recommended concentration. Check the label on the container and follow any precautionary statements or warnings
  • If you would like to read this report this report in its entirety and many other pest-related Health Advisories published by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Environmental Health, please visit LA County Dept. of Health and search “rodent” for the quickest path to rodent health-related publications
  • When you’re ready to choose a rodent solution tailored to your individual situation, we’re just a phone call away 866-728-2878 or connect via email.

Check back often for the latest health bulletins. If you believe you may have a rodent or other pest problem in or around your home, we encourage you to contact us for a free inspection and no-obligation estimate. Years of experience combined with expert training in the field of pest management make American Rat Control the right choice for your pest control needs.

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