There's a lot we still don't know about the Coronavirus. As the disease continues to spread worldwide, the ways the virus is being transmitted are being closely monitored.
One of the big questions we've been getting asked is, "can pests transmit the Coronavirus?" We're here to provide the answers you need.
Pests That Transmit Diseases
There have been examples throughout history of pests transmitting deadly diseases. In most cases, it's insect pests that have been to blame, from mosquitoes carrying malaria, West Nile virus and yellow fever to ticks carrying Lyme disease.
Rodents can be the culprits as well. Mice are known to carry both Hantavirus and Salmonellosis, and even the dreaded black plague in the Middle Ages was spread by rodents, though today we know it was actually a bite from infected rodent fleas that spread the illness.
Yet so far there has been no evidence to suggest that pests—insect or otherwise—can transmit the Coronavirus to humans. So why is this virus different?
How the Coronavirus Spreads
The Coronavirus is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. In most cases the virus is carried by droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The best protection is to clean your hands frequently, and maintain a safe distance from others.
There have been a lot of questions about whether the Coronavirus can be transmitted via mosquitoes and other biting insects. The information so far suggests that it cannot. In order for the virus to pass to a person through a mosquito or tick bite, the virus would have to be able to survive and replicate inside the mosquito or tick. At present, there is no evidence to suggest that the Coronavirus can do so.
Coronavirus and Pest Control
Of course, even though there are no documented cases of Coronavirus being transmitted to humans through contact with common pests, that doesn't mean that these pests should be tolerated. Coronavirus is what is known as a zoonotic disease—a disease that has jumped the species barrier from an animal to humans.
Scientists believe the current Coronavirus outbreak started in bats and moved on to scaly anteaters in China before infecting humans. The full extent to which this virus can be transmitted between species is not fully understood.
It's also important to keep in mind that insects, rodents and other pests have the potential to bring a wide range of diseases into your home other than Coronavirus. For your health and safety, pests in the home should never be allowed to go unchecked.
As new information on the Coronavirus is discovered and becomes available, it's more important than ever to stay informed. It's also important to rely on only trustworthy sources of information. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for updates, and rely on your local health institutions for current information on how to respond to the Coronavirus locally.
Continue to check this page for more information as it becomes available on pest control during the Coronavirus pandemic, and contact us if you have any further questions. While we've not yet seen cases of Coronavirus transmitted by household pests, it's still as important as ever to keep your home pest-free.