To prevent infection:
- Avoid sleeping in rodent-infested buildings.
- Prevent tick bites by using insect repellent containing DEET (on skin or clothing) or permethrin (applied to clothing or equipment).
- Rodent-proof buildings in areas where the disease is known to occur.
- Consult a licensed pest control specialist who can safely:
- Identify and remove any rodent nesting material from walls, attics, crawl spaces, and floors.
- Treat "cracks and crevices" in the walls with pesticide.
- Provide additional pesticide treatments as necessary to effectively rid the building of the soft ticks.
Why shouldn't I remove the nests myself?
Activities that put you in contact with deer mouse droppings, urine, saliva, or nesting materials can place you at risk for infection with Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a potentially fatal condition. Hantavirus is spread when virus-containing particles from deer mouse urine, droppings, or saliva are stirred into the air. Infection occurs when you breathe in virus particles.