Rodents, West Nile, Bedbugs & Rabies
Rats and Mice
Rats and mice are well known pests in south-east Michigan. They can cause property damage, contaminate food supplies and transmit diseases. The common house mouse is small. It weighs about 1 ounce and is approximately 6 inches long from the nose to the end of the tail. The Norway rat goes by many names including barn rat, house rat, brown rat or sewer rat. Rats are much larger than mice. They weigh about 12-16 ounces and are about 16 inches long from nose to tail.
Prevention is much easier than dealing with an infestation. Eliminate harborage conditions and access to sources of food and water. Prevent entry of pests by sealing outer openings. A mouse can enter a hole as small as Â¼ inch and rats can squeeze through a Â½ inch opening.
For information about rats and mice:
- Questions and Answers about Mice
- Guidelines for Michigan Communities on Developing a Self-Help Rat Control Program
Additional information on rats and mice can be found at:
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that occurs seasonally in the summer. WNV is generally spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite. Not every mosquito is infected with the virus and most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not develop any symptoms at all. However, a small percentage of people infected with WNV will develop mild to severe symptoms. The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
For information on West Nile Virus:
To report dead birds and other wildlife:
Report a Dead Bird
Additional information on West Nile Virus can be found at:
Bed Bugs are small, brownish insects that are visible to the naked eye (approximately 1/8 inch long). They are active at night and feed on the blood of people while they sleep. Not everyone will have a reaction to the bites, but some people will develop red, itchy welts. They are not known to transmit diseases, but are considered a "nuisance" or "vermin". They are very good hitch-hikers and are generally brought into a home or dwelling in luggage, clothing or used furniture. They can also travel between adjacent apartments or rooms.
For information regarding bedbugs:
- Bed Bug Management Decision Flowchart
- Getting the Bed Bugs Out: A guide to controlling bed bugs in your home
- Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite (English)
- Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite (Spanish)
- Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite (Arabic)
- How to Move and Leave Bed Bugs Behind
Additional information on bedbugs can be found at:
Please note; the Division does not conduct site visits or inspections of residential dwellings.
Rabies is a viral infection that can affect humans and animals. It is spread when the saliva from an infected animal is introduced to another through a bite or a scratch. Prior to the 1960's, dogs were the most important animal host for the rabies virus in the United States. Now that rabies vaccines are required for domestic animals, wildlife is the most frequently infected animal.
The Wayne County Health Department still accepts wildlife specimens that meet the rabies testing protocol. Domestic animal specimens from veterinary offices or animal clinics will no longer be forwarded to the State Laboratory for rabies testing. Specimens can be shipped directly by these facilities to:
Michigan Department of Community Health - Bureau of Laboratories
3350 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48909-0035
Phone: 517-335-8165 or After Hours: 517-335-9030
For information on rabies:
- Rabies Booklet
- Michigan Rabies Assessment Flowchart: When animals have bitten people or been exposed
- Michigan Rabies Assessment Flowchart: When a person has been exposed
Additional information on rabies can be found at:http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/