There are about a trillion different reasons you don’t want mice. First, they’re really creepy; you hear them skittering in the walls and occasionally squeaking, and it makes sleeping very uncomfortable. Then, there’s the feces and the contamination of your foodstuffs; definitely not a fun experience. There’s also a host of transmittable diseases that come from mice, the most well known being hantavirus, though there are plenty of other illnesses that can spawn from mice. Here’s something way more bizarre and outlandish, though; the potential for mice to cause a zombie apocalypse. We’re delving into the realm of speculative fiction here, so please note there is no hard evidence that mice are going to create zombies. Let’s dive in.
The first thing you need to know about is Toxoplasmosis. In brief, it’s a parasite that can affect your whole body, including your brain. Statistically speaking, you probably already have the parasite; about 50% of the human population is infected with Toxoplasmosis. Whether you have it or you don’t, you probably don’t know; the illness is asymptomatic in most humans, so you won’t experience any ill effects. The transmissions of Toxoplasmosis can happen through a lot of means, including the consumption of unwashed fruit or vegetables or undertreated water. Another way of getting contaminated? Cat feces.
The reason cat feces contain Toxoplasmosis is because the only area where the parasite can sexually reproduce is inside the body of cats. That means Toxoplasmosis really wants to infect your cat. How does it manage to get inside your cat’s body? By infecting mice, rats, and other rodents. That seems normal enough; cats eat mice and then get infected. Here’s where things get really strange; when infected by toxoplasmosis, mice and rats have altered behaviour; they become less deterred by the presence of cat odors. What’s even stranger is that it seems to only be cat odors; mice would still be deterred by the presence of other predator odors.
This is where the spooky zombie infection stories link in with Toxoplasmosis; it literally modifies the brains of mice in order to change their behaviour so it can reproduce. What kind of zombies this would make out of humans is unclear; I seriously doubt it will give anyone an innate desire to be eaten by cats. It is, however, a good reason not to rely on cats for pest control; they may well serve to extend the spread of the parasite.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that this is a somewhat silly example of why pest control is important; again, it’s the realm of speculative fiction. That said, there are plenty of really good reasons to get rid of the pests. Mice control Winnipeg can trust is important; in our fiction world, the choice might be between mice control or mind control. There are effective, safe and environmentally friendly ways of taking charge of your pest problem. Don’t let a zombie outbreak ruin society; call us for pest control!