Rodent allergens are contaminants that can be released into an environment. They are produced by rodents and travel through air ducts to settle in homes, workplaces, and other buildings.
These allergens can cause sensitization and allergic diseases. They can also trigger asthma attacks in people who are sensitive to them.
Rodent allergens travel throughout your home’s central air system, triggering allergic reactions in some people. They can also be carried by a mouse’s urine, saliva, or skin flakes (dander).
Symptoms can include itchy eyes, rashes on the skin, runny nose, and other respiratory problems. They can occur year-round, even when you aren’t directly exposed to mice.
Research shows what sort of damage do rodents cause is present in 82% of homes in the United States. In addition, inner-city residents are often exposed to these allergens.
Lab workers are particularly at risk for developing rodent allergies because of the high exposure to these animals. As a result, many laboratory workers report increased asthma symptoms when they are sensitized to rodents.
If you are allergic to rodents, limiting your exposure is the best approach to managing your symptoms. However, if you don’t have much control over your exposure, allergy medications can help manage your symptoms and provide relief.
Rodent allergens can be found in 82% of US homes and cause year-round allergy symptoms. Even after controlling a rodent population, hair, urine, and fecal allergens may remain in the environment and trigger allergic reactions in some people.
Indoor rodent allergens can be controlled with integrated pest management (IPM) methods focusing on preventing infestations, trapping rodents, and using lower-toxicity pesticides. Keeping bushes and trees at least three feet from homes and ensuring trash is stored in secure containers can also help reduce rodent activity.
Animal allergens, such as mouse and rat proteins called lipocalins, are easily spread in the air by shedding skin and hair or secreting fluids. These can then adhere to dust particles and become airborne.
The concentration of mouse allergens in a home environment is usually higher in people who work with mice or have pets that shed their fur and dander. This is especially true for lab workers, animal technicians, and caretakers.
Allergens derived from cats, dogs, mice, rats, cows, and horses are present ubiquitously in the environment. Consequently, they are a significant risk factor for sensitization and allergic diseases, particularly in children.
To reduce the incidence of allergies and asthma, measures have been developed that target rodent allergens. This involves the prevention of rodent infestation, trapping rodents, and using lower-toxicity pesticides.
The concentration of allergens in a particular environment is highly variable and depends on many factors, including the presence or absence of animals and their number of visitors. For example, the highest allergen concentrations have been found in homes with pets or laboratory animal facilities housing mice or rats.
Personal respiratory protection equipment, such as nasal air samplers, should be used for all high-exposure tasks to prevent the spread of animal allergens. This method is very effective (97).
Diagnosis recognizes an injury, condition, or disease from its signs and symptoms. It may involve a health history, physical exam, and tests.
A rodent allergy is an allergy to a protein found in mouse urine and dander, which can be ingested through the skin or into the air via dust particles. This protein is the main trigger for allergic reactions in mice, affecting 11 to 44 percent of those who work with them.
Symptoms of a rat allergy can include skin rashes, itchy eyes, coughing, and other respiratory problems. If you have a rat allergy, visit an allergist for testing. They can use skin prick or blood testing to confirm the diagnosis.