Are you ready for a fun Thanksgiving question? What do rodents and Thanksgiving have in common? Don't spend too much time thinking about it, because you'll never guess. The historical roots of Thanksgiving and rodents share one immutable commonality: leptospirosis. Leptosp--what? Leptospirosis. It is a bacterial disease which affects humans and animals and is one of many diseases that rodents and other pests can spread to your family. This disease will probably not be mentioned in any Thanksgiving documentary or that new Thanksgiving mini-series. But it played a major role in the following events:
In 1615 a French trading vessel wrecked off the coast of Massachusetts near present-day Plymouth. Fearing these invaders would kidnap more of their people, as they had Squanto, the indians slaughtered most of the French traders and kept four men as slaves, one of which was carrying the disease leptospirosis which he probably contracted from rodents living on the ship. The disease ravaged the tribe so badly that it played a direct role in the Indians' decision to make peace with the Pilgrims and share in the Thanksgiving of 1621.
It is important to note that leptospirosis, which was commonly misdiagnosed as smallpox, typhus, or the plague, was a minor health threat to the French traders on that ship because continual exposure to the disease had created immunities and resistance. However, the Native American tribe had no such immunities and were quickly ravaged.
The insects, rodents, and wildlife that will seek to use your home to hide from the cold this winter carry diseases like leptospirosis as well as many others. With the spread of flu being a yearly epidemic, it is easy to miss the signs of pest related illnesses.
This Thanksgiving, try something new. Contact a pest management company and learn more about the diseases and bacteria that pests spread. Protecting yourself isn't as hard or as expensive as you might think. In fact, sealing out bugs and mammals will save you the extra cost of having those pests removed.
Sickness will come this winter, but some of it can be prevented. Don't let pests overwinter in your house. Don't open your home up for disease, bacteria, and parasites. Learn how to get protected today, then you'll be able to focus on the good part of Thanksgiving. Eating. And laughing and joining together in thankfulness.