Can a Mouse in Your House Cause Allergies?

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated July 14, 2022
Woman sneezing in home
Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock

Just like with cats or dogs, mice can trigger allergies in some people

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Mice aren’t just your least-wanted houseguest: they can also cause allergic reactions or provoke asthma symptoms. Mouse allergens can travel through the air in your home or by direct contact. They can also carry disease, so it’s best to address the issue as soon as you see one scamper by.

Should You Worry If You Have Mice in Your Home?

Just like being allergic to cats and dogs, you can also be allergic to mice, rats, or even guinea pigs. And while the rodents aren’t poisonous, having them in your home can cause serious allergic reactions and trigger asthma symptoms.

Apart from causing allergies, rodents also serve as a carrier for a number of infectious diseases, such as salmonellosis and the potentially deadly hantavirus. If you’re spotting signs of vermin, consider calling a local emergency pest control specialist to eradicate it ASAP.

What Causes Mouse Allergies?

Mice droppings and urine contain a special type of protein that can cause serious allergic reactions for some people. These allergy-causing proteins might be present in their hair as well.

As mentioned earlier, mouse allergens work the same way dog and cat allergens do. Some of these allergens come from dander, which makes them dry, flaky, and often airborne. This means they can travel through your air ducts and settle on your bed, your favorite chair, your grand piano, and basically everywhere else you can think of.

Mouse Allergens

Mouse allergens fall into these three categories:

  • Dead skin cells (dander)

  • Saliva

  • Urine

On top of the airborne hazard, mice are also extremely active creatures and can spread allergens on the go. They groom themselves often, which spreads saliva to their fur. As a result, traces of these mouse allergens get left behind wherever they scurry around. What’s worse, mice can also tromp through their own urine and spread these allergens, too.

Rodent Dropping Allergy Symptoms

You might spot the rude gnaw marks on your cereal box or the revolting droppings on the floor of your pantry. Even if you don’t see the evidence with your eyes, though, you might start experiencing mouse allergy symptoms before you’re aware they’ve moved in.

One way you may notice these allergies is through strange rashes on your body without knowing where they’re coming from. You might also experience allergy symptoms when you know it’s outside your typical stuffy-sneezy season. 

Mouse allergy symptoms may appear immediately if you are prone to rodent allergies. These symptoms include:

  • Stuffy nose

  • Itchy eyes

  • Itching

  • Coughing

  • Skin rashes

  • Asthma symptoms

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Respiratory problems

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and you’re not sure what’s causing it, consider calling a local pest inspection specialist to investigate.

Mice and Asthma Symptoms

Mice, as well as rats and cockroaches, can affect individuals with asthma. Dander in the air can get inhaled and exacerbate asthma symptoms, or possibly even be a risk factor for developing the disease. This is one of the many reasons you should hire a pest control company if you suspect any intruders.

Dealing With Mice in Your Home

Okay, so you’ve seen the writing on the wall (or you’ve heard it scurrying around in there)—now what? Here’s what you need to know about your pest problem: catching one little bugger in a mousetrap often isn’t enough to eradicate the problem for good. There could be hidden points of entry somewhere, or possibly even a nest.

Your Options for Mouse Pest Control

If you’re wondering how to control a mice infestation, the answer involves multiple points of attack. You can try environmentally friendly rat control methods like traps or poison, heeding all safety precautions of course. However, this often won’t be enough to keep the mice out. Consider investing in the cost of pest control services to give yourself the peace of mind you deserve.

Cleaning Up After a Mice Infestation

Because mice and other rodents can carry disease, you’ll want to learn how to clean up after this pest infestation properly

First off, avoid sweeping or vacuuming the droppings, as this could release bacteria and allergens into the air. Instead, spray disinfectant or diluted bleach and wait five minutes before wiping it away. Always suit up with a mask and vinyl gloves to protect yourself before getting into the job.

From there, you should dispose of any chewed items in your outside trash can. Then do a complete floor and wall cleaning with the bleach/water mixture or disinfectant. Should you spot remnants of a nest, use either of these cleaners to soak it for five minutes before double-bagging it up and tossing it away outside. Good riddance.


Here are some answers to common questions related to rate allergies.

How do you know if you’re allergic to rats?

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify a rat allergy because you don’t need to come in direct contact with them to have an allergic reaction. Rat droppings and dander can travel throughout your home’s central air system, exposing you to allergens without detection.

As mentioned above, symptoms of an allergic reaction to rats include skin rashes, itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory problems. Since it can be challenging to differentiate between an allergic reaction to rats versus other allergens, you should seek medical attention if you experience out-of-the-ordinary symptoms.

How do you test for rat allergies?

Your medical professional will likely use a traditional allergy test to determine whether you’re allergic to rats. The skin prick method, also known as the scratch test, involves using a needle prick of the skin to test your reaction to various allergens, including rat dander.

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