Ideally you would make the house unavailable to rodents by finding and plugging the entrances. Not very easy I'll admit, but this would be your best advice. The various rodent ultrasonic repellent devices have never worked for my clientele. I do like the little humane traps that allow you capture the rodent safely and later release them unharmed.
There are also various "sticky" traps, in essence a sheet of gluey paper that keeps the rodent stuck. Not very pleasant to use, but you can release the little fellows unhurt with some nail polish remover (acetone evaporates quickly without any lasting harm to the unwitting). I suppose an alternative is to have a small "mouse house" near by, and outside, that allows them some refuge and disallows bigger denizens entrance. Make certain to leave food nearby to encourage them to stay outside, and in their own house.
Unfortunately, there are a number of infectious diseases that rodents carry, and yes, your pets as well as you are at risk. Avoidance is the best policy here. Some of the things that rodents can carry: tularemia, bubonic plague, hanta virus, tapeworm, rat bite fever, rabies, and the list goes on.
Dr. Van Lienden
Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124