How to Safely Clean Up After a Rodent Infestation
Rodents such as mice are a lot more than a nuisance pest. Rodents are known to carry and spread more than 35 diseases to humans and family pets. The diseases can be spread to humans directly by handling live or dead rodents, having contact with rodent feces, urine or saliva and through rodent bites. Rodents can also spread diseases to humans indirectly through fleas, ticks or mites that have fed on an infected rodent. Some common diseases associated with rodents are the Hantavirus and plague to name a few.
Rodent Droppings and Urine
Mice droppings are about the size of a grain of rice and have a similar spindle shape. Rodents are constantly pooping and urinating. Mice are estimated to drop fecal pellets about 70 times each day! That is a lot for just one mouse, now imagine all the excrement with multiple mice in the house. Any surfaces that may have come into contact with mice should be thoroughly disinfected.
Tips to Safely Clean Up After a Rodent Infestation
What to wear:
- A high quality pair of nonabsorbent gloves during the entire clean-up process.
- An OSHA-approved respirator with functioning cartridges and clothing that covers your skin (long pants and long sleeve shirts).
- The clothing worn should be thrown out immediately after the cleaning process is complete.
Cleaning Method and Disposal:
- Do NOT use a broom for sweeping up the droppings. Sweeping may cause the spread of airborne particles.
- Instead, spray the droppings and surrounding area to be cleaned with a disinfectant solution. As recommended by the CDC use a mixture of 1.5 cups of bleach to 1 gallon of water. After your spray the solution, let the area sit for 10 minutes.
- Use a sponge or cloth to “scoop” the droppings and nesting materials, avoid using a “sweeping” motion. Place in the droppings inside a plastic bag, after all the droppings have been scooped up, place the cloth inside the plastic bag as well.
- Tightly secure the bag closed and double bag it, by placing it in another plastic bag, and secure the bag closed. Immediately dispose of the bag to the outside trash can.
- Next, wipe down any areas that mice may have come in contact with. Areas such as cupboard shelves, counter tops, inside of drawers, pantry shelves etc. Immediately dispose of the cloth or sponge used, using the double bag method mentioned above and dispose to the outside trash can.
- Open windows and allow for fresh air to move through the area.
Hard service floors should be cleaned with disinfectant solution and allowed to air dry. Carpeted floors and rugs that have been contaminated should be steamed cleaned and allowed to fully air dry.
Once the disinfection process is complete, be sure to properly dispose of the gloves and clothing that was worn during clean up. Next, wash your hands properly. The CDC recommended way to wash hands is “Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds”.