Since the beginning of the 20th century, rodent spawned infections have caused at least 10 million fatalities. Not only that, but diseases from rodents have also threatened all of human existence during the late Middle Ages as the Black Death plague swept across Europe.
While that may seem like ancient history, the fact is, even today rodents harbor all types of diseases that are dangerous to humans.
While keeping pests such as mice away from your home is always best, this isn’t always possible.
If you have experienced a rodent infestation in your home or commercial property, knowing the steps to take to properly clean the area is a must. Keep reading to learn what to do when cleaning up after mice infestations.
Ensure Complete Elimination of the Rodent Infestation
Before diving into the clean-up process, you need to make sure that all the mice have been eliminated from the infested area. Make sure to set up your traps and check them each day. Repeat this process until an entire week passes without any more rodent catches.
At this point, you can safely assume that the mice have been eliminated. This same amount of wait time also makes sure the droppings they leave behind aren’t infectious. Don’t forget to ventilate the area as you are cleaning it.
The Proper Way to Clean Up Mouse Droppings
You may be tempted to grab your vacuum or broom to sweep up any droppings or nests that are left behind. Fight this urge.
These cleaning methods are only going to stir up dust, exposing you to the pathogens you are working so hard to remove. A better strategy is to moisten the debris with a homemade bleach solution. For best results, use 90 percent water and 10 percent bleach. Once applied, wipe the area clean.
As you are cleaning, it’s important the entire area is cleaned to get rid of all the smells and germs that attracted rodents, to begin with.
When preparing to clean mouse droppings, keep these steps in mind:
- Wear rubber or latex gloves
- Spray the poop or droppings with a disinfectant and allow it to saturate for about five minutes
- Use a paper towel to remove excrement
- Once cleaned, reapply the disinfectant to cleanse the area again
If there is any sign the mice moved to other parts of your home or building, disinfect those areas, too.
Removing Dead Mice
As you are cleaning the area of mice droppings, you may come across a carcass. While this is definitely a cringe-worthy moment, it’s one you might have to face.
When facing a dead mouse, the first step is to double up your sanitation steps. After donning your latex gloves and having your disinfectant in hand, do the following:
- Spray the dead mouse and the area directly around it
- Dispose of the body outside the home or building
- Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands
This is the process that needs to be followed for every dead mouse you come across while cleaning the area.
Disinfecting Other Items After a Mice Infestation
While it’s already been said several times, make sure to wear latex or rubber gloves while cleaning any contaminated items. Gather together your pillows, pillowcases, quilts, sheets, clothing, and any other item exposed to the mice.
After washing the items, place the fabrics (or other washable items) in your dryer and put them on spin at the highest temperature setting on your machine. Anything over 115 degrees should effectively kill remaining hantaviruses.
Any furniture, carpets, or rugs that are infected require the use of a professional steam cleaner with a disinfectant and/or shampoo.
If the mice have touched any item in your home or building that can’t be disinfected with a liquid formula, such as documents, magazines, or books, a different strategy has to be used. For these items, leave them outside in the sun or store them in an indoor area that’s disinfected for at least seven days.
The ultraviolet rays will kill any left-over hantaviruses. These can linger on some surfaces for as much as three days.
Be sure to wear gloves while you are handling the items you think are affected. On hardback books, it’s a good idea to wipe the hardcover with a bleach formula-soaked rag.
Call for Professional Help when Cleaning Up After Mice
Finding mice in your home or building can be stressful. If you aren’t sure you can handle the process on your own, then it may be necessary to call in the pros. While resources like this guide are helpful during this process, to be sure the threat is fully eliminated, having an exterminator’s help and guidance can be invaluable.
With professional help, you can feel confident that all traces of the mice, and the deadly diseases they carry, will be eliminated. There’s no reason to take chances when it comes to your health and the health of your home and family.
Handle Mice Infestations and Take Your Home Back
When cleaning up after mice, it may seem like a hopeless situation. You may be ready to throw in the towel and move. Don’t do this – with the tips here, the process doesn’t have to be that bad.
Keep in mind, while cleaning up after mice is crucial for homes you plan to stay in, it’s also necessary if you are trying to sell. Any signs of a rodent infestation are going to turn potential buyers away from your home.
If you want other tips to optimize your home, such as ways you can save water, then be sure to check out some of our other blogs.