Have you recently found foreboding evidence of a mousey invasion? Chewed up boxes, shredded newspapers, or maybe you’ve heard them chattering about you in the walls? If you haven’t found the worst sign of a mouse infestation yet, be forewarned—it’s mouse poop.
It may sound silly, but mouse droppings are no laughing matter. They’re a sign of an infestation, but mouse poop is also unclean and dangerous to the health of everyone living in your home. You can contract a number of mouse feces related diseases from mouse poop, and it’s bad for both humans and pets.
How do we clean up droppings? What equipment do we use? By following this guide, you can ensure proper removal of mouse droppings and return your home to its status as clean, healthy, safe, and comfortable.
How To Identify Mouse Droppings
So you’ve found evidence of mice, how do you know the poop is mouse poop?
First, always use gloves when dealing with any kind of fecal matter—mouse droppings can contain diseases, such as the hantavirus. Wearing gloves, pick up the poop to examine it. Mouse people are about the size and shape of a grain of rice, if a little smaller. Fresh poop will be black, old poop will be lighter brown. Mouse poop also has pointed ends.
Dangers Of Mouse Droppings
To avoid risks related to mouse droppings, always wear the appropriate PPE and avoid directly touching the droppings unless you have gloved hands. Mouse feces can spread germs and bacteria as well as contaminate your food or cause allergic reactions. Dry mouse fecal matter can become hazardous as you can breathe it in like dust.
How to Clean up Mouse Droppings in 4 Steps
- Wear thick gloves. Use them exclusively for cleaning.
- Spray plenty of bleach diluted in water over the mouse droppings. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Clean with paper towels and later throw them in the trash.
- Disinfect all places where the mice may have been.
Equipment to Clean Mouse Droppings
Always wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when cleaning up foreign animal droppings or dealing with any hazardous waste/materials.
You will need:
- Rubber gloves
- Dust mask
- Long sleeve shirt/coat
- Disposable body suit
- Disinfectant (1 part bleach to 10 parts water)
- Hydrogen peroxide solution
- Paper towels
- Trash bag
How to Thoroughly Clean Mouse Droppings
You’ve made it this far; now it’s time to get rid of the mess for good! If you’re certain you’ve properly evicted the unwanted house guests, it’s time to clean. Mice are not entirely harmless, and can carry illnesses such as the plague, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, hantavirus, and more. Germs also hover around mouse feces and urine, and careful cleanup of the entire affected area is important.
If you have your rubber gloves, paper towels, and disinfectant, it’s time to go through the proper cleanup procedure. We’re certain that after you clean up the mess you’ll want to do one more thorough cleaning and mopping, just for good measure.
1. Use Gloves
When cleaning rodent droppings of any kind, be sure to wear safety gloves at all times—rubber being the preferred choice. Dust masks or respirators can also help, especially if you’re in a crawl space that has mold, dust, or insulation. When you’re finished cleaning up, thoroughly wash all your PPE with soap, water, and disinfectant, and then wash your hands again when you’re through with the gloves.
2. Spray the Area and Wait
When cleaning up mouse droppings, you want to go wet. When you sweep or vacuum it always stirs up dust, which contains germs, allergens, and other contaminants that might contain the hantavirus or anything else the mice are carrying.
Spray the entire soiled area with your bleach solution or disinfectant, then let it soak for up to 10 minutes. Using paper towels or rags, wipe up the damp area (picking up both droppings and nesting materials), seal everything in a trash bag or plastic bag, then throw them away in an outdoor trash can. You can also safely double-bag the droppings and put them in a covered trash can to ensure they won’t contaminate anything else.
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the area, you can give it a secondary wipe-down with a different towel and more disinfectant, as well as shampoo, steam upholstery, wash bedding, and mop. If you believe there has been rodent droppings or urine on any bedding, wash it with detergent in very hot water.
3. Clean Everything Carefully
While the initial cleaning and disinfection process is vital to removing mouse droppings, you’ll want to ensure the area is totally clean to prevent any diseases or illnesses from staying in your home.
Before and after you remove the droppings, make sure the area you clean is sufficiently ventilated. Open any/all windows and doors you can for 30 minutes PRIOR to cleaning, and wear your face mask during the entire endeavor. After you spray the area and pick up the disinfectant-soaked droppings and remove the trash, you have to clean the rest of your home. If the mouse droppings were in the attic or other sealed areas with insulation, you’ll want to examine the insulation for contaminants. Any soiled insulation will need to be removed entirely and disposed of in the same manner.
Using your 10% chlorine bleach solution, wipe down all floors, surfaces, counters, and contact areas (if you think the bleach solution will be too harsh on your floors or furniture, use the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution). After you’ve thoroughly cleaned all surfaces with your towel and mop, spray them down with white vinegar and wipe them completely clean. For the final mop, soak the mop head in bleach or disinfectant and thoroughly rinse it with hot water. When done cleaning, dispose of everything in a double trash bag and wash your hands or take a shower.
Last, take care of furnishings and clothing. You should be wearing old/secondhand clothes for this task, and make sure you thoroughly wash them (or toss them) as well as clean your shoes with hot water and soap. When washing/scrubbing your hands, use hot water and disinfectant and get under your fingernails and around your wrists (don’t use any alcohol sanitizers to clean your hands).
4. Disinfect All Places
After the thorough cleaning of both yourself and the area, use your disinfectant or bleach solution to clean everything, and again finish with your white vinegar spray. It’s a good idea to pay for your upholstery and carpets to be completely steam-cleaned, and dispose of anything that was soiled or infected by the mice (if possible). Don’t rush through the disinfecting phase—you may need to disinfect, let things dry, and then disinfect again to be sure (especially if the affected area was a lived-in space like the kitchen).
If All Else Fails, Rely On The Professionals
If tackling the mouse issue is too much for you to handle, or you continue to have mouse problems, you should consider calling your friendly local pest exterminator. Hama Pest Control has decades of experience and knows how to efficiently and ethically remove any pest or rodent problem. Hama are rodent professionals, and there’s nothing we haven’t seen. Getting rid of mice and vermin is only part of the problem—you’ll want to ensure that they are prevented from ever returning.