If you’ve had mouse infestation in your home and have successfully eradicated the invasive rodents, your work is not done. You still must address the issue of rat droppings and other waste that remains behind in your home following the eradication of a mouse infestation in your residence. There are a number of facts and factors that you must bear in mind when it comes to effectively and safely cleaning up after a mouse infestation in your home.
Understanding the Inherent Dangers of Mouse Droppings and Other Waste
Mice are not only unpleasant and capable of causing physical damage to your home, these rodents also have the potential to carry disease, including bacteria and viruses capable of causing serious and even fatal illness. The hazardous nature of mouse droppings, as well of other related waste as well, underscores the importance of initiating specific safety protocols when cleaning up after an infestation involving mice.
Examples of the types of dangerous pathogens that can be contained in mouse droppings and other waste include:
- Salmonella (Salmonellosis)
- Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (also known as LCM)
The hantavirus provides a solid illustration of the dangers associated with mouse droppings (and other waste). The hantavirus can be transmitted via mouse droppings. This virus is durable and can survive for an extended period of time even after mouse droppings dry.
Dried mouse droppings present a unique and very serious risk when it comes to cleaning up after a mice infestation in a home. These droppings crumble very easily. When they crumble, dust associated with these feces can become airborne, carrying the hantavirus along. If a person comes into contact airborne dust containing hantavirus, the virus can end up inhaled. If inhaled, a person can become infected with the virus.
A hantavirus infection can have dire consequences. Such an infection can result in what is called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. When this occurs, a person’s lungs end up filling with blood and other fluid because capillaries in these organs burst or hemorrhage. Death occurs in about 35 percent of cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. These is not cure or specific treatment for the condition. People who do recover are said to have done so spontaneously.
Safety Protocols and Cleanup After Mouse Infestation
You simply cannot enter a space in your home once contaminated by mice with a vacuum cleaner or broom and dustpan. If you approach mouse infestation cleanup in such a cavalier manner, you literally can put your life and the lives of your family members at risk.
Before you do anything in regard to cleanup after mouse infestation is to cordon off any area that may have been contaminated. You must understand that the area to be cordoned off from access by anyone may be your entire residence.
Mice can access or inhabit HVAC systems. The net effect of this conduct can be the release of droppings, urine, and even saliva into HVAC systems. Dust from this waste, which can contain hazardous pathogens like hantavirus, can end up dispersed throughout the premises via the HVAC system, potentially threatening the health of residents or others who enter the structure.
Once the potentially contaminated area is appropriately cordoned off, anyone who will be involved in the cleanup process needs to put on appropriate personal protective equipment. This personal protective equipment must be specifically designed for biohazard cleanup and must include:
- OSHA-approved respirator (confirm that cartridges are fully functional)
- Sturdy, nonabsorbent gloves
- Protective eyewear
- Disposal uniform or smock
Steps of Mice Infestation Cleanup Process
Droppings will be a focus of a mouse infestation cleanup process. However, droppings aren’t the only substances that are targeted in post-infestation cleaning. Other waste than needs to be thoroughly and safely eliminated include:
- Dried urine
- Dried saliva
- Dried blood
- Mouse nests
The cleanup process commences with gently dampening all surfaces and objects that contain waste itemized a moment ago. This is done to prevent the aerosolization of droppings or other waste materials during the cleaning effort.
You must not forcefully spray contaminated surfaces and objects. Taking that approach may cause pathogen-laden waste to become airborne, presenting a risk to humans. You cannot try to speed up the cleanup process at the expense of safety.
You can dampen surfaces by soaking cloths in a chlorine bleach solution, using a 9-parts water to 1-part chlorine bleach formulation. If bleach might damage a surface, another type of disinfectant can be utilized. Once soaked in this manner, these towels can be gently placed on contaminated areas and left to saturate the underlying droppings or other waste. In the alternative, you can gently spray a solution of chlorine onto droppings, other dried waste, and nests. Again, you will want to mist these targets and not use a forceful stream that can result in crumbling of droppings or the disturbance of other waste materials to create airborne dust.
Once the droppings and other waste are saturated in the manner described, these items can be wiped away with disposable cloths or rags. These cleaning cloths need to be placed immediately in a sturdy garbage bag. (Technically, the debris cleaned up in this manner from a mouse infestation can be classified biohazardous material. Thus, you need to confirm whether your community permits disposal of this waste via your normal garbage collection.)
When droppings and other waste is thoroughly cleaned away, liberally apply a sanitizing agent to all affected surfaces and objects. Again, the previously described chlorine solution is a possibility if the bleach element will not damage a surface of item.
HVAC systems and associated ducts present a unique challenge. Indeed, odds are that a typical homeowner does not have the equipment and resources necessary to appropriately, thoroughly, and safely clean an HVAC system and ducts. This reality underscores the need to consider seriously hiring a professional mouse infestation cleanup service, also known as a biohazard remediation service. (As an aside, all filters must be replaced as part of the overall post-infestation cleaning endeavor.)
When the cleanup and sanitization process is completed, the disposal elements of the personal protective equipment needs to be disposed of in the same manner described for the waste itself. Non-disposable items must be appropriately sanitized after use.
Professional Mouse Infestation Cleanup
Because of the unique challenges associated with mouse infestation cleanup in your home, you need to give serious consideration to seeking professional assistance. A skilled, experienced mouse infestation cleanup company can thoroughly and safely eliminate the potentially dangerous aftermath of mice having been in your home. This includes ensuring that challenging aspects of a mouse infestation cleaning like addressing an HVAC systems and ducts appropriately is completed.