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How to Clean Up After Mouse Infestation

Mice may carry bacteria, viruses and other diseases. As a result, cleaning efforts following an infestation must be cautiously attempted.

It is important not to disturb dust particles or rodent feces in affected areas. Nest materials should also be left undisturbed during this time. Sweeping or vacuuming these materials may lead to the further release of harmful airborne particles.

Deer mice are the primary transmitters of hantavirus, although other rodents such as white-footed mice, cotton rats, and rice rats may also be carriers. This virus can be fatal and is found within the deer mouse’s feces, urine and saliva. Hantavirus is transmitted to humans through airborne particles, and symptoms are similar to those of the common flu. However, individuals with this virus must seek medical attention immediately upon recognition.

Cleaning Mouse Droppings

Mouse droppings are spindle-shaped and are approximately the size of a grain of rice. Certain mouse species transmit diseases and viruses through their droppings, urine and saliva.

All surfaces that have come into contact with mice or excrement should be thoroughly disinfected. Mouse droppings and debris should be carefully picked up and disposed of with sturdy nonabsorbent gloves. An OSHA-approved respirator with functioning cartridges should be worn. It also is advised that clothing worn during cleaning be thrown away immediately afterward.

It is important not to sweep or vacuum mouse droppings, as these cleaning methods cause the release of more airborne virus particles. Dispose of any towels or cloths that come into contact with feces or the surfaces of an infested room. Gloves should be disposed of, and it is suggested that the hands be washed several times after cleaning.

Place all contaminated and cleaning materials in plastic trash bags that seal tightly. Each plastic trash bag should be sealed tightly inside yet another plastic trash bag. Dispose of trash in landfills or outdoor garbage bins. Hands should be washed thoroughly and the newly cleaned area should be exposed to fresh air and sunshine for a number of hours.

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