How to Clean Up After Rodents

News

HomeHome / News / How to Clean Up After Rodents

Jun 24, 2023

How to Clean Up After Rodents

If you have mice or rats in or around your home or vehicle, it’s important to clean up all urine, droppings (poop), dead rodents, and nesting materials safely. If you get sick and are concerned that

If you have mice or rats in or around your home or vehicle, it’s important to clean up all urine, droppings (poop), dead rodents, and nesting materials safely.

If you get sick and are concerned that it may be due to a rodent-borne disease, talk to a healthcare provider and tell them about any exposure you may have had to rodents and/or their droppings and urine.

Always take precautions when cleaning to reduce your risk of getting sick. Before you begin cleaning, prepare by gathering the proper equipment.

If you have questions about your specific situation, contact your local health department.

Evidence of a rodent infestation.

Diseases are mainly spread to people from rodents when they breathe in contaminated air. CDC recommends you NOT vacuum (even vacuums with a HEPA filter) or sweep rodent urine, droppings, or nesting materials. These actions can cause tiny droplets containing viruses to get into the air. If you already vacuumed, follow the cleanup guidance on this page. This includes opening all doors and windows for 30 minutes and moving the potentially contaminated vacuum outside.

Close

Step 1: Put on rubber or plastic gloves.

Step 2: Spray urine and droppings with bleach solution or an EPA-registered disinfectant until very wet. Let it soak for 5 minutes or according to instructions on the disinfectant label.

Step 3: Use paper towels to wipe up the urine or droppings and cleaning product.

Step 4: Throw the paper towels in a covered garbage can that is regularly emptied.

Step 5: Mop or sponge the area with a disinfectant.

Step 6: Wash gloved hands with soap and water or a disinfectant before removing gloves.

Step 7: Wash hands with soap and warm water after removing gloves or use a waterless alcohol-based hand rub when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled.

How to Clean up a Dead Mouse

How to Clean up a Dead Mouse

Fleas are common on rodents. Consider using insect repellent (for example DEET or other EPA-registered repellents) on clothing, shoes, and hands to reduce the risk of flea bites and minimize exposure to flea borne disease while picking up dead rodents and cleaning up nesting materials.

Step 1: Wear rubber or plastic gloves.

Step 2: Spray the dead rodent, nest, and surrounding area with a disinfectant. Let it soak for 5 minutes or according to instructions on the disinfectant label.

Step 3: Place the dead rodent or nesting materials in a plastic bag along with any used traps, unless you plan to reuse the trap.

Step 4: Tie the ends of the bag together in a knot to seal the bag. Place the full bag in a second plastic bag and seal that bag by tying the ends together in a knot.

Step 5: Throw the bag into a covered garbage can that is regularly emptied or contact your state health department for information on other ways to throw away dead rodents.

Step 6: Wash gloved hands with soap and water or a disinfectant before removing gloves.

Step 7: Wash hands with soap and warm water after removing gloves or use a waterless alcohol-based hand rub when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled.

Traditional snap traps can be reused. If you plan to reuse the trap, submerge the trap with the rodent in disinfectant (using a bucket) for 5 minutes while wearing rubber gloves. Remove the rodent from the trap by holding the trap over a plastic bag and lifting the metal bar. Let the rodent drop in the bag. Rinse the trap well with water to remove the scent of the disinfectant and let it dry completely. Follow steps 4-6 mentioned above by double bagging the rodent, disposing of the bag, and washing your gloves and hands.

Prepare

Clean

When there is evidence that rodents have access to heating and cooling ventilation systems, it is best to contact a professional rodent exterminating service to remove them. Companies specializing in duct cleaning are familiar with the problems and risks associated with rodent infestation in ventilation systems.

How to Inspect and Disinfect a Vehicle

How to Inspect and Disinfect a Vehicle

Rodents may build their nests in cars, trucks, campers, and other vehicles, especially if such vehicles are used infrequently. Check and clean your vehicle to prevent the spread of rodent-borne diseases. Consult a qualified mechanic or automotive professional for assistance.

While the vehicle is in a well-ventilated space, you should inspect for rodent activity; detect any waste, nests, or dead rodents; and disinfect to clean the vehicle.

Inspect

Open the hood, vehicle doors, and trunk to allow the interior and engine compartment to air out for 20 minutes. (When starting a vehicle that has been idle for an extended period, air it out first, and inspect the air intakes and filters before starting the engine.) Check inside the vehicle interior. Remove cables from the battery to avoid shock before inspecting the engine compartment. Be sure to wear plastic gloves and a long-sleeved shirt.

Detect

Find any dead rodents, nesting materials, or rodent waste (like urine or droppings). Gather cleaning supplies to clean and disinfect.

Disinfect

Prevent future colonization of vehicles. Rodents can enter the passenger compartment through ducting, rusted areas, and cable conduit. Snap traps and poison baits are effective in stopping rodents access into vehicles. Do not leave any kind of food anywhere in the car, as it can attract rodents.

Porous and non-hard surfaces require different methods for cleaning and disinfecting. These steps should be followed after rodent urine and dropping have been sanitized (as described above) and removed (in the case of droppings).

Clothing, bedding, and stuffed animals

Launder potentially contaminated bedding, clothing, or stuffed animals with hot water and detergent. Machine dry on a high setting or hang to air dry in the sun.

Carpets and upholstery

Shampoo rugs and upholstered furniture with a commercial disinfectant or with a commercial-grade steam cleaner or shampoo.

Books, papers, and other non-washable items

Leave books, papers, and other items that cannot be cleaned with a liquid disinfectant (for example, books and papers) outdoors in the sunlight for several hours, or in an indoor area free of rodents for a minimum of three weeks (a longer period of six weeks is strongly suggested).

Special precautions should be used for cleaning homes or buildings with heavy rodent infestation. These precautions may also apply to vacant dwellings that have attracted large numbers of rodents and to dwellings and other structures where a disease spread by rodents has been confirmed in the rodent population.

Workers who are either hired specifically to perform a clean-up or are asked to do so as part of their work activities should contact their local or state health department, local or state occupational health and safety authority (OSHA), or CDC for information about preventing rodent-borne diseases.

People involved in the clean-up of heavy rodent infestations should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE):

PPE should be decontaminated upon removal at the end of the day.

Step 1:Step 2:Step 3:Step 4:Step 5:Step 6:Step 7:Step 1:Step 2:Step 3:Step 4:Step 5:Step 6:Step 7:PrepareCleanInspectDetectDisinfectDo not Clothing, bedding, and stuffed animalsCarpets and upholsteryBooks, papers, and other non-washable items