How To Safely Clean Up After Mice and Rats

Have a rat or mouse scenario not listed here and need some advice?

Call or text (425) 230-6236 and we’re happy to help, no charge!

Scenario 1: I found mouse or rat urine and droppings in my car or home.

What to Do: 

  • Wear rubber or plastic gloves and a face mask.
  • Spray urine and droppings with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water. Make sure you get the urine and droppings very wet. Let it soak for 5 minutes.
  • Use a paper towel to wipe up the urine or droppings. Do not sweep or vacuum up mouse or rat urine, droppings, or nests. This will cause virus particles to go into the air, where they can be breathed in.
  • Throw the paper towel in the garbage. Spray disinfectant • Mop or sponge the area with a disinfectant or bleach solution.
  • Wash gloved hands with soap and water or spray a disinfectant or bleach solution on gloves before taking them off. 
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water after taking off your gloves.
Scenario 2: I found a nest or have caught a rat or mouse in a trap.

What to Do:

  • Wear rubber or plastic gloves and a face mask. 
  • Spray the dead mouse, rat, or nest, as well as the surrounding area, with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water. Let it soak.
  • Spray gloves before taking them off
  • Place nesting materials or trap with the dead rodent in a plastic bag. If you plan to reuse the trap, get the mouse or rat out of the trap by holding it over the bag and lifting the metal bar. Let the mouse or rat drop in the bag. Disinfect the trap.
  • Seal the bag. Place the full bag in a second plastic bag. Seal that bag.
  • Throw the bag into a covered trash can that is regularly emptied or contact your state health department for information on other ways to throw away dead mice and rats.
  • Wash gloved hands with soap and water or spray a disinfectant or bleach solution on gloves before taking them off.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water after removing your gloves.
Scenario 3: I need to safely clean out my garage or shed.
  • Open all doors and windows. Leave them open for 30 minutes before cleaning.
  • Wear rubber or plastic gloves and a face mask.
  • Clean up all rodent urine, droppings, nests, or dead mice or rats by using a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water.
  • Mop floors or spray dirt floors with a disinfectant or mixture of bleach and water.
  • Clean countertops, cabinets, and drawers with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water.
  • Steam clean, shampoo, or spray upholstered furniture with a detergent, disinfectant, or a mixture of bleach and water.
  • Wash any bedding and clothing with laundry detergent in hot water if you see any mouse or rat urine or droppings on them.

What You Need To Know To Prevent the Disease Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

What are hantaviruses?
Hantaviruses are a group of viruses that may be carried by some rodents. Some hantaviruses can cause a rare but deadly disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The disease is called HPS for short.

What animals can give people hantaviruses?
These are some of the mice and rats that can carry hantaviruses in the United States
Only some kinds of mice and rats can give people hantaviruses that can cause HPS. In North America, they are the deer mouse, the white-footed mouse, the rice rat, and the cotton rat. However, not every deer mouse, white-footed mouse, rice rat, or cotton rat carries a hantavirus. Other rodents, such as house mice, roof rats, and Norway rats, have never been known to give people HPS. Since it is hard to tell if a mouse or a rat carries a hantavirus, it is best to avoid all wild mice and rats and to safely clean up any rodent urine, droppings, or nests in your home. Dogs and cats cannot give people hantavirus infections.

Who can get HPS?
Any man, woman, or child who is around mice or rats that carry harmful hantaviruses can get HPS. You do not have to already be sick to be at risk for HPS. Healthy people have become ill with HPS. While HPS is a very rare disease, cases have occurred in all regions of the United States except for Alaska and Hawaii.

How do people get HPS?
People get HPS when they breath in hantaviruses. This can happen when rodent urine and droppings that contain a hantavirus are stirred up into the air. People can also become infected when they touch mouse or rat urine, droppings, or nesting materials that contain the virus and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. They can also get HPS from a mouse or rat bite. Here are some activities that can put people at risk for HPS:
• Improperly cleaning up mouse and rat urine, droppings, and nests.
• Cleaning a shed or cabin that has been closed for some time.
• Working in areas where mice and rats may live (such as barns). In the United States, there has never been a case in which a person with HPS has given the disease to another person.

What are the symptoms of HPS?
If people get HPS, they will feel sick 1 to 5 weeks after they were around mice or rats that carried a hantavirus. At first people with HPS will have:
• Fever
• Severe muscle aches
• Fatigue

After a few days they will have a hard time breathing. Sometimes people will have headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Usually, people do not have a runny nose, sore throat, or a rash.

How can HPS be prevented?
• Keep mice and rats out of your home.
• Clean up mouse and rat urine, droppings, and nesting materials with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water.

Money-Back Guarantee On Our Guaranteed Pest Control Plan!