A rodent infestation can present a serious health hazard. Mice and rats can carry the potentially fatal hantavirus, leaving infectious materials throughout the house, just waiting for an errant shoe to stir it up and make it airborne. If you find signs of a rodent infestation in your home, you must practice extreme caution when cleaning. Improper methods could spread the virus.
Eliminate the Infestation
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Before you can give your house the deep cleaning it needs after a rodent infestation, you must eliminate the source of the problem. Trapping is essential to remove all rodents from your home. Contact a professional exterminator to get rid of mice and rats quickly and efficiently. Your exterminator can also help you identify entry points, so you can seal any holes or cracks that may have allowed rodents access into your home.
Dispose of Rodents Properly
Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves to dispose of dead rodents. Spray the rodent and the surrounding area with a disinfectant or a mixture of 10 percent beach diluted in water. Allow this to soak in for at least five minutes. Place the rodent in a plastic bag. Wipe down the surrounding area with a paper towel and clean up any droppings or nesting material. Place this in the bag as well. Seal this bag tightly, then seal in a second plastic bag for added protection before disposal.
Clean up Rodent Droppings and Nesting Material
Rodents leave droppings as they’re traveling throughout the house, so you’ll find these along any paths they used. You’re especially likely to see droppings along walls. Rodents will create cozy nests anywhere they can find a warm, sheltered area, preferably near a food and water source. You may find nests in the backs of cabinets or pantries.
Never sweep or vacuum to get rid of mouse droppings or nesting material. Begin by opening the windows to ventilate the area for about 30 minutes. Wear latex, vinyl, or rubber gloves while cleaning. Spray any droppings or nesting material you find with a disinfectant or solution of 10 percent bleach in water and wet thoroughly. Let the disinfectant sit for five minutes. Clean the area with a paper towel, placing all materials in a plastic bag. Seal the mess in two plastic bags before placing it in the garbage.
Disinfect the Area
Once you’ve removed all visible signs of the infestation, you should disinfect the area. Clean all floors and countertops with disinfectant. Steam clean carpets or upholstered furniture that was exposed to rodents, and wash bedding and other linens in hot water.
Always keep a vigilant eye out for signs of a rodent infestation so you can remedy the problem as soon as possible if you have unwanted visitors in the house. If you’re cleaning out a vacation home or cabin that’s been empty, air it out thoroughly before beginning and always use these wet cleaning methods before sweeping or vacuuming. Assume the presence of rodents in these types of uninhabited places and clean thoroughly before you unpack and settle in.