Disinfecting your home after getting rid of rodents is just as important for your health.
Getting rid of rodents, particularly mice and rats, which have taken up temporary residence in your home is just half of the battle won! Afterwards, you have to thoroughly clean and disinfect the places where they urinated and defecated, perhaps mated and delivered babies by the dozens. Otherwise, you and your family are still living with harmful pathogens that can cause diseases, not to mention that these are malodorous.
Here are tips that are effective in cleaning and disinfecting your home after a mice infestation. You may or may not hire maid services for the job depending on the extent of the infestation. But it’s imperative to be as thorough as possible for your health and safety.
Cleaning the Urine and Feces Left Behind
Always take the necessary precautions before, during and after cleaning previously rodent-infested areas in and out of your house. You should ideally wait for a week after the active infestation has been resolved. This way, the urine tracks, feces droppings and nesting materials aren’t infectious anymore.
Be sure to open the doors and windows, if any, in the areas for cleaning for at least 30 minutes before you actually start on the job. This will allow fresh air to circulate through the area. Leave the area during the ventilation period as there will be dust, dirt and debris that will be disturbed, even float in the air, at this time.
Then, the dirty work begins. Wear disposable latex, rubber or vinyl gloves as well as a face mask before cleaning the contaminated area.
- Clean the urine and droppings on the surfaces. Be careful not to stir up too much dust when sweeping and vacuuming these things.
- Spray the contaminated areas with a store-bought disinfectant. You may also mix bleach (1 part) and water (10 parts), let it sit for 5 minutes, and place it in a container.
- Pick up the urine and droppings using a paper towel and then dispose in the trash bin with a lid.
- Clean and disinfect these areas using rags and disinfectant. Mop the floors, wipe the countertops and clean other surfaces with the bleach solution or with a disinfectant.
If you see signs of urine and droppings on clothes, beddings and carpets, you should also disinfect them. Steam cleaning and/or shampooing usually does the trick for carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture. Washing with detergent and hot water is best for clothes and beddings, followed by machine-drying or air-drying under the sun.
Change your gloves as needed. You should have as little direct skin contact with the contaminated items as possible while also ensuring that there’s no cross-contamination between items.
Afterwards, remove your dirty gloves and dispose them in the trash bin. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, pat dry and apply alcohol, if you still want. You should also change your clothes because these may have been contaminated and wash them separately from the other clothes, if possible.
Removing Dead Rodents and/or Their Nests
If the dead rodents are still in your home, the steps are slightly different. You should still ventilate the room, wear gloves and a face mask, and use a disinfectant, among others.
- Spray the dead rodents as well as their nests and the surrounding area with either a store-bought or a homemade disinfectant.
- Leave them to soak in the disinfectant for 5 minutes or more. The disinfectant should also decrease the malodorous smell of the dead rodents.
- Pick up the dead rodents and their nesting materials, place them in a plastic bag, and seal it tightly. Place the entire bag in a second plastic bag and seal again.
- Dispose the bag in a covered trash bin. Be sure to throw away the contents of the bin as soon as possible lest the dead rodent add more undesirable smells to your yard.
- Wipe the nesting areas with a rag and disinfectant. Clean as many times as necessary until there are no traces left and the bad smell is gone.
- Remove your gloves and throw them in the trash, too.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
You may also bury dead rodents in your yard or a wooded area but it’s only advisable if you don’t have pets or the wooded area doesn’t have too many wildlife. Other animals may dig up the dead rodents and you may just have another problem in your hands, literally speaking.
Your house may be the main base for rodents but don’t forget to check outlying structures, such as the shed, barn and cabin. These structures are also favorite places for rodents to take up residence. You may want to ask for assistance since these are large structures that have nooks and crannies where rodents can easily get in and out.
In the end, getting rid of rodents in your home is a matter of patience and vigilance. You have to be patient in eliminating them and vigilant in preventing them from returning.