Do you hear strange sounds coming from inside the walls of your home? Does the power stop for no reason and do you find items moved from the place where you last left them? No, we’re not describing a poltergeist, only a mice infestation. Losing your mind, however, is only one of the dangers of having mice nesting at your place.
The real trouble comes with mouse droppings, urine, and their nests, especially during the process of cleaning up. Some mice and rats may carry a fatal group of viruses called hantaviruses, which can sometimes result in HPS ( hantavirus pulmonary syndrome).
What Do Mouse Droppings Look Like?
Mouse droppings are about 3-6 mm long, with a granular shape and a black colour. They are similar but smaller than rat droppings. Nonetheless, “rat poop” poses the same dangers and should be handled with equal care. You don’t need to know the type of rodent, just the fact that you need to keep yourself safe!
Where to look for droppings?
- Inside or on cupboard tops;
- Along the skirting;
- Under appliances;
- Behind furnishings;
- Inside drawers;
- Near electrical wires.
What to do if you find dead mice?
- Wear gloves;
- Disinfect with bleach or over-the-counter disinfectant;
- Double-bag the body and seal tightly;
- Throw the bag into a covered rubbish bin that is regularly emptied.
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Mouse Droppings – Disease Symptoms
If you have been exposed to fresh mouse droppings, there’s a possibility that within 1 to 8 weeks you will develop Hantavirus symptoms, such as:
- Muscle pain, especially in the hips, thighs, and back;
Additional hantavirus symptoms include headache, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach pain. If the illness isn’t caught early, it could lead to HPS – a deadly syndrome that causes your lungs to fill with fluid.
Is HPS scary? Yes, quite so. But there is no point in panicking over how frightening the symptoms sound, is there? It’s best to book a reliable pest control for mice and learn how to clean mouse droppings properly.
How to Clean Mouse Droppings
- Continue trapping the mice for a week.
- Start the cleaning process only after no further mice have been trapped.
- Ventilate the space for 30 minutes. It’s best to open two windows on the opposite sides of your property.
- Wear protection on your hands – rubber or latex gloves should do just fine.
- Spray the mouse droppings with one-and-a-half cups of bleach to a gallon (4.5 litre) of water (a 1 to 10 ratio) – do this before starting the cleaning process.
- Leave the disinfectant to settle down for 5-10 minutes.
- Use plastic bags to scoop up the mouse droppings.
- Throw them away immediately.
- Disinfect any areas that were in contact with mice or their droppings, especially kitchen cupboards, countertops, and cabinet shelves.
- Mop the floors.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after removing the gloves. Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose before washing.
It’s crucial to disinfect the mouse droppings before cleaning or going near them. HPS can be transmitted not only by coming into contact with urine or droppings, but also through the air.
“When fresh rodent urine, droppings, or nesting materials are stirred up, tiny droplets containing the virus get into the air. This process is known as “airborne transmission.”
Furthermore, finding and identifying the mouse droppings is every bit as important as the cleaning precautions. Any home that has gone through a mice infestation, no matter the size, needs to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected for mouse droppings and nests.
How to Clean Mouse Droppings from Fabric
If mice droppings have contaminated your bedding, clothing, or even your offspring’s favourite stuffed animals, you should immediately wash them with hot water and a laundry detergent of your choice. However, don’t forget to use rubber or latex gloves when handling the soiled items and always set your dryer to 45 ℃ to render the hantaviruses inactive.
In case the mice have done a number two on your furniture or carpet, it’s highly recommended to thoroughly wash those with either a disinfectant, a commercial steam cleaner, or a shampoo.
As for desecrated books or important documents, simply wipe the mouse droppings off with a cloth and a bit of disinfectant and leave the items in direct sunlight for several hours. The reason for this is simple – hantaviruses can remain active for up to three days under normal conditions, but they will become inactive when exposed to ultraviolet rays for a prolonged period of time.
Health Hazards of Cleaning Rodent Urine from an Oven
The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is not limited to rodent droppings and the infection can also be transmitted via their saliva, urine, or even nesting materials. If you suspect that your oven has been contaminated in any way, we recommend booking a professional treatment.
As part of Fantastic Services – a leading provider of domestic services – Fantastic Pest Control can provide you with a cooker treatment that includes cleaning of your appliance’s interior and exterior surfaces, oven double glass, and all detachable components.
Here’s how it works:
First, the technician will inspect your appliance for faults and remove all detachable parts. The components will be soaked in a dip tank, filled with a strong solution. The professional will scrub the oven and reattach all components back. If the unpleasant odour is still present, the expert will eliminate the odour-causing bacteria by spraying the insulation of your oven with an eco-friendly deodoriser.
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