How to Safely Clean up Rodent Feces


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Rodents and their droppings can pass on a number of parasites and diseases to humans, some of them serious. Thus it's important to take several safety precautions if you plan to clean up yourself (note: infestations in difficult-to-access places like the attic, the ventilation system or heat/cool system in your home should be left to professional pest control services). Wait a week to clean after all signs of rodents are gone - for example, if there have been no fresh signs and traps have been clear.

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What You Need

If you have a heavy infestation, you should also wear coveralls, rubber boots (with no holes or tears) or disposable shoe covers, and protective goggles.

How To Clean Up Rodent Feces

  • Open up the doors and windows for about an hour in the area to be cleaned. Make sure there's good air-flow throughout the area so that fresh air can enter and stale or potentially contaminated air can be pushed out.

  • Prepare the commercial disinfectant according to directions, or mix one up using 10 parts water to 1 part bleach.

  • Put on all the gear - gloves, dust mask, etc.

  • DO NOT SWEEP OR VACUUM. This can cause particles to become airborne. You may end up inhaling them.

  • Heavily spray the droppings, urine, nests, dead rats / mice / other rodents, and any other rodent debris with disinfectant. Make sure to spray the area around them too.

  • Wait for the disinfectant to work. For the bleach solution, wait 5 minutes. Follow the directions on the bottle if using a commercial disinfectant.

  • Use the paper towels or rags to wipe up / pick up the mess and immediately place in plastic bags as you clean. Dead rodents should be double-bagged. Seal all bags tightly.

  • Remove contaminated material: cardboard boxes that have been exposed to rodent urine or feces should be discarded, as should other papers and contaminated insulation. Plastic, glass or metal containers can be sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down. Material to be discarded should be placed in plastic bags and sealed.

  • Put all bags in an outdoor garbage bin that is regularly emptied.

  • Mop the floors with disinfectant.

  • Also disinfect other hard surfaces that may have been contaminated, such as countertops or kitchen drawers.

  • Wash "soft" items that have been contaminated with rodent urine or droppings: upholstered furniture like couches, carpets, or rugs should be steam-cleaned and/or shampooed; clothing and bedding should be washed with detergent in hot water.

  • Remove gloves and decontaminate with disinfect.

  • Wash hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds with soap and hot water.

Cleaning up rodent feces is unfortunately a part of the deal when it comes to pest control. Remember that clean-up should not be started until rodents have been removed first, and all entry points sealed. Several humane pest control methods are available to help with the control and removal of rodents from the house.