Cleaning Up After Rodents
Urine and Droppings
Take precautions before and during cleaning up of rodents and their infested areas. Before cleaning, trap the rodents and seal up any entryways to ensure that no rodents can get in. Continue trapping for a week. If no rodents are captured, the active infestation has been eliminated and enough time has passed so that any infectious virus in the rodent’s urine/droppings or nesting material is no longer infectious.
Before starting clean up of the space, ventilate the space by opening the doors and windows for at least 30 minutes to allow fresh air to enter the area. Use cross-ventilation and leave the area during the airing-out period.
First, clean up any urine and droppings
When you begin cleaning, it is important that you do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up droppings, urine, or nesting materials.
- Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves when cleaning urine and droppings.
- Spray the urine and droppings with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water and let soak 5 minutes. The recommended concentration of bleach solution is 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. When using a commercial disinfectant, following the manufacturer’s instructions on the label for dilution and disinfection time.
- Use a paper towel to pick up the urine and droppings, and dispose of the waste in the garbage.
- After the rodent droppings and urine have been removed, disinfect items that might have been contaminated by rodents or their urine and droppings.
Next, clean and disinfect the whole area
- Mop floors and clean countertops with disinfectant or bleach solution.
- Steam clean or shampoo upholstered furniture and carpets with evidence of rodent exposure.
- Wash any bedding and clothing with laundry detergent in hot water if exposed to rodent urine or droppings.
Lastly, remove gloves, and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water (or use a waterless alcohol-based hand rub when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled).
Dead Rodents or Nests
Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves when cleaning up dead rodents or nests.
- Spray the dead rodent or nest and the surrounding area with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water.
Soak rodent, nesting materials or droppings in solution for 5 minutes before wiping up with a paper towel or rag.
- Place the dead rodent or nesting materials in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Place the full bag in a second plastic bag and seal.
- Throw the bag into a covered trash can that is regularly emptied.
Remove gloves, and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water (or use a waterless alcohol-based hand rub when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled).
Cabins, Sheds, Barns, or Other Outbuildings
Before attempting to clean cabins, sheds, barns, or other outbuildings, open all doors and windows for 30 minutes. This will allow fresh air to enter the work area.
- Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves and clean up all rodent urine, droppings, nests, and dead rodents using disinfectant or 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.
Attics, Basements, Crawlspaces, and Other Storage Areas
Before cleaning attics, basements, crawlspaces and other storage areas, it is necessary to completely remove the existing rodent infestation by trapping. When there is no evidence of infestation, wait about 5 days before beginning to clean these areas. Before cleaning the space, ventilate the area by opening the doors and windows for at least 30 minutes to allow fresh air to enter the area and to remove potentially contaminated air from the area. Use cross-ventilation and leave the area during the airing-out period.
When cleaning attics, basements, crawlspaces and other storage areas:
- Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves when cleaning up urine, droppings, or nesting materials. Note that a dust mask may provide some protection against dust, molds, and insulation fibers, but does not protect against viruses.
- Spray any urine, droppings, and nesting materials with either a bleach and water solution (1 parts bleach to 9 parts water) or a household disinfectant prepared according to the label instructions for dilution and disinfection time. Soak well. This will inactivate any virus. Use a paper towel or rag to pick up the materials and dispose of them.
- Mop floors after spraying them using bleach/water solution or a disinfectant. Dirt floors can be sprayed with either bleach and water solution or a disinfectant.
- If exposed insulation has become contaminated with urine and droppings, it should be placed into plastic bags for removal.
- To remove any potentially contaminated materials from storage vessels/boxes:
- First, move the storage vessels/boxes outside and place them in an area that is well-ventilated and exposed to direct sunlight. The outside of the storage vessels/boxes can be disinfected using bleach and water solution or disinfectant solution;
- Next, remove the potentially contaminated materials while in the sunlit, ventilated area. Remain upwind so that any dust or debris is not blown toward your face. Some contaminated stored materials, such as clothing, books, etc. can be decontaminated by following the recommended methods of disinfection provided in the table below; items that are no longer needed can be discarded.
- Dispose of any cardboard boxes contaminated with urine or droppings. Plastic, glass, or metal containers can be disinfected by spraying with the bleach and water solution or disinfectant. Then, using a rag or paper towel, wipe up the urine or droppings and dispose of the waste.
Clean countertops, cabinets, and drawers with disinfectant or bleach and water solution.
- Decontaminate gloves with disinfectant or bleach and water solution. Wash hands well with soap and warm water.
Cleaning and Disinfection of Vehicles with Rodent Infestations
Rodents, including squirrels, mice, and rats, may construct their nests in cars, trucks, campers, and other vehicles, especially if such vehicles are used infrequently. Rodent nesting materials can be found in many areas of a vehicle. For more information read Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Vehicles with Rodent Infestations.
Heavy Rodent Infestation
Special precautions should be used for cleaning homes or buildings with heavy rodent infestation. The special precautions may also apply to vacant dwellings that have attracted large numbers of rodents and to dwellings and other structures where hantavirus has been confirmed in the rodent population.
Workers who are either hired specifically to perform a clean-up or are asked to do so as part of their work activities should contact their local or state health department, local or state occupational health and safety authority (OSHA) or CDC for information about preventing rodent-borne diseases.
Persons involved in the clean-up of heavy rodent infestations should wear the protective equipment listed here:
- coveralls (disposable, if possible);
- rubber boots or disposable shoe covers;
- rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves;
- protective goggles;
- and an appropriate respiratory protection device, such as a half-mask air-purifying (or negative-pressure) respirator with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with HEPA filters. Follow local and state requirement regarding pulmonary function and fit testing before beginning any work requiring the use of a respirator.
- Personal protective gear should be decontaminated upon removal at the end of the day. All potentially infective waste material (including respirator filters) from clean-up operations that cannot be burned or deep-buried on site should be double-bagged in appropriate plastic bags. The bagged material should then be labeled as infectious (if it is to be transported) and disposed of in accordance with local requirements for infectious waste.
Air Ducts (heating and cooling ventilation systems)
When there is evidence that rodents have access to heating and cooling ventilation systems, it is best to contact a professional rodent exterminating service to remove them. Companies specializing in duct cleaning are familiar with the particular problems and risks associated with rodent infestation in ventilation systems.
For more specific information on eliminating rodent infestations in heating and cooling ventilation systems and the companies that perform this service, refer to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) , Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP)
Original CDC Article
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Top Cat Breeds for DIY Rodent Control
If you have gotten your rodent problem under control working with a professional pest control company like Pest Off, you might consider adding to you ongoing rodent prevention programs by picking a family pet from this established list of “mousers”. Based on Top Cat Breeds for Catching Mice.
- Persian Although they have a lackadaisical way about them, they are known for their higher-than-average intelligence, and the females are particularly gifted at catching mice.
- Japanese Bobtail Unlike several others on the list, this is a breed that occurs in nature. They are graceful, sure-footed, and are both smart have street smarts and are excellent hunters.
- Japanese Bobtail Originally from Korea, they were bred specifically as hunting cats, helping silk factories keep the mouse population at bay.
- Turkish Angora Unlike several others on the list, the Turkish Angora is a breed that occurs in nature, rather than having been bred. They are graceful, sure-footed, and are both smart have street smarts. They bond well with most people, and are excellent hunters.
- Manx Always a popular breed for those who make their living at sea. The Manx is a skilled hunter, both aboard ships and back on dry land. On land it is a favorite among farmers who needed help keeping rodents and other pests away from crops.
- Burmese Burmese cats thriving anywhere they can be assured of a nice meal, such as bookshops, homes or even office environments. They are also intelligent and highly entertaining.
- Chartreux A popular, muscular breed and are born hunters. They also have a calm temperament and cool demeanor.
- Siamese Thai royalty spent many generations breeding these cats. The original Siamese is still a favorite mouser worldwide.
- Siberian These are big cats that weigh up to 20 pounds. They show a grace and agility that is surprising given their size.
- Maine Coon This breed has been held in high regard as mousers since colonial U.S. times. They’re also one of the largest domesticated cat breeds and are easily recognized by their long, luxurious and water-resistant fur.
- American Shorthair American Shorthairs have lived alongside humans for roughly three centuries and were originally brought to the U.S. from the U.K. In addition to their hunting abilities, they are also quite affectionate, are well-deserving the top spot on the list.
Texoma Pest Control Services
Commercial Pest Control
Commercial buildings have a lot more variation depending on the business involved (food service, healthcare, retail, etc.) and commercial pest control companies have the experience to create custom treatment plans to account for those variations.
Because commercial pest control companies have more experience working with custom environments, they also have more experience with offering long term preventative measures. Sometimes a businesses’ building is more susceptible to pests because of its location or other residents. Those types of uncontrollable factors are taken into account by commercial pest control companies. They can offer you long term preventative solutions, such as preventative traps in and around the building.
Businesses are less likely to get bedbugs, but they’re more likely to Pest Offs like rats and cockroaches, because it’s more common to have a commercial building closer to environments (for instance, abandoned property) where those types of creatures thrive. You want to make sure you choose a company that specializes in the type of pest that’s bothering you.
Household Pest Control
The homes most of us live in are fundamentally very similar to each other. That means that the pest control problem encountered by the typical homeowner tend to be similar, as well. Most pest problems found in homes can be solved using the same couple approaches every time.
Most often, homes tend to attract similar certain varieties of pests that thrive on the day to day life that goes on inside. You’re more likely to find ants, bedbugs, and termites inside of residential homes because they more commonly contain the fabric-heavy environments they prefer. While you won’t need a commercial pest control company for the typical home pest extermination, treatment and management needs, a company that offers commercial pest treatment services will have a much broader range of experience and be more likely to find more innovative solutions than the company that only provides home pest control services.