Discovering mouse poop in our homes is an unfortunate aspect of inhabiting the same world as millions of mice. Most people have or will encounter this pesky circumstance at one time or another.
Learning how to identify and clean up mouse droppings is, as gross as some may find it, pretty easy to do.
We’ll teach you how to identify mouse droppings, clean them up, search your home for more, disinfect the area, and dispose of any dead rodents or nests.
How to Identify and Clean Up Droppings
First and foremost, your safety should always be a main priority when dealing with rodent infestations, especially when interacting with their bodily fluids (blood and urine) or waste-matter (poop).
When you first take notice of mouse droppings, do everything in your power to ensure that the rodent-infested areas are secured before attempting to clean it up. You can do this by sealing up any visible entry holes and setting traps. You can also open the windows, or doors, to help ventilate the area and to dry any poop and urine that’s present.
Once you’ve taken care that you won’t be interrupted by more curious rodents while you’re cleaning up their mess, you’re ready to positively I.D. the mouse poop and clean it up. Below, are four quick and easy steps you can follow.
Step 1: Identify Droppings
The first thing you want to do is to confirm that it is actually mouse poop and not rat poop. This is done very easily; mouse poop is around 1/8th of an inch long, straight, and pointed on both ends. Rat poop, on the other hand, is typically a half-inch or longer, and curvy.
After you’ve Identified the mouse poop, you’ll also be able to tell roughly how old it is depending on its color and consistency. If the poop is solid black (sometimes green or brown), and shiny, it’s less than a day old. In the case that the color is more faded, or the poop is crumbly, it is more than likely two to three days or older. If it is powdery and crumbled completely, it’s very old.
Step 2: Dispose of Droppings
Now that the area is secured, and you know how old the droppings are, it’s time to clean them up. Take caution that you do not sweep, wipe, or vacuum the droppings directly as this will stir up dust that you do not want to breathe in.
Miix 10 parts water with 1 part bleach (roughly), and spray down the entire area. Come back in approximately 5 minutes with rubber or latex gloves on, pick up the droppings with paper towels, and dispose of them into a trash bag that you can close up and remove from your house immediately.
Step 3: Disinfect the General Area
When you’ve finished cleaning up the droppings, you’ll want to disinfect the general area as well. This includes mopping floors, wiping counters and cabinets with disinfectant, or the above-mentioned bleach solution, and even steam cleaning carpets if necessary.
Remember, if you’re cleaning up mouse droppings, you’re also cleaning up mouse urine whether you see it or not.
Any clothing you are wearing while cleaning, as well as any additional clothing or bedding that happened to come in contact with the mouse poop or urine, need to go directly into the washing machine (with hot water). After you’re done, wash your hands with hot water and soap for approximately 30 seconds.
Step 4: Search for More Mouse Droppings
To ensure that all your mouse poop cleaning doesn’t go in vain, and your rodent infestation is accurately assessed (so you can properly treat it), after cleaning and disinfecting, immediately search for signs of additional mouse droppings.
A few common places to search for mouse poop and signs of rodent-infestation are:
- Under sinks
- Under or behind refrigerators
- Under or behind stoves
Anywhere that you store food, including pet food or feed for livestock, is where mice will be found if they’re indeed around. Keep in mind how to identify the age of droppings are you search for them. That way, you have a better understanding of where the rodents are being most active.
Step 5: Dispose of Dead Rodents and Nests
Last but not least, disposing of dead rodents and nests is a crucial step to ensure your rodent-infestation is properly dealt with. The longer a dead rodent occupies one of your traps, the longer one of its buddies runs around free (eating your food and gnawing through the cardboard box in your attic with all of your Christmas decorations in it.
The safest way to dispose of dead rodents and their nests is, again, first to spray them down with a disinfectant or bleach solution. After a few minutes pass, wearing gloves, remove the rodent, or nest, placing them into a tightly sealed bag. Seal this bag up into a second bag and then remove it from your home or place it into a covered trash can.
Afterward, remove your clothing, and anything else that may have come in contact with the dead rodents or nesting materials, and put them in the washer on a hot-water cycle. Also, wash your hands in hot water with soap all the way up to your elbows.
How Dangerous Is Mouse Poop?
Mouse droppings are capable of causing complications with allergies as well as transmitting foodborne illnesses. Salmonella is one of the most dangerous illnesses passed on to humans by exposure to mouse poop.
And, with mice dropping anywhere from 50 to 75 pellets of poop each day, that’s a lot of risk to health hazards. That said, identifying and cleaning up mouse poop as soon as possible is critical in protecting your health.
Hopefully, this article was helpful in your learning how to properly search for, identify, and clean up mouse poop. If you’ve just moved to a new location, or have recently begun to notice droppings in your home, take the information you read here and act as immediately as possible!