Ask an Expert: Find a Mouse in Your House? Try These Cleaning Tips

    Ask an Expert: Find a Mouse in Your House? Try These Cleaning Tips

    Mouse ImageAs the summer temperatures begin to fade into cooler days and evenings, rodents will be looking for warm places to sleep and create nests for their young. It is important to be proactive in finding the locations where these unwanted critters may try to enter your home. If they still make their way inside regardless of your efforts, the Centers for Disease Control offers helpful tips in cleanup and removal of infested areas. (http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/)

    1) Clean up urine and droppings.

    * When you begin cleaning, do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming droppings, urine or nesting materials.

    * Wear rubber, latex or vinyl gloves when cleaning urine and droppings. If the infestation is heavy, consider wearing a N95 disposable dust mask.

    * 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, follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label for dilution and disinfection time.

    * Use a paper towel to pick up urine and droppings, and dispose of it in the garbage.

    * After the waste has been removed, disinfect items that might have become contaminated

    2) Clean and disinfect the entire 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 waste.

    * Remove gloves, and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water, or use a waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled.

    If you find evidence of mice in other buildings on your property, the same guidelines apply. However, 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.

    The CDC website has further information on cleaning buildings once they have been aired out as well as information on cleaning clothing, stuffed toys, books, papers, non-washable items, carpets and furniture. Specific questions may also be answered by contacting your local Health Department. Contact information and factsheets are found at http://health.utah.gov/.

    By: Kathleen Riggs, Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences professor, kathleen.riggs@usu.edu
    Published on: Aug 26, 2016

    Related Articles

    Ask an Expert: Six Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer

    Ask an Expert: Six Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer

    Summer is a great time to be outside - but proper precautions must be taken. It is especially important to stay hydrated as temperatures rise. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious health conditions, but they can be avoided.

    Read More
    Ask an Expert: Six Tips for Planning Menus around Farmers Market Selections

    Ask an Expert: Six Tips for Planning Menus around Farmers Market Selections

    Farmers markets are known for offering an ever-changing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although variety is a benefit of shopping at local farmers markets, it can be difficult and overwhelming to come up with a menu for the week without knowing what will be available at the market.

    Read More
    USU Extension's

    USU Extension's "Create Family Mealtime" Campaign Promotes Making Family Meals a Priority

    September has been branded as National Family Meals Month. In recognition of its importance, Utah State University Extension's Food $ense (SNAP-Ed) program provides information to help families make mealtime a priority along with tools to help overcome the challenges.

    Read More