Cleaning Up Rat Feces

Rats and mice can pose a threat to property and health. They cause building damage by chewing on insulation, sidings, wallboard, etc. They will eat a wide variety of stored food. As well as leaving a mess in your cupboards, rodents will often contaminate your food. Rodents can also pass on disease.

Rodents can make you ill:
• People who have close contact with the saliva, urine or droppings of rodents are at risk of becoming ill.
• If you breathe in the dust from an area infested with rodents, you can get Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome; which begins as a “flu-like” illness. In the early stage of the disease, a person may have a fever, sore muscles, headaches and shortness of breath. As the disease gets worse, fluid builds up in the lungs.

Best way to get rid of rodents:
• The best way to get rid of rodents is by using traps.
• Buy snap traps and bait with dried fruit or peanut butter mixed with oats or cheese.
• Be sure that the bait is securely attached to the trap pedal, otherwise the trap may not spring when the food is removed.
• Set the traps at right angles to the walls where the rodents are known to travel, with the bait side of the trap toward the wall.
• Wear gloves when disposing of the body of the trapped animal. They should be wrapped in plastic and placed in the garbage.

Cleaning up rodent droppings:
• When cleaning homes infested with rodents, wear protective clothing and a mask.
• Always wash your hands after touching any rodents or their droppings.
• To prevent stirring up dust when you are cleaning up areas where rodents have lived, you should open the windows, and then spray the area with household disinfectant before you start.
• Damp mop floors, shampoo carpets, wash clothing and bedding, and disinfect countertops, cabinets and drawers.
• Avoid raising dust when sweeping or vacuuming

For more info. see the HPS Fact Sheet