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Cleaning Mouse Droppings

There are some things you just don’t want to actually talk about, but you still really need to know. Cleaning up mouse droppings is one of those things. Thank you Internet for providing a judgment free place to look up all the things you’re too embarrassed to actually ask someone.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let’s talk about what mouse droppings are and why they matter. “Mouse droppings” refers to rodent excrement. Yes people, we are talking about poop. You do it, I do it, mice do it. You and I have the decency to use a toilet and flush after the fact but mice will leave their rice sized and shaped black pellets everywhere they go. That is gross enough all by itself, but the matter becomes significantly more serious when you consider the dozens of diseases mice can transmit to people ranging from salmonella to hantavirus.


Why should you care about mouse poo?

Mouse droppings can be used to assess a rodent infestation, even when you aren’t seeing any actual rodents. While mice may be sneaky or shy, they will always leave behind signs so you can detect a problem and judge the scope and severity of a mouse infestation. Signs of a mouse in the house include:

  • mouse droppings
  • musky odor
  • chewed up materials, especially food packaging
  • gnaw markings on wood, plastic, wiring or any object; also lookout for piles of debris resulting from gnawing such as an accumulation of sawdust near wood furniture, etc…
  • nests: any gathering of soft materials such as shredded paper, cloth, or furniture stuffing; usually found in areas that aren’t frequently disturbed, or near a heat source.

Mice droppings measure 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length and have a thin, rod-shaped appearance with pointed ends. Roof rats are larger than mice but smaller than Norway rats. Their droppings tend to measure 1/4 inch long. Droppings of Norway rats can measure between 1/4 to 1/2 an inch in length and have a moon or crescent shape.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Mouse Dropping Duty

While you may be inclined to get out your vacuum and make the nastiness disappear quickly and without any direct contact, that is ill-advised. The CDC offers detailed guidelines for cleaning up after a rodent infestation. Taking special precautions when cleaning up mouse droppings is important because many of the diseases rodents can carry may be transmitted through their droppings.

Don’t use a broom or vacuum when cleaning rodent infested areas. This could stir up pathogens and cause you to inhale them.

Don’t use your bare hands when cleaning up mouse droppings.

Don’t forget to rodent proof the area to prevent future infestations.

Do air out the area prior to cleaning to reduce the chance of inhaling air borne germs.

Do wear rubber or latex gloves.

Do dispose of all nests, droppings, dead rodents and soiled paper towels or cloths in a sealed bag inside a covered trash can.


8 responses to “Cleaning Mouse Droppings”

  1. I recently moved into a Nursing Home. My room has mice droppings all over the place. Thank you for a informative web site. I’ve never had mice in my home. I didn’t know they could spread disease. The Nursing Home is in New York so it’s dirty. Poorly maintained and not monitored.

    • Hi Steve,

      Controlling pests in an urban area is always challenging. Although you can’t fix the whole nursing home, you can help keep your room mouse free with our tips. Keep a few pouches of our rodent repellent in your room for extra peace of mind.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. “I really like this blog so much. I really don’t know exactly what to write other than I truly enjoyed reading through these blogs. I will keep visiting your website . I learned quite a bit from here.”

  3. I have a very large area (800+ Sqft) in a old barn with a unfinished wood floor that has mouse droppings everywhere is there a way to clean that because wiping it down would be impossible. Could you spray it with the bleach solution and use a HEPA filter vac, shop vac or even sweep it?

    • Patrick, Please familiarize yourself with the symptoms of hantavirus and if you notice any, make sure to mention to your doctor that you’ve been exposed to rodent droppings. Thanks for reading!

  4. I can’t possibly go around my basement floor picking up mouse poop!! Can I spray it with bleach/ water and then sweep it up???

    • If possible, open windows and let the space air out before, during and after the clean up process. Wear a mask when cleaning, and review the signs of illnesses transmitted by rodents, particularly hantavirus.

  5. I do trust all of the concepts you have introduced on your post.
    They\’re very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless,
    the posts are very quick for beginners.
    Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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