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Steps for Cleanup Following a Rodent Infestation

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Steps for Cleanup Following a Rodent Infestation

Rodent infestations can be a nuisance and lead to health concerns if not handled properly. Here are the steps I take to thoroughly clean up after discovering mice, rats, or other rodents in my home.

Inspect and Identify Areas of Concern

The first step is to do a thorough inspection of the property to identify all areas that need cleaning. Look for the following signs of rodent activity:

  • Droppings – Look along baseboards, in cupboards, under appliances, around trash cans, and in attics or crawlspaces. Rodent feces can carry diseases.

  • Urine stains – Use a blacklight to detect rodent urine. Their urine glows neon blue under blacklight. Urine stains may be along baseboards, walls, ceilings, or floors.

  • Grease marks – Look for greasy rub marks along walls and entry points.

  • Tracks – Look for tracks or tail drag marks in dust.

  • Nests – Look for shredded paper, fabric, or other nesting material.

  • Chewing damage – Inspect walls, baseboards, electrical wires, and insulation for signs of gnawing and chewing.

Bold any evidence of rodents and thoroughly clean any affected areas. Pay special attention to the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, attic, garage, closets, and crawlspaces.

Seal Up Entry Points

After identifying where the rodents entered, seal up any possible access points to prevent re-entry.

Some common rodent entryways include:

  • Cracks around pipes, vents, wiring, foundations
  • Gaps around doors or windows
  • Holes in walls, floors, or ceilings
  • Loose vents or grilles
  • Open chimneys

Use steel wool, caulk, concrete, metal kick plates, or other durable sealing materials. Be sure to seal up exterior entry points as well. Trim back vegetation and bushes that touch the home.

Sanitize Surfaces

Thoroughly clean and disinfect any areas that may have been exposed to rodents or their urine and feces. Focus on high-touch surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms.

Some steps for sanitizing:

  • Wear protective gloves, mask, and eyewear during cleanup.
  • Remove all food, dishes, and utensils and wash separately.
  • Vacuum floors, carpets, countertops, and shelves.
  • Wash surfaces with soap and hot water, then disinfect with bleach or antimicrobial spray.
  • Steam clean carpets, curtains, upholstered furniture.
  • Wash linens, bedding, and clothes in hot water.
  • Soak toys in disinfectant.

Clean from top to bottom and discard any unsalvageable items that may have been contaminated.

Disinfect Traps and Dispose of Remains

If snap traps were used, remove trapped rodents while wearing gloves and eye protection. Spray the traps with disinfectant and let them soak 15 minutes before reusing.

For any discovered carcasses, double bag them before placing in an outdoor bin. Clean the area thoroughly. Call your local health department for proper rodent disposal guidelines.

Monitor for Recurrence

To help prevent rodents from returning or remaining undetected, implement monitoring and prevention steps:

  • Place rat traps or motion-sensor cameras in suspected areas.
  • Seal trash and food in rodent-proof containers.
  • Clear brush, debris piles, and clutter around the home.
  • Inspect regularly for new signs of infestation.
  • Use mint, pepper, and electronic or ultrasonic repellents.

Being diligent to follow all cleanup and exclusion steps is key to getting rid of rodents long-term. However, it may take repeated efforts over several weeks or months. Seek professional pest control if the infestation persists.

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