There’s only one thing more horrifying than finding rodents in your home, and that’s the microscopic germs they leave behind. Just the thought of these invasive creatures wreaking havoc in your domain is enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies. But once they have been successfully evicted, there’s more work to be done. Getting rid of the critters is just the first step. Now, it’s time to do some damage control.
Reasons to Get Rid of Rats
If you think the sight of rats is distressing, imagine how much damage they leave in their wake. Not only do they gnaw their way through your property, but they also carry some pretty dangerous and life-altering illnesses.
Rats have been known to carry some common diseases like:
- Rat-bite fever
The germs they leave in their feces and urine can lead to a whole host of health problems, some of which you may not be aware of. So, the next thing you have to do is a thorough cleanup to get rid of the threat. Here are some tips on how to clean up hantavirus and other types of harmful germs they may have left behind.
Tip #1 – Protect Yourself
Never kid yourself about the invisible dangers of rat feces and urine. Even though a surface may appear to be untarnished, mouse infestation cleanup is a tricky business. Never try to clean anything with your bare hands. Instead, always wear latex or rubber gloves while cleaning. This practice will keep you from touching any contaminated surfaces and transferring the germs to another part of your home.
Tip #2 – Think Microscopically
Rodents tend to urinate whenever they are frightened, which means that there may be an invisible stream of urine in many places in your home. Sweeping up the visible residue isn’t enough. To get to the microscopic droppings and urine trails, you’ll need to saturate the infected areas with a disinfecting solution. The CDC recommends a mixture of 1½ cups of bleach to a gallon of water. Thoroughly spray the site and let the solution sit for 10 minutes before cleaning it up again.
Tips #3 – Use Plastic
While you let the solution do its work, scoop up the visible debris and secure it in a double plastic bag (one bag inside the other). Then, make sure you dispose of it outdoors, far away from any access point to your home. Don’t just clean in the areas where you’ve seen the rodents, but assume that they have had free access to your home and clean everywhere, including under appliances and furniture.
Tips #4 – Wipe Down
Use the same solution to wipe down all surfaces in your home, including:
It would be a good idea to have your carpets, drapes, and upholstery professionally cleaned to make sure you have rid yourself of all traces of your unwanted visitors.
Finally, you want to make sure that you disinfect your gloves and anything you were wearing. Wash your hands in good hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds, scrubbing vigorously to ensure that all the germs are loose so that when you rinse, they go safely down the drain and out of your life.