Is it possible, how can you get sick from cleaning mouse droppings? Well, available facts indicate at least 36 cases of persons who fell ill from mouse droppings in Manitoba, western Canada. That alone should underscore the importance of not only cleaning homes but how to safely clean mouse droppings. Having a neat home is a must to enjoy a healthy living. But not taking precautions with dealing with mouse droppings can endanger your life.
What Does Mouse Droppings Look Like?
A mouse dropping can measure about 3 to 6 mm in length or about 3/16 to ¼ inches long. Mouse poop is usually thick in the middle and tiny at the ends, unlike Norway or roof rats. The mouse dropping shares some similarities with rick grains except that they are smaller. The colour is mostly dark brown to gray. The poop becomes grayish as it gets older. Once you notice pink, green or blue mouse droppings then know they have eaten coloured rodenticide baits.
You will find mouse poops in small volumes scattered around. A mouse can release between 50 and 75 pellets of poops daily and over 25,000 annually and will not decay for years. Fresh poops always look glittery, wet and appear as shiny black.
Sicknesses Caused By Cleaning Mouse Droppings
Hantavirus is a deadly virus carried from rodents to humans. They usually spread the virus through mouse droppings and urine across the Americas to include Canada. The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is one of the major carriers of the virus. However, other house mice do spread the HPS (Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome). Deer mouse, however, is predominant in southern Manitoba. From the survey, at least one of ten mice in Manitoba, Canada has been infected with Hantavirus.
How People Get Exposed to Hantavirus
Humans can contract the virus when they inhale dust infested with mice feces or urine. So in the process of cleaning, you raise dust and this dust could be infected already with the virus.
From touching Hantavirus infected surfaces or materials and then rubbing your eyes or open sore.
It is possible for an infected mouse to bite a person and then transfer the HPS virus directly to the person.
When you eat food containing mice feces, urine and saliva then you become prone to the HPS virus you are likely to get sick.
Symptoms Related to Hantavirus
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
Note: It might take from 3 days to 6 weeks from the time of exposure to manifest the symptoms of Hantavirus (HPS).
Besides the Hantavirus, other likely ailments attributable to mice include salmonellosis, typhoid fever, listeria, etc.
How You Can Get Sick from Cleaning Mouse Droppings
Cleaning abandoned buildings
Buildings under lock for a long time have the potentials to cause one to fall ill from mouse droppings. Because the mouse lives in dark and warm locations, locked up buildings usually have little interference. And that creates a safe-haven to breed and live especially during the winter season. They can live inside the shed, cabins, garages, barns, storage facilities and more.
For those residing in rural areas mouse usually look out for holes in the soil or underneath shrubs to find shelter. They scout for food around the roots of plants. As a mouse feed, they could leave droppings and urine on the soil or around the plant. Also, hunters, ranchers are at risk of contracting the HPS. Any contact with mice waste can make you sick.
Those working in construction companies, fire service and more can get sick from mouse droppings. This can happen when they work in crawl space, old or rundown buildings, attic or basements of homes.
Campgrounds and hiking locations could become likely areas to make contact with mouse waste. Trail shelters, seats, cabin, plants and more could be rodent habitats, harbouring mouse droppings or urine. And contacts could cause one to fall sick on contact or after cleaning.
General Home Cleaning
It is rare to see a home that has not experienced a mouse problem before or still experiencing one. Mouse droppings and urine could be on surfaces, exposed raw or cooked food, and other locations. And one could consume or come in contact with mouse waste when cleaning the home resulting in falling ill.
How to Go About Cleaning Mouse Droppings Safely
- If you notice mouse infestation quickly open windows and doors for at least 30 minutes for proper ventilation to occur.
- Avoid staying within closed doors infested areas.
- Do not vacuum or sweep mouse droppings to prevent droppings from becoming airborne.
- Put on protective gears (non-absorbent hand glove, certified nose mask of P100 filter cartridge) before attempting to clean out mouse droppings.
- Pour a reasonable quantity of disinfectant (commercial grade) on the suspected areas where mouse dropping is.
- Make use of paper towels to clean out areas where mouse droppings and other nesting materials are.
- Place the used paper towels in a plastic bag, seal properly in a container and take it out for garbage collectors.
- Immediately do away with the towels and gloves and disinfect any other material used for the exercise.
- Wash your hands and clothes with a mild disinfectant, soap, and water.
- For cleaning attic it might require total attic restoration to clean out mouse infestation.
- You could also install new insulation systems to protect your health and retain the value of the property. Any report of mouse activity during a home inspection by state officials can devalue your property.
- Take preventive measures to reduce mouse activities in the home. The measures include regular cleaning, emptying of trash, using pesticides, mouse traps, natural remedies, seal off open window lids, cracks, and crevices, leaking pipes, etc.
Cleaning mouse droppings could put one’s life at risk if not handled with caution. The reason being that mice leave their droppings everywhere as they move around. Findings indicate there have been cases of illness due to mouse droppings in Canada and other parts of the world. And these cases occurred with persons who reportedly did not see mouse droppings before they became sick. Also, from available research, some of those who contracted HPS had long duration contact with a mouse or their droppings. Call our mice extermination services in Toronto for mouse droppings cleanup:
The more mice infestation you have in your home the higher the chance you can get sick from cleaning mouse droppings. Therefore, the best solution for dealing with mouse involves getting help from a professional Pest Control Toronto Company. With the early stages of a mouse infestation, it could be manageable using live or electronic traps. But it pays to start early with control measure and in spotting the entrance or eliminating mouse from the home.