How to safely clean up rat droppings

Written by brittany tucker
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How to safely clean up rat droppings
Dispose of the rodent droppings by placing them in a sturdy garbage bag and then tightly securing it. (garbage image by Mat Hayward from

Rat droppings can pose a serious health hazard. If the droppings aren't removed from your property in the correct manner, you could contract a wide variety of diseases or infections, such as hantavirus, as a result. According to the University of Texas at Austin, hantavirus is a virus capable of causing an acute illness followed by rapidly developing respiratory failure. Consider wearing protective clothing or gear, such as coveralls or safety goggles, before cleaning or removing rat droppings from an area.

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Things you need

  • Sanitary gloves
  • Disinfectant solution
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Mop
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer

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  1. 1

    Place sanitary gloves on your hands. The University of Texas at Austin recommends using elbow-length rubber or vinyl gloves.

  2. 2

    Spray the rodent droppings with a disinfectant solution or 10-percent solution of chlorine bleach until the faeces are thoroughly soaked. According to the Utah State University Cooperative Extension, you can make a 10-percent chlorine solution by mixing 1 1/2 cups of chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water.

  3. 3

    Pick the rat droppings from the floor with a paper towel.

  4. 4

    Place the paper towel containing the rodent droppings in a secure garbage bag.

  5. 5

    Wipe or mop the area where the rat droppings were found with the 10-percent solution of chlorine bleach. Cleaning the area where the droppings were found will disinfect the area and prevent harmful germs or diseases from spreading.

  6. 6

    Remove the sanitary gloves and dispose of them properly.

  7. 7

    Wash your hands and either disinfect or dispose of all items, such as the mop or any personal clothing items, that came into contact with the rat droppings. Clean all shoes or clothing items that came into contact with the rodent faeces by running them through a washing machine and dryer. Hand wash the material if it's not machine washable. Soak the mop in the disinfectant solution and rinse it with hot water.

Tips and warnings

  • If the rat droppings are located in a closed shed or building, be sure to properly ventilate the room or area before removing the rat droppings. The Utah State University Cooperative Extension recommends letting the room air out for 30 minutes before you begin cleaning as a safety precaution.
  • Never sweep, vacuum or otherwise remove rat droppings from an area until the faeces has been properly disinfected or you could suffer serious health risks as a result.

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