If you have mice as pests in your home, one of the first telltale signs is the discovery of droppings. Mouse droppings look like dark grains of rice from 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, ending in a point on one or both ends, although occasionally, you may see round droppings. When fresh, these pellets have a shiny, putty-like consistency, becoming hard in a few days. A house mouse leaves about 50 to 75 pellets around your home daily. Although much of the musky odour comes from the mouse, removing mouse droppings can also to help remove smells from your home.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Rubber gloves
- 1 1/2 cups household bleach
- 1 gallon water
- Spray bottle
- Damp paper towel
- Sealable plastic bags
Locate droppings near food sources along runways such as walls and anywhere mice will visit including your kitchen cabinets, basement and garage.
Put on rubber gloves, then make a disinfecting solution of 1 1/2 cups of regular household bleach and 1 gallon of water in a bucket.
Pour some of the disinfectant into a spray bottle, then spray the mouse droppings and surrounding area thoroughly until they become wet.
Use a damp paper towel to remove the droppings and put the sprayed droppings, towel and rubber gloves into a sealable plastic bag. Seal the plastic bag, put the bag into a second plastic sealable bag, seal the second bag, and then throw the bag away into the garbage.
Sweep or vacuum the area which held the wet mouse droppings completely and then wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the area.
Tips and warnings
- Do not spray this solution on carpet or fabric. Test a small area to see how it reacts to the bleach solution.
- Prevent mice from entering your home by sealing all cracks and gaps you may find around pipes and vents. Mice only need openings as small as 1/4-inch wide to get in because of their tiny size. Mice can also jump a foot high and run up the side of your house, so ensure you cover all openings -- including on chimneys.
- Keep your home clean and uncluttered to make it difficult for mice to find food and hide.
- Foods can be contaminated with salmonellosis, a bacterial food poisoning from infected mouse droppings. Mouse faeces can also transmit ringworm and some tapeworms to humans.
- Never vacuum or sweep the mouse droppings dry, since the faeces will become airborne, possibly putting viruses into the air.
- Deer mice can carry the hantavirus, a serious, rare disease. These mice can transmit it to humans from their droppings and urine. Flu-like symptoms of hantavirus show up within two weeks after having contact with the droppings or deer mice, which have white bellies, unlike house mice. See your doctor immediately after contact with deer mice or their droppings if you have difficulty breathing, aches, chills and have a fever.
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- University of Nebraska--Lincoln Extension; Controlling House Mice; Stephen Vantassel, et al.; August 2005
- Florida Cooperative Extension Service EDIS; Rat and Mouse Control; P. G. Koehler, et al.; June 2005
- Michigan State University Pesticide Safety Education Program: House Mice
- New York State Department of Health: Mouse Control
- Alberta Health Services: Hantavirus Fact Sheet