How Do I Clean My Attic After a Mouse or Rat Infestation?

If you are like over 20 million homeowners and renters in the United States during the past year, you may have had a problem with a mouse or rat infestation in your residence. If you were fortunate, you were able to eradicate the rodent infestation in a fairly short period of time. You now are faced with the aftermath of a rodent problem in your home, which could have included a mouse or rat infestation in your attic. You may now wonder what you need to do to clean up your attic following a mouse or rat infestation.

Safety Is Job Number One: Protecting Your Health When Cleaning up a Rodent Infestation in Your Attic

You must take care not to minimize the health risk that can be presented when cleaning up the waste left in an attic following a rodent infestation. The reality is that rodent droppings, dried urine, rodent nests, and rodent cadavers can contain dangerous pathogens. Dangerous pathogens include viruses and bacteria that have the potential for causing serious illness and even death in humans.

Researchers suggest that over 200 different pathogens can be carried by rodents, their droppings, and dried urine. Some of these pathogens are commonplace, like salmonella. Others are extremely dangerous and potentially deadly, like the hantavirus. A dangerous pathogen like hantavirus can become airborne when rodent droppings dry out. Dried rodent droppings crumble easily and can result in hantavirus becoming airborne. Thus, a person can become infected with that virus by breathing in contaminated rodent dropping dust.

Due to the health risks associated with cleaning up an attic following a rodent infestation, you need to make sure everyone involved in the cleanup process wears appropriate personal protective equipment, or PPE. This needs to be PPE designed specifically for people involved in cleaning up a biohazard. The PPE must include:

  • Respirator or HEPA mask
  • Gloves
  • Smock or uniform
  • Protective eyewear

What Needs to Be Cleaned up After an Attic Rodent Infestation

There are some specific types of waste that a homeowner needs to ensure are cleaned up following a mouse or rat infestation in an attic. These are:

  • Rodent droppings
  • Dried rodent urine
  • Rodent nests
  • Rodent cadavers

The Three Phases of Attic Rodent Infestation Cleanup

There are three essential phases associated with attic rodent infestation cleanup. These are:

  • Removal of waste materials and cleaning of contaminated areas
  • Sanitization of contaminated areas
  • Deodorization of attic and other areas in the residence as necessary

Before contaminated insulations is removed, before rodent droppings and nests are removed, care must be taken to protect against feces becoming airborne. Thus, before an attempt to remove these items is taken, the droppings need to dampened using a sanitizing solution. You can purchase an appropriate sanitizing solution from a retailer like Home Depot or Lowes. You can also make your own sanitization solution. A suitable homemade solution should consist of 1-part chlorine bleach to 9- parts water.

Once the sanitization solution is purchased or prepared, you can place it into a spray bottle. The solution can then be sprayed on areas contaminated with rodent droppings. Allow the sprayed areas 20 minutes to soak before the removal and cleaning process commences.

This process is a step towards killing dangerous pathogens. It also dampens droppings and other waste material, preventing them from becoming airborne during the cleaning process.

At this time, you can then remove droppings and other waste. You need to make certain that this waste is placed in a highly durable garbage bag. You need to confirm that this type of waste can be disposed through the normal community garbage system.

Because your attic likely has insulation, that material can provide special issues when cleaning up following a rodent infestation. If insulation has been contaminated by rat droppings or urine, the only cleanup option may be to remove the contaminated areas and properly dispose of it.

Once the removal and initial cleaning phase completes, you then must thoroughly sanitize any areas that were contaminated by rodent droppings in the attic. You can use the same sanitizing formulation you purchased or prepared as part of the initial phase of the attic rodent aftermath remediation.

Finally, strong odds exist that the rodent infestation that impacted your attic resulted in a foul odor lingering in your residence. The stench can arise from urine and rodent cadavers as well as droppings to a lesser degree.

The Benefits of Hiring an Attic Rodent Infestation Cleanup Professional

Due to the various challenges associated with attic rodent infestation cleanup, you need to give serious consideration to engaging the services of a professional. An experienced attic rodent infestation cleanup professional is in the surest position of thoroughly and safely cleaning up the aftermath of a mouse or rat problem. By hiring a professional, you ensure that your residence will be fully restored to a livable condition following a mouse or rat infestation.