Your How-to Guide for Disinfecting After Rat Removal
The scary truth is, rodent infestation can happen anywhere, even in the tidiest home. Those of us who can stand to put up with a little mess here and there would all agree that a rat spotted in the house would be cause for alarm. And if you’re a neat-freak, you probably couldn’t eat or sleep if you had a rodent spreading bacteria and wreaking havoc in your home!
If you have been through the harrowing ordeal of- a) discovering that your home is infested with rats, then b) working like a maniac until your house is rid of them- then you know it’s not over until every last shred of evidence that the vermin ever existed are gone from your home!
Sure, the hard part is trapping and removing those filthy, squatting rats. But just because they’re out of the house, it doesn’t mean that the job is done. You’ve got to follow through with a thorough disinfecting and deep cleaning to make the rodent removal permanent and prevent future infestation.
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed clean-freak or not, disinfecting after rat removal will bring you peace of mind and restore your home to safety. Ready to learn all the steps and tips for how to do a thorough disinfecting and deep clean in your space? Put on some rubber gloves and prepare to get started!
1. Wear Protective Gear
Photo courtesy of CleanLink.
This may sound like common sense, but never attempt try to clean areas where mice or rats have been present with your bare hands! To the naked eye, some of the space might seem pretty clean, but it definitely isn’t.
Rat urine and droppings can carry highly infectious diseases. The bacteria and germs that they leave behind can be spread in multiple ways. For example, rats may have walked through urine-stained areas, and then tracked germs all around on the bottom of their grimy feet.
Bacteria can also be spread through rat and mouse droppings, and In some cases the bacteria can even become airborne!
Before you jump into your disinfecting project, make an inventory of the following protective items: a pair of latex, vinyl or rubber gloves, protective work goggles, and a mask. This list covers the bare minimum. Professional rodent removal specialists wear protective suits that cover them head to toe while disinfecting previously infested areas.
Tip: While you work, try spraying your gloves with disinfectant before handling clean surfaces like doorknobs. Doing this will help you avoid contaminating other surfaces!
2. Soak the Area with Disinfectant
After rats are gone, their urine and droppings should quickly dry out. However, simply removing them doesn’t kill all the germs in the area.
Whether you plan to use a broom, dust mop, vacuum cleaner, (or all three!) you need to rethink your strategy. Scooping or sucking up of the rat poop will only get what’s visible. But in doing so, you will also accidentally release and spread microscopic bacteria and germs into the air- posing a risk of inhalation. Yikes!
Photo courtesy of wikihow.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests you try this instead: soak rat nests, rat droppings, and any zones where rats have traveled with a strong disinfectant fluid that will kill germs on contact.
What type of disinfectant works best? You can try following a CDC recommended recipe: using a mixture of one-and-a-half cups of bleach to a gallon of water (a 1 to 9 ratio). An over-the-counter disinfectant is also a viable option, (check to see that it clearly states disinfectant on the label).
Photo courtesy of wikihow.
The key thing is the application. Be sure spray and soak the tainted areas thoroughly, and leave the bleach or disinfectant solution in place for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Be Thorough and Bag it Up
After you’ve soaked your infested area with a strong disinfectant, you can gather up big debris by scoop them up and depositing them into a plastic bag.
Rodents are crafty creatures. As you search for debris, be careful and thorough. If they made their way into your kitchen, don’t just pick up areas where you see signs that they’ve been present. Odds are they’ve probably been in your pantry and climbing into your cupboards too!
Clean any and all areas where you suspect they’ve been active. This includes checking all major furniture and appliances.
Once all the rat poop, nesting material, and other hazards have been collected, double bag the trash, one bag inside the other, and tie them both tightly. The bags should be outdoors immediately, and be picked up as soon after cleaning as possible.
4. Go for Disposable
After you toss loose items that are easy to get, like mouse nests, you’re ready to tackle all your surfaces. You’ll want to wipe down cabinet shelves, countertops and any other surfaces with your disinfectant solution.
After you treated the affected areas, mopping the floors is a good idea too. Because of the highly infectious bacteria, don’t use your normal household cleaning items- they’ll get ruined! Instead, invest in a disposable mop, sponges and towels (after all, it’ll have remnants of mouse droppings and or rat urine on it!). That way you can just throw it all out after you clean up.
5. Steam Clean
Some materials are will be trickier to disinfect than others, like carpet for example. Who knows how many tiny, disgusting mouse droppings might have been ground into the carpet??
To disinfect carpets, upholstery and area rugs, shampoo or steam clean them. The heat and disinfectant solution together will kill any lingering bacteria.
6. Keeping Things Clean
Giving things a deep disinfecting after rodent removal is key to preventing future infestations. But a one-time cleaning isn’t going to cut it. Months from now, dust and allergens will have found their way into the space. A leak may have formed, in the attic or basement. If you aren’t careful and attentive, conditions may worsen and your space may be vulnerable to rats and mice once again.
Never again! you say? Then get on a cleaning schedule! Attics especially go neglected. Protect your family and your home from future infestation by scheduling a deep attic cleaning at least every other year.
Guarantee that it’s Done Right
Successfully disinfecting after rodent removal is a key part of keeping rodents out for good! You don’t want to be left wondering if you’ve done a good enough job. There’s just too much at stake- the health of your family, and the safety of your home, to name a few things.
When it comes to home improvement, plumbing is best left to plumbers, and wiring is best left to electricians. When you want the peace of mind and the guarantee that it’s done right, disinfecting after rat or mouse removal is best left to the experts.
Realistically, even with the best intentions and carefully laid plans, DIY projects can have their issues. You can avoid frustration, and wasting time and money and get the job done right the first time by hiring professionals.
After all, the disinfecting clean up process can take hours and hours depending the size of space that was affected. Can’t you think of better way you’d rather spend your time??
The team at Green Rat Control have been providing high quality disinfecting and rodent removal services for years. Go for full service- professional grade cleaning, and deodorizing to get rid of any lingering foul odors. You can feel safe and secure in your own home again after a job well done.
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