It’s a terrible mistake to sweep or vacuum mouse droppings.
Droppings comprise the rodent’s urine, feces, and nesting material. Vacuuming them will break down these elements, releasing viruses like hantavirus and arenavirus into the air. Moreover, inhaling such air will cause sickness and respiratory illness.
Here’s what you should do instead:
Continue reading for a detailed guide on what to do if I accidentally vacuum mouse droppings.
👨⚕️What Happens if You Accidentally Vacuum Mouse Droppings?
Besides damaging your house, rats, mice, and wild rodents can cause more than 35 deadly diseases, including HPS, Weil’s disease, Salmonellosis, and rabies. These diseases spread through contact with the rodent’s saliva, urine, or poop via physical touch, air, or food contamination.
Vacuuming mouse droppings can accidentally lead to the virus spreading in the air, infecting your vacuum cleaner.
🤒Is It Ok to Vacuum up Mouse Droppings, or Will You Get Sick?
If the rat was a virus carrier, you might fall sick from vacuuming mouse droppings.
The droppings will contaminate the vacuum cleaner, forcing virus particles into the air. As a result, anyone breathing the same air can get infected with the virus.
If you see too many mice droppings, it’s better to get an exterminator.
Risk of contracting Hantavirus disease: It’s very rare
Eight hundred thirty-three cases of hantavirus disease were reported by laboratory experts in the United States at the end of 2020 in a survey that the authorities initiated in the year 1993.
Out of the total count, 807 cases were of HPS, and the remaining 26 were non-pulmonary hantavirus infections. In addition, 38% of the patients were women, while 62% were men.
The risk of getting infected by the virus is lower, even for people constantly under mice or rodent exposure.
Note that 70% of infections occur at home. It is because the infected person gets exposed to this virus while cleaning areas frequently get infested by rodents.
Also Read: Do Spiders Survive Being Vacuumed?
👨🏫What to Do if You Breathe in Mouse Droppings?
If you’ve breathed in rat droppings, firstly, stop panicking. Trust me; a panic attack will make it worse.
It raises your blood pressure or blood circulation, thereby contracting the virus into your bloodstream.
Below are further steps you should follow:
If you notice any of the following symptoms after cleaning a rat-infested area, you might be contracted Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). In such a case, contact the medical expert ASAP.
Remember, it can even take you 4 weeks to see severe symptoms of the infection. But you shouldn’t wait that long as it will only worsen the situation.
A wiser step would be to seek medical assistance as soon as you notice flu-like symptoms after exposure to rodent droppings.
Doctors will help you with oxygen therapy so that you can breathe properly. In addition, they will provide intensive care and treatment to prevent the spread of the virus in your body.
Also Read: Do Ants Die When Vacuumed Up?
👩🏫What to Do if I Accidentally Vacuumed Mouse Droppings? (Step-Wise Guide)
After seeking medical help, disinfect the vacuum cleaner so you can use it again after 2 to 3 days.
The steps are:
Also Read: How To Vacuum Fleas
🧼How To Clean Mouse Droppings From Carpet: Step-By-Step
After you’ve received medical attention and disinfected the vacuum cleaner, the next step is to clean the rat droppings area. If that’s your favorite carpet, follow the steps mentioned below:
📝Materials You Need
😒Precautions to Take Before Cleaning
You must keep a note of these points before you start cleaning mice droppings:
🐭Steps To Clean Mouse Droppings
Keeping the precaution notes in mind, I hope you are ready with your cleaning equipment mentioned above. Let’s start with the steps!
Even if there are dead mice or rodents anywhere in your house, the cleaning tips remain the same.
Also Read: Remove Ash Stains From Carpet
To prevent the Hantavirus infection and the hassle of cleaning mice droppings, you need to control the rodent infestation in your house.
These tips will help:
🤔How to Recognize Mouse Droppings?
Apart from your carpet, you can find mouse droppings in your clothes and cupboards. They’re 3-6 mm long, smaller than a rice grain, and slightly curved in shape.
The color is black, and you will always find them scattered in mice nests. Once you recognize them, it’s important to clean them appropriately.
Here is how:
👕How to Clean Mouse Droppings From Clothes?
You know that wearing protective gloves is mandatory before cleaning mouse droppings from anywhere.
💩How to Clean Mouse Droppings From the Cupboard?
Rodents and mice can always find a way to your cupboards to find food and warmth.
Also Read: 3 Ways To Dump Mop Water
🙋♂️I Accidentally Vacuumed Mouse Droppings FAQs
How long does hantavirus live in mouse droppings indoors?
The lifespan of hantaviruses varies according to the environment and temperature. They might continue infecting people for 2 to 3 days at room temperature.
Exposing the virus to sunlight will reduce its lifespan, whereas the viruses can thrive in cold temperatures.
What happens if you step on mouse droppings?
Stepping on mouse dropping can cause two probable infections:
Leptospirosis (Blood infection): Apart from food contact, it is caused by coming in dermal contact with rodent urine through skin cuts.
Ringworm: It is caused by a skin fungus acquired by mice. One can acquire ringworm from a cat passed on with the same fungus by a rat.
Are old mouse droppings dangerous?
Yes, dried feces, nesting material, or a dead rodent is not safe.
Once mouse or rodent droppings dry, they diffuse hazardous viruses into the air. Inhaling the same air might transmit diseases like Hantavirus.
What looks like mouse poop but isn’t?
Cockroach poop often resembles mouse poop. To differentiate between the two, observe the endpoints of the droppings. Mouse droppings have pointed ends, whereas cockroach droppings have blunt ends.
What happens if I touch mouse poop with bare hands?
Never touch mouse poop with bare hands, or you will expose yourself to diseases such as Hantavirus, Arenavirus, and Leptospirosis.
Medha is a cleanliness freak who believes having adequate health and hygiene are the primary essentials of every individual’s life. At Clean Homies, Medha is a contributing writer who shares well-researched information on maintaining hygiene at home for a healthy life.