Open Integrated Pest Management Education Resource

Cleaning Up After Rodents

So you found some rodent droppings in your work space... now what? Help improve your work environment and clean them up!


Why?

Pests thrive in the spaces “in between” where people work and spend time like between cubicles, under desks, and in hard to reach corners. It’s in these spaces that food crumbs, dander, and dust collects. This detritus may attract rodents, become contaminated by rodent droppings and urine, and potentially become airborne when disturbed. By following these directions and safely cleaning up these spaces and rodent droppings you can reduce indoor air pollutants and improve rodent management in and around your work space.



How Do You Protect Yourself While You Clean Up Rodent Droppings?


How Do You Protect Yourself While You Clean Up Rodent Droppings?

  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) depending on the level of waste found. At minimum wear:
    • Chemical resistant gloves
    • Goggles
    • Respirator
    • Long sleeves
  • In cases where extra precaution is desired, wear a Tyvek coverall or other disposable full body suit to reduce contamination on your person.

How to Safely Clean Up Rodent Droppings


How to Safely Clean Up Rodent Droppings
  • Wet them with a disinfectant. The CDC recommends a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water solution. SF Environment recommends a hydrogen peroxide solution for reduced odor and respiratory risk. Follow the directions on the disinfectant label and keep the contaminated area slightly damp to prevent particulates from becoming airborne.
  • Gently sweep or wipe up the droppings with paper towels. This includes any contaminated materials including nesting materials (shredded paper, fabric, or insulation).
  • Continually wet the contaminated material so it stays damp as you remove it.

What To Do With the Materials?


What To Do With the Materials?
  • Place used paper towels with droppings, carcasses, or nesting materials, into a heavy duty plastic bag (3 mil) and seal shut.
  • Dispose of disposable gloves, respirators, Tyvek coveralls and any paper towels used for the cleanup.
    • Multi-use PPE should be immediately washed with soapy water and disinfected and left out to dry.
  • Place sealed bags in an exterior waste bin.
References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/
San Francisco Department of the Environment:
http://lacolectivasf.org/sfe_english.pdf