Homeowners in Victoria, Cowichan, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, and Port Alberni Home are particularly prone to repeated rat infestations due to their proximity to warmth and moisture, which leave behind bacteria ridden rat poop (feces). Not every pest control company is thorough in their elimination and decontamination techniques etc.

Rats are a disease-carrying rodent, and the cleanup after a rodent infestation is vitally important. There are 4 reasons that I think it is a very important part of the process.

The smell can be overwhelming

Rats can carry diseases such as: Hantavirus, Bubonic plague, Salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever.

The presence of rats and the scent of their droppings and remains can attract other animals

They can chew away at wood and drywall and even cause mold.

As soon as I effectively rid the property of the rodents, I would seal every place that could act as an entry way, and then I would begin the extensive cleaning process.

The first step that I would conquer would be to vacuum. Rat feces that are left behind on flatter surfaces can easily be sucked up by an industrial-sized vacuum. But a regular vacuum cleaner would suffice to clean up on things such as insulation. Remember to wear protective gear.

The second step is to rip out and replace the insulation. Rodents love to get into the fiberglass insulation and urinate and poop in it. This becomes impossible to clean, so instead of cleaning it, I would completely tear it out and toss it. Then I would replace it with new insulation.

The third step is to use the electric fog. In a perfect world, I would just remove 100% of the droppings and urine and fur, but it’s just not possible to do this perfectly. So an alternative is to use an electric fog machine to clean the areas that I can’t reach manually. Find a company that uses a Health Canada approved, eco-friendly, safe chemical that breaks down organic materials up to 99.99999% – like the urine and droppings from a rodent, and it destroys any smell, along with the disease-carrying bacteria and viruses.

Some other things to keep in mind is simple, but extremely beneficial. Do not inhale the rodent droppings! Especially if the infestation is in the attic. There isn’t a lot of airflow, so it becomes very dangerous. If your infestation is in the attic, there are some necessary steps to take. Usually by the time you discover the infestation in the attic, you’ve already got quite the build-up of droppings. If this is the case, you’re not going to want to pick it up by hand, that would take way too long. In addition, the droppings can carry many viruses, diseases, and pathogens that can be harmful to you.

Hantavirus is a virus that can be life-threatening and you can become infected through inhalation. This virus is dangerous because it mimics symptoms of influenza. Hantavirus has a mortality rate of almost 50%. So be careful, especially when you sweep or vacuum, because the virus can be strewn into the air and you could inhale it. Be sure to wear appropriate eye, nose, and mouth protection. This might seem like overkill, but at the end of the day, wearing some protection beats dying any day. If you can gently hand sweep the most heavily-soiled areas that would be ideal. Any ruined insulation should be stripped out and thrown away. It will be easier than trying to hand-remove the rodent poop from the insulation. Don’t worry about saving anything you tear out- throw it away, this is a safety precaution.

Now, if you’re looking for products to clean up the rodent urine, you should heed this advice. Many people think that bleach is the best cleaning product, and though it is a good product for many things, using it to clean up rodent urine is not the most ideal cleanup product. This is because there is a chemical in urine called ammonia. It’s possible that if you mix this urine-chemical with the bleach, a new compound can be created that is very, very dangerous. This compound is well-known and is referred to as mustard gas. If mustard gas is breathed into the lungs, it can cause painful burns on the lungs which could result in a lot of pain and internal damage. So, in order to abstain from a dramatic injury such as this- use an approved cleaner before you jump right into using bleach. Cleaners that contain enzymes will effectively work to destroy the particles in urine that are harmful.

Once this is done, then you can use bleach. A lot of people try to use dish soap, but this is ineffective because it cannot destroy all of the germs. But, it will work in tandem with the bleach and help it work to a fuller potential. However, it’s important to note that you ought to be careful when cleaning rodent’s droppings. The urine’s harmful diseases can cause things such as leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and other diseases. Don’t forget to always wear gloves and proper eye and face protection!

Read our blog on health risks caused by rodent droppings.

What do you do next? How do you solve the challenge of bacteria left after a rat infestation?

Call Pacific Decontamination Services at 778-269-0208 or email us!

Serving All of Vancouver Island: Victoria, Cowichan, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, and Port Alberni.