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How to Dispose Dead Mice

Dead mice must be removed from your home to prevent the attraction of insects who feed on the carcass, handling by children or consumption by pets. Avoid direct contact with the dead mouse.

Mice carry ticks and fleas that can also spread disease. Quick action and removal is necessary not only to prevent the transmission of disease, but to avoid the truly horrendous odor of decaying corpses.

Mice are a health hazard so care must be taken when handling them. Once you locate dead mice caught in traps you've set, or those who have been poisoned, take the following steps to insure safe disposal.

Wear gloves to remove any dead critters caught in traps, found near poisoned baits or in walls, and living mice caught in spring-loaded live traps.

Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves when cleaning up dead rodents or nests.

  • Spray the dead rodent or nest and the surrounding area with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water.
  • Soak rodent, nesting materials or droppings in solution for 5 minutes before wiping up with a paper towel or rag.
  • Place the dead rodent or nesting materials in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Place the full bag in a second plastic bag and seal.
  • Throw the bag into a covered trash can that is regularly emptied.

Since most pesticide methods available consist of baits or poisons, care must be exercised when dead mice are discovered. The anticoagulants in rodenticides can kill pets, livestock, or wildlife that may feed on the disposed carcasses, so these must be secured in tightly-sealed bins to prevent the accidental poisoning of these creatures. Anticoagulants are also toxic to humans, so care should be taken to prevent transfer of any poisons via contact when handling dead mice.

Before starting clean up of the space, ventilate the space by opening the doors and windows for at least 30 minutes to allow fresh air to enter the area. Use cross-ventilation and leave the area during the airing-out period.

Dead mice can be safely handled by using an inverted plastic bag a glove on your hand. When you pick up the mouse you can reverse the bag and seal the dead mouse inside or drop it into another bag or container. Dispose of the bag when finished.

Carcasses can also be placed inside coffee cans and sealed with a plastic lid, wrapped in newspaper or placed in empty cardboard milk cartons for disposal in garbage cans or bins with tight-fitting lids. Newspaper-wrapped carcasses can also be buried where they will not be easily dug up by pets or scavengers. Dig the hole at least 12 inches deep.

Clean the areas around where you set your traps with a household cleaner containing bleach, or diluted liquid bleach. Be careful and test for discoloration before you use the bleach. Clean any known trails along walls and in corners. Do the same to areas where you find carcasses. Dispose of bait stations in garbage bins. Remove baits and store multiple-capture live traps in your garage or sealed in plastic bags. Make sure to disabled the spring mechanism on these if stored in the garage or you may soon discover one that got away by the smell of the decaying body. Spray a mist of chlorine bleach onto any droppings that you find and sweep up carefully. Do not vacuum. Droppings may contain pathogens that will go airborne if vacuumed.

Remove gloves, and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water (or use a waterless alcohol-based hand rub when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled).

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Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"

Home Repair
Home Business
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