How To Remove Mouse Urine Smell (Step-by-Step Guide)
So, you had mice, but you got rid of them. And maybe you got a cat to help keep them away. But what about that horrid smell that is left behind? The strong scent of urine in the carpet and wood floors just will not go away.
The most common choice for cleaning the urine smell from floors is bleach mixed with water. You may also be able to use vinegar and water if the urine is on surfaces where bleach cannot be used. There are many things on the market made for this job too.
Make Sure They Are Gone
First of all, make sure you got rid of all of the mice first. But how can you figure out if you got them all? There are several ways to determine if there are still a few pests hanging around.
- If you see droppings or bedding
- You can hear them scratching around in the walls or drawers
- Finding small holes in any bags of flour, sugar, or other food
- The cat or dog is staring at the wall or basement door
- The smell is getting worse
There are a few ways to check to see if they are gone. These are easy and effective and will not harm the mouse. In fact, they even make humane mouse traps now, so you do not have to kill them to catch them. Here are a few tricks to try:
The Cookie Test
If you believe there are still mice around, try leaving them a treat. Just leave a cookie or cracker sitting out where they can find it overnight. If you wake up and it is chewed on, you still have mice. If it is gone, you may have something bigger than mice. Like a rat. If you have pets, make sure you do not put it where they can get to it.
The Powder Test
Sprinkle powder on the floor near the walls in the kitchen and bathroom. Leave it out overnight. If you can see tiny footprints in the powder, you know there is still at least one mouse in the house. Once again, if you have any pets, make sure they cannot get to that area.
Humane Mouse Traps
The humane mouse traps are easy to use and you do not have to worry about getting your finger snapped off when setting it. They look like one of those Habitrail hamster tubes. Just put some food at one end and set the trap down.
When the mouse gets to the back of the tube where the food is, the door shuts and they are trapped inside. Then you just have to take them somewhere and let them go. Far away from your home, preferably.
Preventing them From Getting Back Inside
Once you are totally positive that all the mice are gone, it is time to figure out how they are getting in and fix the problems. Seal any small cracks in windows and doors.
Do not forget to check where any pipes and vents enter the house. If your drainage pipes are not sealed properly, they can come up through the bathtub and sink drains. Take a look in the attic and basement to see if there are any holes or cracks to fix. Make sure your garage door is sealed all the way around.
Now Clean Up the Mess
Okay, now you can start cleaning up the mess the mice left behind. Before you get started though, put on some disposable gloves and a mask. Mice carry several diseases like the hantavirus, salmonella, leptospirosis, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis, so you do not want to expose yourself to any of that.
Step One: Prepare the Solution
Mix 1.5 cups of bleach to a gallon of water. The ratio is 1:9. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. For areas that cannot be treated with bleach, use equal amounts of white vinegar and water mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda.
Step Two: Spray and Soak
Spray every area where there are signs of mouse urine or feces. Do this before scooping any feces up because breathing in the dust from the feces is what can cause the Hantavirus. Leave the spray on for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step Three: Scoop it Up and Dump it
After everything has soaked for 10 to 15 minutes, scoop up the feces and other droppings and put it all in a plastic bag. Seal it up and put it inside another bag before getting rid of it in an outside trash can.
Tip: Spray your gloves with the disinfectant solution every once in a while, to prevent from contaminating anything else.
Step Four: Deep Cleaning
Use a mop soaked in the disinfectant solution to clean the floors in every room where you have seen any mouse droppings or just seen them running around in. It is actually a good idea to clean all the floors with disinfectant just to be on the safe side.
Step Five: Cleaning the Carpets
Anything that cannot be mopped such as blankets, sheets, pillowcases, towels, and throw rugs should be washed in hot water. Use a steam carpet cleaner with an antibacterial cleaner to clean any carpeting and furniture you have. Other things that cannot be cleaned like books and documents should be bagged and left for 30 days before removing.
Step Six: Check the Vents
Be sure to check the air vents and air ducts for signs of infestation. If you suspect that they have been inside the HVAC system, call a professional to clean the ducts. Also, check the garage and attic.
Step Seven: Get Rid of the Gloves
Turn your gloves inside out as you remove them and place them into a plastic bag to be thrown away with the other trash. If your mask cannot be disinfected or washed in hot water, throw that out too.
Get Rid of Clutter
Put on some new disposable gloves and a clean mask. Get rid of any old boxes and other cardboard, books and magazines, and old clothing that you do not need. Do not keep anything you do not really need because the more clutter you have around, the more places mice and other pests have to hide. This includes the attic and garage.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Mouse Infestation Damage?
Surprisingly, the answer to this is most often going to be yes. While most other pests like roaches, termites, or bedbugs are not covered, mice and other rodents are covered. That is because they carry so many diseases and are so commonly found in homes all over the United States.In fact, more than 21 million homes in the United States have been infested by mice or other rodents. Also, mice and other rodents are the cause of up to a quarter of all house fires in the United States. However, you have to check your policy and the technical talk. It may say that it will not cover gradual damage but will cover anything sudden or unexpected.
How Can I Keep Them Out?
Keeping up with your house maintenance is the easiest way to prevent further infestations of anything, including mice. Keep your lawn mowed, trash picked up, and make sure you plug up any holes or cracks you see right away.Keep everything sealed up so they cannot get in. And check the outside of your home regularly. You can also put those one-way valves in your toilets to prevent mice and rats from coming in that way. Don’t leave any food out and always make sure any leaks are fixed immediately.
Should I Just Call a Professional?
If you have a heavy infestation or if you or someone in your family has a compromised immune system, it is best to hire a professional. Take the kids and pets and go visit family for a day or two while a licensed professional pest company cleans up your home.It may cost you quite a bit more than doing it yourself, but it will save you the trouble and prevent anyone in your family from getting sick. A professional can also seal up any spots where the mice are getting in and spray for mice and other pests while they are at it. You will probably get a warranty too.
I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.
More by Patricia Oelze