Little mice lead to big problems
With the hotter weather, mice populations across the country have grown. Mice lead to three major problems:
- Mice spread diseases, such as hantavirus, through their droppings, urine, and saliva. The hantavirus is airborne—it is transmitted to people when they breathe air contaminated with the virus.
- Food contamination is another threat. Examine your food storage areas and procedures. Ask your kitchen staff to report mice dropping sightings to you immediately.
- Mice also present a fire safety issue when they chew through electrical wiring. If your building (particularly the dining hall) hasn’t been used for a couple months, it’s a good practice to station someone with a fire extinguisher to look and smell for smoke for about half an hour after the power is turned back on.
- When going into cabins or outbuildings that have been closed for awhile, open them up and air them out before cleaning.
- Wear latex rubber gloves before, during, and after clean up.
- Do not stir up dust by sweeping up or vacuuming up droppings, urine, or nesting materials.
- Instead, thoroughly wet contaminated areas with a liquid disinfectant or 10% bleach solution (1-1/2 cups bleach to 1 gallon water) to decontaminate the area.
- Once everything is wet, take up contaminated materials with a damp towel, then mop or sponge the area with disinfectant.
- Spray dead rodents with disinfectant, then double-bag along with all cleaning materials and bury or burn—or throw out in appropriate waste disposal system.
- Finally, disinfect gloves before taking them off. After taking off the clean gloves, thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water.
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