Mice may be small, but an infestation of them is a big concern. Mice can damage your home’s structure and leave behind unpleasant odors that are hard to eliminate. Excessive buildup of mouse urine and droppings can be a health hazard.
If you find yourself fighting mouse urine odor in your home, here are a few ideas and tips to remove it for good. There are also ways to prevent mice from returning so you won’t have to deal with this problem in the future.
Before You Start
The first step in getting rid of the mouse urine smell is identifying the source. Mice use urine to mark their territory, so it has a pungent, ammonia-like odor.
If the odor is in the insulation of your home, it can be difficult to eliminate. Mice are burrowing animals. If they are in your walls, you may have to contact an insulation contractor, who will use a disinfecting treatment. This can save you from having to replace the insulation.
The 5 Tips to Get Rid of Mouse Urine Smell
1. Disinfect the Space
Mouse pee needs to be dissolved for the odor to go away. Vinegar is one way to do this. Mix one part water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray surfaces where mice crawl. You can also use vinegar to mop floors and wipe down counters.
The CDC recommends using a mix of one-part bleach and 10-part water to disinfect areas with mouse urine or droppings. Let the solution soak the area for 5 minutes. Then, wipe the area with paper towels and allow it to thoroughly dry.
2. Air Out the Area
Ventilation is vital in removing unwanted odors. Try to get as much as you can moving through the room by creating a cross breeze. At least 30 minutes before you start cleaning, ventilate the area to get the airflow moving.
Use fans and open windows to let the ventilation help you eliminate the odors.
3. Use a Steam Cleaner
If the mouse urine is in your upholstered furniture, you’ll want to use a steam cleaner to not only clean the stains but also disinfect them. Use an enzymatic cleaner that is made to destroy urine odors.
Make sure your furniture is suitable for steam cleaning before you begin. Some fabrics can’t be steam cleaned. You can either use a water- or dry-based cleaning solution, depending on the cleaning methods necessary for your furniture.
Be sure to steam clean all the upholstery and carpeting affected by mouse urine.
4. Freshen Your Fabrics
Steam cleaning is great for furniture, but mouse urine odor can saturate other fabrics even if they haven’t been directly affected by it. Loose fabrics like sheets, curtains, blankets, and other bedding can absorb odors from the air.
Wash all these items in hot water with color-safe bleach to remove any odors and disinfect the fabrics. This will help keep the rooms smelling fresh in combination with the other listed methods.
5. Freshen Your Space
Once the mouse urine odors have been treated, keep your home smelling fresh. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to water in a spray bottle, and spray the solution on your carpets, furniture, and curtains. Add a layer of baking soda to your carpet to naturally absorb and neutralize any remaining odors. Vacuum it up after 30 minutes.
If you can’t use essential oils because you own cats, you can light your favorite candles or use plug-in air fresheners to get your home smelling the way that you want it to again.
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How to Stop Mice From Returning
Once your home is smelling great again, the last thing that you want is to have another mouse infestation. Try these tips to keep the mice from coming back.
Seal up any entry points that mice can use to access your home. Check the foundation for weak spots and holes. Look for any areas that mice can chew through to get into the house.
Clear any clutter around the house, like piles of leaves and firewood. Stacked newspapers and magazines can be shredded into mouse bedding. They also create good hiding places for mice to make their nests in.
Keep all trash and food secured. Mice are attracted to food smells. Keep your home as tidy as you can, and clean up any spills or messes quickly.
A mouse infestation is frustrating to deal with and it can take time before the problem is completely resolved. Once the mouse urine smells are gone, you can go back to enjoying your home.
Be sure to not let your hard work go to waste — take the necessary steps to prevent a mouse infestation from recurring. With time and effort, you can be sure the mice won’t come back to your fresh-smelling house.
Featured Image Credit: Vladimir Turkenich, Shutterstock