I had a mouse infestation a while ago - they were coming in from dryer and exhaust vents too close to the ground. I trapped the mice and fixed the vent/exhaust situation to prevent more from entering.

Fortunately, the infestation was in the basement and seemed to be almost entirely in the unfinished utility room.

While inspecting my HVAC ducts recently, I discovered a ton of mouse droppings on the top of the drywall ceiling in the finished basement.

I know that droppings should not be vacuumed and that a bleach solution should be used to wet them and gather them, but I barely have access to see above the ceiling drywall from the utility room, and certainly can't reach back there to wipe it all up.

How can I effectively clean up the droppings in these hard to reach places?

I was thinking about using a vacuum with extensions, but understand that you're not supposed to vacuum mice droppings.

1 Answer 1


According to http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/ and http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/technical/hps/faq.html hantavirus stays infectious for only a few days.

Let the droppings sit for a while (and thoroughly dry out), then vacuum them.

  • Thanks. I'm wondering if I shouldn't spray them lightly with a bleach/water solution, let that thoroughly dry out, and then vacuum? Since it's recommended to bleach them and then sweep them up when you do have easy access, this seems like it might make sense, and I can't imagine that a light mist on the top of the drywall will damage it.
    – Tom
    Jan 23, 2015 at 15:19
  • I don't think it would do anything. Even ignoring that the virus is already dead, the bleach would only kill what it could reach - a light mist would only reach a tiny bit of the droppings. They say to spray it to keep the dust down, not to kill the virus. I would just vacuum them and be done. If you are really worried put a HEPA filter on the exhaust of your vacuum. But viruses are quite fragile, they are dead, you don't need to worry.
    – Ariel
    Jan 23, 2015 at 19:14

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