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How to Get Rid of Mouse Smells (in 4 Easy Steps)

mouse up close

Here’s a subject that isn’t for the squeamish. Unfortunately, pests are a fact of life! Your home doesn’t have to be unclean to have mice. If you’ve ever lived next to a freshly excavated construction site, all kinds of displaced flora and fauna will try and make your home theirs.

The thought of rodents in your home is bad enough, not to mention the health risks and odors. It doesn’t matter what kind of smell a mouse leaves in your home—none of them are good, to say the least. Ranging from vile to wretched, mouse odors range from musk to droppings or even worse: dead mouse carcasses.

Finding dead mice around the house can be almost traumatizing for some, so, make sure you get somebody with a strong stomach to help you if you can’t handle it. We’re going to walk you through how to get that awful smell out ASAP, but first:

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Before You Start

If you come across a mouse carcass, never (EVER) touch it with your bare hands, and be sure to keep pets and especially children well away. The germs and diseases that could potentially be present can potentially cause real harm.

1. Locate the Source of the Smell

mouse inside the cupboard
Image By: Landshark1, Shutterstock

If a mouse dies and is allowed to decompose, the smell is absolutely unbearable, so you’ll likely already have a decent general idea. Mice tend to stick to cabinets, pantries, underneath and behind appliances, and in any enclosed space they can wriggle into, which includes walls. If it’s in an air duct, you’ll need to call a contractor in to help you.

Unfortunately, they sometimes get into the wall, and you may need to remove a piece to get in there. If the smell is coming from feces, you will likely find the seedlike droppings in any of the places described above.

2. Dispose of Any Odor Sources

person disposing garbage
Image Credit: lovelyday12, Shutterstock

If the odor is being caused by a mouse that is decomposing, then you’ll want to put some rubber gloves on. Even an N95 or a respirator mask and safety glasses wouldn’t be a bad idea if they are available. Some people might think it’s overkill, but when it comes to germs, you never know.

Our logic says it’s better safe than sorry. You should also wear clothes that you can throw away immediately—using 2 garbage bags. When this is all over, you’ll probably want to take a long shower and never speak of this day, to anybody, ever again.

It’s ok, we get it, and we’re here for you.

You’ll need to put the body in at least 2 heavy-duty freezer-style plastic bags. Consult your local animal control to find out exactly how they want you to dispose of pests in your area. Now, it’s time for cleaning.

Consult a PEST-CONTROL expert

Find a pest-control specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.

3. Cleaning Methods for Getting Rid of Mouse Smell

cleaning the floor
Image Credit: Andrew Angelov, Shutterstock

It’s time to clean, disinfect, and otherwise de-mouse this house. Bleach is your friend. Use a solution that is 10% bleach and 90% water and spray it anywhere that was infected.

If the mouse has infected upholstery or carpet, it will need to be steam-cleaned thoroughly and with special disinfecting cleaners. Many people will opt to replace any linens or fabrics that have been in contact with a dead mouse.

Now, use paper towels and get rid of all markings, feces, and dirty paper towels in multiple garbage bags. You’re going to want to repeat the spraying and wiping several times, changing paper towels.

Once this is all done, throw out your clothes, gloves—everything and then go and take that shower we talked about. In all seriousness, it’s important to make sure you do a very good job cleaning up after this clean-up. At this point, you should do a nice clean-up around the whole house—just to refresh the space.

4. Air Out the Home

window stool
Image Credit: evasaves1, Shutterstock

The last thing to do is to open up as many windows and doors as possible and switch on some fans. You’ll want to air it out at least an hour or two, and really let all of that bleach and cleaner smell dissipate. At this phase, it’s not necessarily a bad idea to light up some incense, scented candles, smudge, or whatever you have at hand.

When you’ve got mice in the house, and the smell has caused a disruption to your life, there’s no doubt that it is a violation. It’s almost like you need to regain trust in your space, so make sure you do what you need to do to reclaim your home.

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Signs of Mice in the House

If you suspect that you might have some intrusive rodents in the house you’ll want to look for nibble marks on things like bread and other food items in and around the cupboards. You’ll also see small kernels which resemble apple seeds—that is mouse feces, and a sure sign of infestation.

The musky odor that this article aims to help remove is another telltale sign. If you hear scratching noises and find nests, then you know you’ve got a problem.

Mouse eating a grape
Image Credit: Jarle Eknes, Pixabay

How to Get Rid of Mice

If you should be unfortunate enough to discover mice in the home, then there are a number of options available to you. Cats are great for keeping mice at bay, but that isn’t an option for everybody. You could try natural mice repellent, getting rid of ALL food sources, and using live traps.

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There is something repulsive about having your home invaded and violated by these tiny pests, and it certainly doesn’t help when they cause a terrible odor. Thankfully, there are steps to take to both get rid of the mice and the smell itself and take your home back.

Featured Image Credit: MainelyPhotos, Shutterstock


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