I recently read an ABC News article titled "Human Infections From Rat Urine on the Rise in New York City."

Naturally, I was feeling two things:

1. Blessed to live in New Hampshire.

2. Immediately anxious.

So I did what everyone does. I consulted Google, writing,"Are there rats in New Hampshire?" "Can rats travel from New York to New Hampshire?" "Is mouse pee just as harmful as rat pee?"

And that is when I found this. The Massachusetts Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (along with the Department of Public Health) has issued a strong warning about cleaning up mice droppings, urine, and nests.

If you think your New England basement is mice-free, you either have preventative measures all around your house, inside of your basement, etc., or you are plain wrong.

Mice excel at finding their way into New England homes. All homes. Even the cleanest of homes.

Clouse up the rat in dry leaf background. Animal contagious disease concept.
Getty Images

So knowing that there have been, currently are, and probably will be mice in your home, how the heck do you clean up after them? If you are like me in the past, you simply vacuum those suckers up and dump them, right?

NO. NO. NO. The MA Bureau of Infectious Disease and the Department of Public Health has made it very clear that vacuuming mice remnants could kill you.

Yes, kill you.

Many rodents, including mice, carry the hantavirus. According to the Mass.gov website, this virus can spread through mice urine, droppings, and saliva.

How can it affect humans? Through the air. When you vacuum mice droppings and nests, you are lifting that virus from the ground, nests, and feces and spreading it airborne, and into your own face, eyes, and throat.


So, the recommended way to clean up after your basement mouse is to hit the droppings, urine, nests, etc. with a cleaning solution like bleach, let it soak for five minutes or so, and THEN wipe it up with a paper towel.

Sure, it seems like a lot more work than hitting it all with a vacuum. However, the hantavirus, although rare, is deadly.

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Thanks to our great listeners we were able to compile a list of many of Maine's great restaurants, cafes, pubs and bakeries that are worth a long drive to get to.

These great spots can be found across the state and waiting for you to give them a try.

How many have you been to?

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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