For days, your living room has been giving off a nasty odor. It seems to be coming from everywhere. Try as you might, you can’t put your finger on it.
Answer this ― have you seen any mice droppings in your house lately? Heard any scratch marks at night? Found any nooks and crannies on your floorboard that look chewed? Well, there are your signs that you have mice infestation.
Now coming back to the odor, what you smell is not the carcass of a mouse but the urine it left on the carpet or any other surface. That’s why you couldn’t find its origin. So, where do you need to look? Not far! They urinate usually close to their nest, which is why you need to focus on the carpet or any other furniture close by.
As for getting rid of the odor, it’s nothing a little bleach solution and essential oil can’t fix.
Before we tell you how to get rid of mice urine odor, first let’s talk about why they are exhibiting such behavior.
Urine Marks the Spot
We human beings avoid places that even give off the slightest whiff of urine. However, mice are addicted to this scent. Nasty, isn’t it? They actually go back again and again to the spot where they and other mice have excreted.
According to a study conducted by the researchers working at the University of Liverpool, the reason behind this behavior is a protein in male mice urine that attracts other mice. Like dogs, mice also use urine to mark their territory. The scent conveys information that they are healthy and happy to reproduce. It advertises their power and social dominance.
Female mice automatically gravitate towards their scent and once they put their nose into the place where the male mouse had urinated, they start spending most of their time here. They are more likely to be found in the nest than at a place with water.
Researchers observed that once the mice got the scent, they kept coming back to it even after 14 days. To find out what would stop this behavior; researchers put a mesh screen around the nest, which prevented mice from putting their nose into the soiled bed. As a result, they lost interest in the nest and moved on. Another piece of information they discovered was that if a mouse found the nest acceptable then it would urinate in it despite it being marked by another mouse.
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Get Ride of Mice Urine Odor
As we mentioned, it’s the scent of urine that attracts mice. So, the first order of business is to banish the scent circling in the air in your room. This can be easily done by using a number of household ingredients you will find in your pantry. These include:
- Half raw onion
- Coffee grinds
- Baking soda
- Charcoal (the one you use for BBQ)
Put any one of these ingredients in a bowl and place it near the nest or where the urine scent is strongest. Replace the ingredient in the bowl after every 3 days until the room doesn’t stink anymore.
Cleaning Up Any Droppings and Urine
A few precautions should be taken when cleaning the mice-infested areas. Before you start cleaning, place a couple of more traps and seal all entryways to make sure that no other mice can get in. If you find no mice caught in the traps for a week then there is no longer a nest in the house. The mice are probably getting in and out of the house through some hole.
When the droppings and urine become dry, they are no longer infectious. Open up the windows and let fresh air in for 30 minutes. Use cross-ventilation by opening windows on the opposite end and let the room breathe for an hour or two.
Clean Up, Disinfect and Deodorize
To cover all the bases, we have outlined how to get rid of mice urine odor from floorboards, tiles and carpet.
First, Clean Up
During the initial cleaning phase, it’s important to not use a vacuum to prevent stirring up dust that might blow away the droppings into corners. Since mice operate on their sense of smell, they will assume that a nest is still nearby.
Follow these steps for cleaning up floorboards and tiles:
- Wear rubber gloves when picking up the droppings. They have a nasty odor that will get stuck in your mind if you catch it in your hands, not to mention the viruses it can cause
- Make a mixture of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Spray it on the droppings and urine. Soak the area and wait for 10 minutes
- Using a paper towel, pick up the droppings and wipe the urine. Dispose of these paper towels in a separate garbage bag
- When the infected surface is clean, follow the same instructions for the surrounding areas
Next, Disinfect the Room
- Use the same bleach solution and mop the floors. Wipe any countertops or tables
- Wash the clothing and bedding, such as pillow covers and throw blankets, draped on the back of the sofa in hot water with laundry detergent
- Shampoo or steam clean the carpets and upholstered furniture with evidence of mice exposure
Remove your gloves and throw them in the garbage bag. Tie it with a knot and place it outside in the waste bin. Wash your hands with water and soap and then use a hand rub with an alcohol base.
Cleaning Mice Urine Out of Carpets
When it comes to cleaning up and disinfecting carpets where a mouse peed, it’s a whole different story. The process is long and requires you to put in some elbow grease. Here are the things you will need:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Essential Oil (Eucalyptus or Lemon)
- Dish Soap
Step #1 – Shampoo the Carpet
Cover the entire surface of the infected carpet with shampoo. Rub it in and then use a carpet steamer to clean. You can easily rent this machine for $30 a day. If the smell is strong, repeat this step at least 3 times.
Step #2 – Deodorize
In a bottle, add equal parts water and vinegar. Add 2-3 drops of lemon or eucalyptus essential oil to it, shake the bottle well. Douse the carpet with this mixture and steam clean it again before it dries.
Step #3 – Clean Again
The carpet will still have slight dampness to it, so rub a fair amount of baking soda on it. Leave the cakey mixture in place for an hour. Make sure that the windows are closed so that the lose baking powder on the surface doesn’t blow away. Vacuum the carpet and scrub out any residual baking soda.
Step #4 – Just to Be Sure, Clean One More Time
Earlier, we mentioned that the smell of mouse urine is pretty strong. If you have an infestation in your house then we suggest cleaning the carpet with all these solutions.
For the final clean-up, create a mixture of 7 oz. fluid hydrogen peroxide (3%) and one teaspoon dish soap. Rub this mixture on the carpet and clean it with a damp cloth. Then, steam clean the carpet for the last time.
Step #5 – Assess the Carpet
While it will be difficult to tell if the carpet still has the urine odor at this time or not, to be on the safe side, spray the water and vinegar solution over the entire carpet and let it dry. Now, vacuum the carpet to remove any dust that might get stuck in the fibers.
The carpet is now completely clean but the same cannot be said for the odor. If after a day or two you smell the scent of urine again, then deodorize it.
There are plenty of ways to deodorize the room. This is the last step after clean up and disinfection.
Deodorizer 1 – White Vinegar
- Fill 3 to 4 bowls with white vinegar and place them in the room
- Make sure these areas are off limits to children and pets
- Leave the bowls in place for a day
The sharp scent of vinegar will permeate the air and remove any residual urine odor. You can then open the windows and let clean air in.
Deodorizer 2 – Peppermint Essential Oil
Mice don’t like peppermint… at all. The fresh scent of this herb forces them to flee the premises and if used correctly, you will never find mice in your house again!
Here’s what you need to do:
- In a bowl, fill ¼ cup water and a few drops of essential oil
- Dip cotton balls in this solution and place it on the spots where the mice urinate. You can also place them in kitchen cabinets, entryways, the attic and basement
- Make sure they are hidden from sight so that your pet doesn’t accidently eat them
If this seems too taxing to you, then limit the placement of cotton balls to the infected areas and place potted mint plants along your home’s exterior. This will keep the rodents away from your house altogether.
This completes our instructions on how to get rid of mice urine odor. One thing that might have come to your notice after reading this information is that the best way to fight the scent of mice urine is with something nice smelling. So, keep a bottle of peppermint essential oil nearby and you won’t be bombarded with any smelly problems in the future.