Hantavirus causes fever, headaches, body aches, and can lead to death. It is carried and passed through mice feces and urine. You should never sweep mouse urine, feces, and nesting materials. Do not attempt to clean a cabin that has been closed for long periods without airing it out for several days. Never sweep up mouse nesting material for the dust created can carry Hantavirus. Instead, follow the CDC’s detailed directions in order to safely clean up mouse infestations.
Step one: bleach the shit out of everything.
Step two: do it again.
Step three: one more time, probably.
Step four: shovel out the mouse nests, feces, etc.
Step five: realize that you’re going to have to demo the entire loft, all the tongue and groove wall boards, and that you’re going to be needing a lot of BIN paint to cover up the mouse piss stains on the rafters.
So, I opened the cabin door, swept a bunch of mouse feces until a dust cloud was created, coughed a lot, and gave up. When Bryan came back from Minnesota with a trailer and car full of our stuff, he went at taking care of our little mouse problem. What he discovered was that the entire loft, so six inches from the bottom of it to the top board, was COMPLETELY FULL OF MOUSE NESTING, FECES, URINE, AND ACORN BITS. He pulled down one board and found that out. He worked all day with the shop vac, tearing out the loft entirely and breathing all that in before he called me and asked me to google hantavirus. Bad idea. We learned a lot, bought a lot of bleach, and went at it from a safer angle. Based on the CDC’s website, there haven’t been cases of hantavirus in Michigan and neither of us got sick, so that’s a plus.
In short, the mouse infestation changed the course of this project quite a bit. We thought the a-frame would be insulated and ready for plumbing in about two days. We thought we wouldn’t have to buy any wall materials, and we didn’t think we would have to replace and rebuild the loft with new wood. Mouse piss is a pretty darn strong smell, let me tell you. So, a month and a lot of money later, the new tongue and groove is still not finished in the a-frame. I would have made pretty short order of that because Bryan’s dad gave us a nail gun, but we ran out of it and it’s kind of pricey. By the by, that nail gun is freaking amazing. I’d use it all day if I could.