Hantavirus Fact Sheet
North Dakota Department of Health

The North Dakota Department of Health recommends the following precautions to reduce rodent exposure and to minimize the risk of hantavirus infection: 

        Prevent rodents from entering the home by sealing, covering or screening openings larger than one-quarter inch.

        Keep food (including pet food) and water covered and stored in rodent-proof metal or thick plastic. Make sure containers have tight-fitting lids. Clean up spilled food and keep all dishes clean.

        Store garbage inside homes in rodent-proof containers with tight-fitting lids.

        Dispose of trash and clutter in rodent-proof containers elevated at least 12 inches off the ground.

        Place three inches of gravel under the base of mobile homes to discourage rodent burrowing.

        If possible, place woodpiles 100 feet away from the house and elevate woodpiles at least 12 inches above the ground.

If you are cleaning out a rodent-infested cabin or other building, the following guidelines can minimize the risk of infection:

        Before cleaning, ventilate the building, but be sure not to blow dust around.

        Wear coveralls, rubber boots, rubber or plastic gloves, goggles and an appropriate respirator, if needed.

        Trap rodents using spring traps.

        Spray rodents, traps, droppings, nests, foods or other rodent-infested objects with a solution of bleach and water (one and one-half cups bleach to a gallon of water) or a diphenol disinfectant such as Lysol.

        Let the rodent-infested material soak thoroughly, then place it in a plastic bag and seal the bag. Place the sealed bag in another plastic bag and seal the outer bag.

        Burn, bury or place the discarded materials in a sealed garbage can for disposal in a landfill.

        Do not vacuum until all surfaces have been disinfected. Carpets should be commercially cleaned or shampooed.

        Use detergent and water to clean countertops. After drying, they can be wiped down with a household disinfectant.

        Remove furniture that contains inaccessible rodent nests. 

For more information, call Larry Shireley, state epidemiologist, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2694.



Last Updated: 5/30/00 9:03:23 AM
Allen Johnson - ND Health Dept. DP Coordinator - ajohnson@state.nd.us