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rodent droppings, what to do

 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1134
Location: Denver, CO
15
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We had a big stash of lumber and other building materials on pallets under a tarp. There are now lots of rodent droppings. I hosed off the pile to keep dust down and discourage critters from returning, and we removed roles of wire, etc. from the top of the pile that were not contaminated. Now I'm wondering about all the other stuff. What should I do with it?
 
Ryan Sharon
Posts: 37
Location: San Francisco/Gualala, Ca (zone 8)
forest garden hugelkultur woodworking
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I'm not an expert in maintaining building materials, but you should be OK brushing if off and maybe hitting it with a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

I think the bigger concern would be: did they urinate on it? In the case of lumber, excessive amounts of urine could compromise the wood, not to mention health concerns as it gasses out.

If you are just dealing with a mountain of tiny poops, go back to the old permie phrase: the problem is the solution. Dump it out on soil that needs some love.
 
David Hernick
Posts: 54
Location: Oakland, CA
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chicken fungi trees
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Wearing a mask in this area or when using the material is wise.  That said Salmonella or Listeria are present in only a small percent of rodent dropping samples other disease is even more rare.  You should try and reduce the amount of pooling water near by and before growing anything in the area turning over the soil would be a good idea.

Hosing it off was a good idea, drying the wood in the sun would also be a good idea.  The UV rays will help.

 
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