Rodents, attics, and insulation: What you need to know

by Clark Pest Control Lodi Offfice | 01/24/2020

An attic in winter, with its relative warmth compared to the outside, can be an attractive hiding place for rodents, small animals, and insects. Once inside, these pests leave behind feces and other undesirable materials, creating a potential health hazard for your family.

Clark, your neighborly pest control, termite, and lawn care expert, knows attic insulation can be easily damaged in several ways, resulting in a reduction of the overall thermal and acoustical benefits of the insulation.

To expand your knowledge of what’s going on in your attic, Clark has identified some examples of problems that can occur with attic insulation due to rodent or nuisance animal incursions:

  • The presence of rodents (or wild animals, such as raccoons or opossums) in an attic means urine and feces, and even animal carcasses, that give off odors. You may be living with a nasty litter box right above your head.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), humans can become infected with diseases from rodents after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials. Once droppings are moved around, spores can become airborne, and can enter the human body through inhaling, or contact with eyes or skin. Airflow also could potentially create this same effect.
  • Animals and their residue attract insects, mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms, which feed and breed on organic wastes.
  • According to the USDA, since free-roaming wildlife does not receive veterinary care, all species can carry diseases and parasites.
  • The USDA cites fleas, ticks, lice, and mites as contributing to tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, and encephalitis. Children and pets are particularly at risk.
  • Disturbed or damaged insulation will costs you money in energy bills and invites moisture damage.
  • Uneven insulation and leaky duct work make your HVAC system work harder.

But what happens when rodents or other critters become more than you can handle, or threaten the safety of your family or the structural integrity of your home?

Your attic and insulation should be inspected on a regular basis by a professional who can identify problems and offer energy-smart and preventive pest management solutions. Clark Pest Control offers both.

In addition to decades of experience serving the pest management needs of homeowners, Clark Pest Control is also a licensed C2 Insulation and Acoustical Contractor in the state of California (CA License # 922758). This gives you the added benefit of working with a skilled professional to help you assess and identify insulation-related issues that could be costing you money and could lead to additional problems.

The skilled insulation experts at Clark Pest Control (dba Clark Pest Construction) can help you by performing a complimentary inspection by a licensed expert to determine the overall health (e.g., R-value, evidence of rodent or animal infestation/damage) and condition of your home’s insulation. Winter is a good time to have this done

The comprehensive inspection will answer the following questions about your home’s insulation:

  • Can pests such as roof rats or wildlife gain easy access to your home through your attic?
  • Is your insulation in good shape?
  • What is the R-value of your current insulation? The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) estimates that roughly 90 percent of existing U.S. homes are under-insulated.
  • Is there a hidden moisture problem?
  • Is there any harmful debris to clean up?

 

After the inspection, Clark will share its observations and findings. If any corrective action is needed, they’ll walk you through the options available to them. Financing, should insulation replacement and/or repairs be needed, is available through Clark’s GreenSky program.

Before you head up into the attic and the land of the unknown, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email Clark at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

Until next time, the residential pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.