How to Rodent-Proof Your Attic
How to rodent-proof your attic you may ask. The attic is a great feature in a home and one that is often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. If you mainly use your attic to store boxes of clothing, toys, and personal items, it is the perfect place for critters to hide where you won’t see them. Rodents get into your home through attic vents and cracks or holes around the roofing. Once they find a way in, they set up camp and take over your home little by little.
Whether you have a finished attic with walls and a floor or just beams and layers of attic insulation, keeping pests and critters out of your attic is vital to protecting your home from a rodent infestation. They tend to hide in these areas because there is very little foot traffic and they don’t get disturbed.
Having a rodent-proof attic is important for several reasons. If you have never dealt with rodents before, you need to hire a rodent-proofing company that also does attic cleaning to sanitize and seal your attic space from future infestations.
Why You Should Consider Rodent-proofing Your Attic
It’s not just about having a bunch of little critters scurrying around your home, they pose a threat to your health and safety. The urine and droppings they leave everywhere cause your house to smell bad, and they spread disease through contact with food.
If you’ve ever had mice, you know how they chew through everything. They get in cupboards and chew through boxes of pasta, cereal, and any other food in cardboard boxes. Infestations tend to happen close to winter as they are seeking a warm place to live for the next few months.
What You Can Expect When You Have Rodents
Rodents cause a lot of damage to your home and leave a lot of mess. Their urine, feces, and dead bodies leave a nasty odor that will begin to permeate your home. You may also notice stains and soils on the insulation, baseboards, and framing boards. Another problem is they chew on everything. Paper gets shredded and used for nests. They may also chew on electrical wires, which can be dangerous.
It is estimated that 20%of house fires in the U.S. are caused by rodents chewing through electrical lines. They have very strong teeth and can chew through nearly any material, except for steel wool. It is important to track down any wiring shorts to prevent electrical fires and stay on top of rodent prevention.
Rodents are known disease carriers. Diseases that rodents may carry include plague, hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonella. They are transmitted through contact with their urine, feces, and contaminated food items. These would be items in your kitchen or pantry that have holes chewed in them like boxes of cake mix, flour, oatmeal, and etc. They pose a health hazard to you and your family.
When you have rats or mice, you may have more allergies than you normally would. Rodent waste is an allergen and can trigger breathing or respiratory issues, sneezing, coughing, and other allergy symptoms. Not only do you get allergens from the rodents themselves, but they kick up dust and other particulates running around through the walls and crawlspaces of your home.
Telltale Signs You Have Rodents in Your Attic
Most often people will call in a pest control service if they believe they have an infestation. Time is of the essence in dealing with rodents because they multiply very quickly and can take over an area in a short amount of time. If you have a rodent infestation, you will also need rodent removal and attic cleaning services to get rid of any trace of them. Some sure-fire signs of rodent infestations are:
- Urine and droppings
- Torn up attic insulation
- Shredded wads of paper
- A musty smell
- Scratching sounds coming from inside the walls
- Stains on baseboards, floors, etc.
Mouse droppings often look like small black seeds littering the floors of your cabinets and under furniture. They may have more than one nest, so make sure to note where you see the most activity. Torn-up attic insulation, paper, and other discarded materials make comfy nesting materials for rodents. They are constantly chewing or gnawing on things. This can sometimes be heard through the walls as they make their way around your house unseen. If you have pets they can sometimes alert you to an infestation as their ears are very sensitive to sounds.
Rodent-Proof Your Attic and Keep the Critters Out!
The first step in controlling the rodent problem is getting rid of the rodents. Bait traps and snap traps are sometimes effective, but these little guys are smart and will soon start to avoid the traps. Poison can be harmful to pets and children, so you should avoid that. These are temporary fixes at best and will not work for long.
You need to hire a professional rodent proofing service to get rid of the rodents, seal off their access routes, and prevent them from getting back in. Then, it needs cleaning and sanitizing of the area for the human inhabitants. A professional rodent proofing service will inspect your home for signs of an infestation, inside and out. They will note every gap, hole, or crack that a rodent could use to gain entry to your home. They can squeeze into spaces of less than ½ inch.
The most effective tools for sealing out rodents are rodent-proof wire mesh or steel wool and expanding foam sealant. Sealing up those entry points is vital for keeping them out. Gaps around windows and doors may be perfect portals for critters looking to get out of the cold. You’d be surprised at the many ways they find to get in. They travel through cracks in pipes, chimneys, gaps between roof tiles and siding, cracks or holes around the foundation, and up through sewer pipes.
Should You Hire Someone or DIY?
While it is very good to learn all methods of home maintenance, pest control is one that is difficult to undertake yourself. While it is not impossible, it is a lot harder for a single person, rather than having a team, and you probably don’t have the time to track down every place the rodents are inhabiting. Most people don’t. They throw down traps and hope for the best.
You also need to have the right tools, meaning ladders, hand tools, insulation, cleaning products, UV light, and wire mesh. You will also need to have something to trap the animals in to remove them. You also need to realize how many hard-to-reach areas of your home’s exterior they can get in through. You will need to seal up every hole with wire mesh or expanding foam.
Depending on the size of your home, this could be a lot of ground to cover. With all the work to be done to eliminate them, clean your attic, and prevent them from coming back, it is worth it to hire a company to do it for you. Let the experts handle this job so you don’t have to worry about it. They know where to look, what areas to concentrate on, and can have everything completed in a short time frame. That is much better than you could hope for with DIY.
What You Can Do to Help
While it is not advisable to handle this project yourself, there are things you can do to help prevent future infestations after the team has finished the job. They will leave you instructions on how to make your home less rodent-friendly and keep them out.
A few tips for discouraging rodents is to store all food in airtight containers, including pet food. Get plastic bins to keep food items in cardboard boxes, and keep trash cans well away from your front or back doors.
These tips, plus rodent proofing and attic cleaning services, will help you keep your home rodent-free for years to come. For more information on How to Rodent-Proof Your Attic, call (747) 208-5105 for a free inspection today!.