Rodent Control in Your Attic: How to Rodent Proof Your Attic
Most homeowners will put some effort towards rodent control around the lived-in areas of their homes, but many will overlook the attic. Rats and mice are resourceful creatures, and the attic can be an attractive place to hole up during winter.
Whether you use your attic for storage, or there’s nothing up there but HVAC ducts and insulation, maintaining a pest-free home means you need to be proactive with rodent control in your attic. This article will go over simple steps to get rid of mice and rats in your attic this winter.
Why Are Rodents in Your Attic?
Rodents often venture out to forage, but in between exploring, they prefer dark and humid places away from human activity. The attic provides a warm, secure location where humans rarely go.
Certain types of insulation, like blown or loose-fill, make excellent materials for nesting and reproducing. Rats and mice can also use insulation as a food source when nothing else is available.
Rodents in your attic won’t limit themselves to your insulation, because they are also notorious for gnawing through electrical wires and damaging air ducts and pipes. A buildup of rat and mouse waste can create conditions for a mold outbreak if it’s deposited in a location where it can’t dry out quickly.
How Rodents Gain Access to Your Attic
Rats are great climbers and can enter your attic through open vents or small holes. Mice are incredibly flexible and can access your attic through a hole as small as a dime. Cracks in your foundation, chimneys, and gaps between your siding and roof awnings are all an invitation for rodents on the hunt for a new home.
How to Know if you Have a Rodent Problem
Most rodents are very good at keeping out of sight and do most of their scampering at night. When the house is dark and quiet, you may hear scurrying noises from the ceiling, tiny scampering footprints inside your walls, or the sounds of tiny teeth gnawing through the plasterboard.
You may also hear the occasional squeak. Bigger rodents, like raccoons, will reveal their presence by hissing, snarling, growling, and purring.
Why You Need Rodent Control in Your Attic?
You may think you can share your abode with one or two mice and the occasional rat. Unfortunately, one or two can end up in the hundreds in a few short weeks.
The collective damage an infestation of rodents can do to your home is serious. They can destroy your electrical wiring to create a fire hazard, ruin your insulation, and infest your ductwork so dangerous microbes end up in your breathing space.
A buildup of rat and mouse waste can create the right conditions for a mold outbreak if it’s deposited in a location where it can’t dry out quickly.
Even a small rodent infestation can quickly create enough waste that the smell will eventually make its way into your home. The mice in your attic will live, breed, and die, creating another disturbing odor that can penetrate your home and make life uncomfortable.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), animals cause more than 20% of house fires, many from chewed electrical wiring. Even if the damage doesn’t result in a fire, hiring an electrician to find and repair the damage can be costly.
The rodents in your attic will forage during the night, which means they will invade and cause damage to other areas of your house. They will crawl over your pots and pans and chew through cereal boxes, leaving pee and feces everywhere they go. You and your family will be at constant risk of contracting dangerous, and sometimes deadly, rodent-borne diseases like salmonella, leptospirosis, and hantavirus.
Easy Steps to Rodent Control Your Attic
Don’t wait for evidence that pests are in your attic. If it’s been some time since you investigated, it’s likely that rodents have already found their way into the attic and have started to cause damage. Use these tips to help rodent-proof your home.
Remove Your Insulation
If you notice signs of infestation in your insulation, you should completely remove it. Doing this will help you uncover all the tiny entry holes rodents use to access your crawl space or attic.
Clean and Disinfect
You should thoroughly clean and disinfect the attic to get rid of the odors from urine and feces. Rats and mice are territorial and mark their territory with odors, the same as dogs and cats. Even if you get rid of the pests, they will keep coming back if they can smell their territory.
You can try to seal off their entry points, but they are persistent and will make new ones. Get rid of the smell, and they are more likely to lose interest and move on to somewhere else that promises easier access.
Plug the Holes and Gaps
Mats, rice, and other rodents don’t need much of an invitation to invade your home. They will make their way through gaps in the guttering, roof, pipes, and cracks in the foundation.
You can try and seal as many of these entry points as you can yourself, but you are likely to miss a few. A professional rodent-proofing service is highly recommended because they know all the tricks rodents use to gain entry into your property.
Add New Insulation
Now that your attic is clean and free of rodents, it’s time to add new insulation. Given that the majority of houses in the US are under-insulated, this last step will likely bring it up to code, and make your home more energy efficient as well. Make sure you seal up all air gaps in your attic to improve energy efficiency even further.
Hire a Professional Attic Rodent Control Service
One of the best things you can do for your home that will guarantee you have your rodent problem under control is to hire professionals. Trained experts will assess your home for infestation and damage.
They will inspect your insulation, remove and install new insulation as needed, clean and disinfect the area, and reinforce your attic’s defenses so that pests lose interest and move on. If you think you have rodents in your attic, call Attic Pros today for a free estimate with no obligation so you can enjoy a rodent-free home this winter.