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Tag: sealing attic

Dealing with Rodent Damaged Insulation in Seattle

Rats in the attic or crawl space are common problems Seattle homeowners know all too well. And as the cold Seattle winter sets in, these pesky critters are in search of a warm cozy place to nest. Don’t let rodents ruin your home. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about rodent damaged insulation and effective pest-control

Replace Vs. Refresh your Rodent Damaged Insulation

In the wild, rodents, be it mice or rats, will seek soft fibers for their nests. And unfortunately, insulation found within our crawl spaces, walls, and attics appear to be their favorite nesting material. As a result, rats and mice can damage the insulation in your home by either collecting insulation fibers for a nest elsewhere or directly making a nest within the insulation itself. 

Effective Rodent Control: Crawl Space and Attic Hygiene

In the wild, rodents, be it mice or rats, will seek soft fibers for their nests. And unfortunately, insulation found within our crawl spaces, walls, and attics appear to be their favorite nesting material. As a result, rats and mice can damage the insulation in your home by either collecting insulation fibers for a nest elsewhere or directly making a nest within the insulation itself. These can gradually lead to long-term problems which can affect both your home and health.

Effective rodent control in your Seattle home is essential when it comes to preventing the spread of disease. The feces and urine produced by rodents accumulate over time, leading to an increased risk of spreading zoonotic diseases. According to the CDC rat infestation guide, rats and mice in Washington spread diseases (viral and bacterial) directly and indirectly. Some of these zoonotic diseases include:

  • Leptospirosis: which spreads through urine and waterways.
  • Hantavirus: is a virus that spreads through rodent urine and feces.
  • Salmonella: A bacteria that spread via the fecal-oral route.
  • Rat-Bite Fever: A bacterial disease that spreads through bites and scratches caused by rats. It can also spread through the oral-fecal route (i.e., consuming food or water contaminated by rats).

Do You Need to Replace Insulation After a Rodent Infestation?

replacing rodent damaged insulation in crawl space, Washington

Rats have damaged the insulation in your beautiful Seattle home. What do you do? Replace, refresh, or remove? We completely understand that removing and replacing insulation from your crawl space and attic is time-consuming and extremely expensive. 

If the damage to the insulation is minimal, then our team at Park Eco Pest Control will choose to refresh the existing insulation material. Now, refreshing existing insulation simply entails that only sections (damaged) insulation are replaced. We only ever completely replace insulation from a crawl space or attic when the damage caused by rodents is extensive due to long-term uncontrolled rodent destruction, or if you’d like to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

How to Keep Rodents Out of Insulation in Seattle

Keeping rodents out of your crawl space, attic, and insulation will require some time and effort. And since these pesky critters pose a risk to human health, we recommend reaching out to a professional pest control service in Seattle for an initial first clean.

When it comes to cleaning and refreshing your damaged insulation, our team at Parker Eco Pest Control will:

  1. Locate and seal up any holes, burrows, vents, and gaps that allow rats and mice to enter your crawl space.
  2. Do some dirty work and safely remove all dead rats and mice from your crawl space or attic. We will even humanely remove any active nest sites present in your attic or crawl space. 
  3. Our Seattle pest-control team will most importantly remove and dispose of all rat feces and droppings present in the attic or crawl space.
  4. Sanitize and disinfect the entire area with an eco-friendly, enzyme-based product that actually eats the organic material left by feces and urine. It leaves behind water and CO2 as an odorless, harmless bi-product. 
  5. Replace the vapor barrier in your crawl space if it’s damaged. 
  6. Finally, depending on the degree of damage and contamination, we will either refresh or replace the insulation.

Attic and Crawl Space Cleaning by Parker Eco Pest Control

rodent control services in seattle

Winter is on its way, and so are the rats! Getting a good rodent control regime is crucial in preventing rats and mice from damaging your insulation. Parker Eco Pest Control provides excellent and professional pest control services all the way from Seattle through to Marysville. So, talk to us today about rodent pest control and crawl space cleaning in Seattle. 

Mice or rodents in the attic? Your roof needs drip edge flashing

One of the most common ways for rodents to enter an attic is through a gap between the shingles and the gutter. Gaps like this are extremely common in Washington State due to a quark in the residential building code. This gap, sometimes called a carpenter’s gap or construction gap, can be sealed off using a piece of metal flashing called a drip edge. This piece of metal is also known as gutter flashing or rake edge flashing.

How to check for drip edge flashing

If you’re stumped on how mice, rats, birds, or squirrels are getting into your attic, we highly recommend looking at the exterior of the roof line. If you have a hipped roof (shaped like a pyramid) you should check the entire perimeter. If you have a gabled roof you likely only need to check the two sides with gutters.

Slide your hand to the back of the gutter where it’s secured against the house. If you can fit your hand under the shingles it’s big enough for a rat to squeeze through. Remember, rats only need a gap the size of a quarter and mice only need a gap the size of a dime. Rodents usually leave signs on the areas they frequent the most. Look for chewing, greasy smears called rub marks, and of course droppings.

Drip edge wasn’t in Washington code until 2015

Washington State residential code only began requiring drip edge in 2015, meaning If your home was built in 2014 or earlier, there is a good chance you have a large gap running continuously around the perimeter of your roof. You can read the code yourself online.

Should you install drip edge flashing to seal the attic from rodents?

Yes, you should definitely install a drip edge (AKA gutter flashing) to seal out mice, rats, squirrels and birds. At a cost of $10 to $20 per foot installed, it’s fairly inexpensive and will save you money down the line compared to the cost of damage from an infestation.  

In addition to blocking pests, drip edge flashing protects your house from wind and water dripping behind the shingles, hence the name “drip edge.” It’s a wise investment for any roof.