You paid a lot for insulation contractors to put the right protection in your home. With good insulation, your ductless heat pump works even more efficiently, and your heating and cooling bills is a lot lower. Your family is safer and more comfortable, too. But there are some threats to your insulation that you need to watch out for, and one of them is rodents.
Why Rodents Are a Problem
Mice, rats, and squirrels love to be warm and dry just as much as we do. Unlike some other animals, their amazing ability hide and move through tiny spaces means they’re able to in and around our homes and enjoy the benefits of all that work your insulation contractors did without much fear. In the fall, these pests start trying to move in to find a safe place for the winter.
If the prospect of mice droppings in your cupboards over the holidays isn’t dismaying enough, there are far worse consequences to worry about from having rodents in the home. They carry disease with them, both in their own bodies and in the lice, fleas, and ticks that come along with them.
They can also do serious damage to your home. Their powerful teeth have no problem chewing through your pipes, your ducts, and your wiring. They love using your insulation to make their nests, which destroys all the work you insulation contractors did and means higher heating bills.
In a worse case scenario, they can chew through wiring and, suddenly, in the dead of winter you’re without heat. You go to repair your furnace only to find it’s an electrical problem. After more expense and delay, you finally discover it’s a wire in a wall somewhere that requires major effort to tear out and get to.
How to Stop Rodents
There are several things you can do to make sure you keep rodents out and insulation safe.
- Stop up all the entry holes.Rodents are capable of getting into openings that are just one quarter of an inch. This means that cracks and holes around the foundation are a particular target. Squirrels love to get in between the eaves and the roof of the house. Check the spots where pipes and wires enter and look for breaks in your siding. Once you found these openings, block them with mesh and a quick drying concrete to hold it in place.
Even better, make a ball out of galvanized window screen material and stuff this into larger openings. A concrete patch over this ball will provide extra protection.
- Maintain your foliage. If you have trees with limbs that drop over the top of the house, this is an open invitation for squirrels. Foliage and bushes that are too close to the foundation of the house can also allow mice and rats to reach upper levels. Trim everything back to make it harder for them to get access.
- Don’t give them anything to eat. Make sure there isn’t a food source near your home. Keep your pet food packed away and keep your trash cans covered with tight lids. Don’t leave any garbage out anywhere, and make sure any other sorts of food or even birdseed are covered up and inaccessible.
- Give them a one-way exit. If you find an existing hole, don’t just stop it up. You may trap the rodent inside, where it will either chew out a new exit or die in the walls and start to rot in all the stuff your insulation contractors installed. Instead, cover this hole with a flap that faces the outside. This gives the rodents a way out, but not a way back in again. Eventually, all of them will leave at some point. When that happens, you’re done with them.
- Consider getting a cat. Some cats love to stay indoors, but others are confirmed mousers who love the outside. If you can find a cat like this, they are better than any type of poison. Rodents learn, and if a cat catches a few of them, they will quickly learn to stay away from your area.
Your insulation is a major investment, as is everything else in your home. You won’t regret taking steps to protect it from rodents.