As a homeowner, sometimes you have to deal with big problems that come in small packages. Mice and rats are one of these problems. They can chew through nearly anything, including foam and fiber insulation, causing havoc in your home. But should you replace your insulation after you’ve removed the mice? This post aims to answer that question, and to give you some tools to deal with mice on your own.
Sometimes You Don’t Need to Remove Your Attic Insulation
When you have a smaller rodent infestation on your hands, insulation removal and replacement may cause you more problems than it’s worth. Some of the signs that you may be able to keep your existing insulation are:
There is no evidence of urine in the insulation. Rodent feces are easy enough (if gross) to clean out of insulation, but their urine can soak in and last for years or even decades. Rat and mouse urine has a very distinct, musky odor. If your insulation smells like this, it’s a good idea to remove and replace it. If it just smells like regular insulation, you should be good to go.
Only a small amount of insulation is affected. If this is the case, you may be able to remove just the soiled insulation. The Centers for Disease Control recommend wearing gloves when removing this insulation, and disposing of your contaminated insulation in a sealable plastic bag before you throw it out. It’s also a good idea to wear a face mask (preferably an N100 respirator) for the job, as you don’t want to get the insulation material in your lungs.
You’re sure that there are no more mice or rats present in your attic. This can be hard to prove, and if you have no protection against mice re-entering, the odds are good that you’ll have to do this again in a few weeks or months.
When Is It a Good Idea to Replace Attic Insulation?
In general, insulation removal and replacement is usually the best solution after a rodent infestation. Some of the situations when it’s a good idea to completely replace it are:
The rodent infestation is a large one. Mice and rats are social animals, and it’s very rare to have just one of them hanging around in your attic.
The insulation is severely damaged. This can include urine stains, holes in your insulation, and rodent nests that were placed in the insulation itself.
Your insulation is out-of-date or may contain asbestos. Never handle insulation yourself unless you are 100% certain of its makeup, and willing to use strict safety procedures around it. If you don’t know what your insulation is made out of, call us for insulation removal and replacement instead! We can replace your insulation with state-of-the-art materials that will most likely reduce your energy bill.
What Do You Do if You Have Mice in Your Attic?
If you have mice or rats in your attic in western New York, give us a call first! Not only does WNY Wildlife & Exclusion humanely remove your unwanted guests, we do it quickly and with a smile on our face. More than that, we can replace your home’s soiled insulation and even prevent more rodents from getting into your home. We have our New York State trappers license, allowing us to trap rats and mice and take them far away from your home. We also have more than 10 years of experience in animal removal in western New York.
How Do You Keep Mice Out of Your House?
There are a few ways to prevent mice and rats from getting into your home in the first place. Seal any holes, even ones that you think are too small for mice to fit through. Also, be careful not to leave food around where mice can reach it. You can always give us a call at (716) 203-1166 if you have questions about keeping mice out of your house.