Rodents in Home: Protecting Your Insulation

rat covering eyes with paws

Mice and rat infestations are easy to spot if you can recognize the signs. Regardless of the kind of rodent, their habits tend to be the same. They like to chew, chitter and scratch, and leave their dropping nearly everywhere you go. Once you find evidence of a rat or mouse infestation, you can call on the team at Blue Chip Exterminating to clear them out of your property. However, in many cases that’s not all that needs to be done. If the rodents in your house made their way into your home’s insulation, they likely caused damage beyond the scope of what an exterminator is qualified to handle.

What do rats and mice do to insulation? What can you do fully protect yourself fully from rodents and other pests? Let’s answer both below.

Rodents and Insulation: A Toxic Romance

The insulation in the walls and attic of your home functions by slowing the transfer of heat to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Fiberglass batting is the most popular choice for homes in the St. Louis area – and, coincidentally, it is also the most attractive to rodents. It’s soft and fluffy, very easy to tunnel through and tear to eat or make a nest. And since insulated areas are usually dark and undisturbed, they make a perfect home for rats and mice.

These areas are the first targeted when treating rodent infestations. But even if we remove rats and mice from the property, we can’t clean their droppings and other signs of their presence. You can’t clean or repair damaged insulation, and in many cases the best thing to do is replace the material. And we suggest leaving this job to a professional. Rodent droppings potentially contain Hantavirus, which can spread into the air if handled improperly. An expert can replace your insulation safely and effectively. You may be asking, though, do you have to wait for things to get that bad? Replacing even just your attic insulation can cost $2,500 or more on average. Is there a way to avoid costs like these?

Preventing Rodents through Wildlife Exclusion

It’s one thing to work to remove rats or mice from a house. It’s another to look at a rodent infestation and acknowledge that these pests got inside through somewhere. As you read this there are likely vulnerabilities in your property that rodents could get into. And the best way by far to protect your home’s insulation is by addressing these entry points that mice and rats can take advantage of. It’s called wildlife exclusion, and it’s a core component of our rodent extermination strategy. With that in place your property will be cleaner and able to function more efficiently.

Blue Chip Pest Services is well-trained in every aspect of rodent control and extermination. If you want a comprehensive level of service that works with your needs in mind, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to get started!

Can Mouse and Rat Poop Make You Sick?

rats on kitchen sink

Have you found what looks like multiple piles of dirt around the house? If these have sprung up seemingly out of nowhere, take the time to stop and look a little closer. Rat droppings and mouse poop are easy to identify if you know what to look for. Rat poop is dropped in larger groupings, usually near insulation, and each pellet is roughly the size and shape of an olive. Mouse droppings, on the other hand, are longer and smaller in shape with a pointy end. With that in mind, the dirt in your home might not be dirt at all, but an indicator of a potential rodent infestation. If that’s the case, then you need to act quickly, as rat and mouse poop can indeed make your household sick.

Hantavirus: Caused by Rat and Mice Poop

There are risks that come from handling rodents themselves. You can get salmonellosis or rat-bite fever from eating food they’ve contaminated, or even the Bubonic Plague from the bite of an infected rodent flea. But if you have rat or mouse droppings around your home, you run the risk of unknowingly infecting you and your household with Hantavirus. Hantavirus is transmitted to humans through exposure to infected rodent urine, droppings or saliva. It’s a severe, sometimes even fatal respiratory disease that can start with a fever and headaches and end with your lungs filling with fluid. Treatment can be incredibly difficult, so it’s agreed that the best course of action is to keep a clean home free of any rodents.

What to do if you see Mouse or Rat Droppings

If you see a pile of rat or mouse poop around your home, your initial instinct may be to sweep or vacuum it up. That’s sound in theory, but if this is an infected pile of droppings disturbing it can send the Hantavirus into the air. A better course of action would be to put on protective gear and carefully disinfect the contaminated area. This could be done through a virucidal cleaner, bleach and disinfectant, or even just washing fabrics in hot water. Don’t keep the gloves or dust mask you use after the fact, as they’ll likely now be infected and unsanitary beyond repair. And – most importantly – keep in mind that where there are rodent droppings, there are rodents, and they need to be eliminated or removed before causing any more damage to your house or the people that live in it. You need help, and Blue Chip Pest Services is ready to get to work.

Blue Chip Pest Services for Rodent Control

At Blue Chip Pest Services, we know all the major rodents in the area and have 50 years’ worth of experience in keeping them out of your home and off your mind. Rat and mouse poop is a serious issue with potentially devastating consequences, but with the right care, it doesn’t have to get that bad. So if you see a pile of droppings in your home, before you do anything else be sure to contact Blue Chip Pest Services!

How Do I Get Rid of Nuisance Wildlife On My Property?

A skunk in St. Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

Having nuisance wildlife living on your property is one of the most feared pest problems of homeowners we’ve helped around St. Louis MO. With smaller insects like ants or flies, it’s fairly easy to conduct your own DIY pest control, in most cases. However, when it comes to wildlife like skunks and raccoons, people hesitate to take matters into their own hands out of caution.

We’re here to tell you that this is the right reaction! Wild animals are unsafe to handle without professional training and must be dealt with sensitively. If you’re looking to learn the best ways to prevent and get rid of nuisance wildlife, read on for advice from the Blue Chip Exterminating technicians!

Wild Animals in St. Louis MO

Preventing wildlife problems around your home means learning about the habits of local species of wild animals. These are some of the most abundant wildlife pests in St. Louis:

  • Skunks: Everyone knows why you have to be extra careful when there are skunks on your property. If they can find a spot for a den or something to eat on your property, they might stay.
  • Raccoons: Although they don’t stink as bad, raccoons usually come in greater numbers looking for the same things as skunks.
  • Rodents: Rats, mice, moles, and other local rodent species are probably the most invasive group of pests around St. Louis. Small enough to sneak through hidden cracks in your walls, foundation, plumbing fixtures, and roofing, they sneak inside our attics, crawl spaces, and other hidden areas of our home to look for food and warmth during the winter.

How to Prevent Wildlife Pests

There are several ways that you can make your property less attractive to wildlife in general. Add these strategies to your regular home maintenance routines to get rid of raccoons, skunks, and other local nuisance wildlife:

  1. Take your trash out often and use sealable bins. Keep your outdoor trash cans as far away from your home as you can.
  2. Clear your property of any yard waste that accumulates routinely.
  3. Keep your bushes and trees trimmed and out of contact with your house.
  4. Wash dishes and clean spills promptly. Make sure that your food is sealed and stowed away after eating, too.

Wildlife Control Experts in St. Louis MO

If these tactics don’t help you get rid of skunks, raccoons, or otherwise, tell your local pest control company about your problems. At Blue Chip Exterminating, our team of wildlife removal experts are licensed, certified, and trained to the highest standards of wildlife control. We can safely capture and relocate wildlife living on your property and identify the vulnerabilities that caused your outbreak. To stay pest-free in your yard, contact our team today!