5 Proven Steps to Get Rid of Mice in your Attic

get rid of mice in the attic

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  1. How to tell if you have a mice issue?
  2. Why pest control is only a temporary solution?
  3. 5 step solution for a truly rodent-free home
  4. The benefits of using the 5 steps
  5. What’s the cost of doing the 5 steps? 
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. What is the secret to keeping mice, rats, and rodents out?

Quickly eliminate rodents like mice in only 1 day!

Are you struggling with rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels coming in and out of your attic and you simply don’t know what else to do? Have you used pest control and rodents are still coming back? 

If you really want to make sure your home is rodent-free I will walk you through a 5 step solution that can be done in only one day!  Instead of a temporary band-aid, you will have a long-lasting solution for rodents and will never have to handle them again. 

In addition, I will teach you about a comprehensive service called air sealing. This service will enhance the air quality of your home and is actually the “secret sauce” to becoming energy efficient and saving a lot of money on your energy bills.

 

How to tell if you have a mice issue?

If you have pests in your attic, you may hear noises such as scurrying, scratching, squeaking or chirping. You will also likely see excrement or spots of urine on the floor as well as different animal feces on top of the insulation and in some cases under the insulation. Another indication of a pest problem are noticeable bite marks on your electrical wires and pipes, tears in the insulation material or even missing shingles in your roof from animals breaking into your attic.

Why rodents are getting into your attic?

Every homeowner will need to handle a rodent issue at some point because rodents get attracted to dark and humid places. Chances are rodents will find shelter in your attic or crawl space sooner or later. Rodents also love certain insulation materials such as blown or loose-fill insulation since it is a perfect habitat to nest and reproduce.

Can pest control really help with rodents?

In the past 9 years, I helped countless homeowners get rid of rodents from their attics and crawl spaces. After inspecting and treating over 500 properties in 3 different states, I learned that there is a big misconception about the solutions pest control companies offer, therefore homeowners are typically confused and fail to take the right steps in order to keep rodents out. 

Key point: There is a big misconception about the solutions pest control companies offer to keep rodents out

 

Why pest control is only a temporary solution?  

Let’s start with the fact that even the name “pest control” does not indicate preventing or eliminating the activity, but only controlling it. Pest control services have 3 main methods to control rodents:

  1. Set traps
  2. Poison
  3. Spray a rodent repellent 

All of these methods are not preventative and are designed to control rodents, but not to eliminate them. What this causes is repeat business for the pest control company and a list of problems for the homeowner. When you think about it, it makes total sense – if pest control solved the issue, why would they be needed in the future? 

During our countless inspections we have seen the mess rodents leave behind. They are using insulation material to make nests, and due to their natural behavior of chewing objects (looking for food and access to shelter) they cause costly damages:

  • Tearing the insulation apart which lowers the insulation R-value and increasing your energy bills.
  • Chewing on electrical wires which can cause fire and HVAC malfunctions.
  • Chewing on air ducts and pipes in the attic and crawl space.
  • Damaging the structure of the house (roof, framing and siding).

The bigger problem with rodents is that they contaminate the insulation with feces and urine which spreads odor and affects the indoor air quality.

Rodent waste such as droppings and urine is toxic to inhale. This toxicity, especially in the summer, is getting into the ventilation system of the living space and since rodents carry bacterias it may promote allergies, asthma and cardiovascular diseases to the people living in the house. 

Pest control can definitely help you get rid of rodents temporarily, but what about the damages and the rodent waste? How can you make sure it will not happen again?

Key point: Pest control can be used as maintenance but are definitely not a full solution for rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, or raccoons. 

 

 

5 step solution for a truly rodent-free home

Step 1 – Insulation removal 

Insulation removal is necessary in order to get rid of all contaminants and rodent waste, but more importantly- will uncover hidden entry points that rodents are using to access your attic or crawl space.

Why is it important to clean and disinfect rodent waste from your attic?

Although it is very important to control rodents, we have found that controlling rodents is useless if the waste they leave behind is not removed and disinfected properly, for 2 main reasons:

  1. Rodents are very territorial. Rats and mice mark their territory with feces and urine just like pets. If you have a dog or a cat you know how it works. Once they smell the odor and the pheromones they will always find new ways to get into your attic or crawl space- even if you seal these areas they will create new entry points. In other words, Hansel and Gretel marked their trail with candy and rodents mark theirs with odor and pheromones so they will know how to get back home.
  2. Rodent waste is toxic to inhale. Many homeowners are unaware of the harmful health effects a contaminated attic or crawl space can cause to their family’s respiratory and immune systems. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  recommends to safely and efficiently clean any areas that were infected by pests in order to control the air quality of your home and prevent your family from developing an airborne illness. 

Rodents can directly transmit dangerous germs in their urine and feces and spread diseases such as Lyme Disease, Salmonella, Hantavirus, and Histoplasmosis, and increase the severity of Cardiovascular diseases, Asthma & Allergies.

Step 2 – Sanitation/Disinfection 

Decontamination of rodent waste such as urine and feces is necessary since it is toxic and affects the indoor air quality. Disinfecting and neutralizing the rodent scent will ensure that rodents won’t find their way back in and cause additional damages. 

 

Step 3 – Rodent Proofing

We will identify and seal all points of entry so rodents will not be able to access the home and will be forced to go and nest somewhere else. 

Rodents get into your attic or crawl space through imperfections in your home structure such as the roof, gutters, house footer, and pipes. We actually created a map that shows the most common areas. Rodent proofing/exclusion is an efficient solution to create a physical barrier between the home and the rodents living outside of it. 

Rodent proofing is done in 4 areas:

  1. Attic – We look for gaps and holes around pipes, electrical wires, cables, vents, chimney and anything that can lead to the inside of the home.
  2. Crawl space/basement – We look for gaps and cracks in the foundation and around pipes coming from the outside. It is common that rodents will dig through the soil into the basement and from there they can find a way into the attic through water pipes.
  3. The footing of the house – We look for any imperfections around the foundation and then seal any gaps or cracks.
  4. Roof –  Rodents may enter the home by chewing through wood. We check the roof joints and any fan/vents with access to the attic.

 

Step 4 – Air sealing

Blocking gaps and cracks between the attic and the living space, so there is no air transfer.

Small air leaks in the attic space are a major source for heat loss in many homes. Chances are your ceiling has the equivalence of a 2-ft. square hole that’s acting like a chimney, drafting expensive heated air into your attic and sucking cold air in around your windows and doors. Gaps could be found around electrical wires, pipes, vents and light fixtures. 

Why is it important to do air sealing?

If you combine all gaps and cracks prior to air sealing it’s like having a 2ft by 2ft window open in your home at all times, which results in energy loss.  Air sealing is required per Title 24 which is a building code for energy efficiency. Air sealing is a service that is oftentimes neglected by the contractor who is hired to remove and replace the insulation so my advice – keep an eye on your insulation contractor. 

 

Step 5 – New Insulation 

Reinsulate your attic or crawl space according to city energy efficiency code. 

Since 90% of homes in the US are under-insulated there is a good chance your home will require an insulation upgrade. New insulation installed up to the proper code will lower your energy bills and will get you an even, comfortable home temperature.  Check out the Recommended home insulation R-Value here >>.

5 steps to get rid of rodents

The benefits of using the 5 steps

Once you complete our 5 step solution your home will stay clean, safe, energy-efficient, and rodent-free. Our 5 step process will also help you:

    • Protect your family’s health
    • Achieve better indoor air quality
    • Reduce the risk for asthma and cardiovascular issues. 
    • Lower your energy bills & save money. Check this insulation calculator -> 
    • Get even, comfortable home temperature
    • Add value to your home 
    • Reduce your carbon footprint by saving energy
    • Use less electricity or gas to heat and cool your home.

 

What’s the cost of doing the 5 steps? 

The cost of doing a full attic or crawl space makeover can vary between $2.7 – $4.3 per sqft and is calculated by the size of your space, the amount of damages that need to be fixed, and your geographical area. Keep in mind this price will typically not include replacement of any chewed up air ducts or deep cleaning of your HVAC system. 

What’s the cost of pest control services?

Depending on your area and your home size pest control can charge $100-$350 per visit. This rate will only include monitoring the rodent activity (laying traps, checking on old traps and spraying a repellent around the house).

 

FAQs

Q. How long does it take to do the 5 steps?

A. Cleaning, disinfecting, rodent proofing, air sealing and reinsulating your attic or crawl space should only take one day on average. For spaces over 2000 square feet, it could take 2 days.

Q. Do I need to replace the air ducts in case of a rodent infestation?

A. Most likely yes. If air ducts were damaged by rodents it is important to replace them in order to prevent airborne contaminants from traveling into the living space. In this case, we also highly recommend doing a full clean-up of your HVAC system-

just send this to your preferred HVAC contractor: 

I need furnace deep cleaning:

  • Clean, disinfect and lubricate the blower
  • Clean the area inside the furnace 
  • Chemical wash to the coil and condenser

Q. Why is pest control still necessary once the 5 steps are done? 

A. We were asked numerous times if pest control is still necessary after completing the 5 step solution and the answer is yes. It is equally important to take preventative steps along with maintenance. Since no one can guarantee against forces of nature we recommend hiring a local pest control company to monitor any activity, lay traps, and update you if rodents found or created new ways to get into your attic or crawl space. Monitoring the activity doesn’t need to be as frequent now that you have completed the 5 steps, and so we recommend doing it 2-3 times a year at most. 

 

What is the secret to keeping mice, rats, and rodents out?

The secret to a long-lasting solution when it comes to rodent issues is to use both methods side by side. Pest control is a maintenance service that every homeowner needs to do just like cutting the grass and cleaning the house. In other words, if we compare your home to a car and rodent infestation means you need to replace the engine, which is a one time service, once you have replaced your engine, you will still need to do an oil change every few months to keep everything running in good condition. 

Key point: Pest control is necessary for maintenance like cleaning your home and cutting your grass.

 

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