Rodents And Allergies
It’s that time of year again and allergy season is right around the corner. You have your Zyrtec in hand and your bathroom cabinet is overflowing with Claritin D. Even though allergy season hasn’t come yet, you are still having symptoms. This time, it may be a little more serious than you think. If you have an attic or crawlspace with rodent activity, these uninvited guests may not only be causing your allergy symptoms, but can even cause severe medical problems.
Rodent allergy symptoms feel a lot like seasonal allergy symptoms. Everything about mice, raccoons, squirrels, or even possums, from their hair to their saliva and urine, can lead to the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sneezing/ nasal congestion
- Scratchy throat
- Eczema Just because you hear noises only in your attic doesn’t mean their hair and droppings can’t find their way into your living spaces. When droppings dry they turn to dust and this, along with rodent hair, can make its way into your home through your air ducts and recess lights.
All of the pests mentioned above leave behind droppings or urinate wherever they go and when they do they tend to track their feces with them. Eventually they will find their way from your attic or crawl space and into your home so whatever the rodent touches, your countertop, bathroom sink, or even the food you leave on your table, can instantly become harmful. Once the rodent urine dries it releases a special protein, a viral infectious disease called lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) and it can cause some nasty symptoms such as:
- Muscle aches
The worst diseases can come at any moment. The longer you are exposed the more likely you are to contract other diseases such as:
- Rat-bite fever
- Cardiovascular disease
Unfortunately all the diseases and symptoms listed above are not the only ones that can occur. This is why it is absolutely crucial to address any kind of rodent infestation, no matter how small, as soon as it occurs. Just one mouse is all you need to attract more. Their urine leaves behind a scent and once another pest smells this scent they feel it is safe to enter that space. One mouse leads to two leads to a whole colony in no time.
Let’s say for argument’s sake you don’t believe rodents can find their way into your home. The amount of damage they can do alone is enough to get you moving.
- Rodents use insulation to make nests in your attic because they’re attracted to warm, dark areas
- Nests can also be made inside your air ducts, affecting the air quality and circulation
- Torn and chewed insulation loses R value
- Heaters and air conditioning units work overtime with less insulation, raising your energy bills
- Property value decreases with poor insulation
- These pests chew on everything including electrical wiring
- Electrical issues (such as small power outages)
- Home fires can occur as a result of this constant chewing
Finding the right professional isn’t always easy but here are a few things to look out for before choosing the right company:
- Must be able to clean and sanitize contaminated areas
- Safely remove and discard any contaminated insulation and air ducts
- Seal off all points of entry for rodents
A few more things to keep in mind: Always ask for a warranty- Although the company may block off every entry point, rodents may find their way back by creating new holes. The longer a rodent has been in your attic or crawlspace, the harder it is to keep them away because now they’ve made a home. Warranties assure you that the company will stand behind their work and come back if there are any issues.
It is important that the company understands how serious your rodent issue is. Safety has to be their number one priority. You don’t want the company spreading feces all over your home because they weren’t careful enough in the removal process.
Putting down new insulation on top of feces is counter productive. All the risks of diseases and allergy symptoms are still there if contaminated areas are not disinfected.
The whole point of discarding and sanitizing is to make your home safe again. If all the same old entry points are still open, it’s only a matter of time before the rodents find their way in again which is why the company has to not only be able to find any and all points of entry but effectively seal them off as well.