What Damage Can Rodents Do In Crawl Spaces And Attics?

Rodents can be found just about anywhere inside a home, especially in the kitchen where they scavenge for food. However, they do need a hiding place where they can be safe, breed, and make their home. The most common hiding place of rodents and also the most commonly neglected areas are the crawl spaces and attics. Not only are these places left alone, but they are also dark and warm, perfect breeding grounds for rodents.
If you suspect that your crawl space and attic are housing rodents, you need to get rid of them immediately. They pose not only health risks but also property damage as well.
Structure Damage
Crawl spaces are usually damp due to water leakage. They’re also warm because they trap heat. Because of these elements, they become the perfect place for mold and mildew to grow. Mold and mildew do significant damage to the structure of the house. They hasten up the rotting and deterioration process of wood, and in time, they will weaken the structure.
Aside from mold and mildew, rodents also make these crawl spaces and attics their home. Humans seldom enter these areas, so rodents are usually given free reign over these neglected places. They will chew through insulation material and wood to make their nests. Damaged insulation and vapor barriers increase humidity and cause excessive moisture, leading to structural damage of the property.
Rodents will also chew electrical wires. If you don’t do anything to get rid of them and repair the damage they caused, it could easily cause a house fire.
Additional Expenses
Since rodents can do significant damage to your property, you will need to have the damages they caused repaired. Rotten wood should be replaced so as to protect the integrity of the house; electrical wirings should be replaced to prevent faulty electrical wirings and house fire; and insulation should be replaced to make the house more energy-efficient and to prevent high humidity. All these, of course, mean additional expenses on your part.
Health Risks
Rodents in crawl spaces and attics also pose huge health risks. Rodents, after all, are known disease carriers. They carry with them millions of pathogenic organisms that can easily be transferred to humans. They have ticks and fleas, pests that are known to carry deadly viruses and bacteria. If you get bitten by an infected tick or flea, the pathogenic organism can be transmitted to you.
Their urine and feces are also teeming with pathogenic organisms. If you unknowingly ingested food or drank water that’s been contaminated with their urine or feces, the pathogenic organism can enter your body and cause medical problems. If left untreated, you could end up in the hospital, suffering from complications.
You can avoid all these problems if you keep rodents away from your home. You can set up traps to capture rodents already living in your crawl space or attic. You can also scatter rodent repellents to keep them away. In addition to these, you can repair your crawl space and attic and see to it that there are no entryways for rodent to gain access to your home. Finally, if the rodent infestation is severe, you can get in touch with your pest control company to get rid of them for you.

  • The photo included in this article is a free image via http://www.sxc.hu/. Credits to puellakas.
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Jennifer Daisley writes for a Portland pest control company. Rodents should be kept away from your home as they can do significant damage to your property and cause diseases as well.