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Attic Insulation

Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Attic

Have you seen signs of rodent infestation around your home or business? If you’re concerned about sharing your home with an unwanted guest, keep an eye out for common signs of an infestation.

Rodents can damage your home’s insulation. The team at SoDak Insulation is here to help. If rodents have done a number on your attic insulation, give us a call today.

What Are The Signs Of Rodent Infestation?

Rodents leave a variety of clues when they invade your home. An active infestation can be spotted with your eyes, ears, and even your nose.

If you have rodents in your attic, they are likely in other parts of your home as well. Keep an eye out for these telltale signs as you inspect your attic and the rest of your home.

rodent looking through hole in the attic wall

Rodent Droppings

One of the most definitive signs of rodent infestation is the discovery of rodent droppings around the home. 

If you have spotted small brown or black pellets around food packages or near baseboards, you have a rodent infestation.

Mice and rats have similar droppings. Mouse droppings have pointed ends, are smooth, and are between an eighth and a fourth of an inch long. Rat droppings are a bit larger and often have more squared-off ends. 

Always wear gloves and a dust mask when cleaning to avoid getting sick.

Gnaw Marks

Rodents have strong teeth that keep growing throughout their lives. Gnawing helps them keep their teeth in check.

Mice and rats use their teeth to gain access to your home. Once inside, they happily chew their way through walls, electrical wires, and food containers.

Rodent gnaw marks look like very small nibbles with evenly spaced, tiny parallel lines. A house mouse may leave telltale gnaw marks on your walls, furniture, or the bottom of doors. 

sign of rodent infestation is a rodent on your kitchen counter

The Smell Of Urine

Mice have a peculiar smell that resembles stale urine or ammonia. The odor helps them to mark their territory.

If you discover an animal smell when you open a cabinet or closet, you most likely have a rodent.

Rub Marks and Tracks

When rats move around your home, they often leave dark smudges on the baseboards. Rats have oily fur that leaves a residue on surfaces. They like to stick with familiar paths and keep near walls, and their tracks can be seen with a close look.

In the attic, your insulation leaves a clear trail where mice have been. Mouse pathways in your insulation look like small, 1- to 2-inch deep hallways.

A Dead Body

You found a body in your pantry. Did you think, “Oh good, it’s dead”? 

Sadly, if there was one mouse in your house, there is very likely more than one mouse in your house.

Mice follow the scent of other mice. That one critter you found very likely has brothers and sisters living in your walls.

Don’t wait to meet the whole family. 

Scratching Noises

Rodents don’t trim their toenails. One of the signs of rodent infestation is scratching noise from inside your walls. 

Rodent sounds are most noticeable at night when they are most active and your home is the quietest. 

Nests

 

Rodents love to build nests from shredded paper, bedding, and insulation. Check the dark corners of your home, as well as behind furniture and in cabinets.

What To Do When You Have Rodents In Your Home

You noticed the signs of a rodent and confirmed you have a trespassing critter. Don’t delay: Take steps to remove those rodents right away.

Follow these steps to evict your unwelcome guest:

  1. Attempt to determine how it got into your home. Fix any holes or gaps that could provide access to additional rodents.
  2. Secure any potential sources of food. Food in plastic bags should be placed in containers with thicker walls. Don’t leave the pet food out, either.
  3. Place traps. If you know the animal’s trail, set traps along their path. Bait them with chocolate or peanut butter. 

But remember: Never place snap traps or poison where pets or small children can access them. 

Eliminating unwanted pests can be an unpleasant job. You always have the option to bring in professional help. 

how to keep rodents out of your attic

How To Keep Rodents Out Of Your Home

After you’ve gotten rid of your mice or rats, you’ll want to take action to make sure your home stays rodent-free. Incorporate these steps into your home maintenance to keep the critters out:

  • Walk around the outside of your home and check for any cracks, gaps, or other openings. Mice only need a quarter of an inch to push through. 
  • Fix water leaks. A dripping spigot provides a consistent water source for rodents and other animals. 
  • Place pantry staples in airtight containers. Flour, rice, and other foods are often packaged in plastic bags, an easy target for rodents. Put your pantry foods in stronger, airtight containers.
  • Don’t let garbage pile up. Rodents love human garbage and are drawn to it. Keep your garbage in tightly sealed containers, both inside and outside your home. Have your garbage hauled away at least weekly.
  • Only feed the animals you want to keep around. Pet and bird feeders are easy targets for rodents.
  • Watch for signs of rodent infestation as the weather outside gets colder. Rodent problems get worse in the fall and winter.

Keeping rodents out is much easier than removing them after they’ve moved in.

If Your Attic Has Been The Home Of Rodents, Consider Replacing Your Insulation

Rodents are dirty, stinky, and sometimes even dangerous. After you’ve evicted them, your home may need clean-up and repairs.

If you had bats, rats, or mice in your attic, your insulation has been their bathroom. This can make your whole home smell bad. 

If you think you might need to replace your attic insulation, contact SoDak Insulation today for a free quote. Our experts will inspect your attic and help you find the best solution for your home. Reach out today.

Categories
Attic Insulation

Choosing Eco-Friendly Insulation for Your Home or Business

Are you interested in eco-friendly insulation for your home? There are numerous products available that will keep your home warm without harming the environment. 

If you’re considering improving your home’s insulation, contact SoDak Insulation today. We would be happy to take a look at your property and give you a free quote. Reach out today to schedule an appointment.

danger asbestos removal in process sign

We Learned A Hard Lesson

Once upon a time, people used asbestos for insulation. It was inexpensive and effective at blocking heat transfer.

Unfortunately, it was also carcinogenic. A lot of people developed cancers and died after breathing asbestos fibers. 

So, we learned a hard lesson. We need to consider more factors than “cheap” and “effective” when choosing the products that make up our home environment. 

We spend a lot of time at home. Our homes should be cozy, but they must also be safe. Eco-friendly material is not only safe for our environment, it’s safe for your family.

How Does Insulation Work?

Like a blanket for your home, insulation works by blocking heat transfer. 

When the air gets warmer, it rises. Your ceiling and roof will block some of that air from floating right up to the sky. But without insulation, most of the heat from your home would float away.

Insulation works by creating a barrier to trap air. The air held in place within the insulation acts like a lid on the air in your home. 

Regardless of the type of insulation, insulating your home will make heating and cooling it more efficient. Eco-friendly insulation will accomplish this in a way that minimizes damage to your family and your environment.

What Is Eco-Friendly Insulation?

Eco-friendly insulation materials have requirements beyond their ability to block heat transfer. 

pet goat eating home insulation

Safe For People And Pets

They need to be safe for the people in your home. Traditional insulators may irritate the eyes, lungs, or skin. Eco-friendly insulation is human-friendly. 

Environmentally Friendly

Eco-friendly insulation has a smaller carbon footprint than its predecessors. This may be accomplished in a few ways:

  1. The product can be made from recycled products. Blue jeans that would otherwise wind up in the landfill can be shredded and made into insulation. 
  2. Using natural material can cut down on the need for nasty chemicals. Formaldehyde and fire retardant chemicals serve a purpose in insulation production. But the cost of that is adding one more poison to the world. That hurts our health and our planet. 

Boric acid is a naturally-occurring, fire-resistant insecticide used on natural materials.

  1. Eco-friendly insulation requires less energy to produce. Cellulose insulation has insulating values similar to fiberglass but needs about a tenth of the production energy to make.
  2. Many eco-friendly insulators can be recycled at the end of their usable life, reducing the space taken up in landfills.

All insulation is eco-friendly in that it improves energy efficiency by reducing heat loss and the energy needed to keep your home warm. But products that also address the side effects (before the install, people’s health, toxicity to the planet) qualify as eco-friendly.

What Are Some Types Of Eco-Friendly Insulation?

Sheep’s Wool

Sheep’s wool makes a wonderful blanket or pair of socks, so it isn’t surprising that it also works well to blanket your house. 

Wool insulation should be treated with a borate product to make it fire- and insect-resistant. Wool is available in batts that can be rolled into the spaces between ceiling joists.

Cotton

South Dakota is a land of farmers. Have you ever met a farmer who didn’t want to wring every bit of usefulness out of their things? 

That’s cotton insulation: old denim jeans are broken down and reworked to give them new life. The fiber is shredded — you won’t find Wrangler’s patches in your walls — and made into batts that are rolled into place.

The downside of cotton: it costs about twice as much as fiberglass.

pile of old blue jeans that will be recycled into eco-friendly insulation

Spray-Foam Insulation

It’s debatable whether this product can be called eco-friendly. Polystyrene is a type of plastic. It is made without any toxic chemicals and is entirely recyclable, so it gets a spot on our list. This excellent insulator is also available in foam insulation boards. 

What Is The Best Eco-Friendly Insulation?

Here at SoDak Insulation, we’ve researched the safest and most efficient types of insulation for our fierce South Dakota winters. 

Our recommendation for most homes: blown-in cellulose insulation. 

Cellulose insulation has several qualities that make it number one in our book:

It Does What Insulation Is Supposed To Do

Insulation, first and foremost, needs to work. Cellulose insulation does an excellent job of blocking heat transfer. This means your home will stay cozy in the winter, and you won’t break the bank cooling it in the summer.

Cellulose Is Safe

Cellulose insulation is made from shredded paper. It doesn’t contain the multitude of toxic chemicals found in some other options. A natural borate coating for fire resistance is all it needs.

It’s Good For The Planet

Cellulose is a great use for paper products that would otherwise take up space in the landfill. We use GreenFiber products at SoDak Insulation. This product is made up of 85% recycled materials. That’s good for the planet and everyone on it.

Greenfiber uses 13 times less energy to produce than fiberglass insulation. Less energy output on the front end translates to a better environment for us all.

Greenfiber is produced in the USA, with a manufacturing site right in our own neighborhood. With a plant in Norfolk, NE, we can receive this insulation in the Sioux Falls area without significant windshield time or CO2 emissions. 

We’re Here To Help Make Your Home — And Your Planet — A Healthier And More Comfortable Place

You have lots of choices when it comes to making your home comfortable for your family. In the past, people didn’t know the extent their decisions had on our environment. Today, we need to do more than keep our own small spaces comfortable. We need to consider how our actions affect the larger world. 

SoDak Insulation is here to help you meet your household’s needs while keeping an eye on environmental responsibility. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.