THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES
So many of us have the privilege of living on or near the water here in the sunshine state, and while we take great enjoyment from the water, it does come with a often hidden bad guy. The Florida brown water rats and the black rats. In the cartoon world they are portrayed as cute & cuddly, the reality is these guys can do a ton of damage to your home in a very short period of time. They nest in high places and your attic is the is the perfect little haven for rats to breed. The breeding cycle is every 3-7 weeks and they have 8-12 young at a time, rabbits have nothing on these critters. If you have the misfortune of a rodent infestation in your attic, this is not something to ignore. They can destroy ductwork, insulation, PVC pipe, and even wiring.
The first to go is the insulation, rats are not courteous creatures and the urinate & defecate while scurrying about. Rodent urine crystalizes and those particulates then become airborne. If your duct system is not sealed properly or the little buggers have started to chew on it to get nesting material, poof, air conditioner comes on and you are now breathing in crystalized rodent urine particles! (for more about duct work, see previous article) Those particulates can just be an irritant to those with a healthy respiratory system, or they can lead to serious respiratory problems up to & including a nasty little infection called hantavirus. For more on hantavirus see www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/.
Ok, now that you’re officially grossed, what can you do if you’ve got rodents in your attic? We here at Art Plumbing & AC can help. The first step is to find the intrusion points, where are they getting in the house? Rodents really only need a hole the size of a quarter and they are in. Entry points can be plumbing stacks, through soffits, small holes in roof valleys to name a few. Second step is a couple days & nights of trapping to make sure there are no more unwanted house guests after entry points are sealed. Third step depends on how bad the infestation was, if it’s been caught early it can just be minor repairs and a sanitation process.
The other scenario is much worse, depending on the amount of damage. This can go as far as needing to completely redo everything in the attic, insulation removed, attic sanitized, ductwork replaced, attic re-insulated. As you would imagine, it can be a very costly process in the worst case world. If you suspect that you have a rodent issue, the sooner we can identify & stop it, the better off your home & wallet are going to be.
As always, we here at Art Plumbing & AC are always there when you need us, if you suspect you have a rodent problem call us today for a complimentary attic evaluation. One of our trained and certified comfort consultant will inspect you’re home inside & out to offer you the best possible solutions to keep your home healthy & safe.
House Whisperer out………
PS: If you don’t have a rodent problem, tip to not get one is to make sure you keep all vegetation off the roofline of your home, palm trees are a rodent superhighway.