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What to Know About Pests and Insulation

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Pest infestation is easy to forget about, even though they can take over your yard, your home, and even your walls—specifically, your insulation. Summertime is also when pests naturally increase their activity, which could be bad news for you.

Keep reading to learn more about common pest issues and how you can protect your home (and insulation)!

Common pests that will ruin your insulation

There are a variety of infiltrators that love (and will ruin) your insulation. Some of the primary invaders include:

  • Ants looking for food and water. On their journey, they can find their way into your insulation. Damp insulation will especially draw their attention.
  • Rodents, such as mice and rats trying to cool off.
  • Termites searching for wood and refuge.
  • Bees and Wasps looking for a spot to build their nests.
  • Spiders and cockroaches seeking cool, dark places.

Any one of these pests can find your insulation for seemingly no reason, but once they’re in there, they’re hard to evict.

Why pests love your insulation

As we touched on in the above section, there are numerous reasons that pests will make a home in your insulation. Things like breeding needs, hot temperatures, and a search for food and water will send them in every direction, looking for the perfect space to meet their necessities. If your home isn’t safely warded against pests, then your insulation will become the perfect place for them to take care of all their needs.

Damage pests will cause your insulation

If pests in your wall aren’t bad enough, it can be extremely expensive, too, due to the ruination that will precede their tenancy. Problems that will arise include:

  • Nests that reduce the effectiveness of your insulation
  • Chewing and burrowing that will leave behind holes, tunnels, and pathways
  • Moisture and mold – because increased moisture is likely to attract them in the first place, their habitation will further deteriorate the damage already done
  • Increased heat in your home due to the loss of energy efficiency
  • Increased health risks since pests can carry diseases and allergens both on them and in their urine and feces
  • Further pest infestation – once they’ve found their way in once, it’ll be easier for more to follow

If you suspect pests in your insulation, this can be a sign that the insulation you had was already damaged. Either way, the best way to save what you have already is to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Signs your insulation has been impacted by pest invasion

If you’re not sure whether there are pests living in between your walls or not, there are a variety of signs you can look out for. Some of these include:

Reduced Energy Efficiency

Insulation that has been infiltrated and damaged by pests will be less effective at regulating the temperature within your home. This will lead to increased energy bills, A/C activity, and less comfortability throughout your space.

Visible Signs of Damage

You will see the damage done by pests. It will look like torn or shredded insulation that’s been chewed up and/or scattered around. It can also look like holes and tunnels dug from things that have burrowed through it. One last clue is nests made of insulation and other materials, a sure sign of rodent activity.

Pest Activity

Signs that pests are somewhere in your home include droppings, urine stains and odors, grease marks, and dead insects/rodents. If they’ve had time to die within your insulation, this is a strong indicator of an ongoing issue.

Unusual Noises and Smells

Pest activity can cause sounds to come from your walls and/or attic, especially at night. These can sound like scratching, scurrying, or anything else that doesn’t normally come from the inside of your walls.

There may also be an increase in bad smells since they’ll most likely leave behind waste and carcasses.

How to keep pests out of your insulation

The best path forward is that of prevention. Some preemptive things you can do to keep pests away include:

  • Regular inspections of your attic, basement, and wall cavities
  • Ensuring entry points are sealed up—such as cracks, gaps, and openings around your home’s exterior
  • Keep your home clean and free of food debris so pests aren’t further attracted to your home (especially ants and rodents)
  • Maintain the moisture levels of your home with proper ventilation in insulated areas and dehumidifiers in high-humid spaces
  • Insulate your home with pest-resistant materials like spray foam insulation
  • Take advantage of professional pest control companies and exterminators with regular inspections, maintenance, and treatments to keep pest populations to a minimum

Working with North Star Insulating

Whether you have a pest problem or not, it may be time for new insulation and summer is a great time to get started. Contact us to schedule a free inspection and receive a quote from one of our experts!