Every year in Tapping we are called in to remove stinky dead rats from people’s roof spaces. In one out of every 5 homes we find the insulation in the roof space so damaged by dead, rotting rats over decades of pest control neglect that insulation removal and replacement is the only option.
We are often shocked at the health condition of the homes’ owners and their families who report to us that they have been unwell with respiratory and other issues for extended periods of time. We know from direct experience that removing the toxic, degraded insulation in the roof space can lead to a startling improvement in the health of all members living in that house.
Read on to find our what rats are doing in your roof and why effective pest control is critical to saving your family thousands of dollars by avoiding costly damage to insulation, piping and wiring.
Spotting rat droppings in your home? Hearing scratching in your roof? Well, you very likely have rats living in your roof. This comes with many potential health risks. If the rats are nesting in your insulation their urine and feces can dry down and eventually become a cloud of fine dust that you can breathe in, causing you to become really sick. Getting your home inspected by a professional is the best option suspect you have a problem. Let’s face it, if you think you have rats in your roof you probably don’t want to go up into the roof and deal with them yourself - the smell will be disgusting and there is a high potential for dead and rotting rats to also be there. Hiring a professional is always your best bet, as they know how to deal with dead rodents safely.
Megatech professionals will handle the process from start to finish, ensuring your home is safe for you. We will even come back to do regular checks to ensure the rats stay away from the home and that you never have to go through a process like this again.
Book Today if you know for sure you have rats in your roof and want to get the problem dealt with ASAP.
Let’s first talk about the obvious effects of having rats living in your attic: lack of sleep and emotional stress. Rats, like most rodents, are nocturnal, meaning they actively search for food under the cloak of night. When you lay down in bed after a long and exhausting day at work, you might hear the scampering of rat feet running throughout the attic. Rather than catching some much-needed sleep, you lie in bed staring at the alarm clock for hours on end.
There’s also a very real emotional stress that comes along with rat infestations in the attic. Even if you rarely see them, just knowing that you are sharing your home with these dirty rodents creates emotional stress.
You might be surprised to learn that rat infestations in the attic pose a serious fire risk. This is due to their ability and natural instinct to chew through anything in their way. Whether it’s cardboard, styrofoam, wood or even electrical wires, rats use their razor-sharp teeth to chew through just about anything. If a rat happens to chew critical electrical wires, it may create a fire.
Homeowners with a rodent infestation should exercise extreme caution before handling rat droppings. Rat feces carries a number of potentially fatal diseases that spread to humans, usually by hand-to-mouth contact. To eliminate the risk of contracting viruses, rodent infestations and feces removal should be carried out by trained pest control companies. Rat droppings are blunt or pointed spindles of between 1.5 and 20cm in length and are dark in colour.
Now just to scare you a little into taking some action here are some of the potential diseases that Rats could be infecting your home with. Now, this is a more than a little scary but don’t worry as long as you get the house inspected and the problem fixed by a professional these health conditions will not have long term effects, as long as everything is addressed fast.
Of course, rat infestations may also leave your family susceptible to disease and illness. Rats were responsible for transmitting the Bubonic Plague, which killed millions of Europeans, so don’t underestimate their potential. Some of the diseases and illnesses modern-day rats are known to carry include the following:
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, discovered in 1993, is a rare disease found in the United States. The potentially deadly virus transfers through rat urine and droppings. Aching, tiredness and a fever are early signs of an infection and the large muscle groups are most commonly affected. As the disease develops, headaches, nausea and vomiting are prevalent. The late symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome are coughing and shortness of breath that resembles being smothered by a pillow. Symptoms appear after one to five weeks of contact with rat feces and infections are often fatal.
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, or HFRS, is a global illness derived from the Seoul, Hantaan and Puumala viruses. Often found in Eastern Asia, HFRS transfers through the droppings, urine and saliva of rats. Unlike other diseases, HFRS passes from human to human although this is quite rare. Incubation takes 1 to 2 weeks and symptoms include violent headaches, abdominal pain, fever and blurred vision. Fatality rates can be as high as 15%.
Salmonella infection usually results from ingestion of the bacteria from contaminated food, water or hands. Eggs, milk, meat or poultry are particularly high-risk foods. Fruit and vegetables may also be contaminated, especially if manure has been used as fertiliser. If a rat has walked over or been nibbling on your food or food preparation surfaces the disease can easily be spread.
People may become infected if they transfer animal feces containing Salmonella bacteria from their hands to their mouths, for example, if eating after touching animals and failing to wash their hands.
Tularemia is a rare bacterial disease that is usually acquired from handling infected animals, bites of infected ticks or deer flies or from contaminated food or water. In Australia, ringtail possums have been associated with human infection. Using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves, pants and socks and wearing gloves when handling dead animals can help prevent infection.
Arenaviridae are a family of viruses transmitted through rat droppings and urine. Common diseases include Lassa fever and Brazilian hemorrhagic fever, which are specific to one particular species of rat in each case. Arenaviridae is particularly common in South America and has unique strains found in counties such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Argentina. Agricultural workers are often prone to viruses and in many instances, diseases pass from person to person by airborne transmission. Flu-like symptoms are common and some strains of the virus result in blood being found in human urine and stools.
Leptospirosis transfers to humans when rat feces is cleared from wet or damp areas during an infestation. The rodent often urinates at the same time as it produces droppings, which results in cross-contamination of water and a greater risk of contracting multiple diseases. Symptoms include jaundice, rashes, abdominal pain and red eyes. Leptospirosis requires antibiotic treatments and the disease is often contracted by sewage workers, water sports enthusiasts and children.
DO NOT attempt to remove dropping on your own without extreme caution and the right protective gear.This is so important please call a professional such as Megatech Pest control, this is the most effective way to ensure your health.
Rats typically transmit diseases through urine and droppings. When the sun goes down and family members go their bedrooms to sleep, rats will make their way down from the attic and into the kitchen where they scavenge for any available food. As they tear into your bread, cookie mix, muffin mix and other food products they leave behind small piles of feces along with pools of urine.
Note: it’s recommended that homeowners dealing with rat infestations place their food in sealed containers until the problem is resolved. This will help protect against transmitted disease while depriving rats of their food source. The plastic wrap of a typical loaf of bread isn’t enough to keep rats at bay. Instead, you need to place the bread in a long plastic container that’s fully sealed.
Another of the problems that rats can cause when it comes to insulation is that they will use the material as a latrine, and this is something that can be a big problem. It can be recognised by stains and small black pellets of feces in the material of the insulation. The real issue caused by this is that it has health implications, as there are diseases that can become airborne in rat feces that can then become a significant problem for those who go into the attic.
Issue # 1: Nesting Somewhere Else
As a general rule, anything a rat or mouse can pull apart with its claws is at risk of becoming a nest. This means that if you choose bulk insulation that relies on glues to hold the fibres together, over time that glue will weaken and the insulation becomes inviting for tiny claws.
Issue # 2: Nesting in Your Insulation
Sometimes rats and mice don’t even bother carrying insulation away. If your insulation lets them crawl between the insulation and the floorboards, you’ve got the potential for trouble. This includes loose-fitting solutions like packing strap, wire or nails. If a rodent can get in there, they’ll snuggle and breed between the layers because it makes a delightfully cosy hideaway for them and their offspring. And, take our word for it, if a rat dies in the nest they’ve made under your home, you’ll smell it pretty quickly.
Blown insulation, also known as loose-fill or cellulose insulation, is an extremely popular form of attic insulation. However, it’s also a magnet for mice who love to burrow up in the material and settle in to avoid the elements outside. Getting rid of mice when you have blown insulation can be tedious, but it’s not impossible.
Rats will eat though EVERYTHING:
Are all no match for a rat. They can and will cause havoc throughout your roof space and home. If you think you might have rats call in someone right away because as shown below they can damage active water pipes and add water damage to your damages list.
Now to get into the gross stuff - below will show images of rodents and how they can affect your insulation and the pipes in your roof. Call MTS Pest control today to get started and let us deal with all the gross business.
As you can see above Rodents can cause damage to working pipes such as water pipes or even more worryingly gas pipes. Dried urine and feces are dangerous because as it breaks down it can get into the air spreading diseases. Given that airconditioning ducts are designed to be lightweight they are no match for the teeth of rodents, which will affect how well your air conditioning unit will run.
Rodent damaged insulation is common in many homes. However, more often than not homeowners do nothing about it and think replacing rodent damaged insulation is too difficult or too expensive. On the contrary, quite the opposite is true; in fact, from a health standpoint, you probably can’t afford not to replace the insulation.
Below is a showcase of even more havoc and damage that rodents can cause in just your roof! Wire damage can cost a fortune as you will need it all to be rewired before new insulation can be installed, as wire damage can cause fires if left unfixed. And of course, since they are often nesting in your insulation the rodents are ripping it apart and ruining it, so it will need to be replaced.
This doesn’t even mention the smell from the rats before and after they die. It is important to note that if you plan to use poison on the rodents that you should always use baits that are a slower working poison as rats are smarter then you think and if a rat eats from a source and dies shortly after they will no longer eat the bait. Make sure that if you use poison that you are checking regularly for dead rats to avoid the smell once they die.
Cleaning up rodent damaged insulation is not just rolling it up and putting it in a bag. There’s a process you must follow to clean up the insulation. The process for our cleanup procedures looks something like the following:
During this process, the area is well ventilated and our service people wear full disposable suits, gloves, booties, and full-face respirators.
Wetting the dried feces and urine in disinfectant is the safest way of removal, as dust can not fly into the air and into lungs.
The infected and destroyed insulation will be removed in bags to not allow any of the harmful dust into your home.
Vacuuming of feces to avoid contact.
The cleanup process is intense but the end result is not only new insulation but a healthy place for you to live. Not only will we remove the old, disgusting, nested-in, feces-filled insulation safely we will replace it with high-quality insulation.
Once the old insulation and the bulk of the feces and rubbish have been bagged up (to avoid potentially disease-riddled fibres from getting into the air) we will remove it from your premises and dispose of it responsibly. As for replacement insulation, we use Bradford Gold Ceiling bolts, which are Made in Australia for Australian conditions. Bradford Gold Hi-Performance Batts are made from glass wool, the world’s most popular insulation material. It is a highly cost-effective solution to rising energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Bradford Gold insulation - 70-year performance warranty
Vaccumed and fully cleaned roof space
Fresh, new insulation installed - prevention methods are taken to reduce re-infestation.
Cover up cracks! - Any gap or cracks, even if they are the size of a ten cent piece, are large enough for rats to sneak through. While it is important that you search and cover all your outer walls, it is just as important to protect all parts of your property. You don’t want any structure on your property to become home to rodents - also check all sheds, enclosed patios and any other building on your property.
Clean up and cover trash - Rodents love exploring rubbish, and it is critical not to give them any openings to do so. That includes not only food but anything they can chew through or hide under. Keep bins tightly sealed, because smells can attract a number of rodents. Move any large piles of waste that might be on your property to a waste disposal site quickly.
Secure food - Kepp your pantry closed and sealed at all times. Don’t store food where it can be easily chewed into or accessed from the outdoors. It is a good idea to buy thick containers to store products like flour and sugar and to not leave them in their original bags.
Protect your pipes - If you have any pipes that lead out of your house make sure these pipes are properly protected. Use tightly fitting metal grates or screens to cover drains, especially in basement areas. Check that all drain pipes are in good working order.
Lay baits - Using the right kind of bait at the right times can help prevent rats from returning. Do not keep the baits out all the time as then they can build up immunity to that type of poison. Be sure to use the baits right after the cleanup process but only for a short period of time. If you think that the rats may be returning use the baits again.
Regular pest control is often the most reliable form of prevention. Rat bait stations professionally managed are a trusted rat deterrent and are safe to use even in locations where children or pets are present.
Your local qualified Pest Control Technician can provide the most suitable treatments to a rat problem identified in your home or business. Professional services are often the most reliable way to guarantee a long-term solution to a pest problem.
Megatec Pest Control Tapping is well respected in the industry and we keep up to date with all licenses, insurances and trade organisations. We are members of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association and the Pest Control Board of Australia, accredited by Trades Monitor, fully insured by WorkCover and certified by Termidor and HAACP Australia.
We service most areas in Tapping, providing pest control in Tapping City and CBD, Eastern Suburbs, Western Suburbs, Northern Suburbs, Southern Suburbs, The Hills and beyond.
Our commercial pest control technicians are highly skilled and use only the safest and most effective techniques for pest eradication, all of our chemicals are environmentally friendly and safe to both humans and pets.
Megatec Pest Control Tapping always provides a no-obligation free quote prior to starting any extermination work. We’ll inspect your property, determine a plan of action and then suggest the most affordable strategy based on the extent of your problem. Our rates are very competitive within the industry but our service is unmatched.
Each of our pest control professionals goes through an extensive and thorough training program in order to work for us. We also require periodic brush-up courses and continually provide extra training. Our employees must hold a current WA Pest Management License (Cert II), an OHS General Induction Card.
Megatec Pest Control Tapping is fully equipped to handle properties of any size. We work with restaurants, hotels and strata complexes to implement integrated termite control strategies. Our commercial pest management team is available 24/7 to take care of our commercial clients when they need us most.
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