Rodent Damage & Preventative Steps to Take This Winter
As the temperature continues to drop this time of year, humans aren’t the only ones seeking warmer areas to rest. Mice, rats, and other rodents move indoors this time of year to nest as well as look for more food sources that may be stored. It is your responsibility to protect your house from rodent damage as damages caused by rodents or other animals is not covered by an insurance policy.
What types of damage can rodents cause?
Rodents that nest in crawl spaces under a home can wreak havoc on your insulation as well as any items that you may store in there. They will make bedding out of anything soft including pulling down your insulation, shredding up paper, cardboard, and fabric so if you store things in your crawl space, be sure they’re in a sealed plastic bin so the rodent can’t chew or scratch its way through.
Urine & Droppings: Mice and rats can make a smelly mess. The adage that says don’t go to the bathroom where you sleep isn’t true for mice and rats. They don’t seem to mind and if your home has a rodent problem, you’ll see (and often smell) droppings on everything.
How did a rodent get into my house?
Rodents are crafty and will burrow under a home and enter through a dirt floor (like in a crawl space) or they can squeeze through cracks in a foundation, a broken window, or gaps around the home such as exterior boards. Once inside, they can squeeze up into your walls and make their way all the way around your home. Rats often make their way up into attics. If you have a rat in your attic, you’ll likely hear it scurry around.
Preventative Steps to Protect Your Home from Rodent Damage
To protect your home, do a visual inspection for any obvious places a rodent could squeeze in. If your home has a crawlspace, look for vents around the foundation and inspect those as oftentimes, the screens that keep things out become damaged and allow for room to get in.
Never store food in your garage or crawl space. Food will attract rodents. If you do store food, make sure it is in air-tight containers.
How do you get rid of rodents in a house?
Unfortunately, the only way to get a rodent out of a home is to trap it. There are a variety of traps available but beware of using any that contain poison if you have children or animals in your own home. Additionally, poison traps can leave a dead animal in an area you can’t reach, leading to a stinky problem for quite some time. Consider calling a professional or even using humane traps to remove the rodents.
Before you trap, be sure you’ve remedied the entry point. Because the problem will quickly return if you haven’t solved the entry point issue.
Will my insurance pay to repair rodent damage?
No, rodent damage is not typically covered by a home insurance policy because this type of damage occurred over an extended period of time. Rodents can take months or years to create noticeable damage, but by then it is too late and the damages you couldn’t see are extensive. Your best option is to call several crawl space cleanout or insulation companies. They can give you a quote to fix the damage as well as seal up your crawl space to avoid future issues.
Take care of your home and your home will take care of you. If you’re needing a quote on a great insurance policy to help protect it, give us a call. We represent the top-rated insurance companies and can give you multiple options for coverage as well as pricing.