Contaminated Insulation Issues
Animals living in your roof, walls or attic can cause significant damage to your insulation. This poses serious health concerns as contaminated insulation can contain mould, ticks, fleas, and bedbugs. Animal feces are associated with numerous diseases. Contaminated insulation can also cause structural damage and greatly reduces the energy efficiency (R-value) of your house, resulting in higher energy costs, both summer and winter.
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The most common animals (squirrels, raccoons, birds and bats) that make a nest or roost in your roof, walls or attic can cause significant damage.
FACT: Squirrels, raccoons, skunks and birds all use insulation material to build their nests.
Wildlife and their young will soak insulation with urine and feces.
FACT: This damage can cause rot and mould problems if left uncontrolled.
Animals will both contaminate and trample insulation throughout the roof, walls or attic.
FACT: The energy efficiency (R-value) of insulation is significantly reduced when it is wet or compressed. An attic which is properly insulated to R-50 (code is R-32), will reduce energy bills by 30-60%.
Bird and bat feces are highly contaminated.
FACT: Inhaling bird or bat feces can cause an incurable respiratory disease known as histoplasmosis, characterized by constant flu-like symptoms. The very young, very old and those with impaired immune systems are at greatest risk for severe illness.
Raccoon feces are commonly infected with a roundworm known as Baylisascaris. The eggs are extremely resilient and cannot be destroyed through conventional methods.
FACT: If the eggs are ingested by humans, they can cause nausea, organ malfunction, blindness, loss of muscle control and even death.
Animal feces and urine can cause mould build-up, which spreads easily throughout roofs, walls and attics.
FACT: Mould can cause respiratory problems, especially among those with allergies.
Squirrels, raccoons, birds and bats are commonly infected with ticks, fleas and bedbugs.
FACT: These parasites will often embed themselves in the insulation. When the animals are removed, the parasites will look for new hosts, such as pets and people.