One-third of Americans have reported a rodent infestation in their homes at least once. All of these cause both health and structural hazards; Health hazards due to disease-carrying rodents and structural hazards through structural damages caused by rodents.
Rodents like rats and mice love nesting and breeding in between the cavities of your walls during the cold months, posing a problem to homeowners. With their sharp teeth that can gnaw through practically any material, a rodent infestation in your home could have damaging effects on your infrastructure.
Rodent infestation can easily blow out of proportion because rodents sexually mature at nine weeks from birth, causing exponential population growth. It could be both frustrating and scary once it goes out of hand, leaving you helpless and desperate for a long-lasting solution that will prevent these species from entering your home.
Insulation Options That Rodents Hate
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as 100% rodent-proof insulation. However, there are a few insulation options you can use that may prevent rodents from feeling at home within your walls. These materials tend to be not as inviting and cozy compared to other insulating materials.
While mice’s teeth are strong enough to chew through any material, they dislike chewing through thin aluminum sheets because its sharpness harms their mouths while chewing.
Rockwool is a rodent’s favorite because it creates a great nest that provides warmth during cold winter nights. A way around this is to use foil-faced Rockwool and seal it shut by taping in an aluminum foil tape to secure the insulation within the studs. The aluminum foil tape will seal the seams closed, creating a barrier to hide the Rockwool before installing your drywall. You will be left with an aluminum-clad surface.
Loose-Fill Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose insulation is regarded as a green and sustainable insulating material made from primarily recycled fibers from newspapers, fabric, and other discarded waste paper products.
Loose-fill cellulose insulation is usually blown into the cavity of your drywall using a machine. It is made up of loose fiber aggregates that settle around in between the hollows of your wall. Rodents specifically hate this because they cannot tunnel through walls with loose cellulose without it falling on them, preventing them from seeking refuge within your walls.
Keeping The Mice at Bay: Protecting your Home
During cold months, warm air can leak through your home’s cracks and crevices, creating a possible entry point for rodents. A gap as small as ¼ inch is enough for a mouse to fit inside; this is why it is important to carefully inspect all possible nooks and crannies and seal them off. Warm air act as a trail that most rodents follow while finding shelter.
Seal all Cracks and Crevices Shut
Prevention is better than cure. To prevent rodents from finding refuge inside your home, you should understand that the absence of cracks and crevices will deter these pests from entering and causing further damage.
Effective filters you can use in sealing off cracks and gaps in your walls and floorboards are high-quality sealants covered in gypsum putty. Make sure to repair the cracks seamlessly to avoid rodents from cracking them open.
Another option that you may use for more significant gaps on your wall is a combination of steel wool and spray foam insulation. Steel wool acts like aluminum foil when chewed on, while spray foam insulation effectively covers the cavities in between your steel wool, preventing rodents from entering your home.
Inspect Possible Entry Points Through Vents and Piping
Vents and Pipes provide an entry point for rodents into your home. These openings need to be left open to allow the flow of air or water.
One way to provide a semi-permeable buffer that can prevent these openings from becoming a possible entry point is to install a steel mesh cover. This solution may not repel rodents from entering fully, but it provides a barrier that prevents them from gaining easy access into your home. This solution still requires periodic maintenance and repair on your end because rodents can chew through practically anything.
Rodent Control and Mitigating Solutions
If you are in the process of building or remodeling your home, now is the time to consider mitigating solutions that will prevent rodents from entering your home. While the studs are all wide open and you can still examine the cavity that lies beyond your walls, here are a few tricks up our sleeve that you can consider while building or renovating your home.
Line your Drywall and Floorboards with a Steel Sheet
It may be an unconventional method, but it works wonders. Sandwiching a steel sheet in between your home’s exterior cladding and studs will prevent warm air from leaking out into the open, and it will deter rodents from eventually finding a possible entry point.
Consider Installing Sliding Screen Doors and Windows
Who does not love natural ventilation during the summer? Installing screen doors and windows will allow you to enjoy natural ventilation while keeping rodents out of your home.
Choose Fiber Cement Boards over Plywood
In building your home, try and avoid wooden sidings as much as possible. A wooden-clad home is a field day for rodents because it is soft and easy to gnaw and chew. Instead of wood, try to consider cement by-products like fiber cement boards and cement exterior sidings and claddings. These boards are much denser than wood, which makes them more challenging to chew.
Install Door Seals
Prevent rodents from entering through your doors by installing door sweeps. These are strips made of metal, rubber, or aluminum that are screwed right under your door. It is designed to keep air from leaking out. This device also prevents rodents from entering by blocking the crevice in which they can use as an entry point into your home.