Rats have caused problems for homeowners for many years now. They are able to destroy insulation in the home when they stay in the home for a long period. The rodents will not consider the insulation fiber as something itchy that needs to be avoided. They use insulation material in building their nests and they create pathways by burrowing a passageway in the attic. When the insulation is damaged, then the home will be better off without the insulation. The damaged insulation will have huge holes in the thermal envelope, and this allows the hot air to exit or enter in the home much more easily and it will increase the utility costs. The solution is to remove the existing insulation and get rid of these rodents by sealing off all the spots that the rats use to re-enter the house and then install new insulation and repair the thermal envelope of your home. Besides the insulation, the rats are also known to destroy the vents, soffits, fascia boards and shingles. They may also destroy the drywall, wiring and ductwork through their gnawing, feces and urine.
The rodent population may recur after the new repair or the decontamination. This is why it is important to recheck always and be sure that no rats have reentered your attic. In the crawlspace under homes, the insulation has been tucked within the floor joists. The rats will make nests and runways inside a gap found between the insulation and the floor. When this takes place, the insulation will be matted and contaminated, which means that insulation will no longer be able to hold the heat.
In an attic, the most common type of insulation used is the blown-in and loose type. The rats like to be in the attic since they will get materials for their nests and when they burrow inside them, they will feel safer. However, the problem is that rats will not only leave copious amounts of droppings which will contaminate the attic space but their urine, body weight and activity will be compressing the insulation a great deal and it cannot keep the home warm anymore.
The rats may also carry diseases and leave filth that may cause biohazards. It is important to decontaminate the insulation before repairing. The urine, feces and carcass of the rats may make the insulation smell while the pheromones also can attract even more rats into the place. To prevent the insulation damage, it is important to prevent having a rat infestation in the first place and to deal with it whenever you find out that you have a rat problem.
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Rats page or email us if you have any other questions about Do rats destroy insulation in an attic?
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.