Mice in House
I had mouse poop in one of my cupboards. I plugged up some open spaces in our walls some months ago, and now they are back, pooping again.
We have a solid (not block) foundation, and the pest guy we called said they were likely coming in through the top of the house.
After looking around the whole house, he narrowed the issue down to our attic and a crawl space. The mice chewed through some of the material up there, and made pathways in our insulation.
The guy said the best way to handle it is to spend $5,200 to:
- Have the insulation removed (since it is contaminated, he said they need hazmat suits)
- Clean and vacuum all the droppings, nesting, dead rodents
- Inspect wiring for chew damage
- Seal entry points
- Treat with enzymes and pheromones
- Treat for secondary infestation (deer ticks, fleas, lice, mites)
- Reinstall new blown R-38 insulation
My house is 1,600 square feet, but the attic is smaller.
My questions are:
- Based on the detail provided, how full of crap is this person (price, and recommended services)?
- Is there a more cost-effective way to tackle the problem?
- Do mice problems always get worse (he said that they nest and it will most certainly get worse)?
Thank you in advance.
Did you get any other estimates? That's a lot of money.
Do you have any "DIY Pest Control" stores near you?
I love it, I love it.
Are you capable of doing some things yourself?
What is your location?
It doesn't sound like you have many mice involved if they were gone for a few months.
I would trap what you have and plug any holes you can find, interior or exterior.
Thanks a lot.
I think I will do that. But how about the insulation? Is it truly hazardous?
Going to have to pull some out and see just how bad it is.
They can come in under the siding, through any gaps where wiring and plumbing where run through the bottom plates under the house.
Yeah, who knows how bad it is until you look at some of it.
I have removed nests of mice as big as bean bag chairs from under cabinets and shower pans from homes where people were living continuously for years.
I have lived in homes which had mice problems and I have built homes which were mouse free and both next to corn/bean fields. I can only think that attention to detail must make a big difference.
I have had mice up in an attic which never entered the dwelling. I knew they were up there because they caused an exhaust fan/lite in a bathroom to go bad, and there were droppings in the light fixture. They caused a short in the wiring and the tenant changed the light bulb and noticed it wasn't the light bulb. This was a brick veneered home with an aluminum soffit. I figure the mice could scale the walls, but how did they get in the soffit, and what was there to eat & drink up there?
What kind of insulation is up there?
If you're going to be lifting or moving the insulation, you should get a good mask - the kind with the 2 filters on it. Breathing in mouse poo dust is not good for your lungs.
When I was working up in my mom's attic, there were tunnels through the old insulation and plenty o'poo up there from mice having the run of the place for the more than 40 years since we'd moved in. It was pretty disgusting and no matter how careful you are, you will be breathing it in unless you wear a mask.
I got mine at Lowe's for about $28 or so. It was more than I wanted to spend, but you'll be glad you used it when you finish up the job and your lungs and sinuses aren't full of that stuff and the particles of insulation.
This is similar to what I have...
The other added benefit to wearing this mask is that if you wear glasses, your lenses won't fog-up every time you exhale. The little white paper masks always made my glasses fog and they really don't keep the dust particles out anyway.
As far as having that guy do the job, IMO, I think spending $5,200 is too much money for what he's going to do. Well, for what he says he's going to do. The truth is, you will have no way of knowing if he actually does the work he is up there to do. He knows you're not going to go up there to check and if you do, there's going to be too much insulation in the way to know if he sealed things properly. Most guys that do that kind of work are very honest, but I ended up getting ripped off by the guy who came to my own house to blow the insulation in - after I'd spent many many hours up there sealing things up and fixing the ventilation.
If you are young enough and can crawl around up there, you might want to consider doing the job yourself. Only you can make that decision. When I sealed and insulated my mom's attic, I was 49, not athletic and had 4 grandkids. It's not a hard job - just a pain in the @**. Just always be thinking about where your feet are and plan every step you're going to take so that you don't fall through the ceiling. Also, pay close attention to the distance between your head and the roof sheathing as there will probably be nails sticking down.
This is very helpful. Thank you very much.
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