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Old 08-29-2010, 11:13 AM   #1
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


after some demolition, I discovered the insulation was covered in rat fecies and urine. I was going to keep it, but now, i think I would I have to replace it.

What is the best way to clean this up? This is fairly new looking pink fiberglass insulation, so no worries with asbestos. I'm just worried about diseases carried in rat droppings.

This is insulation in the joist space between 1st and 2nd floor. I don't know how rats could have gotten in there in the first place, it is all sealed up.

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Old 08-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


IMO I would replace only what you have found so far otherwise once you seal it up it will always be there physically and mentally. Take care of the infestation and look for any possible entry points around the house. During any infestation you are going to have fece/urine that you might not want to know about.....eliminate the pest and seal all entry points. My vistors found an entry via crumbling caulk around HVAC pipes for example.

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Old 08-29-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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Originally Posted by acerunner View Post
What is the best way to clean this up? This is fairly new looking pink fiberglass insulation, so no worries with asbestos. I'm just worried about diseases carried in rat droppings.
Are you asking about salvaging the insulation or disposing of the rat crap and pee-pee? Just throw it out. Not sure what the big deal is.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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Are you asking about salvaging the insulation or disposing of the rat crap and pee-pee? Just throw it out. Not sure what the big deal is.
wasn't sure if there was a way to salvage it. It looks like fairly new insulation. if there is a way, great. If not, then I'll just replace.
Also wasn't sure if there were special requirements for disposal since its something that can carry diseases.

Last edited by acerunner; 08-29-2010 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:28 PM   #5
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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Originally Posted by aggreX View Post
IMO I would replace only what you have found so far otherwise once you seal it up it will always be there physically and mentally. Take care of the infestation and look for any possible entry points around the house. During any infestation you are going to have fece/urine that you might not want to know about.....eliminate the pest and seal all entry points. My vistors found an entry via crumbling caulk around HVAC pipes for example.
couldn't help it, I checked all other joist bays. Turns out it was only in two of the joist bays. But I haven't found an entry point yet, or anythign to connect the two bays.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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Originally Posted by acerunner View Post
wasn't sure if there was a way to salvage it. It looks like fairly new insulation. if there is a way, great. If not, then I'll just replace.
Also wasn't sure if there were special requirements for disposal since its something that can carry diseases.
Dont think you need to worry about rat's "diseases", as most of them are species specific and wont transmit to humans. For me, when I have rats around, Im more worried about the stink they make....not if my kids will catch bubonic plague from it.......

Youre more likely to catch something from the next human you encounter at the grocery store.........or on your next flight to London........
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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Dont think you need to worry about rat's "diseases", as most of them are species specific and wont transmit to humans. For me, when I have rats around, Im more worried about the stink they make....not if my kids will catch bubonic plague from it.......

Youre more likely to catch something from the next human you encounter at the grocery store.........or on your next flight to London........
actually this is what I was worried about.
"Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS): Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection."
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:42 PM   #8
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


Gloves, and a well fitting N-95 mask. I don't know where the other poster got the idea that you can't get diseases from rat leavings. Get rid of all of it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:58 PM   #9
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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Gloves, and a well fitting N-95 mask. I don't know where the other poster got the idea that you can't get diseases from rat leavings. Get rid of all of it.
do you suggest getting rid of the insulation in only the joist bay where feces was found, or throughout ceiling? Could the rest be contaminated even if there are no visible signs?
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


Learn about respirators and which model for what contaminant, etc. Learn how hantavirus is ingested: airborne, orally, thru skin penetrations? I don't the answer. Can't argue with being safe, you only get one chance to be safe. If you use a shop vac, make sure that you're not making your environment worse with the exhaust.

That said, I haven't heard of a hanatavirus case for years. No one that I know, including myself, even thinks or talks about it. I've been in pest control about 30 years, more or less, in a wide variety of situations. Involved in trade association, know and talk to many fellow operators. I'm more concerned about working near sinks, toilets, etc. I keep and use a lot of hand sanitizer in my truck. Doorknobs cause more contamination than any other single item.
Lyme disease, West Nile, and staph infections are very real threats to us.

Take reasonable precautions and monitor yourself for symptoms afterwards.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:20 PM   #11
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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do you suggest getting rid of the insulation in only the joist bay where feces was found, or throughout ceiling? Could the rest be contaminated even if there are no visible signs?
I wouldn't think the entire ceiling would be necessary. It is reasonable to get rid of what is in the infested bays since they probably traveled throughout those two bays.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:58 AM   #12
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


I have run into this problem many times. Remove and replace insulation. But before replacing insulation. Let air dry for a couple of days. Then I would prime all effected areas in a oil based paint to encapsulate the urine smell. Be sure to remove and clean all areas before painting. My 02 worth.

Good Luck
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:36 PM   #13
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Rat feces and urine in insulation


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Originally Posted by mark942 View Post
I have run into this problem many times. Remove and replace insulation. But before replacing insulation. Let air dry for a couple of days. Then I would prime all effected areas in a oil based paint to encapsulate the urine smell. Be sure to remove and clean all areas before painting. My 02 worth.

Good Luck
Is there any special ways to clean the area? I've simply removed and threw out the insulation, and swept the area clean.

I never thought to paint the area. There are some stud bays of finished walls that were painted in other parts of the house. I always wondered what that was for.

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