Rodents can find many ways into your home, but one of the more subtle infestations can come from your duct work. The ducts that go throughout your home provide a safe place for rodents to seek shelter and build nests, especially during long periods where your furnace or air conditioner aren't in use. Because these infestations are less noticeable, you may not be able to pinpoint where your rodent problem is coming from. Here are three signs that rodents may be in your ducts.
Insects Coming From Vents
If you've noticed an abundance of insects in your home, especially those like blow flies, this could indicate a rodent infestation in your vents. Vents provide easy access to much of your home, so at first it may be confusing where the insects are coming from. It could be that they're a symptom of the greater issue, as insects will seek out rodent droppings and nests. Keep an eye on the insects and your vents; if you see them coming in and out through the vents, that's a heavy indicator that something they're after is inside them.
It's important to note that there will be little benefit to attempting to get rid of the insects until their food source has been removed. They will need to be taken care of eventually, but for now, along with an exterminator, you'll need an HVAC specialist to clean your ducts.
If rodents are living or even simply traveling through your ducts, you will smell foul odors whenever air is running through them. Rodents may urinate and defecate in your ducts which present odor issues that remain present regardless of whether the rodents are currently there or not, and in some instances the odors can be powerful enough to be detected even when your HVAC system is off. In more extreme cases, a rodent may die in the ducts, causing a much fouler odor and increasing the risk of airborne illnesses.
You can try turning your HVAC's fan mode off and on to see if the smell seems to worsen when it's on. If so, consult an HVAC specialist immediately; not only are foul odors an inconvenience, but they can potentially come with the chance for illness as well.
Constant Allergy Symptoms
Even if you aren't allergic to rodents specifically, rodents in your ducts can cause all sorts of allergy symptoms to flare up. This can come from their waste, their nests, or any mold that grows as a result of the rodents making a home inside the ducts. If you're experiencing constant allergy symptoms despite cleaning your home and replacing your air filter, the problem could be that allergens are being blown into your home from the vents.
You may be able to see evidence of infestation in the form of droppings or a nest, though that generally requires accessing your ducts and also hoping you'll find evidence close to the entrance. Even if you don't find anything yourself, a professional should still inspect your ducts. Some things that cause symptoms, like mold, may continue to get worse until it is dealt with.
Along with making sure your ducts are cleaned and inspected by an HVAC specialist, make sure they are also sealed tightly and that any necessary repairs are made so rodents can't find their way into your ducts in the future. Finally, rather than using baits to try to kill any rodents, consider getting more information from a professional like Xtermco Inc. If poison is used, rodents may die inside your ducts, making the problem worse.