After insects, rodents, or other pests infiltrate your home to set up their own nests, it can be hard to feel like the place is clean again after the pest control company eliminates the invasion. While most companies include duct inspection as part of their final checkup to make sure the pests are gone, you may be left responsible for cleaning up the mess that is left behind. These five reasons will convince you to pay a little more for a thorough duct cleaning after having a known infestation removed.
Allergy Attack Triggers
When thinking about potential triggers for serious allergy and asthma attacks that might be hiding in the home, most homeowners worry about dander and hair from pets and small animals like rats. However, skin cells, droppings, and egg casings left behind by cockroaches are considered one of the most irritating and overlooked irritants in the home. In addition to potentially setting off a family member's respiratory ailments, exposure to the remnants of insects can cause
- Rashes on the surface of the skin that aren't connected to other triggers
- Repeated ear infections, especially in young children
- Routine nasal stuffiness, even when there's no active allergy attack or sinus infection.
Even if the cockroaches and other insects weren't actively nesting in the air ducts, they likely traveled through the spaces on their way to other parts of the home. Just walking down a duct wall causes the insects to shed plenty of allergens.
Bacterial Exposure Risks
Each adult mouse can produce up to 75 individual droppings each day, so you can imagine how much waste can build up in your air ducts when there's an infestation of hundreds of rodents. All those droppings act as a breeding ground for bacteria. When your air conditioner or furnace turns on, the bacteria is picked up by the air flow and distributed through the rest of the home. You and your family could end up with a salmonella or E. coli infection, but a duct cleaning team can remove the waste and disinfect the ducts with an approved cleaning spray before anyone gets sick.
Long-Term Odor Problems
While a bad smell coming from your air conditioner vents may not necessarily threaten your health in the long run, it certainly takes its toll on how much you enjoy your home. No one wants to come over for a visit when there's a weird smell permeating the house thanks to a mess hidden deep in the ducts. If you had the ducts inspected after pest control yet there's still an odor, consider hiring a company that specializes in duct cleaning alone to follow up and rule out remaining residues. This is especially important for ducts that are lined with fiber board or other materials that are more porous than the bare metal usually used for the interior.
Disease Transmission Issues
On top of bacterial exposure, waste products left behind by pests can also transmit serious diseases with surprisingly high mortality rates. For example, droppings left by just one or two mice can expose your entire family to Hantavirus, which has been fatal in 40% of the known cases due to respiratory and heart complications. Even less dangerous airborne diseases can become life-threatening for the elderly or young.
Future Mold Growths
Finally, leaving behind organic material like rat droppings and cockroach eggs provides mold and mildew with the perfect source of food. All it takes is a little extra humidity in the ducts due to a particularly humid summer, and you'll end up with mold lining the interiors of the ducts. Mold spores are a potent allergen, and mold itself is difficult to completely eliminate, so have the ducts cleaned before these types of fungi get a chance to develop.
For more information, contact a local duct cleaning service like Homeplace Furnace Duct & Fireplace Cleaning.