Have you noticed a strange smell coming from your air vents? Heard a scrabbling sound in the ducts? You may have a pest problem. Unfortunately, pests in the HVAC system can be quite hard to reach and often require professional eradication. But don't ignore the problem, since many common pests can pose health risks to you and your family.
Here are some common creepy-crawlies that can make their homes in your HVAC system. After you've eradicated any pests you have in your system, make sure to call an HVAC professional to get the system cleaned and functioning well again.
Mice and Rats
Mice and rats may nest in your outdoor AC unit, causing considerable damage even in a short time. They love to chew, so wires, coolant lines, and other components can fall victim to their nesting efforts.
They can also get into your ductwork. Once there, they'll be able to access basically any part of your house. Since mice and rats can carry diseases as well as pests such as fleas and ticks, you'll need to deal with the problem to protect your health.
Squirrels are great climbers, so they often access the roof and infest the attic from there. But they can also make their way into the AC system through vents and invade the ducts, causing noise and bad smells.
But in addition to these inconveniences, squirrel infestation can bring health hazards as well. Squirrels can carry diseases, which can be transferred to humans and pets through bites or scratches, contact with fecal matter, or transmission of pests such as ticks. So think of squirrels as merely a nuisance; have them removed and get your ductwork cleaned out.
Although bats tend to be quieter than squirrels (at least during the day), they can still cause a lot of problems. Whether they're roosting in your ductwork itself or just using it to access your attic or the insides of your walls, bats can leave stinky, wet guano deposits behind.
Bat guano can not only cause water damage and staining, but also create health hazards for humans and pets. Even if you never come into contact with the bats themselves, you can contract Histoplasmosis from the guano. Histoplasmosis can be contracted just by breathing in spores, so having the bats in your air circulation is a major health risk.
If you find or suspect bats, you'll want a professional wildlife specialist to remove them and remediate the guano, then have your entire duct system cleaned professionally.
With several different kinds of venomous snakes in Mississippi, you're probably used to watching where you walk. But did you know that snakes sometimes access ductwork or try to take up residence in outdoor AC units?
If you see or suspect a snake in your HVAC, the safest course of action is to a professional handle it. Don't risk a snakebite.
Many types of insects infest human homes, and some of them are quite happy to live in ductwork and use the ducts as roads to access your entire home. Cockroaches and ants may live in ducts and forage for food in your house, and paper wasps may build nests in your ducts and then end up inside your living area by mistake.
Many people are used to simply spraying pesticide when they find bugs. You can't safely do that when the bugs are in your AC, since that would blow the chemical all through your house. In this scenario, you'll want to have your ducts cleaned out professionally and then hire an exterminator to help you stamp out any remaining bugs.
Once you've had any pests removed and the ductwork cleaned out, take steps to prevent a reoccurrence. You can do this by using repellent products and, most importantly, blocking off access to your ducts with a strong, fine wire mesh over any vents and other openings.
Remember, some types of pests can cause damage to your ducts. In this case you may need air duct inspections and repairs in addition to cleaning. But no matter which you need, C. J. Services, Inc., is here for you. Get in touch today to discuss ductwork problems and solutions.