This is a story that is commonly told. A person will go up in their attic to clean or to find something they have stored up there, only to find that squirrels have been living in this part of their home. It is a very disturbing story.
These animals can be quite destructive. Not only did they leave their waste in your attic, but if you have any memorabilia you have been storing there, you can be sure it will be destroyed. These animals will chew up clothing and newspapers to make a nest, rip apart pictures, and chew on wood objects to help sharpen their teeth. The mess they leave behind can be unbelievable.
Being Careful in Your Cleaning
While you want to clean up this area, you also have to be quite careful. Squirrels are the carriers of a number of different pathogens, including bacteria and parasites. This waste can get on your skin or into your respiratory system simply by becoming airborne as you are cleaning.
Dried feces and urine still carry these pathogens. As you sweep, the particles get into the air, get onto your skin or in your airway, where they then get into your bloodstream. This can then pose a serious health risk to you and your family.
What to Do?
The first thing to do before starting any cleaning project is to protect yourself. You should wear clothing and attire that helps to keep these particles from getting onto your skin or into your airway. It starts with wearing a surgical mask, that protects both your mouth and nose. You should also wear safety goggles, ensuring that the particles do not enter your bloodstream through your eyes. Cover all exposed skin by wearing long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and hat. You should always wear boots and gloves as your feet in your hands are the most likely areas to come in contact with the waste.
Instead of sweeping, use a vacuum. However, don’t just use any vacuum. Many vacuums use a bag to capture the debris picked up by the vacuum. However, particles can escape through the bag, allowing them to get into the air. This means you should use a vacuum that prevents these particles from becoming airborne. This is an extra step to protect yourself.
To clean the affected area, use a solution like ammonia, hot water, and disinfectant. This not only kills all germs that may be left behind, but it also reduces if not eliminates all orders. This will help to make your house smell a lot better.
If your insulation is covered in waste, you may have to get rid of it. You can’t clean insulation, so replacing it is the best way to go. The same is true of clothing and other items you may have stored there. If they had been chewed on or if waste is present on them, you are safer to simply get rid of it.
It’s a lot of work and you may not like some of the choices you have to make, but you have to protect yourself.
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