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Whatever the type of animal that has been discovered in your attic, they will usually leave a significant amount of waste unless they have been caught very soon after they found their way into the attic. The risks and chance of contamination will vary depending on the species that was found in the attic, but once the animals have been removed and any entry holes have been sealed, then you can start to prepare to remove the waste left behind by these animals. There are a number of precautions you will need to take before you take on the challenge, and it is also worth making sure you are aware of the different conditions that can be transmitted by animal waste.
Safety Precautions Before You Clean Any Animal Waste
As you would expect, the waste that is left behind by wild animals that have been living in an attic can be significant, and ranges from pieces of food and chewed insulation through to the more unpleasant feces and material that has been contaminated with urine. This means that having some sort of mask to ensure you don't inhale any particles of feces is important, while wearing long sleeved clothing, even in this warm area of the house, will help to minimize contact with such material. Taking up a garbage sack or container that can be sealed to remove any material that has been contaminated will also help to ensure that you don't leave a trail as you remove it from the property.
Cleaning Loose Material
There will usually be a significant amount of loose material that will have been left in your attic by the animals, and as long as you are wearing gloves you will usually be able to place the material into a garbage bag or container to be removed. Make sure that you carry out a thorough clean of the attic in this way, as there will often be waste strewn across the attic, as wild animals will have investigated every possible area of the space. Many professionals will use a vacuum cleaner to make sure that they get as much of this material as possible, but if you are intending to use this approach, make sure any opening back into the main area of your property is closed, otherwise dangerous particles of feces may escape into the main area of your home.
Removing Animal Waste In The Insulation
One of the most expensive aspects of dealing with animal waste in the attic is that it will often have been worn into the material of the insulation itself, which can be a problem because it is often difficult to remove. Where there is a significant amount of urine or feces that is in the insulation itself, it is usually best to cut this out and remove it entirely. These sections of insulation will then need to be replaced with new insulating material.
Once all of the animal waste has been cleaned and removed, it is best then to use a disinfecting preparation, which is dispersed through the attic as a spray, to kill off any remaining bacteria or parasites that have been left in the attic by the animals. Due to the nature of this disinfectant, make sure that you wear a mask to prevent you from inhaling it, while it is also best to cover up as much as possible to reduce skin contact, and also to wear goggles to stop it from coming into contact with your eyes.
Repairs In The Attic
As well as removing the waste of the animals, you will often need to carry out repairs in the attic, beyond simply replacing insulation material that has been contaminated or shredded for nesting material. Make sure that you take a look at any cables or wires that run through the attic, as most of the species, including rats, raccoons and squirrels all like to gnaw, and these plastic covered cables are often the victim of that gnawing, and if they have been damaged they will need to be replaced. Also look for any damage to wooden struts, as these are also often gnawed or chewed by animals, and may also need repair or replacing.
Disposing Of Wild Animal Waste
The final thing to remember is that once you have collected all of the waste, it is important to dispose of it correctly, as in many cases it will still have particles that can become airborne if it is simply dumped on the compost heap. The best ways to deal with the waste left by these animals is either to incinerate it or to place it in a sealed garbage sack to be taken away. You may also want to consider giving any clothes that you were wearing in the attic a good hot wash too in order to kill off any particles or bacteria that has attached itself to your clothes.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does dead animal removal cost?
- get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of dead animals
- my main dead animal removal info guide.
Example dead animal removal photographs
- get do-it-yourself ideas.
Dead animal job blog
- learn from great examples of dead animal jobs I've done.