How To Tell if You’ve Got Rodents in Your Air Ducts

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In other posts, we have touched on the various problems that arise when rodents and other pests get into the air ducts. In this post, we're going to zero in on the issue, discuss the various signs that point to a rodent infestation, talk about how their presence can endanger your health, and look at the best ways of dealing with the aftermath of a rodent problem, including air duct cleaning. Let’s get started.

How Rodents Managed To Get Into Your Air Ducts

Before we get into a detailed discussion about how to tell if you have a rodent problem in your ducts, let’s look at some of the ways these troublesome critters get in there to begin with. Hopefully, this information will help you fend off a future infestation.

Common ways for rodents to gain access to air ducts in Arvada include:

  • Through the crawl space or attic - Often times they find their way into the attic through a damaged soffit or fascia on your home’s trim work.
  • Through open spaces around utility lines - Sometimes gaps open up around plumbing lines leading into the house, or around wiring or gas connections.
  • Down the chimney - Rodents are industrious and determined and don’t mind risking a tumble down the chimney if it means they’ll gain entry to the nice warm, dry house.
  • Through broken basement windows - If there’s a broken window in your basement you might as well lay out the rodent welcome mat.

Once the rodents gain entry to your home they will set up shop and start generating the telltale signs of their presence.

Five Signs You Need Air Vent Cleaning to Remove Rodents

If rodents have set up house in your ducts you should notice some or all of the following signs.

1: A Rancid Odor

Rodents tend to produce a rancid smell that’s the result of rotting food sources they’ve dragged into the house along with their droppings and urine they’ve deposited at various places in the ducts and elsewhere. The putrid smells from these materials are then circulated throughout the house by the air ducts, leaving a rancid cloud hanging over the entire house.

2: A Scraping, Gnawing Sound

Whether it’s rats, mice, possums or squirrels they’re going to navigate around the house using the ductwork and you will hear a creepy crawling, scraping sound. Sometimes you will also hear them gnawing through insulation and other materials. Unfortunately, rodents wait until things are quiet before they become active, meaning you’re most likely to hear these disturbing sounds at night when you’re trying to sleep.

3: Insects Coming From Your Supply Vents

Those rotting carcasses and rodent droppings we mentioned earlier are going to attract flies, beetles, and other insects. If you notice insects emerging from your supply vents along with the warm air it means something's going on inside the ducts. Frankly, if things have progressed to the point that insects are now part of the dysfunctional stew brewing in your air ducts it’s imperative that you act quickly.

4: An Uptick in Allergy Symptoms

Rodents shed hair like all mammals including dogs and cats. They also shed dead skin cells by the millions. These, along with material from those now rotting carcasses they were gnawing on at one time, will be circulated throughout the house and could cause allergic reactions. Or, if someone already has allergies, it can make them significantly worse. If you notice an uptick in allergic activity it's a sign that you may have rodents in the ductwork.

5: Damaged Ducts

The way rodents tend to deal with obstacles is to chew through them. They love to chew things and they’re not particularly picky about what they sink their teeth into. If you see evidence of chewing or bite marks around ducts and vents, or on floor or wall joists in the attic or basement, you have uninvited guests and will need to call an exterminator.

What to Do Once the Rodents Are Removed

Step one on the road to recovery is confirming that you have a rodent infestation by looking for the telltale signs. Step two is calling an exterminator or pest control to remove the unwanted guests from the ductwork and anywhere else in the house where they’ve set up camp. Step three is to arrange for thorough HVAC cleaning, including duct cleaning.

Evicting the rodents from the ducts is obviously an important step but it does nothing to address the mountain of detritus they've left behind including the aforementioned hair, dead skin, feces, rotting carcasses and more. For that, you'll need to call Steve's Air Duct Cleaning. We set up our truck-mounted vent cleaner system and extract every last bit of evidence that rodents ever lived in your air ducts. Our system not only ensures that the offending materials are removed from the ducts, but that they’re removed from the house.

Get In Touch With Our Arvada Air Duct Cleaning Pros

If you suspect that rodents are homesteading in your air ducts go through the list of symptoms we provided above. If it seems to confirm the presence of rodents, call an exterminator or local animal control (depending on the type of unwanted guest you have). Once the pesky pests are evicted there’s no need to search for “duct cleaning near me”. Just call Steve’s straight away at (720) 419-7792 or write to us at: We'll sanitize air ducts of the offending materials and restore your home to a clean hygienic state.

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Your air ducts are the lungs of your home and keeping them clean keeps you and your family healthier and your HVAC equipment working optimally.