Insects, rodents, wild animals and other pests can and do enter air ducts. Damage and contamination caused by these invaders are among the top reasons why home and business owners require professional duct cleanings, repair services and remediation. Any pest that can enter your attic or crawlspace can invade your HVAC ducts. Especially in the winter, these areas are warm, cozy and highly attractive to all kinds of pests. Insects and smaller critters can often squeeze through tiny cracks and gaps. Rodents and larger animals are more likely to chew their way in and create additional damage. If these animals aren’t able to find their way out, they can tear up your ducts as they try to escape. Other pests may build nests inside your ductwork.
Foul odors, irritating particles and problems with air flow are all signs that your ducts could be harboring household pests. In addition to the physical damage, infestations create health concerns. Each time your heating system turns on, the forced air pushes out dust, toxins and allergens. Rodent and animal droppings are loaded with viruses, bacteria and germs that are ready to go airborne. Insect infestations are also troublesome. Egg casings and body parts from cockroaches, for example, trigger asthma and severe allergy attacks.
Besides the warmth, insects and rodents are attracted to areas with easy access to food and water. If your home has a moisture problem, this could be the underlying cause. Animals can easily tear insulated ducts or block air flow by building a large nest or causing the duct to collapse. If you suspect that you have an infestation, have a professional clean, repair and seal the area. It will improve the efficiency of your heating system and the air quality in your home.