Insult to Insulation: Rats in Walls and Attics

Rat in home on table

You should know by now the signs of a rodent infestation in the home. It could be that you find droppings, small and large, hidden in the corners of quiet areas or behind where you keep your food. Or maybe you notice scratching in the walls or above your head in the attic. Whatever the case, if you’re here you probably know that you can call the team at McNeely Pest Control to clear a rodent infestation in homes across the Northwest and Piedmont area. But if rats or mice got their way into the more vulnerable parts of your home, such as your insulation, you may be looking at a much more severe and costly problem.

How Rats Use Insulation

Mice and rats get inside our homes because they’re looking for something to eat and a place to make a nest. And for certain families, the insulation inside our homes provides a great source of both. Insulation is usually soft and warm. Because of this it’s very easy for rodents to tunnel through the material, or to bite it for food or to tear for their nest. So while it’s possible to clear a home of a rodent infestation, the damage they leave to your insulation is something that may far outlive their presence.

Can I Repair Damaged Insulation?

The unfortunate news is that you cannot repair insulation that has been damaged by rodent infestations. The only way to remedy the situation is to remove the existing insulation and reapply it. This is something that needs to be done by a professional contractor. We say this because rodent droppings may contain traces of Hantavirus, which can be potentially-life threatening. A home services expert will have the gear and experience to work with the leavings without spreading any toxins into the air.

As for your new insulation, there isn’t a material that’s been proven to be entirely rodent-resistant. We know that rats and mice are particularly drawn to fiberglass, but they’ll nest in nearly anything if given the chance. If that’s the case, what can you do to keep rodents out for good?

Rodent Exclusion Through McNeely Pest Control

Wildlife exclusion is a new method to get rid of pests before they even get inside. As you read this there may be parts of your home that are vulnerable to rats and mice. Luckily, there’s action you can take before you’re faced with an infestation. We can send a technician to your property, where they will inspect the area and pinpoint the exact places where pests can get in. They’ll cover these imperfections and leave your home safer and your mind at ease. That’s just what we do at McNeely Pest Control. To get started, contact us today!

The Benefits of Wildlife Exclusion

A raccoon, wildlife on a white background

If you want to find the most humane way to effectively and safely remove wildlife from your property and to keep them from returning, then animal exclusion is the way to go. We understand that when nuisance wildlife invades your home or business, it can be stressful. That’s why we here at McNeely Pest Control in Winston-Salem NC offer a wildlife control service that involves prevention, exclusion, and wildlife removal, creating worry-free protection for your family or employees and customers. Check out some frequently asked questions about why humane wildlife removal could work for you and steps to prevent wildlife from entering your property in the first place! 

Why Choose Humane Removal?

While searching for a safe home and place to raise their young, wildlife can unexpectedly nest in or on your property. A home or business creates safe spaces for them to find hiding places where they can nest undisturbed. Humane removal promotes animal welfare and environmental stabilization by removing nuisance wildlife from your property without harming the animal or the environment. As time goes on the animals around your property will be receptive and adaptive to the changes in their environment and will create new routines that help them safely thrive away from your property.

Benefits of Wildlife Exclusion

Wildlife exclusion is a process by which a pest control technician will inspect a property looking for possible entry points for animals and sealing them off to prevent future wildlife infestations. Removal is the first step in protecting your property, but without wildlife exclusion, animals will find their way back in and continue to be a nuisance. Let’s look at some of the long-term solutions to prevent wildlife infestations.

Our Wildlife Pest Control Process

Many DIY methods like chemical repellents or lethal traps are not only inhumane, they are also ineffective at ending the infestation as they don’t address the real problem of how these nuisance pests are getting onto your property. At McNeely Pest Control, our wildlife removal experts have the tools and expertise to effectively remove wildlife around your home and keep them out long term, whether they’ve snuck into your wall voids or are nesting in your yard. Our wildlife removal technicians will take the following steps to keep your home safe from wildlife:

  1. Our team will inspect your property, looking for evidence of wildlife and sources of infestation.
  2. We will place trapping systems and follow other exclusion methods to humanely remove and relocate any animals.
  3. We will provide continual wildlife management and post-treatment prevention tips to help you avoid future wildlife issues.

Long-Term Wildlife Control Solutions

For over 20 years, Mcneely Pest Control in Winston-Salem NC has provided humane removal of wildlife from local homes and businesses. When these pests do find their way onto your property, they can damage structures and landscapes and expose you to diseases through their saliva and waste. Our expert wildlife removal technicians will take the time to inspect your property and create a long-term solution so that these pests don’t become a nuisance while offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us today for a free estimate for wildlife removal.

Fall Pests That Become Unexpected Guests

Two termites eating wood

Every year as the weather changes in the fall, pests start to make their effort to escape the cold. Insects that do not die off in the fall take part in a phenomenon called overwintering: they find a habitable environment to wait out the cold months of winter. Some insects will migrate to warmer clients, some find hiding spots outside under debris, while others try to get inside homes and buildings to stay warm. 

Unfortunately for homeowners, the insects that try to overwinter inside warm buildings often end up in our homes, invading our bedrooms and kitchens. Often these fall pests will find low-traffic areas of homes like behind the walls or in the attic. The most frequent home invaders over the winter include rodents, termites, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, and wasps. Continue reading to learn more about these common fall pests.


Many pests can get into your attic by climbing up onto the roof. Squirrels are the most well-known culprits, but roof rats and mice are just as notorious for invading homes and making nests in the attic. How can you tell if you have rodents living in your home? The most common sign of a rodent infestation is scratching or gnawing sounds from above or from inside the walls; if you hear these sounds, it’s time to call an expert rodent exterminator.


The cost of termite damage in the United States is estimated to be up to $30 billion annually – it will come as no surprise that they are considered the most destructive pest in the country. While termites are present all year, fall and winter can worsen an already-existing infestation. Like many pests, subterranean termites burrow deeper into the ground during the cool months to survive cold weather, allowing the infestation to cultivate undetected until the following spring. Going undetected during the cool months allows these colonies to do significant damage to the wood structures of a home. How can you tell if you have termites? You may notice blisters on painted wood surfaces, pinhole-sized holes, and hollow-sounding wood.

Stink Bugs

Another common pest that hides undetected during the winter, typically in attics, crawlspaces, or behind the walls, is the stink bug – known for their shield-shaped bodies and their mottled coloring of brown and gray. The most common species, the brown marmorated stink bug, ranges in size between about ¼” to ⅜”. Unsurprisingly, stink bugs release an unpleasant odor when they feel threatened or are squished, as their name suggests.

Asian lady beetles

Asian lady beetles look very similar to ladybugs, but have a few distinct differences: they tend to be a bit larger, and though their coloration is similarly reddish orange, they do not all have spots. These insects can be found in groups and communicate with each other using pheromones – so if one lady beetle finds its way into a nice warm crack in your home, you’re likely to have a large infestation on your hands. Asian lady beetles do not pose any direct threat to your home’s structure and don’t bite or sting, but they can trigger allergic reactions in individuals with sensitivities and breathing problems. Additionally, their waste can stain, leaving behind an unsightly mess.


Generally speaking, wasps die off before each winter and the colonies do not overwinter like the rest of the insects on this list. But to keep the colony thriving the following year, the fertilized queens will find a warm hiding spot to overwinter, often in stumps or hollow logs outdoors, or in protected structures like crawlspaces and attics. This can often lead to wasp infestations the following year when the queens restart their colonies.

Trusted Local Exterminators

If you have any of the pests on this list in or around your home in the Winston-Salem or Greensboro NC area, contact McNeely Pest Control right away. As the local leader in fast, effective, and long-lasting pest control services, McNeely Pest Control is equipped to keep your home pest-free all year long.

Contact us today