July 27, 2020 / Rodents

Mice Nesting in HVAC Units and Air Conditioners

Mice Nesting in HVAC Units and Air Conditioners

Mice have a way of weaseling their way into just about any situation and the path of destruction they leave behind is seldom more noticeable -- or more expensive to fix -- than when mice wreak havoc on your HVAC or air conditioning unit. 

Why Mice Choose HVAC Units

Mice are attracted to the shelter provided by HVAC and air conditioning systems, and once there, they immediately start making a home. That means chewing through ductwork and wires and, of course, relieving themselves in and around your home. 

Taping up ducts and replacing wires is expensive and aggravating, but it’s the accumulation of feces and urine that presents some of the biggest dangers associated with a mouse infestation. Bacteria thrive in their waste, which puts human health and safety at risk.

Mice can carry hantavirus, bubonic plague and salmonellosis, among other diseases. An indirect infection called “rat bite fever” can result from eating food contaminated with the feces or urine of mice. And just because your mouse problem might seem confined to the HVAC or air conditioner unit, don’t think that’ll stop the mice from continuing to work their way into your home, including your kitchen and pantry. 

How can you tell if you have mice in your HVAC or air conditioning system? Here are a few telltale signs:

    • You smell an odor: Specifically, a bathroom odor, when your HVAC or air conditioning system is running. Mice urinate in small quantities, but those add up to a smell you’ll recognize. 
  • A sudden blowfly problem: If nothing has changed from your perspective and yet you suddenly have an insect problem, they could be drawn to the mice droppings in your ductwork.
  • You find a mouse nest: How can you tell it belongs to mice? Look for a ball of loosely-shredded material, like paper or insulation with droppings surrounding it. 

Keep Cool and in Control

Of course, the best way to deal with a mouse problem, whether in your HVAC, air conditioner or elsewhere, is to prevent the infestation before it can occur. Here are some steps you can take to keep mice (and other pests, like snakes, ants and termites) out of your HVAC or air conditioning unit:

  • Install air vents and flue covers: Mesh screens or special covers will help keep mice and other creatures out of your ductwork.
  • Seal air ducts: Gaps, cracks and holes are an invitation for pests to get into your HVAC system.
  • Protect the condenser: Keep the area around your outside air conditioning unit clean and trimmed of any grass or weeds that could attract mice and other pests.
  • Reduce moisture: Make sure there’s no standing water near the exterior unit, which can attract mice and other pests.
  • Contact pest control: Have a professional pest control company evaluate your pest control methods and strengthen them with their own.

Pest management professionals often work in conjunction with other service pros like, in this case, HVAC maintenance experts. Keeping your HVAC or air conditioning unit regularly serviced and repaired when needed will help by making the entire system less attractive to mice and other pests.

If you have a mouse problem, chill out and visit our rodent control page and request a free estimate today.