The Biohazard Report June 2017
Attic wildlife poses significant risk
Wildlife infestation in a home or business presents a challenging and potentially dangerous situation. The solution is a two-step process, and both should be handled by trained professionals.
First, the animals must be safely trapped and humanely relocated by a wildlife control expert. Once the critters are removed, however, a hazardous mess remains. That’s where Bio-One Columbus comes in. Animal urine and feces are significant health risks that require proper and professional remediation, especially when the droppings are contained in the home.
Spring is high season for raccoon problems in Central Ohio, as mothers often find their way indoors for a warm and dry spot to birth their young. The animals frequently defecate in the same place and generate piles of feces called raccoon latrines that can pose significant hazards. Raccoon waste can contain roundworm eggs, which are very light and can become airborne. If inhaled by humans, the eggs can hatch and cause serious illness or even death if untreated. Other hazards include contraction of giardiasis, leptospirosis, salmonella and even rabies.
We don’t mean to cause undue alarm, of course, but simply convey the fact that animal waste removal is more than a shovel-and-clorox job for the homeowner. Our team is trained in all manner of toxic substance remediation. We’re also ready to attack the problem where it exists, and that often means very cramped and uncomfortable spaces.
"I called Bio-One Columbus about a raccoon problem in our attic. We could smell the droppings throughout the whole house. They came out right away and worked in an extremely confined attic space in 100+ degree temperatures, removing all of the feces and contaminated insulation. Once everything was treated and safe, they even replaced the insulation. On top of that, they handled the whole insurance claim process for us. It was as easy as placing one phone call. I can't thank Tim and Bio-One enough!”
We received a call from a homeowner who had discovered a family of raccoons living in his attic for an unknown period of time. In this case, access was through a small vent hole in the side of the house. Attics can generally be difficult places in which to work. We’ve got the bio-hazard to contend with, of course, but we’re also challenged with narrow access points, enclosed spaces, extreme temperature conditions and various physical hazards.
This job took two days to remove all of the insulation, piles of feces and other contaminated materials. We then treated and sealed all affected surfaces, fogged for fungal spore elimination and replaced the insulation. Jobs like these really do require professional remediation services in order to be done properly and safely. The client also had two young children living in the home, so I'm glad they called us.
Tim Lockard is owner/operator of Bio-One Columbus, and has more than 15 years’ experience in emergency response.