Stop Fighting with Pennsylvania Home Insurance: Vans and House Renters & Home Owners

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Stop Fighting with Pennsylvania Home Insurance

How to keep the wildlife out of your house so you don’t have to fight with your Pennsylvania home insurance carrier about it.

A couple of weeks ago I woke up to a familiar scritch scritch scritch thunk! The pitter patter of little feet. Well, kind of! With the kids in bed and the cats on my lap there was only one thing that noise could possibly be-rodents in the walls. Sure enough, a visit from the exterminator confirmed we had a red squirrel gleefully tap dancing on our pipes at all hours of the night. At least it was only one, so all we had to do was go pick up a trap. But there was no way I was going to get any help on this from my Pennsylvania home insurance carrier.

Pennsylvania Home Insurance
Mice hate the cold when winter rolls in.

Winter’s rolling in, and contrary to just about everything you’ve ever read about wild animals like squirrels, bats, mice, rats and snakes, they have no interest in running free in the wild when Old Jack Frost starts to blow. They’d rather be warm and comfy inside your house, thank you very much! And really, who can blame them. I mean, I’d rather be warm and comfy inside my house too.

The problem is, rodents and other vermin make very poor house guests. They chew holes in your walls. Nest in your insulation (although I’m still not sure how-that has to itch!). Gnaw holes in your roof and the back of your cupboards. And the damage they cause (along with the damages resulting from that damage) isn’t covered by any Pennsylvania home insurance companies.

Why not? Vermin are considered to be a home maintenance issue because you didn’t manage to keep them out, which may be a little (a lot) unrealistic, but there you have it. If you can’t keep them out you’re going to be responsible, and the bill can get pretty ridiculous, pretty quick. We’re talking hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars here. Not to mention the risk of germs and rodent bites. So if your home insurance policy isn’t going to help with the damages, the best thing you can do is make sure the local wildlife doesn’t get a chance to cause any.

If you’ve got mice you’ve got four options. The easiest is to put out poison, but there’s always a catch with anything easy. The mice are going to eat the poison, then crawl off and die in your walls. Then their bodies decay, and they reek. A lot. And home insurance doesn’t cover fumigation! (Which you may well need by the time you’re done!)

You could put out traps, which work most of the time but take a while to get through the whole population. You could hire an exterminator, but that’s going to cost you a fortune. Oddly enough, the last time I talked to an exterminator about mice they recommended we just sit back and let our cats take care of the problem. Cats are natural mousers, and the smell of them is usually enough to convince the mice that they don’t want to stay in the same house as a bigger predator.

Take a walk around the outside of your house and look for holes in your walls. Remember, if it’s bigger than a dime, something’s going to find a way to slip through. Fill it with steel wool (anything else they’ll just chew through again). There are plenty of sizes of live traps for squirrels, skunks, etc. (Yes, even skunks like to find a warm basement to curl up in in the winter time.) Pop some peanut butter in one, then put it where the wildlife are roaming around. Once you’ve got them, give an exterminator a call to come take them away and enjoy living vermin free.

It doesn’t matter how much you’re paying for your Pennsylvania home insurance rates, you’re still going to have a hard time convincing your insurer that they need to help you pick up the bill for a vermin infestation. Since

Pennsylvania Home Insurance
Red squirrels wreak havoc with your house if they find a way in.

exterminators cost a fortune and repairing your home after they’re done can cost a fortune and a half, the best thing you can do is try to stay two steps ahead.

Now, I’d like to add a quick addendum onto this. Home insurance companies won’t cover damages caused by rodents; however, they will usually cover damages caused by other wild animals. If you’ve ever seen what a bear can do to your kitchen when they come in looking for food you can understand why that would be important! I’m not saying you should open your door and let the neighborhood raccoons, bear, deer and mountain lions help themselves to your pantry. I’m just letting you know you’re probably covered if they do.

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Stop Fighting with Pennsylvania Home Insurance
Stop Fighting with Pennsylvania Home Insurance

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