How Does Cellulose Insulation Prevent Pest Infestation?

Are you concerned about exposure to pests in your home? There are a variety of steps you can take to prevent pests from becoming problematic in residential settings. One of the steps you might not have considered is the type of insulation you install. Specifically, cellulose insulation has proven effective at preventing pests in Sacramento, CA homes.

Here’s an overview of how it works.

It’s all about the borate

Borate is a naturally occurring substance that began seeing widespread commercial use in the 1800s. Borax comes in a white powder form that is frequently used in cleaning products around the household, including laundry detergents and general cleaners.

Borate is also an ingredient in cellulose insulation. Cellulose insulation is frequently used to insulate attics, wall cavities, crawl spaces and lofts. The vast majority of this insulation is recycled content (86 percent), with just over two thirds of that recycled content being recycled newspapers. This makes cellulose insulation very environmentally friendly, but it also makes it potentially combustible.

The borate plays an important role in safety. Mixing the cellulose insulation with borate helps to increase flame resistance and retardance. But borate in insulation doesn’t just retard flames—it also helps to kill and repel bugs, and serves as an anti-fungal, reducing the risks of spreading mold and fungus (which can also attract pests).

Borate is a common ingredient in pest control substances, and when used as a repellent, it serves as a natural means of keeping a home insect-free. But it can also be used as an exterminating substance.

How borate repels pests

Most of the time, insects that come across borate-infused cellulose insulation will simply turn around and go away. But if there is a breach in the home and an insect manages to get through the insulation, they won’t last long—as the bug walks through the borate powder in the insulation, it will cling to the insect’s legs and body, then absorb into the body. This quickly affects the metabolism and exoskeleton. As the insect realizes the powder is on it, it will attempt to clean itself, which results in ingestion of the poison.

Now, only bugs that groom themselves will be affected by borate as an exterminator. These bugs include ants and cockroaches, but not flies, centipedes, beetles, ticks, bed bugs, hornets and moths. Those bugs might be repelled by the borate, but will not be exterminated, meaning you will need the services of a professional exterminator to completely eliminate the threat of an infestation of those types of bugs.

While this insulation is dangerous for bugs, it is completely safe for humans. It’s important to maintain strict safety standards when installing and removing the insulation to prevent unnecessary exposure to that powder, but once installed, you do not have to worry about any effects of the borate powder.

Interested in learning more about the various benefits of cellulose insulation and how it prevents pests from being attracted to your insulation? We encourage you to contact a residential and commercial insulation contractor in Sacramento, CA at 5 Star Performance Insulation, Inc. with any questions you have for our team.

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