by Tom Kraeutler, Host

The latest development in home insulation technology is insulation that doubles as pest control.

Thermal Acoustic Pest Control Insulation, or “TAP”, was designed with two main principles in mind: concern for people, and concern for the environment.

TAP uses borates – not pesticides – as its active pest control ingredient.  Borates are mineral salts mined from the earth, and are commonly used in consumer products like contact lens solution and anti-fungal creams.  Borates are deadly to insects, but they have extremely low toxicity to mammals, so they pose minimal risk to people and pets.

Cockroach - The Money Pit Additionally, TAP is applied behind walls and in attics, where exposure to people and pets is very limited.  Not true for most traditional pesticide chemicals, which are applied inside the home – along baseboards, in closets, etc.

TAP controls common household pests that nest in attics and walls like roaches, ants, termites, and silverfish, and it’s the only product labeled by EPA to control insects that also bears an Energy Star label!

TAP is also an environmentally responsible option in insulation.  When viewed in the context of the entire product life-cycle (that is, from production to operation to disposal), cellulose insulation is one of the greenest building products on the planet.  Cellulose insulation takes less energy to make than other insulation products.  It’s made from more than 80% recycled paper, and reduces a home’s carbon footprint by saving energy, and it provides no post-installation waste.

The recycled paper that makes up TAP is diverted from landfills. The paper is reduced in size, and then fed through something called a disc-mill, which processes the fibers into a cotton-boll like substance.  The product is then infused with borates to help control pests.

TAP is a “loose-fill” insulation, so it’s installed by blowing the product into attics on top of existing insulation with specialized machines. It can also be installed in the attics and walls of new homes. When added to existing insulation or installed on its own, TAP helps keep comfortable air in the living area of your home.  This reduces the required energy needed to heat or cool your home and, in turn, reduces your heating and cooling bills.  TAP also reduces unwelcome noise from outside and helps create a peaceful environment inside the home. Insulated interior walls reduce annoying noises (such as toilets flushing and appliances running) inside a house.

Pest control insulation provides a long-term preventative approach to keeping insects at bay, while simultaneously keeping your home comfortably temperate and lowering your home energy bills.  That’s a hard-working product!

View full article at The Money Pit.

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