When Animals Get Inside The Attic
We love our homes because they provide us with a warm, dry, covered shelter to protect us from the elements — which is exactly why pests love them as well. While some animals are more than welcome in our homes, there are many that we could definitely do without.
How do pests get into your attic, you may ask? Our homes are built with vents and construction gaps that make for the perfect entryways for pests to get inside, which is usually unavoidable because smaller rodents can squeeze through holes and cracks as narrow as half an inch wide.
Not only is their presence annoying, they can also cause severe damage to the infrastructure of your home. The attic often contains important electrical wiring, parts of heating and cooling systems, and piping that can be affected by pests. Animals like mice, rats, and squirrels have teeth that continue to grow, meaning they have to gnaw on things to literally file their teeth down — and you don’t want your wires and pipes to fall victim to this chewing!
They can also disturb your insulation, allowing heat to escape which leads to an increased energy bill, so they can end up being a pretty costly problem. On top of physical damage, wild animals can also carry diseases, fleas, and parasites that could potentially affect anyone in the home. Moral of the story: it’s important to stay on top of your pest control methods and regularly monitor what’s going on in the attic.
Continue reading to learn more about identifying what animals are in your attic and what to do to remove them.
Signs There are Pests in Your Attic
Not sure if you have pests or not? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. Here are a few signs you have unwanted guests setting up camp inside:
- Urine and droppings
- Damage to ducts
- Damage to insulation
- Gnawing, squeaking, or scurrying sounds
Tips for Removing Animals in the Attic
If you encounter wild animals or pests in the attic, the most important thing is to remain calm — they can sense distress and will react defensively if they feel threatened. Second, contact a local wildlife agency to determine the laws in your state about removing animals, as some are illegal to trap yourself.
With each pest comes different solutions, so take a look at these tips for each type of animal:
Rats or Mice
Rats and mice tend to stay where water is, so maintaining a dry attic is a great way to keep them out. If you find yourself already infested with them, your easiest bet is to set snap or bait traps. While these traps are often the cheapest and most convenient option, they won’t actually prevent the presence of rodents, so consider looking for a professional service to provide a comprehensive pest management approach.
Raccoons are very strong climbers and notoriously curious creatures, so it’s not uncommon to find them seeking shelter in attics. They can do a lot more damage than rats and mice from their sheer size difference (full grown adults can weigh up to 35 pounds!), and are capable of chewing holes in your walls and ripping shingles off of the roof. Turning on very bright lights and loud music will drive the raccoons out themselves, as they like darker, quieter environments.
Bats are usually driven inside because they are looking for a place to comfortably give birth to and nurse their babies, and often form colonies made up of other pregnant bats. Because they like to stick together, it’s rare that you’d only find one bat in your attic without several others. Play it safe and do not try to remove bats yourself, as they sometimes carry rabies and most species are federally protected.
Similarly to bats, squirrels may nest in your attic to raise their babies until they’re old enough to survive on their own. Check for nests and make sure there are no babies present before you try to remove squirrels, as it’s inhumane to get rid of them while they are still completely dependent on their mother. Once the squirrels are capable of fending for themselves, they’ll most likely find their own way out — so you just have to be patient. If it’s just a lone adult squirrel, they can be scared out by bright lights and loud music or driven out by placing vinegar soaked rags around the attic, as they don’t like the smell.
How to Keep Animals out of Your Attic
Take measures to prevent animals from getting into your attic in the first place and avoid this problem altogether. There are a number of things you can do to protect your home from unwanted invaders.
1.Regularly inspect the exterior of your home
Many homeowners report never going to certain sides of their homes or ever seeing the roof. By keeping tabs on the condition of the house you can catch problems before they escalate.
2. Trim branches on tall trees
Animals like squirrels and raccoons are excellent climbers and will use tall trees to get onto your roof and into your attic, so be mindful of branches that may lean toward your home and trim them regularly.
3. Fix holes in the roof
Most attic-dwelling pests make their way in through entryways on the roofs, so patch up any spaces ASAP to block their access inside.
4. Cover any vents
Vents on the roof are another way pests gain access to your attic, so covering them can be an easy solution. Roof vent covers are a simple solution to blocking any entryways and are built to resist erosion so they’ll be a lasting investment.
5. Install a chimney cap
If your home has a chimney, installing a chimney cap is a great way to keep animals out. The wiring design allows smoke to escape but prevents anything from getting in.
Stay on the Safe Side
While there are DIY methods to removing wild animals and pests from your attic, we always recommend leaving it to the professionals. As stated previously, animals will become defensive when they feel like they’re being backed into a corner, which can cause them to bite and scratch to protect themselves. Because many of these creatures have the potential to carry diseases like rabies, you’re at risk of infection when you come into contact with them.
Schedule a service for a free consultation with us today!