Are you hearing noises in the attic?
Whether it's scratching, scurrying, or just the sound of movement above your head, hearing any kind of noises from your attic could indicate a larger problem -- pests.
Attics can be the ideal environment for squirrels, rodents, and even bats--they can damage stored items by gnawing and could even chew through your electric cabling.
They also leave droppings and other animal matter, which make your attic the ideal breeding ground for insects and diseases.
Here's a list of some of the most common animals that could find their way into your attic--and how you can get rid of them.
Rats are some of the animals you're most likely to find in your attic. Common roof rats love warm spaces and may seek refuge in your attic during cold or wet winter months.
Hear gnawing in the attic but you're not sure if it's rats?
The best way to identify them is through their droppings, which will be brown, sausage-shaped, and curved. If you happen to catch sight of them, they are usually larger than mice with a longer and thicker tail.
Rats are experts at gaining access to indoor spaces. They can squeeze through small holes and chew their way through almost any wall cavity.
They're active day and night, but you're more likely to hear them scurrying during the night.
You can use rat poison or traps to try and remove the rats that have already entered your house. Your best bet to keep them from coming back is to locate their entry point and seal it up.
Mice are very similar to rats, but with a few key differences. You're more likely to find mice in your house--many of them have adapted to associate with humans rather than live in the wild.
Mice are much smaller than rats, with thinner tails. You can identify them by their feces, which will look like very small grains of brown rice.
Because of their small size, they're likely to gain access to your attic by climbing up the wall and squeezing through small spaces.
You can use mice traps or poison, but the most effective way to get rid of mice is to find the entry holes and seal them permanently.
While squirrels might be cute, they're one of the most common types of animals you'll find gnawing through your attic.
They might be similar to mice and rats, but squirrels can be even more damaging.
They're experts at chewing and can chew through your walls for better access to your house and attic. They can also chew through wood and electrical wires--which could become a fire hazard.
These critters are most active during the daytime. You're likely to hear them around early morning and evening.
You can use poison, but many prefer to capture and relocate squirrels instead. Either way, be sure to remove the rodents and seal up any access holes.
If the noises in the attic don't sound like the typical scratching and gnawing, you might be dealing with a different animal altogether.
Bats can be a serious problem to deal with in your attic. They can gain access by squeezing through small holes or flying into your roof through gaps along the roof line.
While they won't gnaw through anything, they produce large amounts of droppings, which have a pungent odor. Their droppings look like small dark pellets, and they can accumulate quickly.
These droppings are a serious health problem. Not only does it smell bad, but contamination can lead to diseases like histoplasmosis.
Bats are nocturnal creatures. They're most active during the night, but it can be hard to find them due to the fact that they make very little sound.
While there are items on that market that claim to be able to repel bats, none of these are scientifically proven to work. It's best to physically remove them yourself or call somebody to help you do it.
In addition, you need to ensure that the droppings are cleaned, the area is sanitized, and all entrance holes are sealed.
Even if you don't live in a hot climate, snakes can get into your home without you knowing it.
Snakes are ectothermic, which means that they don't produce much body heat and must rely on external factors to keep them warm. This means they might seek out your attic or other areas of the home in order to stay warm.
Most snakes are harmless. But some snakes have venom that could be harmful or even lethal to humans. To avoid any chance of injury, it's best to remove any snake infestation from the home.
It can be hard to identify snakes in your attic due to the fact that they are great at hiding inside the walls and make little noise. If you notice nests, eggs, or shed skin, you may have a snake problem.
If you suspect there may be snakes in your home, you can try the flour trick. Sprinkle a small layer of flour over a hardwood floor in an area of your home.
Check the next day or after a few days to see if there are tracks in the flour.
Never attempt a snake removal yourself. You should always call a professional to help you with a snake infestation.
If you're hearing noises in the attic and find signs of habitation like droppings, nesting, or damage caused by gnawing, you might just be dealing with attic pests.
Don't run the risk of bad odors, disease, or electrical hazards. If you think any of these pests may have infested your attic, reach out to a professional immediately to have them removed.
Looking for a pest removal service? Check out our attic pest control services to see what we have to offer.