The attic is one part of homes where you do not usually give much attention until there is a problem. Often, by the time homeowners notice that there’s something wrong, it’s already too late. Attics are usually dark, humid, and full of nooks and crannies, making them the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of pests.
Here are some of the most common attic pests that you should be on the lookout for.
Mice and rats are attracted to attics because they offer shelter and a safe place to nest. These pests can cause a lot of damage to your home, gnawing through wires, insulation, and wood. They are excellent climbers, so they can easily access your attic even if it’s well-sealed. They are also an expert in gaining access through tiny openings. They can squeeze through a hole that’s as small as a quarter.
The best way to identify if you have mice or rats in your attic is by looking for small and black droppings. You can also listen for gnawing or scratching noises from the attic.
Squirrels are bushy-tailed rodents that live on trees. They belong to the Sciuridae family, including chipmunks, flying squirrels, and groundhogs. They eat various foods like nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects in the wild. However, when they enter your attic, they feast on anything they can find- including your insulation and wiring.
A squirrel can enter your attic through vents, ventilation openings, and gaps on the roof. If you are concerned about the noise at night, probably, they are not squirrels. Unlike mice, squirrels are diurnal. This means they are most active during the day and tend to rest at night.
You can identify squirrels in your attic through foul smell. Squirrel urine has a very strong and distinctive odor. Another sign of their presence is their chewing noise as they nibble on your insulation and wires. You may also find squirrel droppings in the attic. Acorns, on the other hand, are a telltale sign that squirrels have been in your attic.
The raccoon is a curious and crafty animal. It can combine its intellectual capabilities with climbing skills, as well as strength, to attain what they want from within your home or elsewhere on earth. They are sneaky creatures that can enter your home through the tiniest openings. Once they’re in, they will wreak havoc and cause much damage. Unfortunately, raccoons are also carriers of various diseases like rabies and roundworm.
Raccoons usually nest in attics during springtime as they give birth to their young ones. The most common sign of raccoon presence in your attic is the feces inside the attic. In addition, Pawprint and scratch marks indicate that a raccoon has been in your attic.
Among the attic dwellers, bats have the biggest health risk. They are carriers of diseases like rabies and histoplasmosis. Bats usually enter attics through small openings or cracks in the roof. Once they’re in, they will roost or build their nests there.
The best way to determine if you have bats in your attic is through their droppings. Bat droppings, or guano, have a very strong and distinct odor. You may also see stains on the walls or ceiling of your attic, as well as on the insulation. Noises like a fluttering of wings, scratching, squeaking and clicking are also other indications that you have bats in your attic.
While most snakes are harmless, some species can be dangerous to humans. Venomous snakes, for example, can inflict serious injuries or even death.
Snakes usually climb up into attics in search of rodents to eat. Once they’re in, they will stay there and hunt for food. Snakes can enter your attic through gaps in roof eaves, windows, and vents.
The best way to determine if you have snakes in your attic is by looking for their skin shedding. Snakes regularly shed their skin, so you will find shedding around the areas where they frequent. You may also see snake eggs and nests in your attic.
How to prevent animals from getting into your attic
Although you can’t keep animals from entering your attic altogether, you can do some things to deter them and make your home less appealing.
- Repair any cracks or holes on the exterior of your home
- Install screens on vents, windows, and other openings
- Keep your garage door closed
- Keep your yard clean and free of debris
- Remove any food sources that might attract animals to your home
- Seal up trash cans and keep them away from the house
- Use a chimney cap to prevent animals from entering your chimney
- Call a professional to remove any animals that have already made their way into your attic.
The attic is one part of the house that is most vulnerable to animal invasion. This is because they offer the perfect environment for animals to build their nests and find food. Squirrels, raccoons, bats, and snakes are common animals that invade attics.
To prevent animals from getting into your attic, you should repair any cracks or holes on the exterior of your home. Install screens on vents, windows, and other openings. Keep your garage door closed, and remove any food sources that might attract animals to your home. If you already have animals in your attic, the best thing to do is to call a professional to remove them.