Why do I have animals in my attic?

Attics are the perfect hideaway for animals to build a home because they are rarely visited, typically full of storage boxes or hold holiday decorations, and they stay warm even in the winter months. Simply put animals tend to love them. Having animals in the attic is common. You often don’t know they are there until you start hearing noises, seeing droppings or you’re A/C Heat goes out.

Large hole in house below eave where pests can enter attic

Wild animals are carriers of a wide variety of contagions and their presence in an attic along with their droppings are a substantial cause of disease. Since many homes have electrical storage in the attic, animals can cause major damage when they chew through wires, thus the resulting short could lead to a house fire. 

Below is a list of the most common animals found in attics and suggestions on how to remove and exclude them from your home.  Ideally, these animals should all be physically removed by trapping so they don’t attempt to re-enter the property Please contact us to handle the problem professionally, our technicians at Dial One Franklynn Pest Control are Licensed Wildlife Nuisance Control Operators.

SQUIRRELS

First Seal off the attic. Patch up holes and cover spaces that are wide enough for a squirrel to get through. Place a chimney cap or wire mesh fencing over your chimney. Cover any vents with wire mesh fencing as well. Patch up all chewed-out holes leading to the outside of the house, except for one to allow them to exit, but this hole must then be covered soon after the problem stops. Also, make sure to secure any openings between the attic and the rest of your home. A panic-stricken squirrel may find its way further into your home if it senses that the attic is no longer a welcome place. 

RACCOONS

Raccoons are expert climbers and can rip open shingles, roof decking or screens to obtain entry. They can also squeeze through gaps in the eaves. They are large animals and leave evidence with paths full of debris behind them. Their droppings are about the size of a cat or small dog. If you see ducts or insulation ripped apart that could be a good indicator that you have a raccoon in the attic. The best way to remove them is by trapping. Once removed, it is suggested to make sure that all means of entry are securely sealed so they can’t use their powerful jaws or paws to break in again. 

RATS

Rats are a commensal rodent meaning they like to live near human habitation so they are often found in the home. These animals can climb just about anything and crawl through holes so small you wouldn’t think it was possible for anything to get through. They can enter through any part of the house and nest anywhere, but the attic is typically where they are found. Rats leave thousands of droppings in a short period of time. They also leave tunnels through accumulated clutter and insulation. It is common for rat passages to be stained brown from the greasy coating of their fur. To try to get rid of rats, again it is best to seal of every possible entry point they could use anywhere in the house. Due to the dangers of using poisons, it is best to consult an expert. 

SNAKES

snake.jpg

Snakes move with ease when climbing up the side of a house to ultimately try to find a home in the attic. They are silent guests and the easiest way to know that they are there is by the skins they shed. It is best to first get rid of the rats that attract them and also make sure entry points are sealed to prevent re-entry. Getting rid of them is usually best left to experts. 

OPOSSUM

Opossums need a large opening to gain entry into your attic so they are not that common, but if there are large enough openings for them such as open ducts or vents, they may find their way into your attic. They are easy to identify with their large droppings and the odor they give off. Trapping is the suggested way to get them out of your house. Consult a professional.

BATS

Bats can squeeze through openings as small as ½ an inch and usually enter through gaps near the edge of the roofline. They are usually silent visitors and the best way to know if they are in your attic is by seeing them flying in and out. Another sign is the smelly droppings that accumulate into large piles over time. The best way to remove bats is by using one-way exclusion doors or netting that allows them to fly out, but not back into the house and then sealing all points of entry. 

Animals in the attic or any other part of the home are unwelcome guests. It is best to consult a licensed professional to trap or poison nuisance animals. Allowing them to stay in your home puts both your health and the safety of your home at risk. Give Dial One Franklynn Pest Control a call for a free consultation and we can help secure your home from those unwelcome guests.

Kevin Barraco

Smart Media LLC, New Orleans