Wild animals have ways of getting into the attics of homes. Most homeowners do not realize they have unwanted house guests until they begin hearing the noises above them. There are different clues to help you discover what kind of animal is in your attic including types of:
- Do the noises sound like they are coming from a small or large animal? Do they happen mostly at night or during the day?
- Entry holes. A squirrel will make a 2-inch hole leaving chew marks around the perimeter. A big torn-out hole could be from a raccoon. Bats leave droppings at the entry hole, while brown grease stains are from rats.
- Are the droppings excluded to a particular area of the attic or spread throughout it?
- Check for animal prints in the dust or see if there are any muddy footprints.
- Damage caused. Has the wood been gnawed? Have electrical wires been chewed? Have vents or ductwork been destroyed? Some damage isn’t that severe, but animals can cause a lot of damage which costs homeowners a great deal in repairs
Squirrels are the most common critter to invade attics. They chew their way inside to live in a warm, dry place which resembles a big hollow tree. Active in the early morning and evening before sunset, the noise is usually a fast scamper, not a heavy thumping. The noise can be heard throughout the attic, but squirrels tend to stick near the entry hole at the edge of the roof. Squirrels leave hundreds of droppings which resemble fat, little brown grains of rice. Look for evidence of nesting debris such as leaves, sticks, chewed on wood, and electrical wires.
Raccoons are not only curious and mischievous but are also excellent climbers and very strong. They break in to homes and attics in search of food and shelter. Raccoons are nocturnal, so you will likely hear the noise at night. With adults weighing around 25 pounds, noises will often be loud and sound heavy. Vocal noises include chattering or growling. Also, large droppings will be left behind, and you will see ducts ripped in to pieces.
Mice and rats are more commonly found in cities than in the country. Active year-round and able to breed at exceptionally high rates, it’s important to take care of any mice or rats found in the attic right away. Mice and rats can squeeze through extremely small holes and gaps. You will hear light scurrying and scampering sounds as they both can climb pretty much any surface. Mice and rats can leave tens of thousands of droppings in an attic which look like grains of rice. Evidence left behind includes chew marks and brown smudges from grease in their fur. It’s also important to make sure your home is completely sealed because if one of these rodents detects a slight breeze from inside, they’ll make their way into your home.
Bats will squeeze through architectural gaps as small as 3/8 of an inch near the edge of the roofline, making their way to their roosting spots. Bats are nocturnal and are quiet in small numbers, but you will hear crawling, flying, and squeaking noises when there’s a large swarm of them. Physical sightings are the best way to know bats are in your attic; but if you don’t see them, you may start to notice an odor from the large amounts of droppings (guano) they often leave.
Opossums are large, nocturnal animals like raccoons. You will hear heavy, slow moving sounds mainly at night if they are living in your attic. They do not usually force their way in, but will enter an easy opening such as an eave gap. You will notice the feces left behind because there will be many dog-sized droppings with pointed tips spread throughout the attic. Most people will smell the opossum’s presence alive or dead as its common for them to die in attics.
Seek Professional Help
Once you have identified what kind of animal is in your attic, it’s important to call a professional to have the animal removed. At Critter Control in Jacksonville, we will humanely remove any intruders that have moved in to your attic as well as properly seal all entry points, clean up the waste left behind, and repair any damage caused by these pests. Call us today at 904-221-8633 for a free home inspection, and you’ll see why we’re the industry leaders in removing all types of animals living in your attic.