Animals in the Attic

If you’ve ever awakened to a scratching, scurrying or fluttering coming from the ceiling area, it was probably an animal making a temporary home in your attic. Especially if you live in a rural area, it’s not uncommon for rodents, birds and other smaller animals to find their way into your attic and crawl space.

If you think you have an animal living in your attic, you should call a pest or animal control service right away — particularly if you don’t know what kind of animal you’re dealing with.

What’s Scratching in My Attic at Night?

If you hear strange noises coming from your attic, you probably have a pest problem. Fortunately, identifying the type of animal in your attic can be relatively easy through a process of elimination. For example, nocturnal animals such as raccoons and bats are far more active at night, while animals like squirrels and birds are more active — and noisy — during the day.

Some ways you can identify what kind of animal is in your attic at night or during the day are:

  • Listen to the types and timing of noises. If you hear a scurrying or scratching or other light noise during the daytime, you probably have a mouse or a squirrel in your attic. If you hear noises at night or any noise that sounds like a thud, it’s most likely a raccoon.
  • Check for footprints and damage. Using caution, check your attic for any tracks, as footprints are excellent species identifiers. Some animals leave brown grease marks in areas of heavy travel as well. Some animals, usually mice and rats, will nibble through boxes, paper, wood and insulation.
  • Check for feces. The type of feces you find in the attic also helps determine the kind of animal taking shelter there. Small, slightly elongated feces typically belong to rodents, and larger pellets usually indicate a raccoon.
  • Find the entry hole. The size and location of the animal’s entry hole can give clues to its species. If the hole is small or you only see a crevice in your attic wall or ceiling, the animal is likely a squirrel or mouse. If the hole is large and has tearing marks, it was probably made by a raccoon.

How Do I Get Rid of Animals in the Attic?

Sometimes, setting traps will do the trick for ridding your attic of smaller animals if the numbers are small enough. If you’re confident that the animals leave your attic at certain times of the day, it’s a good idea to seal off any entry points as quickly as possible so they can’t return.

But if you think the animal poses an immediate safety hazard or the problem persists, it’s best to call a pest professional for help.

How Do I Prevent Animals From Getting Into My Attic?

To keep unwanted visitors out of your attic, you can:

  • Clean and organize your attic frequently
  • Check for cracks, crevices and holes in your attic area and seal them immediately
  • Don’t leave food or any items that could be turned into nesting material

Contact Us Today

If you have pest problems in your Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C., home, contact Senate Termite and Pest Control by calling 1-800-433-9409 or by scheduling an appointment online.

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