Your attic may make the ideal storage area for Christmas decorations and other seldom-used items, but the warm, quiet, sheltered space beneath your roof also makes a perfect home for a number of creatures.
Often, the first indications of interlopers in your house are the noises that you hear coming from your attic. Here’s a quick guide to identifying who might be making themselves at home in your roof space.
Squirrels often make their way into attics to nest and raise a family. Unfortunately, these animals are extremely destructive, chewing and gnawing on electrical wiring, water pipes, and wooden fixtures to wear down their continuously growing incisor teeth.
Squirrels are mostly active four to five hours before sunrise, especially during the winter months. However, you may hear the creatures scuttling and scurrying around in your attic during the night too. You may also hear squirrels gnawing on hard surfaces and scratching as they rip up your insulation material to construct a nest.
Female raccoons often take up residence in peoples’ attics in the early springtime in preparation for the birth of their young.
In March/April, you will hear heavy pounding noises coming from your attic as the mother raccoon builds a nest. Adult raccoons are large creatures, weighing from six to ten pounds, and their tread is much heavier than that of a squirrel.
When the raccoon kits are born, you will often hear distinctive squealing, chirping, and scrabbling noises coming from the nest.
Rats commonly invade attic areas, as they are very capable climbers. Like squirrels, these rodents are habitual chewers, gnawing on wooden fixtures, cabling, or stored items to wear down their long incisor teeth.
Rats are nocturnal creatures, so you’ll often be disturbed at night by their scratching, scurrying, and squeaking as they forage for food and explore your attic.
When the weather cools down, and food becomes scarcer, mice can seek shelter and a meal inside your home. An attic makes the ideal place for mice to overwinter, being warm, dark, quiet, and free from predators.
Mice can cause a lot of damage by gnawing on the fixtures and fittings in your attic, chewing through electrical wiring, tearing up insulation material, and spreading their feces and urine all around the area. Unfortunately, mice breed prolifically, so it’s vital that you contact a professional pest control company immediately to prevent an infestation.
If you hear scratching, rustling sounds coming from your attic, it’s possible that you may have birds nesting there. Once the eggs have hatched, you’ll probably hear squeaking and chirping from young chicks, begging for food.
Another giveaway is the sight of nesting materials and bird droppings on the ground outside directly underneath the entrance to the attic that the birds are using.
Although birds are not as destructive as mammalian pests, their droppings can carry diseases and create an unpleasant odor that could permeate your home.
In the spring and summertime, you may hear a subtle humming sound coming from your attic during the daytime. Take a look from the outside of your house, and you may notice a steady stream of wasps making their way into your attic through a tiny gap under the eaves or through a vent on your roof.
Wasps don’t do much damage, although they can make a mess and are extremely dangerous if anyone in your household is allergic to wasp stings. Also, it’s not uncommon to find more than one wasp nest in your attic.
Cluster flies are one of a number of insect species that are commonly referred to as “attic flies.” Attic flies are not dangerous to humans, but they can be a nuisance once they get out into your home in search of food. If you hear buzzing sounds coming from your attic and notice swarms of dark-colored flies invading your home, call a professional exterminator right away.
Bats typically invade your attic during the fall and winter. As the temperature drops, bats seek shelter and warmth in preparation for their winter hibernation.
Although you might not notice anything unusual during the wintertime while the bats are inactive, you may hear fluttering sounds and high-pitched squeaks coming from your attic in the spring and summer months when the bats are busy feeding and raising their pups.
Although bats won’t cause damage in your attic as some pests do, they do make a lot of mess with their feces, and dead bats present a health hazard as their corpses do attract other pests.
In Ontario, it’s illegal to kill, stress, or transport wildlife for one kilometer. So, if you hear noises in your attic, your best course of action is to contact a professional raccoon removal Hamilton company to investigate.
The experts will identify the intruders and take the necessary action to remove them safely, humanely, and legally from your attic, as well as giving you helpful advice on how to prevent future problems.