Squirrels, Raccoons or Bats – Which is Worst to Have in your Attic
As fall nears and the weather starts changing, you probably find yourself hanging out more inside where it’s warm. Not surprisingly, critters like squirrels, raccoons and bats have the same thought! Unfortunately, this means they’re more likely to make their way into your attic to get comfortable for the winter months. It can be hard to know which of these pests has taken up residence in your home, but whichever one it is you need to act fast and send them on their way before they get comfortable!
Squirrels in your attic
- damage to shingles, eaves troughs and outer panels, usually along the roof line.
- The smell of urine and feces in your house
- hear them scurrying around
Damage: Destroyed insulation, heating ducts and damage to electrical are most common. Squirrels are very determined creatures and will easily chew holes through your roof and walls to get inside. This leaves your attic susceptible to weather issues and makes it inviting to other creatures like bats, mice and insects.
Removal: Trapping is the most commonly suggested option, but this likely won’t solve your problem since another animal will likely take their place. The best way is to draw the squirrels out, then seal up any entrance points so they can’t get back in.
Raccoons in your attic
- damage to your roof or holes in the soffit at entry points
- A mess of feces, food scraps and twigs, leaves and destroyed insulation from making their nests
- loud thumping, stomping and banging noises
Damage: They will chew support beams, your roof and drywall. They can also destroy insulation, wiring, structural beams and heating and cooling ducts
Removal: Raccoons are smart so DIY removals don’t usually work to get rid of them. They can also be vicious, and it’s possible they may be carriers of rabies. The best option is to call a professional to remove them for you.
Bats in your attic
- guano (droppings) on the outside of your home near the entry point and in your attic. It will likely smell like ammonia
- Holes near your roof with black or brown stains around it. This is from the grease on a bats coat as they fly in and out.
- High pitched squeaking and squealing; scratching and shuffling sounds
Damage: Bat guano is a carrier of a fungus that can turn into histoplasmosis (a lung infection), so you don’t want this to build up in your home. Guano smells terrible and the smell with permeate your home. Bats will also chew wiring, insulation and walls.
Removal: Bats will not go away on their own but they are legally protected in Ontario so you cannot just kill them. During most of the year you can’t be sure whether there are babies in your attic, so sealing them out is not an option. Removing bats yourself is likely to cause them stress and possibly kill them, so your best option is to call a professional service to do the job.
So What's the Greatest Nuisance in Your Attic?
They’re all unwanted! No matter what critter has taken up residence in your attic, you need to act fast and clear them out as soon as possible. They longer they are allowed to stay, the more comfortable they will get and the more damage they can cause. Whether you’re dealing with squirrels, raccoons or bats, you don’t want to delay their removal! Unfortunately, these critters are all very difficult to remove yourself, so calling a professional is the best way to deal with them.