It’s in Your Attic and it’s Likely a Squirrel or Raccoon
With spring now in the air you’ll likely start noticing animals coming out of hibernation and hanging out in your backyard. While animals like squirrels and raccoons can be cute from a distance and seem like a sign of a great spring ahead, they can actually become pests pretty quickly. If these animals make their way into your attic, as they might with their nesting season approaching, they become a pest that you might struggle to get rid of!
Why my attic?
There are several reasons why squirrels and raccoons might beeline for your attic in the spring. Most common is because your attic is likely dark, quiet and a great place to hide from predators. Especially if they are looking for a place to create a den in order to have babies, your attic can be a very attractive place for them. And because your attic is likely part of your in-home heating process, it’s going to be warm and comfortable for them. Not to mention the ability to gather items like insulation and wood to create their bed!
Signs of Squirrels and Raccoons in Your Attic
The first thing that will likely alert you to pests in your attic is the sounds they will make. Both of these pests will make scurrying, scratching and thumping sounds as they move around and create their nest. You might also hear chewing and gnawing sounds as they use things in your attic to sharpen their teeth.
During the process of making themselves at home in your attic, animals like these can create quite the stink! You’ll likely notice the smell of excrement and urine if your ventilation isn’t great.
How Squirrels and Raccoons Get into Your Attic
There are a few common ways that pests will use to get into your attic. Though they may find other ways, these ones will be where you should look first for signs of entry.
Wall and Roof Vents
These vents that let off warm air are a prime target for animals looking for a warm and dark place to nest. Though the weather is warming outside, it is still relatively cold and pests will be looking for signs of warmth around your home. Since both of these pests like to chew, they can easily chew their way through plastic vent covers so covering your vents with wire mesh can help prevent their entry.
Homes with chimneys that don’t have a covering on the top to prevent entry are an easy place for squirrels and raccoons to get into your attic. If your chimney is made of brick it can actually make it easier for animals to climb up and down. Installing a mesh cover onto your chimney can help to prevent pests from getting into your attic this way.
Around the Base of Your Roof
The space along the base of your roof where the soffit meets the wall and the space where your gutters meet the roof are common spots for pests to make their way into your attic. With debris, snow and rain having the chance to accumulate, the base of your roof can become susceptible to pests determined to find a safe place to nest.
Squirrels and Raccoons Can Cause Damage
Pests like squirrels and raccoons can actually cause quite a bit of damage to your attic. From chewing on key structural components to tearing apart insulation to create a comfortable bed, these animals may seem cute from a distance but they can be quite the hassle once they make their way in.
Take Steps to Prevent Entry
The best way to make sure squirrels and raccoons don’t wreak havoc on your spring is to take measures to prevent them from gaining entry to your attic in the first place. Installing metal guards on any possible entry points, doing regular checks for holes around your chimney and roof line and keeping any trees cut back from the house can all help to prevent these pests from getting into your home.
If you suspect squirrels and raccoons might have made their way into your home and aren’t sure whether babies are involved, it’s a good idea to call a professional to help you determine the best way to send them packing.