“I Don’t Know What Critter is in My Attic, But IT IS Up There!”

If you’ve been hearing the pitter patter of little feet in your attic, you probably have an animal – likely a squirrel, raccoon, bat, bird or rodent (and likely more than one) – who’s thinking of making a home in there.  To prevent them from causing damage to your home, it’s important for you to identify the interloper, get them out of there, and prevent them from coming back. It’s time to get rid of the nuisance animal!

How to identify the intruder in your attic

Look for a pattern in terms of when you hear the intruder moving around.  If it’s during the daytime, you may have squirrels, birds, or mice.  On the other hand, if the noise is most often during the night, it’s probably a nocturnal animal such as bats or raccoons.

Next, go up there and take a look.  You can do it yourself, or hire a pro – but either way, someone’s got to go in person and check things out.  Once up there, you may be able to spot the animal that’s invaded your space, in which case you’ll be 100% certain of what you’re dealing with.  If you can’t spot the intruder, look for other clues that will help you identify what’s up there such as solid waste from their defecation, stains from urine, footprints, or stockpiles of food (for example, squirrels may have collected piles of nuts).  If you don’t find anything or are uncertain how to interpret what you found, hire a pro to take a look and diagnose the problem.

Figure out how the animal got in

Animals and rodents will differ a bit in their exact techniques used to gain entry to your attic, but they do have one thing in common: they need a hole or crack that’s big enough to get in.  Do a thorough inspection of your roof, attic vents, and soffits to see if there are any damaged areas that wildlife could have used to get inside your attic.

In the case of climbers like squirrels, you should also look for tree branches that hang over your roof – these make it all too easy for them to get on there in the first place, making it more likely that they’ll eventually find a way inside.  If you have overhanging branches, trim them so that they can no longer be used as a convenient bridge to your roof.

Get rid of them and prevent them from coming back

Never seal up all of the entry holes until you’re certain that you’ve gotten rid of your intruders – the last thing you want is the body of a dead animal left to rot up there, attracting insects and causing a stink.  Many homeowners consider using poisons… but depending on where you live and the type of wildlife you’re trying to get rid of, it may be illegal – always check local laws before using that approach.

Better, is to use humane methods whenever possible. 

For example, many animals leave the attic regularly in search of food and this provides a perfect opportunity to give them the boot without hurting them.  The way it works is you seal up every single entry point except for one.     Then you install a one-way door on the final entry point – this allows the animal to leave, but they can’t get back in.  Once you know the animal is gone, you can seal up the entry point that you blocked with the one-way door.

The only caveat with the one-way door method is that you have to make sure there won’t be any helpless baby animals left behind who won’t survive the absence of their mother.

Don’t stress – getting rid of that animal in your attic doesn’t have to be difficult

If you don’t have the time or desire to do what’s required to identify and evict that animal yourself, call a wildlife removal expert.  Due to their specialty knowledge and experience, they can pretty much always get rid of the pest more quickly and easily than you can.

We offer all kinds of tips for protecting your home or property, so read on in our wildlife and pest control blog.

If you’re in Burlington, Oakville or anywhere in the Halton-Hamilton Regions and wildlife or pests have entered your home or property, contact Halton Wildlife today for fast help!