As winter reaches her cold hand into the heart of southern Ontario, it’s natural for wildlife and pests to take refuge and hibernate to survive the winter. Although it would be unrealistic for humans to hide inside until warmer weather returns, it’s not uncommon for pests and critters to do it. Now is the time that pests like squirrels, possums, raccoons, bats, mice and rats look for a warm and safe place to make themselves comfortable as they wait out the winter weather.

Why are they in my attic?

While your attic might seem like a dark, dingy and dirty place to you, it’s actually a prime target for many pests. The dark, warm and safe space is often protected from predators and offers a great place to stay warm this winter. Pests are drawn to spaces that are out of the way, quiet, dark and easy to get into, and unfortunately your attic fits the bill!

You may think your home is pretty well sealed off from pests, but there are many entrance points that could surprise you. Small holes in your roofline, broken or inadequate vent covers, an unprotected chimney and weak spots in your siding can all paint prime targets for pests to break into your attic.

Top pests in your attic this winter

There are many different pests that may make their way into your attic this winter, however these are 4 of the most commonly found ones. If you suspect something has gotten into your attic, it is essential to contact a pest removal company immediately so that they can be removed before they start nesting and become an even bigger problem.

Squirrels – these tiny critters can squeeze through some pretty small openings and will gladly make themselves at home in your attic. Baby season for squirrels doesn’t start until closer to the spring, however these aren’t critters that you want to allow to stay. Squirrels can create quite a bit of damage if left to their devices. They will tear out insulation, chew up wires and wood beams and leave their urine and excrement around the attic.

Raccoons – these large animals are even more destructive than smaller pests like squirrels and mice. The require a larger space to get into your attic, and aren’t shy about creating one. The mess they create can be quite difficult to clean up, especially if your attic isn’t easily accessed.

Bats – Often thought of as flying mice, these tiny pests can fit through the smallest of holes and will be very difficult to spot. Watch your eaves around dusk to see if you can spot any flying out of your attic to know if you might have a bat problem. The biggest concern with having bats in your attic is that their excrement, called guano, is extremely toxic to humans. Allowing it to continue to accumulate can lead to health problems for everyone in the home.

Rodents – Rodents like mice and rats are often undetectable in your attic until it’s too late and they’ve become an infestation. Thanks to their continuously growing teeth that need constant sharpening, your wires and wood beams are at risk of being destroyed quite quickly. The urine and excrement they leave behind can also be dangerous for humans, so you’ll want to clean it up as soon as possible.

Entry prevention is the best way

The best way to deal with pests in your attic is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Keep an eye on the spaces around the base of your roof for any entry holes, seal up vents and chimneys and keep trees trimmed back from the roof to help prevent pests from getting easy access to your attic.