9 Pests That Could Be in Your Attic Now
Attics are attractive to rats given that it has plenty of insulation that they can use for bedding and nesting. This space offers them shelter and warmth. And in return for your hospitality, they leave distinctive droppings and chewed cardboard, insulation, and wiring (which is a big fire risk).
It is easy for rats to enter through small cracks and gaps; they only need an opening about the size of a quarter. Look for any potential “doorways” and seal them up. Pay attention to cracks in the foundation, gaps in siding, and crevices along doorways and windows. Old-fashioned rat traps work, as do chemical treatments. Remember, though: when you use chemicals, rats wander off to die and you may not be able to find them. You’ll be able to smell them though.
Mice can squeeze through even smaller openings; they only need about a quarter of an inch in order to infiltrate your home. Like rats, they like attics with all of those convenient nesting materials. And, like rats, they will chew insulation, wires, and cardboard. You may notice small piles of droppings and/or little piles of food that they’ve stockpiled. Take the same steps as described above in terms of sealing up gaps and cracks, and set traps.
When they’re out in the park, scurrying across tree limbs, squirrels are kind of scenic and cute. When they’re in their attic, they instantly get downgraded to pests. Unlike rats and mice, squirrels are loud. You’ll hear them rustling around in the walls and ceiling, and you may hear them “bark.” It’s a chirping noise that they emit when they feel threatened or nervous. Additional tell tale signs that you have a squirrel problem: piles of food (e.g. nuts and seeds they’ve collected) and big swaths of fallen or missing insulation.
You know the drill: seal up any points of entry!
This is another class of pest altogether. Raccoons are intelligent, strong, have great memories, and are terrific climbers and problem-solvers. They can rip through roofing materials to access your attic. They also look for vents or gaps in the eaves. Females like the warm, safe space to have their litters.
You don’t want to tangle with raccoons. This is a job for the pros. After the pests are taken care of, you can take steps to seal up your home to deny entry. At Rid-a-Bug we also offer crawl space encapsulation services, so once the raccoons are gone, they stay gone.
Birds are in the market for a place that’s high, dry, and safe from predators. Your attic will fit the bill quite nicely. They can enter through broken roof vents or cracks in the wall, and you may hear chirping and find droppings, nests, and feathers. These allow carpet beetles and flies to proliferate, so it’s important to have a pest control service come and deal with your bird problem.
The problem with caves and trees is that they can get damp and cold. Bats solve this hassle by taking up abode in your abode. It’s warm, dry, and quite comfortable for them. They only need about a half-inch opening. Brown bats, the most common type found in attics, prefer to hunker down year-round, so once they’re in, they’re in to stay.
In many states, including North and South Carolina, brown bats are protected so you cannot trap and exterminate them. Call in the professionals if you have signs of an infestation. Otherwise, you could be looking at some nasty roommates.
7. Stinging Insects
Your warm, dry attic also attracts wasps, yellow jackets, bees, and hornets. You may see a nest on the exterior walls, or you may notice some buzzing traffic in and out of your home. It is best to call a professional exterminator to take care of this for you. If it is bees, you can have them safely relocated (bees are crucial pollinators). If they are other types of stinging insects, the exterminator can eradicate the nest safely and effectively.
Your attic is as good as an all-you-can-eat buffet for termites. They prefer older wood, unsealed wood, and rotting wood, and they can cause significant structural damage to your home. You may notice their excrement that looks like sawdust and stray insect wings. Because of the potential for disaster, it is advisable to contact a professional extermination service to help you get these pests out of your home for good.
We have our share of snakes in Virginia and North and South Carolina. They can climb, and they can fit into very small openings. If you do have snakes hidden in the attic, they are likely not venomous. That doesn’t mean you want them taking over your upper story and crawl spaces. Give us a call and we can safely remove snakes.
Notice signs that you have pests hiding in your attic? Call the experts at Rid-a-Bug today. We’ll assess the situation and provide an effective solution. Don’t let creepy, crawly, scurrying, slithering, or fluttering intruders wreak havoc on your home. We’re here to help.