Can you hear little feet scurrying around above your ceiling? If all your children are present and accounted for, you definitely have a problem. It is easier than you think for squirrels, raccoons, bats, rats, opossums, and even snakes to find their way into your cozy attic space.
In this first installment in the “Critters in Your Attic” series, we’ll discuss how to REMOVE these little buggers from your attic. In part II, we’ll cover how to KEEP them out. Keeping animals from your home is extremely important, so whether you're gearing up to solve the problem yourself or will call a animal exclusion company like ours, take some time to educate yourself on the common home invaders.
Bats are fairly quiet in small numbers, however, a group of them makes quite a ruckus. Generally, they enter your attic through gaps in the roof and inhabit your dark, alluring attic space that is well suited to their needs. The holes they use to enter your attic can be as small as a half an inch wide.
Begin by sealing off all possible entry points except the largest one. Install a one-way exclusion device so that as the bats leave, they cannot re-enter the area. After you’re certain that all the bats have left, remove the device and seal that last point of entry. Excrement from bats is toxic to humans, so make sure to clean up any bat feces that they’ve so rudely left behind.
Squirrels and Opossums
These critters enter at roof level, far above the ground. Able to fit inside a very small hole, they can chew a hole 1-2 inches in diameter through which they can easily squeeze.
By law, Squirrels and Opossums must be trapped and relocated, not killed. You could also install a one-way door on their entrance point so that they when they exit, they’re trapped outside.
Rats and Mice
Rodents are able to fit through extremely tiny spaces, and have even been known to crawl up sewer pipes. They can easily scale walls, making any gap or tiny opening a potential entry point for these adventurous critters and causing attics to be a popular place for them to set up shop.
To expunge these critters from your attic, start by locating their point of entry and sealing it. Then you can move on to removing the mice or rats currently in your attic space. Snap traps are, by many sources, considered the best method to get rid of mice and rats. Contact a local animal exclusion company for best results.
If you have snakes in your attic or crawlspace, you probably also have (or had) rats. Because of the distinct odor associated with rats, its easy for snakes to find their hideout and live in the same place. Snakes that wind up in attics are most often climbing snakes. Many homeowners have reported hearing “slithering” noises above their ceilings, and they did, in fact, have snakes occupying their attic.
The best way to get rid of snakes is to get rid of the rats that attract them. Eradicate the rats and set traps for the snakes. Then, seal the area where they entered. Again, your local animal exclusion company is a great resource to help you with this issue.
Poison is Not Recommended
Using poison is highly discouraged. If the animal dies in a hard-to-reach place, it could be difficult to find until the acrid smell indicates it’s presence. Then, you must remove the carcass.