Have you been hearing strange noises in your attic at night? Are you concerned that something is living inside your attic? This can be a scary and concerning experience for homeowners, especially when you don’t know what the noise is or where it’s coming from. If you have been hearing strange noises in your attic or walls, especially at night, these are signs of a wildlife or rodent infestation.
Wild animals such a squirrels, raccoons, possums, rodents and even bats can move into your home’s attic or crawl space. While you are terrified in your bed, trying to get your rest; these animals are throwing a party in your attic! They quickly make your home theirs; they will nest, mate, have babies, poop, pee, eat and then go to sleep peacefully. All while you’re pulling your hair out trying to figure out what to do.
The types of noises you may be hearing can range from chewing vibrations, hard thumping, scratching or even worse; moans, cries and growling. Bats do not make as much noise, however you may hear very light, yet high pitched squeaking noises. If you’re hearing these type of noises and you believe that you have a wildlife infestation here are some tips to help you out, so you know exactly what you need to do from here.
First things first, you need to inspect your entire property and look for any entry points. This includes the roof top, soffit breaks, attic vents and even under the home. If there are animals nesting in your attic, they got in there somehow, someway. With larger animals these spots will be easy to point out and you will clearly see the damage where they were entering and exiting. However, with smaller animals such as rats and bats, it may be more difficult to locate these entry points. You will need to look for any and all holes that are larger than a quarter. Also with rats and bats you will see black marks around any entry points. Once you have located entry points, you will need to make the necessary repairs. Every home owner’s situation will be different; repairs can range from simply patching a hole, all the way to replacing an entire roof!
After fixing any damage or access points, now is when you will need to trap and remove the animals. You can purchase live traps for larger animals and you can purchase rat traps for the rats. However, when it comes to bats, it is highly suggested that you hire a licensed professional wildlife trapper to remove the bats, as there are strict laws and regulations in place to protect this important species. If you remove the bats incorrectly or at the wrong time of year, you can be hit with heavy fines. So, when it comes to bats please make sure to hire a professional animal removal company.
Wildlife trapping companies and most attic restoration companies provide exclusion services, where they will seal off all of the holes and repair the damage that is allowing the wild animals access to your home. These are all things that you can do yourself, if you’re a handy person however when it comes to the final and most important, yet widely overlooked step, which is to decontaminate the attic and home, you may want to leave this dirty job for the professionals.
Feces, poop, urine and nesting materials get left behind in your attic after rodent or racoon infestations. These animals leave behind bacteria, viruses and odors from the feces and urine saturating your attic insulation. Not only does the attic needs to be cleaned but all insulation needs to be removed, the attic needs to be disinfected and then new insulation installed because rats and wildlife don’t use the bathroom in one spot. Unfortunately, they leave their filth in every corner and crevice of your attic. Be sure the attic has been sealed as well (most attic restoration companies offer this imperative service.)
Once you have controlled the wildlife problem, cleaned the feces, disinfected the attic and replaced your attic’s contaminated insulation, it’s important to perform some follow up work to prevent the problem from happening again. Here are some tips: trim away all tree and bush branches that are close to your home. Animals can follow the branches on to your roof top. Remove all dog and cat food from outside after the animals are finished eating; as this is one of the biggest culprits to bring wildlife to your home. Another culprit is the bird feeder, as rats and squirrels love the bird seed. Make sure to have contaminated areas, such as your attic cleaned properly by professionals, as the smell of the feces, urine and nesting materials will re-attract other animals. If you’ve been hearing things in your attic, I hope you find this information helpful and I wish you luck in getting rid of your rodent or wildlife problem.