We love having our adopted furry friends in our home, but what happens when an uninvited critter finds its way into the attic?
If you’ve ever heard something scurrying around in the space above your ceiling, you’ve probably wondered what it is, why it’s there, and how to get rid of it.
This article will outline what kind of animals live in attics, how they get in, and ways to get rid of them safely.
What Kind of Animals Get in Attics?
Here’s a list of the most common animals that get into attic spaces.
If you’re wondering what those animals in the attic are, they could very well be squirrels.
Luckily (or unluckily), squirrels are easy to spot if you suspect they may be in your attic. A few of the signs to look for are a sudden increase in the number of squirrels in your yard or on your property, a lot of the characteristic chattering that squirrels do, and scurrying sounds above your head.
Removing squirrels usually requires some type of humane trap placed in the exit or entrance to your attic space. Repeating traps that are designed to capture multiple squirrels at once make removing them easier and faster. Just make sure to check on your trap often so that the squirrels don’t end up hurting themselves.
For more info on how to remove these animals from your attic or prevent them from getting into your attic, check out this article.
One of the most common animals that live in attics is mice.
Mice are excellent climbers and can fit in the smallest of spaces, so it’s no surprise that they easily find their way into your attic in search of food, warmth, and nesting materials like cardboard boxes.
You can tell that this is the critter in your attic if you see holes, chewed wires, and tracks in any dust you might have in your attic.
Luckily, since mice are such common critters in attics, you can find plenty of safe ways to remove them from your attic and prevent them from entering your attic in the first place. This includes things like humane traps or sealing gaps and removing nesting materials to keep them out.
Check out this article for more about how mice get into your attic and how to get them out.
Rats have quite a bit in common with squirrels, one of them being how they enter and inhabit your attic.
If there are rats in your attic, the signs will be similar to those of a mice infestation. You will see rat droppings in the corners of your attic, things like cardboard and insulation chewed through, and, as always, scurrying noises above your head.
Rats pose a threat when it comes to spreading germs through their droppings and possibly chewing through wires which could cause an electrical fire.
To remove them without killing them, set up traps similar to those that you would set for mice with tasty snacks to entice them in. Sealing off points of entry can keep them out of your attic.
For more tips on removing rats from your attic, check out this article.
An attic offers a safe, warm, dry space to live in, which is one of the reasons why we find so many animals in the attic. Among these are birds.
The most common birds found in attics are barn swallows, pigeons, house finches and sparrows, and starlings.
One of the most obvious signs of birds in attics is their chirping and fluttering of wings. They also make quick use of any nesting materials available and leave a large number of droppings behind, so even if they leave, you can tell they’ve been there.
To get rid of birds, it’s recommended to remove screens from windows and leave the windows wide open, allowing them to leave. Decoy birds like hawks or owls can act as the bird version of a scarecrow and keep birds away.
If you want to know a bit more about how to remove birds from your house, take a look at this article.
Though it may seem surprising to those of us who don’t see them much in general, bats are found surprisingly often in attics.
Their small size in combination with their flying ability makes it easy for them to squeeze their way into your attic.
Though things like droppings are common signs of any animal in the attic, bats leave a few distinct marks that other critters do not.
If there are bats in your attic you may smell ammonia (the scent of their excrement) or see urine stains or stained holes on your wall. The sounds of screeches or squeaks and fluttering wings is also an indicator of bat presence.
To get bats out of your attic, using the scent of things like mothballs or eucalyptus oils can repel them. Installing bright lights can also deter them from hanging around in your attic.
For more info on humane ways to remove bats from your attic, check out this article.
Though you may only think of these critters as chunky little trash pandas rummaging through your garbage bin, they’re surprisingly good climbers and can chew and scratch their way into your attic in no time.
Once they get in, their size can make them even more damaging to your attic. This generally larger size does make them easier to identify, as the weight of a raccoon navigating your attic is easier to recognize than a lightweight mouse.
The easiest way to get a raccoon out of your attic is to use its strong sense of smell. Since they are so sensitive to scents, using things that they do not like the smell of, like onions, garlic, peppermint oil, or Epsom salt can deter them from your attic.
Learn more about raccoons and how to keep them out of your attic by reading this article.
Another common critter in your attic is the opossum.
As avid climbers who are surprisingly light on their feet, opossums can easily scale the side of your house and crawl into your attic through a gap in your eave or an open vent.
You can tell that an opossum has made its way into your attic if you see damage to your insulation or the strong, unpleasant scent of their droppings.
To remove an opossum humanely, use a humane trap set with something sweet, like a honey bun, as bait. Check the trap often and once you have caught your opossum, call your local wildlife rescue to verify where you should release the opossum.
Check out this article to learn more about opossums and how to remove them from your attic.
As terrifying as it may seem to many, snakes can and will find their way into your attic.
The most common snakes to hide out in attics are rat snakes that have slithered up the side of your house and entered through some type of hole or opening in the soffit of your roof, usually in an attempt to catch prey.
A slithering sound is a sure sign of a snake in the attic, but most of the time, people won’t hear them moving around. Visual evidence of a snake inhabiting your attic will be, of course, snake skins that it will leave behind.
Since snakes really don’t want to hang out in your attic if you’re around, a snake will often slither on out while you walk around your attic. Once it’s gone, make sure to seal off the hole that it came in from, preventing it from making a return visit.
For more information on snakes in the attic and how to get rid of them, read this article.
We all know pretty well by now that bees are important pollinators that are vital to many ecosystems. But that doesn’t mean they are welcome in the attic.
You’ll know there are bees in the attic by, of course, the buzzing sounds that they make. Since they are so small and can fly, they often will make their way out of the attic and into the rest of your house, often causing some degree of panic.
Though it can seem tempting to swat at them or spray them with insecticide, there’s a reason that “Save the Bees” is a movement. Consider your other options to remove bees instead of killing them and reach out to a beekeeper or pest control specialist that can use special methods to safely remove and relocate the bees.
Learn more about bees in the attic and how to remove them in this article.
How Do Animals Get in the Attic?
One of the most common questions we get asked is how animals get in the attic. It’s a fair question, and one that has many answers. The most common entry points are chimneys, vents, gaps in the roofline, and holes left by previous occupants.
Animals are often attracted to attics because they provide a warm, dry place to nest. Once inside, they can cause significant damage by chewing on wires and insulation, leaving urine and feces behind, and even causing fires.
How to Tell What Kind of Animal is in Your Attic
If you think you have an animal in your attic, there are a few things you can do to safely determine what kind of animal it is.
First, take a look at the size and shape of the droppings. If they are small and tubular, it is likely a rodent, such as a mouse or rat. If the droppings are larger and more spherical, it is probably a bird.
You can also look for tracks in the dust or insulation. Mouse and rat tracks will be small and relatively close together, while bird tracks will be larger and farther apart.
Another clue can be the damage itself. Chewing marks on wires or wood are likely to be from a rodent, while holes in screens or roofs are more likely to be from birds or bats.
Finally, listen for any sounds coming from the attic. Rodents tend to be relatively quiet, while birds and bats can be quite noisy. By taking these steps, you can safely identify the type of animal in your attic and take appropriate action to remove it.
How to Get Rid of Animals in the Attic
If you’ve got animals in your attic, you’re probably looking for a way to get rid of them as quickly as possible. After all, not only are they disruptive, but they can also cause damage to your home. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to get rid of animals in your attic, both DIY options and professional services.
One DIY option is to set up live humane traps. This involves setting up a cage with bait inside, and then waiting for the animal to enter the cage. Once they’re inside, you can then release them into the wild away from your home. This option is most effective for smaller animals, such as mice and squirrels.
If you’re dealing with a larger animal, such as a raccoon or opossum, you may need to call in a professional wildlife removal service. These experts will know how to safely remove the animal from your home, and they can also take steps to prevent them from coming back.
So, if you’re dealing with animals in your attic, there’s no need to panic. There are a number of different ways to get rid of them, both DIY options and professional services.
For animal specific removal guides, check out the list of animals above. Each article includes different types of ways to get rid of animals in your attic
Who to Call for Animal in Attic
There are many companies and professionals who specialize in animal removal, and they can safely and humanely remove the animals from your attic. They will also clean up any mess left behind by the animals, and they can repair any damage that has been done to your home.
In addition, they can advise you on how to prevent animals from getting into your attic in the future. If you have animals in your attic, don’t try to remove them yourself. Instead, call a professional who can safely and efficiently remove the animals and help you protect your home from future invasions.
One way to find these types of local professionals is by going to Google and searching for “animal or pest removal companies near you”. Alternatively, you can use a third-party website like Angi or Thumbtack to find companies to call.
If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of hearing animals in your attic, you’re not alone. Each year, countless homeowners across the country find themselves dealing with this problem. While it may seem like a simple matter of getting rid of the animal, the reality is that it can be much more complicated than that.
In addition to causing damage to your property, animals in your attic can also pose a serious health risk to you and your family. Use the above information to identify what type of animal might be in your attic. From there, you should be able to drill into the best methods to safely remove them and prevent them from coming back.