Critters can be a real problem for homeowners, especially those with critter-prone attics. At some point or another, you may have found your attic overrun by critters and critter droppings. It’s important to keep critters out of your attic in the first place so that they don’t infest it and find their way into your home!
How to know if critters are in your attic
- Urine or droppings
- Nests fashioned from paper, leaves, and branches (squirrels, rodents, birds)
- Pests that have nested in or damaged your insulation (squirrels and raccoons); if pests have nested in or destroyed your insulation, you may need to replace it.
- Ducts were pulled apart (raccoons)
Most common critters and how to get rid of them
Don’t freak out. The raccoon or possum has inadvertently entered your home and is most likely seeking a way out. Maintain your distance. To avoid bites, keep children and pets away from the animal. Squirrels, skunks, and raccoons can all transmit rabies, so avoid contact with them. These animals are dangerous, and if trapped or threatened, they will defend themselves by biting or scratching. Allow the animals to depart on their own. Turn on the lights and open the doors and windows. Don’t obstruct their exit. If you are certain that all animals have been removed, you should prevent their re-entry. After the animal has been removed, fix the damage to prevent other animals from entering your attic. Inspect your home on a regular basis for rotting timber, holes, or other weak points that allow entrance.
Rats are masters of infiltrating enclosed places. They have the ability to squeeze through tiny gaps and munch their way through practically any wall cavity. They are active both during the day and at night, but you are more likely to hear them scurrying at night. To try to get rid of the rats that have already entered your home, you can use rat poison or traps. Your best hope for preventing them from returning is to find and seal their entry point.