An animal infestation can be draining to deal with—you need to find the spot where the critters came in and seal it, round them up, and get rid of them. Add to this the bites and scratches you’ll get while dealing with the creatures and your possessions that may be ruined in the removal, and you have quite the problem at your hands.
If you’re wondering if the bumps and scratches you’re hearing aren’t branches in the wind, we’ve compiled a few things that will help you know if you have critters in your roof and what you can do about it.
Do you have animals in the attic? Some clues
Aside from tell-tale scratchings, droppings, and urine, one way to know for sure that you have an infestation is to find a nest. Small animals would likely bring paper, grass, or straw from the outside and fashion it into something more comfortable for them. You also need to consider the entry hole and the type of damage your attic is sustaining to know the animal living there.
If you hear heavy walking at night, you probably have a raccoon. Raccoons make nests inside roofs and other sturdy structures when they’re about to give birth, so you’re also dealing with a litter. You’ll also hear occasional chirps from her cubs.
Scurrying or scratching in the daytime usually means a squirrel. These are also usually mothers with their young.
Nocturnal noises are often from rats and mice, and there won’t be vocal sounds—just plenty of pitter-pattering. And, if you hear chirping in the late afternoon, that’s probably bats preparing to leave your roof.
The type of damage can also give clues to what animal has settled in your attic. Rats and mice leave chewed clothes, pipes, wood, and paper. They are also likely to chew on electrical wiring, which is dangerous. The animals may leave eventually, but if there is damaged wiring you don’t know about, it puts your home at risk for live wires or hot lead.
Raccoons and squirrels make large entry holes but usually leave furniture and fixtures alone unless you have food stashed. Bats don’t damage your property, but they leave large amounts of guano, which is a health hazard.
From spring to fall, you are likely to get bats and squirrels, as they are the most active during these seasons. In winter, the rats and mice like staying in human homes for warmth. Finally, you will likely get raccoons year-round, but especially so during their birthing months of March to May.
How do you prevent more animals from coming in?
Use barriers for larger creatures, like an exclusion funnel. An exclusion funnel is made of mesh and guides small animals out of the house. Once you’re sure where their nest is, set the funnel up so that they only make their way into your home through it. Then, when you are certain that you’ve gotten rid of every single critter, seal their point of entry. You can also use a live trap to capture them.
Finally, if you have more benign creatures like birds, you can just try to shoo them out through your attic window, provided that you have one. You may also want to be informed of any local laws that cover wildlife and what you are or are not allowed to do regarding their movement. For instance, it is one thing to get rid of a litter of mice, but if a protected species (like certain types of woodpecker) has camped inside your attic, you may need to do some consulting.
The bottom line
It can be time-consuming to deal with an animal infestation, but preparation is half the battle. Knowing what kind of creature you’re dealing with will help you think of ways you can drive them away from your home. Of course, when getting rid of small animals, it is wise to enlist the services of professionals who have experience in removing critters from homes.
If you’re looking for animal removal services in Florida, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.