I Think Something’s Living in My Attic!
By Chris Williams on November 19, 2015.
Now that the weather is turning colder, I was thinking recently about all the different kinds of pests that can occupy attics in people’s homes. Some of these pests come in just to spend the winter while others can live in an attic year round.
Animals That Make Noise in Your Attic
Strange noises are probably the main reason that we get calls to check out attics. When a large animal moves into your attic, you usually know about it. Many of the nuisance animals that move into attics are nocturnal and active at night, so you’re going to hear them as they move outside to search for food.
1. Squirrels – In our Northeast region, there are at least three different types of squirrels that can move into attics for the winter: gray squirrels, flying squirrels, and red squirrels. See Squirrels in the Attic!
2. Bats – The big brown bat often winters in attics in our area. Bats are federally protected and the time frame for bat removal is dictated by the state. See Signs That You Might Have Bats in Your Attic.
3. Raccoons and opossums – Either of these large nocturnal animals may find their way into an attic and can be very noisy. See Signs That You May Have Raccoons in Your Attic!
4. Rats and mice – An attic has plenty of insulation, boxes and other places for these rodents to use as nest sites. See How Do Mice Get Into Houses?
5. Birds – Birds most often nest under the overhang of a roof, but pigeons especially, may move into the attic space if there is an opening.
Solution: We don’t recommend that you try to remove animals on your own. Hire a professional exterminator (like Colonial Pest) or a trapper with licensing and experience in removing nuisance wildlife. Depending on the animal and the time of year, removal may have to be delayed until young animals are weaned and can leave the nest. Then have someone (like Colonial Pest) seal openings, repair damaged areas, and otherwise pest-proof your roof area to prevent a reoccurrence. See also Tree Branches Provide a Pest Travel Route to Your Roof.
Insects That Spend the Winter Hiding in Your Attic
We’ve posted many blogs about fall-invading outdoor insects that move into homes as the weather cools to spend the winter. Once inside, they go into hiding in wall voids or attics or any other convenient place that they can find. They usually remain quietly hidden until early spring. See Outdoor Insects Are Getting Ready to Move Inside!
Some common fall invaders in our area are Asian lady beetles, western conifer seed bugs, cluster flies, boxelder bugs, brown marmorated stink bugs, elm leaf beetles, and paper wasp queens.
Solution: (1) Have a professional exterminator treat around the outside foundation of your home in late summer or early fall just as these pests congregate before moving in. (2) Pest-proof your home against fall invaders by sealing openings, adding door sweeps, repairing screens, etc. to eliminate places, especially around the roofline, where they enter. See Keep Fall Pest Invaders Out!