How Animals Find Their Way into Your Attic
By Chris Williams on November 11, 2016.
Roofs and their respective soffits, fascia boards, vents, and chimneys are the number one way that squirrels, bats, raccoons, opossums, and nuisance birds get into structures. Animals are motivated at this time of year by the warmth and winter protection offered by an attic. At other times of the year, attics serve as ideal nesting sites in which to raise young. There are several reasons why roofs are the entry point of choice:
- Roofs are mostly out of sight for residents inside. We often don’t see or notice what’s going on up there so animals are free to gnaw their way inside or establish a roosting site (see Gnawing Damage Around Your Roofline?).
- Roofs are easily accessible to climbing or flying animals. They get there by using tree branches that touch the roof, by following electrical lines or other utility lines that enter at the roof, or by just climbing up brick siding or vines on the walls. Birds and bats can simply come in for a landing.
- Roofs, and especially the roofline edges under the overhang, are usually not regularly maintained. The roofline is subject to wood rot and weathering that softens the wood and makes it easy for animals to gnaw or enlarge an opening. Soffits, fascia boards, roof vents, etc. are rarely a tight fit. Over time, gaps open that allow pests to get into the attic void.
Roof Structures of Special Concern
Chimneys – Squirrels or birds sometimes end up trapped in uncapped chimneys as they look for a route to the attic or a way inside. Raccoons, though, will purposely drop down into uncapped chimneys to establish a nest on the smoke shelf or damper within the chimney (see “There’s a Raccoon in My Chimney!”). Raccoons are one of the few animals that can climb up the slippery inside walls of a chimney.
Vents – Squirrels, and sometimes raccoons, will squeeze into uncovered roof vents or will enlarge an opening at the ridge vent. Animals will push through unscreened or poorly screened gable vents, or those with missing louver slats, to enter the attic. Birds often attempt to nest in exhaust fan vent openings when covers are missing or loose.
At Colonial Pest, pest exclusion is one of our specialties. We can install roof vent covers and chimney caps, reinforce susceptible areas around the roofline, and screen, seal, or caulk any other openings or potential openings that animals could use (see How to “Squirrel-Proof” Your Attic). We’re licensed and certified to humanely remove nuisance wildlife from your attic, too. Give us a call today!