One of the most popular places in your home for different types of animals to live is your attic. The most common attic pests are raccoons, bats, rats, mice, squirrels, opossums, and birds.
Squirrels, mice, and rats are the most common rodents that live in attics. The Norway rat and the roof rat are the most common rats. The Eastern Gray Squirrel is the most common squirrel. The house mouse is the most common mouse.
Rodent Removal from the Attic
Depending on the type of rodent infestation you have will determine the type of rodent traps to use.
One-way doors and live traps are the most effective way to get rid of squirrels. Rats and mice reproduce at an astounding rate. Rat trapping or mice trapping takes between five to fourteen days. Rats can reproduce up to 14 times per year with around seven offspring per litter. That means that a single female rat could produce nearly 100 babies within a single year.
Some rodents can fit through openings as small as 15mm in diameter, which means that small holes, gaps in doorways, and wall vents often serve as common entry points. If a rodent cannot find a large enough entry point, it can gnaw through materials like shingles and plywood to gain access to your attic.
Problems & Dangers
Attics are excellent nesting locations for many types of pests. They're warm, unfrequented by humans, and safe from natural predators. Therefore, homeowners often find rodents in attics.
It can be hard to detect a rodent infestation in your attic if you don’t frequent there often. And since rodents can be quite small, the noises they make will be minimal and hard to detect.
All three rodent species share similar signs of infestation. They can make squeaking noises. Their movements sound like scurrying through your attic space. Their incisors never stop growing. Squirrels, mice, and rats will gnaw on any and everything in your attic.
Though they're all different pests, rodents in the attic cause similar issues. The defining feature of rodents is the constant gnawing. To keep their teeth at a practical length, mice, rats, and squirrels all have to gnaw constantly. This leads them to damage support beams, stored items, HVAC, and wires. Frayed electrical wiring can cause shorts or even fires.
Additionally, having any rodents in the attic comes with health risks. All three of the common offenders carry parasites in their fur. These pests easily move around homes and contribute to the spread of Lyme disease. Rats and mice also transmit Hantavirus, plague, and salmonellosis. Though the risk is low, squirrels are capable of spreading rabies.
Rodent Control in Your Attic
There are a few ways to rodent-proof your attic, and most of them start before the rodents actually reach the attic.
Rats are also proficient swimmers capable of traveling through sewer lines and entering buildings by emerging from toilets and open drains.
Check your roof and soffits for any small holes. Any rodent can take a pre-existing hole and gnaw it to make it bigger. Sealing up any kind of hole will cut the chances of a rodent invasion down.
Another way rodents can get into your home is through your vents. There are a few ways you can keep rodents out of your vents:
Place traps near the entrances of vents. This can work well if rodents have already gained access to your vents.
Protect your vent with stainless steel mesh. This will prevent the rodents from getting into your vents. Cloth works well with bugs, but rodents can chew through it.
Install a vent guard on your roof. Caging the area around the vents on your roof will keep any curious critters away from your outside vents.
Even if you successfully remove every rat in your home, other rats will likely return to the same comfortable spot. Unlike some pest control services that only exterminate rodents, Critter Control prevents future rodent infestations. It is absolutely essential to seal all entry points of a quarter-inch or larger.
Attic Clean Up and Decontamination
Rodents make a mess in your home. They destroy insulation by building nests, tunneling through it, and soiling it with urine and feces.
Destroyed attic insulation can make your house less energy efficient.
Urine and feces can be a host to health hazards. Some pathogens can infect you via airborne transmission. When rat droppings are disturbed, the airborne particles can cause hantavirus or histoplasmosis. Leptospirosis spreads when you come into contact with rat urine. You can catch rat-bite fever by coming in contact with surfaces contaminated with the bacteria. An ignored rodent problem can be a serious health risk to homeowners.
Critter Control applies decontamination agents that disinfect the areas soiled by rats, mice, and squirrels. In extreme cases, you might need to replace all or part of the insulation.
After a rodent infestation, you will need to restore or even replace your attic insulation. The professionals at Critter Control provide insulation removal services. We are equipped to measure existing attic insulation, remove and dispose of soiled or damaged insulation, and install new attic insulation.
Of course, a larger rat infestation can do more damage than a single rat. They damage insulation to make nests and create trails in the insulation. Rodent droppings and urine can leak into nearby walls and ceilings, causing disgusting smells and stains. Rats gnaw on everything which damages electrical wires, drywall, PVC pipes, and more.
If you have roof rats, they can shred paper, fabric, insulation, plastic containers, and cardboard boxes to build their nests in your attic.
DIY Rodent Proofing Your Attic
Homeowners can make it harder for rodents to get into attics with the following simple prevention measures:
- Trimming tree branches that hang over roofs
- Installing gutter guards to stop climbing rodets
- Capping chimneys
- Replacing broken window screens
- Making sure vents are properly fitted
The best way to get rid of rodents in the attic is to contact the professionals at Critter Control for safe and effective removal.