Attic Window

We don’t typically visit the attic, other than to shove in a few boxes once in a while. This makes it an ideal refuge for pests and wild animals to take up residence. It offers protection, it’s close to food sources, and it’s warm and cozy. Pest control may be necessary for this area of your home. Let’s learn about the most common pests that find their way into attics – just like yours – across the nation.

Bats

Bat

Bats are types of creatures that are naturally drawn to certain areas of the home – such as chimneys and attics. These animals have the capability of detecting small changes in air pressure, which also allows them the ability to discover entryways into structures.

Once inside, they gravitate towards walls, attic spaces, and confined areas. They are able to use spaces as small as a half-inch to get inside your home. While naturally drawn to caves, an attic is a warmer, more dry option when it comes to shelter.

The droppings left behind by bats can result in damage to your home and create a foul smell. Additionally, fungus may grow in the feces that can result in the development of respiratory illnesses.

Due to laws that protect bats, you are required to contact a professional for removal.

Birds

Baby Birds in Nest

Birds seek out high and dry locations that are free of natural predators. If they discover a broken vent, a crack in a wall, or another gap they are able to fit in, they will enter and set up residence in your attic to nest and safely raise their family.

While birds are not typically considered to be dangerous pests, they are a nuisance. Additionally, the feathers, droppings, and the nests that they create have the ability to attract other types of pests. Examples include breed flies and even carpet beetles.

Furthermore, some types of bacteria may be found in bird droppings that can detrimentally impact your health.

Carpenter Ants

carpenter-ants

Carpenter ants are naturally drawn to wood for the purpose of nesting. It is common to track points of entry through cracks, attic vent systems, electrical wires, pipes, and phone lines.

Ants prefer wall voids, doors that are hollow, foam-based panels, windows, and similar areas. Hearing rustling sounds in the wood, seeing wood shavings, and actually seeing the pests indicate an infestation.

These colonies are quickly able to create satellite nests; therefore, if an infestation is identified, it is essential that you have your home treated immediately.

Cluster Flies

Cluster Fly - Pollenia species?, Julie Metz Wetlands, Woodbridge, Virginia

Often referred to as the “attic fly”, the cluster fly is a large and exceptionally annoying type of fly.

Born from earthworms, these pests prefer to overwinter in areas that are protected – such as your attic. They prefer warmer temperatures in the fall and winter months. Attics and warm and free from the complications of the outdoor elements. As a result, cluster flies will flock to these areas.

It is best to get professional assistance with these pests so that the infestation may be cleared completely.

If you opt for over-the-counter pesticides, you may find that it takes several applications to completely eliminate the entire infestation.

Raccoons

Raccoons

Raccoons are creative and crafty. They combine their intellect, climbing capabilities, and strength to get to where they want to go and to accomplish the goals that they have in mind. They are exceptionally sneaky and can easily access the interior regions of your home, but most commonly find their way into attics.

They appreciate the warm, dry environment that is safe from predators so that they may raise their young.

Unfortunately, they can cause a lot of structural damage.

This is not the type of pest that you may remove on your own.

Not only can they harm you if you handled, but they carry a variety of infectious diseases. Examples of these include salmonella, leptospirosis, giardiasis, baylisascaris procyonis, and rabies.

Roof Rats

Roof Rat

Roof rats are perhaps one of the most upsetting of pests to invade the home. However, they are very common. These pests enter and inhabit an attic for much of the same reason that other types of wildlife do – accessibility and a sense of security.

Also known as the “black rat”, these rodents are about 6-8″ long and can cause quite a bit of structural damage. You might see gnaw marks around your home’s roof. You may also hear scratching noises in the attic.

Naturally unclean and disgusting a roof rat can cause sicknesses. Examples include salmonellosis, Weil’s disease, rat-bite fever, rickettsia disease, and even the plague.

If you see signs of roof rats on your property, its best to call a professional for pest removal.

Stinging Insects

WaspNest

There are many different types of stinging insects that may find their way into your attic.

Examples include bees, hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps. These pests can enter into the smallest opening in order to gain access to the interior regions of your home. Once there, they will immediately go to work on building the nests that are common to their species. In some instances, a hive may be created.

While it is possible to move these pests out of the attic on your own, it carries a high level of risk.

Additionally, some stinging species will swarm – which could be potentially life-threatening.

If you have an infestation of stinging insects in your attic, it is time to call in the pros. They can easily eliminate infestations safely and quickly – without resulting in harm to you, your loved ones, and pets.

Snakes

Garter Snake

Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but snakes are highly adept when it comes to climbing. To complicate matters, they are relatively small – meaning that they can fit into the smallest access points to the interior region of your home.

In most instances, snakes that find their way into your attic will not be poisonous, but will be in search of a food source – such as rodents.

If snakes are in your attic, it is quite likely that you have more than one type of pest issue on your hands and both will need to be handled.

Unfortunately, it is not safe to handle snakes or rodents yourself. Plus, it is possible that the snake is could be venomous.

Err on the side of caution and opt for professional assistance.

Squirrels

Squirrels

While considered cute and entertaining, squirrels that have entered into your attic are anything but. Once inside your home, squirrels will cause a lot of commotion.

You will hear rustling in the ceiling, then, in the walls. Furthermore, they will start making an immense mess.

Just like other pests, they are in for the warmth and protection; however, they will continue to live like they are outdoors.

As they gather up food supplies, they may start to attract other types of pests. Additionally, they will start to cause damage to your home.

The difference between squirrels and other pests that get into the attic is that they cause damage at faster rates. You should immediately seal up any accessibility points and contact a professional for removal.

Termites

termites

To termites, the attic is a buffet of free wood. Attics contain a lot of old and untreated wood. Additionally, there may be undiscovered rotted wood pieces. All of these are highly attractive to a termite colony.

If left untreated, your home can suffer an immense amount of damage from termites.

Given the fact that the attic is often left alone for long periods of time, it is advised that you inspect the area at least once a month to determine if an infestation is present.

Common signs include wood shavings that resemble sawdust, wing droppings, and mud-based tunneling systems running along walls.

It is highly advised that a termite treatment is done as a preventative. Once an infestation is identified, it may be too late.

Prevention and Treatment

To ensure that pests do not make their way into your attic, you should take a few prevention measures. These include the following.

  • Trimming trees and branches near the roof of the home, keeping the home free from vines, and ensuring the structural integrity of your home.
  • Check for cracks, breaks, and other types of damage on the top and sides of your home.
  • Roof openings – including chimneys and vent systems – should be covered or closed when not in use.
  • Inside the attic, avoid using cardboard and opt for plastic bins.
  • You should regularly inspect the area, too.

It is advised that you have a pest and termite inspection done regularly and that you have the attic treated by a professional pest control specialist to avoid future complications. For immediate assistance on the prevention or attic pest control treatment, contact us today.