It is unnerving to hear sounds from the attic. If you hear gnawing, scurrying, scratching sounds generally in the early morning or late in the evening, chances are that there are critters in your attic or wall.
Animals (rats, bats, mice, etc.) can do a lot of damage by chewing up the plumbing and wirings. They can make a small issue (like a displaced shingle) into a much bigger issue like a leaking roof. Insulation can be moved around or torn up. These varmints also carry diseases, ticks, and fleas. The droppings in the attic and elsewhere aren’t healthy for human beings to breathe.
The best way to prevent damage from these animals is by making sure that they don’t enter the house in the first place.
Animals can enter the house through the smallest of holes near the vents or chimney pipes. If there are weak spots in the siding or on the roof, animals can claw their way into the house through these areas in search of heat and food.
Surest sign of a critter is the telltale sign of animal poop in the attic, cupboards, garage, or under the kitchen sink.
Here are some tips to make sure that your house remains free of critters.
Close or cover with a wire mesh all holes on the exterior of the house
Do a thorough inspection of the exterior of the house and pay close attention to where the roof meets the siding and near the vents. Close or cover all holes that can give animals an entry to your attic or your house.
Don’t leave the chimney open. Put a chimney cap on top of the exterior of the chimney. This allows the smoke to escape while keeping the critters out.
Fix/reseal your shingles
Storms, strong winds, and people walking on the roof can loosen the shingles. These weak spots can then be used by the animals to gain entry into your attic.
Inspect your roof regularly. If you find a shingle that is unsealed, loose, or missing, fix it right away.
Keep limbs of trees at least 6’ from your roof
The easiest access for animals to roof is by using the limbs of the surrounding trees. The critters can easily get on to the roof by jumping off of these low hanging branches over the roof. Squirrels especially can jump 6 feet or so to get on to your roof.
The best way to remove this access is to trim the branches that hang over the roof. These will deny the animals an easy access to the roof and eventually to the attic.
Remove trash from around your house
Animals like racoons, skunks, and rats are always on the lookout for food. And trash bins have them! These animals can ‘smell’ out food in any trash. Keep your trash bins shut tight and away from the house.
Clear out all fruits that fall from your fruit trees. These attract critters to hang around near your house and gives them an opportunity to exploit any weak structural area or hole on the exterior of the house.
Keep your gutters clean
When your gutters are filled with yard debris, it is an invitation to animals, like birds, to create their nests there. And these bird nests can attract other animals. If you have any structural weakness, it is an easy next step to exploit that to enter your attic.
If you suspect an animal in your attic, we would recommend that you call your local pest control company