Attics make wonderful homes for wild animals such as bats, squirrels, rats, raccoons, and birds. In fact, those five animals can quickly become household pests and that cause significant damage to homes, spread disease, and cause unsanitary conditions. Here’s a closer look at each and the ways that they get into attics and walls.
Bats are mammals and will roost in attics, chimneys, and small crevice’s around your home. Bats need only a small opening to gain access to homes. Bats provide a large benefit for homeowners as they eat flying insects such as mosquitoes and moths. You don’t see bats very often except around dusk when they leave their roost to hunt.
The problem with bats is their urine and feces (guano) are very acidic and when it starts to accumulate it not only smells, but it begins to eat into objects. If the urine is in great enough quantities or if you have a roof leak, then it will stain the inside walls of your home. Bats also are known to carry parasites and spread disease such as rabies.
Squirrels are rodents, and as such they chew. It is mostly tree squirrels that take up residence in attics, though flying fox squirrels will too. Squirrels hibernate, and they require a warm, dry place to sleep, birth their litter of babies, and remain dry. Tree squirrels build their nests in trees either in natural or “squirrel renovated” openings. They will also gather leaves and twig and build a nest in a cluster of dense branches in a tree.
Squirrels cause a lot of damage to homes and outbuildings. They will dig holes in your roof, rip out insulation, chew electrical wiring, destroy gutters, and enlarge soffit vents to gain access to either your attic, crawl space, or the walls. Squirrel damage leads to other types of structural damage such as water damage from access holes in your roof. Beyond physically damaging your home, squirrels are a concern. They are known to spread diseases such as bubonic plague. They also harbor pests such as fleas and if they make their nest in your attic, they cause urine and scat damage too.
Racoons are also mammals and one of the most versatile animals you will find. They have nearly opposable thumbs, and as such, they can get into all types of trouble. They climb well, can open containers, and dig. They have very sharp teeth and will chew packages open, they swim very well, and they are very opportunistic. They will climb ladders to gain access to your roof, climb trees and use branches to make their way to your roof. Raccoons are very strong, and they will pull up flashing, shingles and even dig up plywood.
Racoons are primarily nocturnal, but they will happily make rounds during the day to eat pet food, dig in the garbage, and find other delectable bits to enjoy. Racoons are general pests and will overturn garbage, dig around in containers, and make messes. Regarding damage, raccoons can cause significant damage to your roof, gutters, roof vents, chimneys, and even eave windows.
Rats are rodents, and they cause damage to homes in a variety of ways. Rats gain entrance to homes by taking advantage of poor fitting boards, exit holes for pipes, and natural defects in wood. Like squirrels, rats will enlarge small openings so that they can enter.
The damage that rats cause includes physically damaging by chewing or staining from urine. They also destroy your belongings either by chewing or with their urine. They will contaminate food, rip up insulation, and they can spread disease. Rats, even though they are smaller than raccoons and squirrels, do a lot of damage. If the infestation of rats is long then the damage is greater.
Many birds will happily make their nests or roost in your walls or your attic. Pigeons are one species of birds that will take advantage of a warm and dry attic. If there are broken screens over soffit vents birds will move into the attic or the walls.
The damage that birds cause is mostly with their feces, though if they import nesting material they can increase the fire danger or import other pests. The other thing that birds do is make a lot of noise and can disturb sleep.
House pests can all cause damage to your home or the buildings on your property, and the sooner you evict them, better. To learn more about how to safely remove pests from your home, reach out to our professionals. We use humane methods when possible and have all of the special tools safely evict pests in your attic and walls.
Do you need pest control? Don't wait. Call Robert's Pest Control now at (512) 444-0132.