You hear scratching sounds and inhuman noises. You see signs that someone has been living in your attic. And then, you realize that the threat is coming from inside the house! No, this is not the beginning of a horror movie; it’s what you can look forward to if squirrels (or mice) invade your attic this winter!
While Northeast Atlanta certainly doesn’t have the worst winters around, we still experience below freezing temperatures frequently enough that squirrels, mice, and other pests will want to seek refuge in our homes. In their search for warmth and shelter, it’s not uncommon for squirrels and mice to find their way into attics; and because most of us don’t go into our attics very often, it can take a while to realize there’s a problem. Read on to learn how to prevent winter pests from getting into the attic, and what to do about it if it happens.
Squirrels Gone Wild
Squirrels, mice, and other pests are gifted at finding ways into our homes, and can oftentimes enter through spaces so small you wouldn’t even notice unless you were looking for them. Females in particular will try to nest in attics to raise their young, which they give birth to during the spring and fall. While this may seem like a great solution to the squirrel, it’s not so great for you, the human homeowner. Here’s why:
- Squirrels sometimes fall into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach spaces. If the squirrel can’t escape, it will die and decompose in the wall.
- Squirrels have strong teeth and are impressively effective at gnawing on anything from wooden boards to shingled roofs to electrical wiring. They will use these skills to fight their way into your home via any weak points, and the damage they cause can be costly as well as dangerous.
- Squirrels can harbor pathogens like salmonella and even rabies. While there are no documented cases of squirrel-to-human infection, you’re better safe than sorry.
What to Do About Squirrels in the Attic
If there are squirrels or any other pests in your attic, don’t panic! Progressive Pest Control is here to help with commercial and residential pest control services in Northeast Atlanta. Just give us a call and we will be happy to assist you in evicting your unwanted guests.
If you think the squirrels are gone for good, you can try to identify and patch the entry point they used to get in. Be aware that if any young are trapped inside, the mother may cause additional damage attempting to re-enter the attic. Humanely excluding squirrels is best performed by trained professionals who are knowledgeable about squirrel behavior.
How to Prevent Winter Pests from Getting into the Attic
Of course, the best course of action is to prevent squirrels from getting into your attic in the first place! Here are some tips on how to keep animals out of your attic:
- Regularly inspect the inside and outside of your home. Even small holes, cracks, and crevices can provide entry to a number of pest animals, from bats to squirrels. You can easily seal cracks and holes with caulk or by installing metal flashing.
- Make sure any vent openings (including soffit vents) are covered with a wire mesh vent cover. Fabric mesh covers can easily be chewed through by determined squirrels. If you have a chimney, you may also need a chimney cap.
- Keep tree branches trimmed back from your house. They can act like a bridge or highway directing wildlife to your home.
If you think you might have pests in your attic, give us a call at 770-791- 0055 or use our contact form to get in touch.