Animal and Rodents in your Attic

Animals and Rodents can create a mess of your attic.  They can damage your wiring, ducts, insulation and leave behind their toxic feces.  Here are some common types and tips for removing them from your home.

BATS – The last thing any home buyer wants is to find unwanted pests living in their home. Houses, unfortunately, can provide the ideal home for animals and rodents to take up residence. Your Home Inspector will look for the signs and indications of these pests and provide you the basic information you need to start the removal process. This article will discuss some of the more prevalent pests you may find. Bats are a naturally scary animal to most humans. They are often related to vampire stories and getting into a person’s hair. Both these are fictional but there are some hazards associated with bats that some people are not aware of. Bats, although being beneficial by eating insects, can be a health hazard due to spreading rabies and respiratory diseases to humans and pets. Bats are attracted to areas with long grass and standing water. These are the types of locations that insects will breed in and bats live off insects. If your home has gaps in attic louvers or the roofline, combined with a attractive insect population, the odds are bats will occupy your home if allowed in. Adding screens and sealing openings can effective prevent the entry of bats. If you notice bats flying in or out of your home you should immediately contact a “bat professional” to investigate and remediate your home as soon as possible. Bat guano droppings can be hazardous to breathe and should not be disturbed by home owners.

RACCOONS – These masked marauders can be the peskiest of animals to remove from your home. If you have a female raccoon in your house there is a good possibility that she may have babies. The best thing to do is wait until the babies are old enough to leave with their mother or else they will not survive. Closing all entries is usually best done using wire mesh or metal flashing. Raccoon feces can contain “roundworm eggs” and should be cleaned up by a professional. Trapping and relocating raccoons is one of the easiest ways of ensuring your neighborhood raccoon won’t return.

Mice – Most homes have mice living in their attics. Mice enjoy nesting in attics that have fiberglass insulation installed. Using blown cellulose insulation is an alternative solution as mice tend not to enter attics where it is installed. Mice can access your house through vents, gaps in soffit, open holes or pipe penetrations. After you have sealed up all the entrance points you can then start removing mice by trapping them. You have to set your traps where the mice run and in some attics you might require more than 10 or 12 traps. Check your attic after a period of time to ensure that the mice have not returned, you will have to re-seal exterior of house if more mice have entered your home.

Squirrels – Removing squirrels from your home is very similar to removing mice. You first have to seal up and protect any openings that the squirrel has used to enter the home. Steel is the best material to use as squirrels will chew wood or other materials. The main concern with squirrels in your attic is that they will chew electrical cables, exhaust ducts and any other material in your attic. This is a real concern as chewed electrical wires create a fire hazard.

Clean Up – Any animal living in your attic will leave waste products behind. There will be nesting debris, droppings, urine and body hair that will have to be cleaned up. In most cases it is better to hire a professional to clean up and remove debris and waster from your attic. They will remove large items by hand, vacuum small droppings etc and chemically treat problem areas of insulation. This will be expense and highlights the importance of sealing your home so that the critters do not return.

When buying a new home call the Barrie Home Inspector to prevent unwanted surprises or financial set backs.  As always  CAVEAT EMPTOR – BUYER BEWARE