When wild animals take up residence in your attic or walls, it’s usually a female looking for a safe, warm spot to tend to a litter. Unfortunately, these creatures are destructive and may carry diseases.
Squirrels are the No. 1 type of invasive animal in the attic. Homeowners typically will hear them at sunrise and sunset. Squirrels are rodents and chew through roof materials to gain entry. They are most commonly found in homes in February and August, when litters are born. Squirrels are known to be the worst at chewing on electrical wires, which can cause a fire.
Rats and mice may invade any part of the house. You may never hear mice, but rats can be heard scurrying in an attic and scratching in walls. Both of them burrow through insulation and produce rapidly, leaving behind copious droppings. Once the mice are eliminated, clean up is important.
Raccoons, which may exceed 25 pounds, are very smart, can climb, have grasping hands, and can chew. They will rip up shingles and gnaw their way in. Raccoons are active at night. In the attic, they will sound like a much larger animal than rats or squirrels.
Bats can infest the attic, the chimney, the inside of a wall, or even just behind a gutter along the fascia board of an eave. They form large colonies and their guano can carry diseases. Removal is definitely best left to professionals. After removal, it’s wise to install screens to prevent their return.
Is this a DIY job? A small mouse problem can be handled with a few traps, but beyond that, professionals should be called. Animal droppings may carry disease and larger animals, such as raccoons, may attack if they feel threatened. Professional removal services know how to handle all these issues.
These services are different from traditional pest controllers that treat for bugs. In some states they are licensed by the state wildlife commission or other agency. Here is a website with a national directory of licensed wildlife removal pros. Prices typically start around $500.