Maybe you’ve heard an animal in the attic scratching at night?
In North America we are home to variety of wildlife that sometimes make their way into your roof vents and attics. Some common types of animals that make their way into your home include raccoons on the roof, birds squeezing into exhaust vents, squirrels nesting in the attic and other critters that you would much rather see in nature rather than your home.
How do I get rid of an animal in my attic or roof? In this article we’ll answer many questions you may have regarding how to get rid of these pests and keep them out.
The first question you most likely have is, how to know if you have an uninvited animal guest in the first place without consulting a local roofing contractor first? You will most likely hear the tiny scurrying of the animal across your ceiling from above or even see or smell its presence. Animals are often looking for a warm cozy place to nest during mating season in the spring months, especially in northern climates.
How can animals get through roof vents or into your attic?
Some signs of entry for pests include:
- Gaps in between the fascia and the eaves
- Open chimneys
- Loose fascia
- Missing shingles
- Holes in the siding
Once an animal is inside of your home there are some common signs to look for such as:
- Nests or hives
- Droppings or urine marks
- Chewed wires or pipes
- Torn insulation or air ducts
How do I squirrel proof my roof?
During the day squirrels are the most active critter that may cause havoc in your home, while at night nocturnal animals such as raccoons and bats are more prevalent. There is a distinctive difference in the tread sounds of squirrels, mice and rats compared to those of larger animals like raccoons which are much slower and heavy. Their sounds may be heard from overhead in the attic, ceiling, in between walls, exhaust vents or inside of chimneys. Trimming tree branches that hang close to your roof will prevent squirrels from gaining access to your home. Squirrels can jump from more than 10ft away so be sure to cut enough of the limb.
Potential damage can be done by not only mammals but other common infestations like insects, termites or cockroaches. We recommend that you always consult with a professional in pest control or a local roofing contractor to remove uninvited animals or pests from your home as it can be dangerous. A well trained animal specialist can remove the problem in a safe and effective manner while following the bylaws of the protected species.
Bees and Wasps:
These tiny tenants like to hive in your attic or outside in the corners of porches or decking. In the summer months bees and wasps are less likely to make a home in your attic because of the temperatures reaching up to 180 degrees F. The wax in a honeybee hive melts at 130 degrees F so it’s more likely to see their hives on the perimeter of your home than inside. Once a hive is detected it is important to have it safely removed so your and your family do not get stung, especially if there is an allergy in your family.
Mice and rats
How do I keep mice out of my roof vents?
Among the most common pests in a household include mice, rats or other rodents. Garbage and clutter attract these rodents but even if your home is very clean they will still seek shelter and a source for food. In the fall into winter months rodents look for shelter indoors to escapes the cold and nest. They reproduce very quickly in large numbers so it’s important to take care of the problem when you first see the signs.
These pests enter your home at ground level and can squeeze through the smallest of cracks, once they have broken inside they travel between walls through your entire house. Rodents become dangerous because they like to chew things including wires, wood, insulation, piping and even concrete; resulting in property damage and creating a fire hazard. Some ways to prevent an infestation of mice is by sealing off small holes around the exterior of your house and inspecting your vents for small openings. If you do find small gaps cover with mesh to prevent the rodents from slipping through.
Birds and Bats
If you have found a bird in your home or nesting up in the attic it is not an uncommon occurrence. In the summer birds and bats can easily enter your home through a window or door that has been left open or even slip through a gap between siding, finding its way to your attic to nest. These animals like dry, private spaces where they will be unbothered and protected from predators.
If a bat colony has formed in your attic it is best to deal with immediately because of their guano deposits. Not only does this give off an abrasive odor but the acidity levels make the material highly corrosive to building materials, wood, and insulation. Bats can also gain access to your home through extremely small spaces which make your home vulnerable to an infestation.
Birds on the other hand like to make nests in heating pipes and exhaust vents to capture the warmth which acts as an incubator. This might sound harmless but their droppings can attract cockroaches and other insects.
Does bird poop affect shingles?
Bird droppings contain uric acid which damages your roof, asphalt shingles are even more susceptible. The acid within the droppings dissolves the asphalt and also provides nutrients which encourages algae growth or moss.
Related to the panda bear, raccoons look cute and friendly but possess the power to rip shingles right from your roof, breaking into the soffit and fascia. Some entry points can leave large holes which snow and rain can penetrate that cause serious weather damage to your home. Chewing through insulation and wires risking a fire hazard also poses a problem.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”-Benjamin Franklin
There are many options available to aide you in prevention of keeping animals out of your attic and roof vents. It is always best to consult with a local roofing contractor and animal removal specialist service to humanely remove any animal infestations.
A local roofing contractor can:
- Help seal any holes or gaps that are potential entry points at roof or ground level
- Replace missing or old shingles and repair holes in fascia or soffit
- Use gutter guards to keep out squirrels
- Install spikes along eaves which deter birds from roosting on your roof
- Install mesh or other metal to cover large openings around chimney, ridge vents or gable
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