attic pests - how to remove them

Beyond Rats: Lesser-Known Attic Pests and How to Prevent Them

Your attic, though often overlooked, can be a haven for various pests that can cause damage to your property and compromise your peace of mind and your family’s health. From rodents and insects to bats and birds, these unwelcome visitors can wreak havoc and create a range of issues. Fortunately, with proper knowledge and preventive measures, you can keep your attic pest-free.

Rodents such as roof rats and house mice are among the most common attic pests to infiltrate attics. Once inside they can chew on wires, insulation and belongings in your storage space. In the meantime, they can spread disease and build nests inside your home.

What Keeps Rodents Out of Attics?

  •         Seal all exterior openings: Inspect your attic for cracks, gaps, and holes in the roofline, vents, and attic windows. Use caulk, rust proof wire mesh or steel wool to seal any openings, no matter how small.
  •         Trim fruit trees and branches: Rodents can access your roof by climbing fruit trees or using overhanging branches. Trim them back to minimize access points.
  •         Maintain cleanliness: Keep your attic clean and free from clutter, as rodents are attracted to food sources, so avoid leaving pet food out. Store all food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  •       Rodents are also capable of climbing stucco walls, though they rarely make the attempt.

Infiltrating Insects & How to Stop Them

Insects (termites, ants, beetles and other pests) can damage wood structures and compromise the integrity of your attic. To prevent an insect infestation:

  •         Address moisture issues: Repair any leaks or moisture problems in the attic. Insects are attracted to damp environments. Ensure proper ventilation and consider using dehumidifiers if necessary.
  •         Seal cracks and openings: Inspect the attic for cracks, gaps around pipes, cables, and vents. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal these entry holes.
  •         Remove food sources: Clean up any decaying wood, debris, or leaf litter from the attic. Store firewood away from the house and trim vegetation near the attic to discourage insects from approaching.
  •         Regular inspection and treatment: Regularly inspect your home for signs of termite damage, such as discarded wings or wood dust. Consult with a professional such as Attic Construction for regular inspections and treatments.

Help! There are Bats in the Belfry

Bats are common attic pests, seeking shelter and a place to roost. While they provide ecological benefits, their presence can lead to health hazards and even odor issues. Steps you can take to prevent a bat infestation:

  •         Seal entry points: Bats can squeeze through tiny openings. Inspect and seal any gaps or openings larger than a quarter-inch using materials like caulk, weather stripping or netting.
  •         Install exclusion devices: Consider using bat cones or one-way exclusion devices that allow bats to exit the attic but prevent re-entry. Install these devices after ensuring there are no baby bats present, as they cannot fly and may become trapped.

Keeping the Birds at Bay

Birds are crafty and look for any safe place to live and build their nests. Attics provide an ideal location for them because of the general warmth and safety the home provides.

  •         Block off any entry point: Install bird netting or rust proof wire mesh over openings to prevent birds from entering the attic through roof openings. Make sure that the mesh size is appropriate for the bird species common in your area.
  •         Remove existing nests: Carefully remove any existing nests, taking care not to harm the birds. Be certain there are no eggs or chicks are present.
  •         Deterrents: Use bird spikes or visual deterrents like reflective tape or predator decoys in areas where birds tend to land or roost. Regularly inspect and maintain these deterrents.

Squirrel-Proofing Secrets

Technically, squirrels are members of the rodent family. But, when you lie in bed at night and hear things scampering through your attic, it’s difficult to know if it is house mice, roof rats or squirrels. Similar to humans, squirrels look for various qualities in a home – is it safe, is it quiet, and are there good things to eat nearby (seeds, nuts, roots, etc.). And, chances are high that your house has all of these attributes.

  •         Cut back trees: Make sure to cut back the trees and brush that are too close to your home or any that hang over the roof.
  •         Remove bird feeders: No, this doesn’t have to be forever. Remove all the bird feeders from your yard until your squirrel infestation problem is solved.
  •         Replace any and all damaged flashing or shingles on your roof.
  •         If the chimney cap doesn’t fit securely, replace it.
  •         Seal holes and cracks with silicone caulk.

Removing Rascally Raccoons

It might seem as though raccoons are too large to gain access to your attic, but they are clever animals and can pull apart soffit panels and find any gaps to find a warm home. So, how do you know if you have a raccoon problem and not a different pest problem?

  •         Noises: Raccoons are active primarily at night, so you may hear loud thumping, scratching, or scurrying sounds coming from your attic during evening hours.
  •         Footprints and paw prints: Check for tracks or paw prints in dusty areas of your attic. Raccoon footprints typically resemble small handprints with five toes and claws.
  •         Damage and entry points: Raccoons can cause damage to the structure of your attic as they enter and exit. Look for signs of torn insulation, chewed or damaged vents, roof shingles or holes in the roof or eaves.
  •         Fecal matter: Raccoon droppings, known as scat, can be found in attic spaces. Their feces are tubular in shape, similar to that of a small dog and usually contain food remnants like seeds or berries.
  •         Strong odor: Raccoons have a distinctive musky odor, which can become more noticeable in enclosed spaces like attics. If you detect a strong and unusual smell, it could be a sign of their presence.
  •         Nesting materials: Raccoons may create nests using insulation, leaves, twigs, or other available materials. Look for signs of nesting such as piles of shredded materials or disturbed insulation.
  •         Visual sightings: In some cases, you may actually see raccoons entering or exiting your attic, especially during twilight hours when they are most active.

Attic pests can be a nuisance and cause damage to your property. By implementing the preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of infestation. Regularly inspect your attic, seal entry points, maintain cleanliness, and seek out help from the experts at Attic Construction when necessary. We have been serving the American Southwest for well over a decade, and can quickly and effectively remediate your pest problem to give you back your peace of mind.


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Written By Joseph Sheiner

Joseph Sheiner is a construction industry professional with over 15 years of experience. He began his career in the insulation industry in 2012, and co-founded Attic Construction Inc in 2013. As CEO of the company, Joe oversees all operations and is in charge of training and product knowledge.

Under Joe’s leadership, Attic Construction has become the largest leading Attic Restoration Company in San Diego, Orange County and Phoenix. He has personally performed and supervised insulation work in over 7000 homes. He is certified by Owens Corning as a CEE (Certified Energy Expert) and is a licensed contractor by the CSLB.
Most recently, Joe has helped expand Attic Construction to two additional locations – Orange County and Phoenix. He is currently working on expanding to additional locations in the near future.

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Great work! Our attic went from totally disgusting to pristine.  They are courteous and professional and clean up after themselves.

-Karen L. Santee, CA

Andrew was very informative and helpful during the whole process. Excellent communication and his team did a great job. He came on Sunday and the work was done and completed by Tuesday. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fair prices and great service.

– Joey E. San Diego, CA