If you have any holes in your roof, even if they’re really small, your home is vulnerable to a pest infestation. Common attic pests like mice, rats and bats are bad enough, but when you get larger ones in there, like squirrels or raccoons, they’re more like unwelcome guests than mere pests.
What to do? Let’s take a look at some common pests, how to get rid of them, and more importantly, how to stop them from getting in in the first place.
Your first clue that rodents or animals have taken up residence in your attic is the noise. Do you hear scurrying when you’re trying to fall asleep at night? If so, you likely have mice in your attic. Set some traps baited with peanut butter – a mousy favorite! Place the traps near walls – mice prefer to scurry along walls, brushing their whiskers against the edges, rather than venturing out in the open. Don’t forget to check the traps every few days – if you get one and don’t remove it quickly, an odor will begin to permeate your attic and then your living quarters.
Rats are worse than mice. Why? They’re just like mice. But they’re bigger, so they’re scarier, and grosser. You’re not going to want a rat making its way into your living quarters. The method for getting rid of rats is basically the same as mice, except you need bigger traps.
Some people think squirrels are cute, but they’re not so cute to live with. A single squirrel can do hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage to a home. If you think squirrels might have gained access to your attic, you may need professional help. Squirrels are tenacious little buggers. If you block up the hole they came through, they might make another one, so if you start spending every weekend repairing squirrel damage, it might be time to call in the experts.
Raccoons are the worst, because they’re huge, they make tons of noise and they do extensive damage. Unless you’re an experienced woodsman, you’re going to need help trapping these squatters and getting rid of them for good.
Of course the best offense against critters in your attic is a good defense – ensuring that they have no ingress to begin with. Holes as small as a dime can allow access to rodents as big as squirrels.
Size Up Your Situation
Before the real cold weather hits, go up into your attic and check for any holes or cracks, which commonly can be found in flashing, near gutters or in rotting roof boards or fascia. Rips or holes in vent screens are also a popular entry method.
While homeowners can safely tackle many home improvement jobs themselves, repairing holes in a roof can be particularly dangerous, due to the potential hazard of falling off. If you see any holes or damage to your roof, it’s best to call an experienced roofer to do the job. A roofing company can also inspect the rest of your roof when they come out, checking for areas that may be rotting or have suffered damage from water or falling tree branches.
Never ignore holes in your roof – always call a professional to make repairs before critters start calling your attic home.