How to Get Pests Out of Your Attic
Attic pests got you down? We’ve got you covered. Whether you live in an apartment, townhome, or traditional house—if you’ve got an attic, you need to be concerned about what's going on up there, and pest control is a key part of that picture.
"Out of sight, out of mind" doesn't get to apply to a space in your house that may be inhabited by pests that can cause significant problems in the long run. If you've got an attic, you need to check it regularly to ensure everything is in order and that you don't have any uninvited guests squatting in your space.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove Animals from Your Attic?
The cost of attic animal removal varies from state to state. Depending on the company you choose and the area you live in, attic animal removal can range from inexpensive to quite pricey.
The animal you need to remove from your attic will also impact the price.
On average, you’re looking at anywhere from one to five hundred dollars to remove a pest from your home, but if you have a particularly difficult pest in your home, it could cost you upwards of fifteen hundred dollars to have the pest (or group of pests) removed from your attic.
If you need to call in a professional for a mild pest control service, you should expect to pay around three hundred dollars on average.
If your unwelcomed visitors leave a big mess behind, or the pest control process takes multiple visits, you can expect additional fees.
To get the best price on pest control services in your area, call around and price shop. For the most accurate pricing, make sure you know what type of pest you have in your attic and how many are inhabiting the space. You may even be able to get a discount—buy one raccoon removal, get one free.
If prices seem steep, try negotiating or DIY-ing your pest removal to save money.
If you are hearing scratches or noises coming from your loft or attic, investigate cautiously.
Before you DIY your own pest removal, you need to make sure that you’re being safe. Trying to remove an animal that carries diseases or could be rabid is dangerous to both you and your family.
Do your research. Make sure that you know what behavior is typical for the trapped animal and how to handle the pest before trying to remove it from your home.
When possible, remain hands-off and keep your distance. A DIY pest control trap is a safe bet that helps you keep a healthy distance between yourself and your creepy crawlers.
If you end up entangled with an angry animal or getting scratched or bit, make sure to seek medical attention quickly. When dealing with animals that have unknown histories, you could end up with an infection that needs professional treatment. Animal-related injuries are always an area to exercise caution.
Most Common Attic Pests
If you suspect that you might have pests in your attic, you may have one of the following little critters living under your roof. Finding out exactly who's inhabiting your space without an invitation is half the battle, because once you know what's in your attic, you'll be able to make a plan to get rid of it.
Before you DIY any form of pest control, make sure to check on local laws surrounding the removal of protected animals in your area. You may be surprised to find out how many animals need to be caught and released in no-kill traps.
If, for example, you live in an area where raccoons are protected, you'll have to trap and catch the raccoons and then release them into the wild. If the process of catching and releasing sounds a little bit out of your skillset, it may be time to call in a professional.
You don't have to have a giant hole in your roof for a bat or two to get in. Bats can squeeze in through tiny holes and cracks in your home. If you noticed scratching or squealing, you may have bats on your hands.
If you suspect that bats are hanging out in your attic, quite literally, you can look for bat droppings or a strong, foul smell coming from your attic. Guano, or bat droppings, are dark, small pellets. Don't touch the pellets with your bare hands—even bat poop carries diseases.
Another way to identify bats in your attic is to listen for the time of day that the sounds begin to amplify. Bats are nocturnal, which means they become more active at night. If the noises from your attic increase in the evening and night, there's a good chance that you've got bats.
Because bats have the potential to carry diseases that can cause serious health complications for humans, it's important that you quickly work to remove the bats from your home in a safe manner.
Installing a back door is an easy way to DIY bat removal. Bat doors are one-way doors that help bats exit the attic and not come back in. The bat door should be removed and the hole permanently patched once the bats have all exited the attic.
Once the bats are gone, it’s also a good idea to check your entire attic for cracks or holes and to fill even the smallest cracks. This will prevent your fanged friends from hanging out in your attic again.
Bat removal pro tip: Bats are great for mosquito control, so once your bats are out of the attic, consider moving them into a bat house far away from your home. We recommend installing your bat house near the edge of your yard, in an area where bugs are frequent.
You may not see your flying friends out and about, but you’ll definitely notice your bug population decrease.
Bat houses can be purchased online or through a professional pest control company.
Mice and Rats
Mice and rats in your house are a fairly common occurrence, especially if you live near a field or if there’s construction going on by your home. Mice and rats tend to look for new homes when theirs gets bulldozed—and sometimes that new house is your attic.
These fuzzy friends can carry diseases, so a hands-off approach to catching them is a must. To identify them in your attic, listen for the scurrying of little paws across your floor and the occasional squeak.
Mice and rats are caught in relatively the same way, generally with a trap. Mice are usually smaller with a shorter tail, while rats are larger with a longer tail. It’s important that you pick the right kind of rodent trap for these creatures, so getting your eyes on one is a must.
Mice are much more common in the home. Finding a rat is significantly rarer. If you see a little critter darting around your attic, it’s more likely to be a mouse than a rat.
Some rats, roof rats, will seek warmer weather in a cold climate and will crawl into your attic through cracks and crevices in your roof. It’s just one more reason to make sure that your home has no cracks.
There are dozens of no-kill mice and rat traps available for you to purchase or to make yourself. We recommend no-kill traps for a number of reasons, one of which being cleaning up mouse or rat guts is pretty disgusting, and not a task you probably want to take on. A no-kill trap will eliminate that issue.
Once you catch the critter, release it far from your home so that it doesn't find its way back to your house and back to your attic.
Depending on the area of the country that you live in, squirrels in your home or the attic can be a common occurrence. While less dangerous than some of the other common animals on this list, squirrels can be pretty tricky to catch or even identify.
And while squirrels are less dangerous to humans, they're not less dangerous to your house. If you walk around your attic and find that beams and posts have been gnawed on or even gnawed all the way through, you might have a squirrel that loves to chew.
And squirrels aren’t picky. If you've got exposed electrical wires up in your attic, they'll chew through those too. And that's a major fire hazard.
You'll hear squirrels running and scampering through your attic throughout the day, with activity dying down at night. And that should be your first clue that you probably have a common ground squirrel running for your attic. You can also identify squirrels in your attic through squirrel droppings.
You'll often see squirrel poison advertised, but if you prefer a no-kill method, you can trap and release squirrels into the wild.
It's one of our greatest fears, and also one of the most common things to find in your attic—snakes. Now, snakes aren't common in every area, but if you live in a place where there are lots of snakes, there's a chance that these super slithers can slide on into your attic.
We've all heard the rhyme about how to tell the difference between a poisonous snake and a harmless snake, but we get the rhyme backward every time we say it. We relay this little anecdote just to say it's difficult to tell which snakes are poisonous and which ones aren't.
This means all snakes need to be removed very quickly and cautiously. A snake bite is dangerous and scary. And anti-venom is incredibly expensive. Always act with caution when dealing with a snake.
Because these fork-tongued friends can't control their own body heat, they come into your house looking for warmth and a place to curl up. this means you're more likely to see snakes in your attic when the temperatures drop.
It can be hard to identify a snake in your attic, but snakeskin or shed is an easy way to tell that you’ve got a slitherer hiding somewhere up in your home. You may also find a snake nest or eggs.
If you suspect that you have a snake in your attic, one really easy way to confirm your suspicion is by sprinkling flour all over the floor in a thin layer. Wait a few days and see if you find slither marks through the flour. If you do, it's time to remove a snake or call a professional.
The First Signs of Critters
Checking on your attic regularly is a good way to make sure that you don't have any uninvited guests. Hearing noises in your attic is one of the first signs that something is amiss. Inhabited attics will also often have a strong smell or odor associated with the animal hiding out inside.
Looking for signs of animal inhabitation is another good way to make sure that you're alone in the attic. Look for nests, eggs, animal droppings, or bite marks on the ground, at eye level, and high up. Catching the signs early means removing a critter before damage is done.
Animal-Proof Your Attic
Animal proofing your attic is a great way to make sure that bugs and critters get out and stay out. It's a proactive measure you can take to protect your home.
First, you're going to want to check your attic thoroughly and make sure that there are no holes or cracks. even small holes and cracks are an open invitation to hungry and cold animals. It's inexpensive and easy to fill holes and cracks in your attic, so there's really no excuse for letting the animals in.
Make sure that your attic is dry for a number of reasons, but particularly where animals are concerned—you might be creating an inviting breeding ground for bugs and animals if you have a warm damp attic.
It's also important to keep your attic tidy, even if you use it as a storage space. This makes it easier for you to keep an eye on everything and harder for animals to hide. It also gives hungry or naughty critters less to gnaw through without you catching them.
Now that you've taken care of your animal problem, do you have a bug problem you need to take take care of next? We've got you covered—click here to learn more about bug removal in the home.