With the colder temperatures approaching, everyone is starting to cozy up indoors more frequently to avoid the chilly weather — including pests! Every winter, you may experience some uninvited guests hanging out in your attic. Rats, mice, squirrels, and other small animal pests are attracted to attics because the rising heat makes them nice and warm, and the exposed insulation is perfect for nest-making.
Not only can pests cause significant damage to your attic, they can also pose a potential fire hazard if they’re allowed to settle in for too long.
Why Attic Pests are a Fire Hazard
Common attic pests are prone to chewing and gnawing through everything from insulation to wood to wires. As they wreak havoc in your attic, pests can dangerously expose wiring, making previously insulated wiring exposed and a fire hazard.
Because of the hazardous risks involved with letting pests make themselves at home in your attic, it’s important to be aware of the signs of attic pests so you know when to contact your local pest control.
Six Signs There Are Pests in Your Attic
If you’re hearing noises in your attic, it’s important to get this issue resolved. There’s a chance an unwanted visitor has set up camp. Here are six different signs you may have pests in your attic, and what sounds to listen for:
1. Scratching and Skittering Noises
If you have an older home, you may hear some creaking and settling in your attic as the seasons change, but this is a very different sound from what small animals make. Mice and other small animals will make various scratching noises as they skitter around your attic and through your walls, nibbling at possible food sources and building their nests.
Because most of these pests are nocturnal, you’ll hear these scratching noises more often at night. You might also hear squeaking noises or the pitter-patter of little feet running around above you.
2. Destroyed Insulation
Shredded insulation is a sure sign of pest presence, either in the past or currently active. Rats and raccoons are especially fond of shredding insulation, which may end up in your vents. If you find insulation in your vents or while inspecting your attic, a pest may be involved.
You may notice your home fighting harder to keep warm. If your energy bill suddenly spikes or you just notice less warmth than usual, it’s worth inspecting your attic insulation for damage. Even one little pest can cause enough insulation destruction to affect your home’s ability to keep warm!
3. Animal Droppings
Because most home-invading animals are nocturnal and prefer to avoid human interaction, you’re much more likely to find signs of their presence than you are to find the pests themselves. One of these signs is excrement. You may find droppings in your attic or even in and around vents. Smaller pests may even venture down from the attic in search of food, so droppings in your kitchen or bathrooms may also indicate attic activity.
4. Unpleasant Odors
Foul smells may indicate pest activity in your attic. This can be the stink of animal feces or urine or the sulfur-like stench of decomposition. If you smell something suspicious in your home and cannot trace the scent to its source, it could be happening in your walls or attic. In that case, it’s time to call pest control!
5. Exposed Entry Points
Another possible sign of pests in your attic is exposed entry points. If your roof has any missing shingles, that could be enough space for mice or other small rodents to squeeze into your attic space. They can also get through areas where screens are missing or utilities leave gaps. If these entry points are near any wiring, be wary! Remember, attic pests can quickly lead to fire hazards, so sealing up for pest prevention is important.
6. Nests or Nesting Materials
Of course, it should come as no surprise that finding an animal’s nest in your attic means animals are likely nearby. But even just finding materials in your attic like twigs, leaves, or other piles of debris, may mean a pest has moved in. This debris could be the leftovers from a rodent’s nest building or remnants fallen from a bird’s nest in the ceiling.
Give Your Attic the Advantage It Needs
Don’t wait until you have a whole pest family living in your attic! As soon as you discover any signs of a possible infestation, you should contact us at Advantage Termite and Pest Control to ensure your home is pest free! Call us at first sight — We do it right!