If you aren’t using your attic as a living space, the chances are someone else will. We are talking about sneaky wildlife that can gain access to your attic and make themselves comfortable. They live there, stash their food there, even have babies and die there! It’s good to be aware of the kinds of animals that are likely to invade your attic. So when you start hearing odd noises or noticing leaks and roof damage, you can put two and two together. Our Montgomery County animal removal experts are happy to give you some basic information on the Maryland wildlife that likes to nest in attics.
Squirrels in the Attic
We write about squirrels a lot on our blog and there is a good reason for that. Eastern Gray Squirrels are one of the most common wildlife pests found in Maryland attics. Like most wildlife seeking shelter in our dwellings, squirrels typically do so to find a safe place to have their babies. So what you think is one harmless squirrel in your attic is actually a squirrel family with an appetite for destruction. Because squirrels have front teeth that constantly grow longer and longer, they need to gnaw on stuff to keep the size in check. This “stuff” includes wood and wiring in your attic. In fact, squirrels are known to cause house fires due to their chewing habits, so don’t take this invader lightly.
Raccoons in the Attic
Raccoon is one of the largest animals you may find in your attic. Therefore, they are usually one of the easiest to notice, as they make quite a bit of noise, especially at night. Raccoon are very strong for their size. Where a squirrel would gnaw a hole in your fascia board, a raccoon would just rip the entire board off if it’s been weakened by the elements. The worst part about having raccoons in your attic is probably the raccoon latrine—the spot raccoons use as their litter box. Their feces and urine will ruin your insulation and can even soak though the ceiling. Many raccoons are infected with the raccoon roundworm parasite, so be careful if you plan on cleaning up the latrine yourself.
Bats in the Attic
If raccoons are the largest attic invaders, bats would probably take the trophy for the largest crowd. Bats live in colonies, so it’s not unusual to have 50 or more bats living at one time in your attic. The more bats you have, the sooner you may want them gone, because their strength is indeed in numbers. If not for the bat guano (bat poop), having bats in the attic would have been an all-around positive thing. After all, they eat mosquitoes and other insects in large amounts, making your summer nights more pleasant. Unfortunately, all that food ends up as pounds of guano in your attic. In extreme cases, it can weigh down your ceiling so much, it may collapse. In less severe cases, it will stink, stain your insulation and become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, such as the dangerous histoplasma.
Mice and Rats in the Attic
Mice and rats are sneaky rodents that can be virtually anywhere in your house. They can chew holes through most surfaces, creating safe routes they can use to stay out of our sight. They can be found in attics too, where mice and rats can roam freely since humans barely use this space. While they don’t do nearly as much damage as squirrels or raccoons, rats and mice are still unwanted critters. One of the biggest risks of having them around is the fact that they can contaminate your food and your kitchen counters. Rodents often carry numerous diseases and bacteria they can “share” with you.
Birds in the Attic
Birds in residential attics are not very common, but they do get in on occasion. Birds like starlings, pigeons and sparrows will first try your vents, gutters and soffits, but if the access to the attic is easy, they will nest there too. Birds build nests in spring to lay eggs and hatch their young. Once that’s done, they usually leave on their own. However, having birds in your attic means bird poop everywhere and a risk of a bird mite infestation. So depending on your situation and the number of birds in your attic, you may want them gone sooner rather than later. But don’t worry. If you find any of these critters in your attic, you can always rely on Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control to safely remove them and clean up any mess they left behind. Call us or contact online today for help fighting your attic invaders.