Raccoons, squirrels, bats, and other types of animals frequently seek shelter inside attics. If they can find an opening, even a small one, they will take advantage of it.
Wild animals inside your home can cause serious damage to belongings in the attic and to the house itself. Wildlife can chew through drywall, insulation, and electrical wires. They can leave behind waste that can create an unpleasant odor and that may spread illnesses to members of your family. A wild animal that feels threatened may attack a person or a pet.
Inspect Your House to Keep Wildlife Out
Animals look for small openings that they can use as entry points. You most likely won’t even be aware that such openings exist unless you conduct an inspection.
If your attic has windows with screens, look for any areas where a screen has been chewed or otherwise damaged. Even if you don’t think an animal could get through a tiny gap, it’s likely that one could. If you notice damage to an attic window screen, get the screen repaired or replaced to keep wildlife out.
While you’re checking the condition of attic window screens, look for other potential entry points. Look around the attic during the day while the lights are off and see if there are any gaps where daylight is visible. If so, they will need to be fixed. Check the roof, soffits, siding, and other exterior components for signs of damage, either from animals or from weather, and have any issues addressed as soon as possible.
Find out If There Are Already Animals in Your Attic
If you notice a damaged window screen or another possible entry point, there’s a good chance that one or more wild animals are already living in your attic. Look for evidence, such as waste, chew marks, and scratches.
If you find any, you will have to figure out if animals are still in the attic before you seal off entry points. You don’t want to repair damage to your home in an attempt to keep wildlife out, then realize later that you inadvertently trapped animals inside.
Place a paper towel or newspaper loosely in the damaged area so that if an animal is in the attic, it will be able to easily push the paper through the hole to get out. Wait a few days while the weather is mild and check back. If the paper is undisturbed, that means there are no animals in the attic and you can seal the hole.
Get Professional Help to Remove Wildlife
If you have reason to believe that wild animals are living in your attic, don’t try to get rid of them yourself. You may get bitten or scratched, which can cause significant injuries and may spread illness. Also, a frightened animal may cause serious destruction to your attic in an attempt to escape.