St Louis Pest Control Blog

How to keep Animals out of your Attic

bad_atticMany a homeowner has heard the dreaded sound of tiny paws skittering in an attic space. It is usually followed by a nervous venture into the dark regions of the attic with a flashlight in hand. More than one owner has been surprised to see the eyes of a rodent reflect back from a flashlight beam. Maybe it is just traces of scat or the odor of ammonia from urine that is noticed. Sometimes it is gnawed items or signs of nesting that is found. Regardless of the signs of animal infestation in an attic, there are ways to accomplish rodent control that are safe.

Extracting Wildlife From an Attic

Before sealing the access points that the wildlife is using to get into an attic, the animals first need to be extracted. The most common animals that take up residence in home attics are bats, mice, rats, squirrels and insects. However, there have been instances of larger animals such as raccoons who have tried to make an attic their home. With wildlife being potential carriers of rabies and other diseases as well as hosts for ticks that may carry Lyme disease, professional animal control is the wisest choice.

A rodent control and animal control expert will remove the intruders from the attic and check for additional infestations such as ticks or fleas. For example, removing a family of squirrels from an attic may require spraying an insecticide to kill fleas, ticks and mites brought in by the critters. Safe removal of contaminated items in an attic may also be necessary.

Sealing an Attic Against Wildlife Intrusion

Most attic access is granted through a tiny hole or breach in an attic vent. All vents, including roof and gable louvers, need to be screened. The screening material used on a window is unsuitable by itself even if it is metal. A combination of a heavier gauge wire mesh known as hardware fabric along with rustproof screen to keep out insects is preferable. Attic vent fans should be replaced with ones presealed to keep out insects and other wildlife. Areas susceptible to wildfires may have additional requirements for attic vent screening to prevent live ember infiltration.

Simple correction of damaged vent screens in attics and loose or missing caulking around windows or seams done by a rodent control expert must be delayed until all of the animals are removed from the attic. Otherwise, trapped animals may cause extreme damage when they seek a way out. Extensive damage at an access point may need professional remodeling, replacement or reconstruction to prevent reentry of wildlife into an attic space.

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A trained animal control expert will also be able to identify and recommend corrections to the path wildlife uses to gain access to an attic. Often, it is a tree branch overhanging a roof that is the source of access. Squirrels can jump several feet from a branch to a roof. A broken attic window, unsealed attic vent or a tiny gap that is gnawed larger is often the point of access into the attic itself.

It can be quite disconcerting to know that animals have taken up residence in an attic. Please do not hesitate to call Blue Chip Pest Control located in St. Louis, Missouri for the best solution to this common problem. Most extractions of wildlife living in attics is quick with live trapping, and relocation is a viable option in most cases. Get it done quickly before structural damage to the home progresses and before the uninvited guests can procreate.

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