St Louis Pest Control Blog

What is living in my Attic?

Critter Problems?

Have you been hearing noises coming from your attic? At night or during the day? Have you found any other signs of animals in your home such as fecal droppings or footprints?

Attic Pests

If you’ve never actually seen the animals, but you think you’ve got a problem, here are a few things to consider when it comes to pest control of attic pests.

Birthing Season

Birthing season is from March to October. During that timeframe, wild animals often seek out den sites that are safe and secure from predators to use as a nesting site. Chances are you’re hearing a female and her dependent young upstairs.

Fortunately, the situation is temporary. We often recommend giving the mother and young several weeks in order to allow the babies to become more independent and relocate. Typically the mother will decide to do this as soon as it’s no longer safe for her young to be in your proximity. She and her young will abandon the den site.

You want the mother to remain with her young because if they get separated, the young babies will venture out in search for their mother and may get trapped between walls or be so tucked away in some obscure location of your attic that you would never find the abandoned nest.

Most Likely Offenders

  • Squirrels: If you are hearing noises during daylight hours you most likely have a squirrel living in your attic. The behavioral pattern of squirrels is to be active only during the day.
  • Raccoons: Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so if you are hearing noises during nighttime hours, you most likely have a raccoon or flying squirrel living in your attic.

Sprinkle baking flour around the perimeter

To check for footprints, you can sprinkle all-purpose baking flour around the perimeter of the attic and check the next day.
Here’s how to decipher tracks:

  • Squirrel tracks are smaller, approximately 1” long. The front feet contain four digits, sharp claws, and three large palm-like pads. The squirrel’s rear feet contain five digits and four palm pads.
  • Raccoon tracks closely resemble a small human hand. They are larger than squirrel, measuring between 2” and 3” long.

Look for other Clues

  • Squirrel—you may find nuts, leaves, and other debris around the attic left by the squirrel. You may also find squirrel droppings, which look smooth and oval in shape.
  • Raccoon—raccoons generally urinate and defecate outside to avoid attracting predators, but sometimes they create what’s called a “latrine” to use inside. If you see an oily stain on the ceiling, that’s a definite sign.

Have a pest in your attic? Call us at 636-343-7900 or visit our Wildlife Page for more information.


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