Attics can be a cozy and convenient storage space for household items, but they can also become a refuge for a variety of unwanted guests, from insects and rodents to larger animals like raccoons, squirrels, and bats. In the Midwest, where harsh winters and changing weather patterns can drive animals indoors, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to discover that their attics have been taken over by these pests. In this post, we’ll explore the different types of animals that can occupy home attics, why they do it, and how to remove and prevent them from coming back.
Types of Animals That Occupy Home Attics
The most common types of animals that occupy home attics in the Midwest are rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels, as well as larger mammals like raccoons and bats.
Mice and Rat Infestations
These small rodents can easily find their way into homes through small gaps or cracks in the roof, walls, or foundation. Once inside, they can cause significant damage to insulation, wiring, and other building materials. They also pose health risks, as they can carry diseases and contaminate food and surfaces with their droppings.
Squirrels are known for their acrobatic skills and ability to climb trees, but they can also climb up walls and enter attics through openings in the roof or vents. They can cause damage to insulation, chew on electrical wires, and create nests that can block ventilation systems.
Raccoons are larger mammals that are known for their mischievous behavior and dexterous paws. They can enter attics through damaged roofs or vents, and they often make nests in attics to give birth and raise their young. They can cause significant damage to insulation, wiring, and ductwork, and they can also carry diseases like rabies and roundworm.
Bats are nocturnal creatures that are attracted to attics because they offer a dark and warm environment to roost in during the daytime. They can enter attics through small openings in the roof or walls, and they can cause damage to insulation and create unpleasant odors from their droppings. They also pose a risk to human health, as they can carry diseases like rabies and histoplasmosis.
Why Animals Occupy Home Attics
Animals occupy home attics for a variety of reasons, but the most common ones include seeking shelter, food, and nesting sites. In the Midwest, animals may be attracted to attics during the winter months when temperatures drop and food sources become scarce. They may also be attracted to attics during the summer months when they are looking for a cool and comfortable place to nest.
Wildlife infestations in home attics can cause significant damage to the structure of the house and pose health risks to its occupants. The extent of the damage depends on the type of animal and the duration of the infestation.
What To Do if You Suspect Wildlife Have Infested Your Attic
If you suspect that your attic has been taken over by unwanted animals, it’s crucial to act quickly to avoid further damage to your property and potential health risks.
Beware, attempting to remove wildlife from your attic can be dangerous and should be left to trained professionals. Wildlife critters have protective mechanisms, especially if they have a nest of offspring to protect. They can become aggressive and cause injury to humans. In addition, handling or disposing of animals that are infected with diseases like rabies or hantavirus can put you at risk of infection. It’s also important to note that some animals, like bats, are protected by law and require special permits for removal. Therefore, it’s best to contact a professional who can safely and humanely remove animals from your attic while minimizing health risks to both you and the animals.
Click here to watch a quick video on wildlife health risks>
The Attic Experts
If you need assistance with wildlife removal, decontamination, or full attic restoration, The Attic Experts is ready to help. With over 30 years of experience serving Chicago and its suburbs, we offer free attic inspections, safe removal of contaminated material, and comprehensive solutions to keep your attic pest-free.
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Wildlife Infestations Are Often Covered By Homeowner’s Insurance
Animal infestation and decontamination are often covered by homeowners insurance. We have helped hundreds of homeowners properly document the damage and associated costs of an attic infestation.
Call The Attic Experts Today at 630.941.3800