One of the most frustrating and potentially dangerous situations you can experience in your residence is a rodent infestation. One of the more challenging types of rodent infestations occurs in an attic. If you’ve found yourself facing a rodent infestation in your attic, you undoubtedly are wondering what you can do to bring the vermin invasion in your home to an end. We present you with some tips to assist you in addressing a rodent infestation in your attic.
Identify the Type of Rodent
The first step that you need to take when you believe you have a rodent issue in your attic is to identify the specific type of critter that has taken up residence in your home. The manner in which a rodent issue is resolved depends significantly on the specific species that has found its way into your attic.
In Southern California, and throughout the United States, the types of rodents that most commonly infest attics are:
In addition to these rodents, bats are another animal that has the propensity to invade attics in residential properties.
A key way in which you can identify the type of rodent that is inhibiting your attic is through the droppings left behind. Each of the rodents and bats that potentially can end up residing in your attic deposits their own rather unique feces calling card.
The droppings of these critters appear as follows:
- Mice: droppings are pellet-shaped and are about 1/8 inch long on average
- Rat: droppings are sausage-shaped and are about 1/4 inch long on average
- Squirrel: droppings are sausage-shaped and are about 1/2 to 1 inch long on average.
- Raccoon: droppings are sausage-shaped and are about 2 to 3 inches long and about 3/4 wide on average
- Bat: droppings are pellet-shaped, are about a 1/2 inch long on average and are found in piles
Centers for Disease Control Attic Rodent Removal Advisement
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has enumerated some specific steps to undertake in advance of undertaking rodent (or bat) removal from an attic:
- If possible, open windows or otherwise ventilate the attic for at least 30 minutes prior to commencing the actual process of attempting to remove critters.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment designed for dealing with biohazards:
- Respirator or mask
- Protective eyewear
- Uniform or smock
Mice can end up in attics in a number of ways. They can crawl up drain pipes or follow electrical wires in walls. Mice reproduce at a fast pace. Even if the initial infestation is small in number, within a month your attic can have a large population of these small rodents.
Although there are different products a homeowner can use that are designed to eliminate mice from a residence, including an attic, the most traditional, tried and the true device remains the most effective, according to extermination specialists. That device is the snap trap. The moment you realize there are mice in your attic, you need to obtain and set the traps.
The reality is that if you have an attic mouse infestation, as is the case with other types of infestations discussed in a moment, you really should consider engaging the services of a mouse eradication professional.
As is the case with mice, snap traps are the eradication method of choice for laypeople. With that said, you must understand that there are snap traps designed specifically for rats. Mouse traps will not take on rats because they are too small.
Another note you need to bear in mind is that rats will avoid snap traps when first placed in an attic. Indeed, it may take a couple of weeks before a rat will feel comfortable with new items introduced into its space and venture near it. Thus, when you have to contend with rats when you initially put snap traps out to catch them, don’t bait them. Let them stand without bait for a week or so until you do fully prepare them for use.
As noted with mice, your best course may be to seek professional assistance to eliminate rats from your attic.
If squirrels have taken up residence in your attic, you need to seek professional help. Indeed, even if you were to attempt to trap them on your own, you need to ascertain what the laws, ordinances, and regulations are in your area in regard to dealing with squirrels.
When it comes to a raccoon infestation in our attic, you should never attempt to eliminate them on your own. You need to reach out and engage the services of a professional to address raccoon elimination from your attic.
Bats represent another potential attic invader that you cannot attempt to remove on your own. You need to hire a professional that has specific experience in dealing with eliminating bats from an attic.
Rodent or Bat Droppings After Animal Removal
Once animals that had infested your attic are eliminated, you need to tend to the droppings and other waste that has been left behind. Droppings from all of the animals mentioned in this article can carry what are known as dangerous pathogens. These include bacteria and viruses that are capable of causing serious disease.
Because of the challenges of rodent and bat dropping cleanup in an attic, coupled with health risks associated with the feces of these animals, you are best served seeking professional assistance. A rodent droppings cleanup professional, also known as a biohazard remediation specialist, will ensure that your home is returned to a healthy and disease-free state following a rodent infestation.