Rodents aren't just a possible problem on the main floors of your home. Mice, rats, and sometimes squirrels will invade your attic and turn it into their new house. Attics are particularly inviting because they are dry and private, so the rodents don't have to worry as much about being disturbed. Left alone, they can cause structural damage to the attic, chew wires, and pose an electrical hazard.
1. The Patter of Little Feet
When lying in bed at night, listen closely, and you might hear pests moving about in the attic. Pattering and rustling sounds from overhead can be a sure sign of a rodent infestation. Mice and rats tend to be active more at night when the house is quiet and they can move about without risk of being seen. Squirrels, on the other hand, are more active during the day, so you may only hear them when the house is particularly quiet.
2. Insulation Tunneling Damages
Many attics are fully insulated with few spaces. Rodents will chew tunnels into the insulation in which to travel, and you can often spot the tunnels or the damaged insulation with a quick visual inspection. Even in attics with only a little bit of insulation, tunneling can be apparent. Rodents will often prefer to chew tunnels that they can travel in unseen rather than run around in the open.
3. Pungent Odors and Pellets
The musty ammonia-tinged odor of rodent urine and feces can't be avoided. If the problem is severe or has been ongoing for some time, a quick whiff of the air of your attic will give away the presence of the pests. You can also survey the space for the small brown pellets of rodent feces. These will often be along the edges of the walls or joists, as rodents tend to travel along these protected areas when they must move about in the open.
4. Shingle and Eave Damages
Most rodents are opportunists and will enter the attic via damage already present on the roof, such as holes in the eaves or missing soffit screening. If you find such damages, then it's a good idea to have a pest service inspect the attic. Some rats and squirrels may also force entry if they find any damage, such as by pulling up a loose shingle or chewing a small eave hole into a larger size to create an entrance.
Contact a rodent control service if you suspect rodents have moved into your attic, like Pest Pros.