Pest Control Prevention is a Must for Every Home.
Your attic is a resort-style hotel for the wandering and neighborhood-dwelling critters. Packed with the perfect amount of insulation, warmth and depending on the critter, food, your attic serves as a safe haven. Two-by-two, creatures of all kinds enter your attic to survive their version of a flood, whether it be freezing temperatures, not enough food, inadequate shelter, etc.
At face-value, many critters are cute, but they sure do cause extensive damage to your home, not to mention they can carry diseases. If you suspect your home has been invaded, it’s important to address the issue immediately. Only after you’ve evicted current residents can you then prevent new ones from entering. We’ve got some useful information and tips for attic pest control.
1. Types of Pests Living in Your Attic
Scratching, gnawing, running: these are things you might be hearing behind your walls or in your attic. To effectively remove the creatures in your attic, you have to first know what exactly is living in there. You can identify the animal in your home by looking at their waste. Here are the five of the more common critters in your attic and a description of their waste, courtesy of HouseLogic:
- Mouse: 1/8 inch long, pellet-shaped
- Rat: 1/4 inch long, sausage-shaped
- Squirrel: 1/2 to 1 inch long, sausage-shaped
- Raccoon: Up to 3/4 of an inch wide, 2-3 inches long; sausage-shaped
- Bat: 1/2 inch, pellet-shaped, found in piles
Of course, there are other critters that could be staking grounds in your house, too, such as snakes, birds, opossums, termites, and cockroaches. The climate in which you live plays a huge factor.
2. Types of Damage a Pest Can Cause
Not all pests cause the same type of damage. Here’s a quick look into what kinds of damage various pests can cause to your attic and home.
Squirrels, mice and rats love to gnaw on anything they can get their paws on, from furniture, walls and insulation to bedding and electrical wires.
Raccoons are greater in size and can therefore cause more extensive damage. Not only will they chew on wires and tear off the insulation, but they may also rip apart your air ducts.
Snakes aren’t known to cause physical damage to your house, however, they can seriously disrupt your sense of safety and peace of mind. Snakes travel into homes and attics because they smell the presence of mice or rats.
Bats are similar to snakes in that they don’t typically cause damage, but they are still a nuisance. When a colony starts to grow, that’s when you have a problem. Because of guano buildup, you don’t want to put off having them removed.
3. How to Get Rid of Pests
Mice can often be taken care of by the homeowner, as they’re small and can be trapped with store-bought contraptions. When it comes to other critters, though, like opossums, raccoons or squirrels, we recommend leaving the trapping and removal to a certified professional who has the necessary training and equipment. If you attempt this feat on your own, you risk getting bitten, and that’s something we do not want to happen! Wild animals are known to carry numerous diseases; therefore, the safest decision is to call an expert.
4. How to Prevent Pests from Coming Back
There are many ways a critter can enter your home; therefore, it’s important for you to be vigilant about plugging up all the crevices and tiny cracks in and outside your home. Sure, it might not be the most fun task to complete, but we guarantee you’ll enjoy newfound peace of mind.
1. Inspect the exterior of your home: A lot of animals enter your home through openings on the exterior of your home. Check these spots for vulnerable areas:
- Chimney & soffit vents
- Holes in your roofing
- Attic vents
2. Install screens : If your soffit vents don’t currently have vent covers, install them right away. You should also install steal screens over your attic vents.
3. Seal your windows and doors: These two locations are the most common entry way for unwanted critters. Make sure your windows are properly sealed and that they have screen covers on them. You should also seal any cracks around your doors.
4. Seal cracks: Inspect the interior of your home as well for any open gaps or crevices wherein pests can enter, and seal them accordingly.
5. Keep plants at a distance: Animals can hide in gardens, awaiting the perfect moment to enter your home through an open door. Keep all plants at least one to two feet away from your house, and make sure all weeds are trimmed. Make sure trees and shrubs are kept at least eight to 10 feet from your house.
If you suspect that your duct work has taken on damage from a pest, give us a call right away! We will inspect the damage and determine whether repair or replacement is best.
Check out these other resources for useful tips on pest control prevention:
- EPA’s “Do’s and Dont’s of Pest Control”
- The Pest Control Authority’s “Top 10 Pest Control Tips”
- Home & Garden’s “Pest-Control Tips”
- Life Hacker’s “Keep Your Home Bug Free with These DIY Pest Control Methods
For information or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900.
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