We get a lot of calls from customers who want to know what type of animal could be making noise in their walls, ceiling, and attic at night. Some people simply ignore these sounds, but for the majority, it’s concerning, and they want to know the source of these sounds before a wildlife removal team comes out and resolve the issue. Permanently.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a video and compiled information about the various types of wildlife that most homeowners in Ontario can expect to encounter and how to identify them. Remember, regardless of which animal is crawling around your walls and attic – day or night – it’s best to practice safety first and let a professional removal company come in to resolve your issue.
I Hear Noises! Which Animal is it?
Generally, customers hear scratching and other strange sounds in their walls and ceiling more at night than they do in the day. One main reason for this is because for the most part people are away from their homes during the day. Let’s go over some information to help you determine what species you are up against.
Please watch the video below as our wildlife removal expert Mike explains the differences in the sounds you’ll hear from wildlife:
Raccoon Sounds from the Attic
Raccoons are the largest and easiest animal to identify. The most common place raccoons will occupy in your home is the attic. It is elevated, insulated and well out of harm's way. Because they are such great climbers, accessing the upper portions of a structure is a snap.
All other animals are quick, scratching and scurrying around. Raccoons move around at a slower pace. You will hear thumping and banging around, almost as if a small person was up there stomping around.
The next best indicator will be the time of day you notice the activity. As they are nocturnal creatures you will hear them late at night. Most common time of year for domestic break-ins is early March to early April. This is when they are looking to find a safe place to have their litters.
Squirrel Sounds in Walls
Squirrels are a whole different ballgame. Squirrel noises are a lot more erratic sounding. The lifestyle of a squirrel is very scheduled so you’re going to hear sounds predominately early in the morning and in the evening as they return to their den site. You can also hear them throughout the day when they bring other food back to the den site to store. And in the morning, just before dawn, they can be hard starting the routine all over again.
Generally, squirrels are in and out of your attic all day long doing squirrel things like gathering food and foraging before making their way back to rest for the night but if you happen to be home during the day you just make catch a sound or two.
Sounds Mice Make in Your Attic and Walls
If you are hearing scratching noises specifically, as well as scurrying sounds. Mice or rats are your likely culprit. With rodents, you’ll usually hear them around bedtime and late at night. Occasionally when the house is very quiet you will hear them during the day as well.
What you’ll hear is a faint scratching sound that’s isolated in one area. Usually coming from your walls, ceiling or attic (if you are sitting in an upstairs room). Mice are very quiet animals so you will rarely hear them. Because they hang out in your well-insulated attic or your insulated walls, they often go unnoticed until they start scratching or running. Those faint and quiet sounds are usually the first indication you may be hosting a population of mice in your home.
One way to further determine whether it’s a mouse is by going up to the spot where the sound is and firmly tapping on that area of the wall. If it’s mice, they’ll stop whatever it is they’re doing for about a minute and then travel away to a safer part of the home – maybe further down the wall or up into the ceiling. If it’s squirrels, for instance, you’ll hear it tear off and scurry to another part of your home almost immediately. Mice removal should only be attempted by trained professionals.
What About Bats? Do They Make Much Noise?
Let’s talk about bats. You’re going to see them a whole lot more than you’ll hear them. If you’ve got bats in your home you’re probably going to be calling us in the middle of the night because you’ve found a bat flying around your house. Bats are not something you’re generally going to hear in your attic as they often reside on the higher portion of your attic where noises are not easily detected.
If they accidentally fall down behind your walls then you’ll probably hear a scratching noise that sounds like the animal is going up and down, and that could be a sign that it’s a bat, and that it’s stuck. (if the bat isn’t safely removed at this point it becomes distressed). With bats you won’t see much, however, your encounters with them will be quite visible as you’ll see them flying in and out of your attic at night or encounter one somewhere in your home.
What Should We Do Now?
If you’re sure there’s a wild animal living in your attic, garage or shed and can't figure out what it is, your best bet is to call the experts.
- The animal can be safely and humanely removed,
- Your home can be inspected for existing wildlife intrusion points, and
- Your home can be properly protected from future intrusions through necessary prevention measures.
Your local wildlife removal and prevention outfit will quickly determine what species you are dealing with and the best steps to take to safely and humanely evict the animal.