So your hearing strange noises coming from your attic and it isn't one of the familiar sounds you've grown accustomed to. It's something decisively louder and definitely alive. A live animal has broken into your attic and making informed and efficient decisions
Check out this video, it's a great overview:
What do Mice and Rats Sound Like?
The most common critters found in homes around the Greater Toronto Area are rodents; specifically mice and rats. Out of the two species mentioned, mice are by far the most common pest you will encounter. Fortunately, they are also one of the easiest to identify. The two main factors to consider when identifying mice or rats is the type of sound and the time of day.
Scratching, scurring or tapping sounds. If you hear any of those types of noises, there is a very high likelihood you have rodents in your walls, ceiling or attic. Mice will hang out in out f the way, safe areas in your home. This typically ends up being in areas with insulation, namely your attic, ceiling, and walls. The insulation masks their movements as well as provides nesting. They will tunnel through your insulation using it basically as a highway of sorts o travel to various parts of your home.
Because of their size and location in your home, their movements will materialize in the form of scurrying, taping or scratching sounds. these sounds will be heard in the ceiling of a particular room more often than not. It is easy to rule out most other species simply by the noise level. Rodents are the smallest of the commonly found urban pests, therefore, the diminutive nature of their sounds will be a great indication you are not dealing with a larger animal.
What time of day are you hearing these noises? The other most obvious indication that you are in fact dealing with rodents, is the time of day you are noticing the disturbances. although it is possible to hear mouse or rat activity during any time of day the house happens to be quiet. The most common time you will hear these critters is in the middle of the night. This is when the house is typically the quietest, therefore they have learned this is the safest time to go forage for food and explore our homes.
So if you are waking up in the middle of the night to an annoying scratching or scurrying sound coming from above your head, you can bet you are dealing with a mouse or rat issue.
Racoons in my Attic
What type of noise does a racoon make when it has successfully broken into your attic? Racoons are the largest of the common animals we encounter in residential areas. So if you are hearing a quick pitter patter or any fast movements, chances are you're dealing with something smaller.
Racoons will be loud and deliberate, it will almost sound like a person is up in your attic. The most common noises associated with this pest is loud thumping noises, as well as rather distinctive vocalizations. This is especially true during their mating season as during both the mating process and birthing process the animals can be very vocal.
Watch this video below to hear what racoons sound like:
So if you hear anything like that coming from your attic, you know what you're up against. The next best indicator will be the time of day. Racoons are nocturnal therefore you will hear them later in the evening or on the wee hours of the morning as they come and go.
How To Tell if it's Squirrels in my Attic?
when it comes to identifying squirrels as the unwanted pest in your home, time of day is a key factor. Because most other critters are active during the night; if you are hearing a disturbance during the daytime, it's a safe bet you have squirrels in your attic or home. Squirrels will keep similar hours to humans, they will leave in the morning to go about their day, returning around dusk to settle in for the night.
The next best hint that you may have a squirrel issue to contend with will be the very distinctive chewing sound that accompanies any squirrel infestation. A squirrels teeth will never stop growing, therefore they're constantly filling them down by chewing on whatever they can get their claws on. along with a quick scampering sound, the accompanying chewing sound is a dead giveaway you have a squirrel issue on your hands.
What do I do Next?
Now that you have a better idea what species you're up against, it's time to take quick and decisive action before the problem worsens. With any wildlife removal scenario, acting quickly is always in your best interest. If you are dealing with racoons you must act immediately. Because of their size, dexterity and the fact they travel in numbers, every single hour that passes without action can potentially cost you in the long run. Get a professional out immediately if racoons are the issue. When it comes to squirrels or rodents, a day or two will not make a huge difference. That's not to say you should just sit on it either.
You will notice there are plenty of cheap '"quick fix" contraptions out there claiming to easily and instantly rid you of any pest. This obviously is not a viable option to consider. Not only will you waster your money on these items, but the animal in your attic will be causing more damage during that time.
When it comes to protecting your home from a wildlife intrusion of any sort, contact a trained wildlife prevention expert. There are several factors to consider when avoiding damage to your home while humanely and permanently evicting an animal. It's not as simple as securing an entry point or putting some steel wool behind the stove. Wildlife prevention experts have proven methods to efficiently treat whatever the issue may be while avoiding any further damage to your home. This isn't the time to roll the dice.