There are a few basic reasons that wildlife wants to be in your home. To start, your home provides the perfect habitat for wildlife to thrive. In the attic you have a dark remote place that gives the animals the security that they are looking for. As for rodents, the insulation gives them the perfect burrowing material to feel at home. As for squirrels, raccoons, possums, etc. the insulation is the perfect material to make their nesting area to have kits in the attic. That time period is in the Spring and Fall. While we get calls all year round for the animals in the attic, we get an uptick in calls around the mating and birthing seasons.
Another factor to consider is the weather. Just like people, when the weather gets cold the animals want to get into a warm area. What better area than in your attic or crawlspace to get out of the elements? The animals will be out of the wind and cold, they can store food in these areas as well. Most of the time you are going to have one species of animal in the attic, so there typically isn’t a fear of other animals. That is not to say that other animals won’t follow the scent trails to find their way into your home and take over from the original nuisance animal. For example, if you have mice in the crawl space, there is a chance that you will have a snake try to get in to capture the mice.
We also see that a lot of times the problem usually starts with a small rodent issue and if it goes untreated, can lead to squirrels, then raccoons, etc. The larger animal usually wins in the wildlife world, so either the smaller animal vacates the area or the larger animal forces the smaller animal out.
Wildlife animals can cause major damage to a home. Once wildlife keys in on your home, they can cause exterior damage, to find a way into the attic space. Depending on the animal, the entry point can be as small as a quarter of an inch and get as big as a grape fruit. While rodents are more stealthy in how they get into the structure, raccoons and squirrels are more noticeable. Your first visual sign is usually wood that has either been chewed or pulled out. Some of these holes will be tucked away, while others will be left open to water damage. Next, you will see insulation on the roof or ground. Once the animals get inside the home, that is when the damage can exponentially grow.
Once the wildlife gets inside the home, the first thing the start to damage is the insulation. Regardless of the animal, they will urinate and defecate in the attic multiple times of day until they are removed. The soiled insulation will bring down the R-Value, which is the guideline to how thick your insulation should be. That value is set based on the zone you live in through out the country. When the R-Value is lower than it should be, then that can affect how your home holds in the air in the summer, and the heat in the winter.
Depending on which animal has invaded your home, your duct lines can also be damaged. Whether they are used for traveling through out the attic, or bent and torn, wildlife can create a large problem for your attic space. There are times where animals will naturally die in the attic and can get under the insulation or fall down in the wall. When that happens, the entire room around where the animal is deceased will have a terrible odor. Some times we can find the animals in the attic and remove them, while other times we may have to cut a hole in the wall to get the animal out.
Whether the animals are in the crawl space or the attic, sometimes the animals have left so much feces and urine behind that we have to do a restoration. In the attic that means removing the old insulation and replacing it with new insulation. In the crawl space that means, removing the vapor barrier, replacing it, and then removing and replacing the insulation under the house.
To prevent wildlife damage, the first step is for Alpha Wildlife to remove the animals that are present. While we are excluding/trapping for the animals we will begin the seal up process on the structure to keep the animals out permanently. The process will change a little bit depending on which animal is currently there. For example, most rodents will be caught after the seal up is completed, while bats, raccoons, squirrels, will typically be trapped/excluded last, from the entry point. Bats have to be excluded from the home, which means a one way valve is used. We cannot “trap” bats and bats can only be manually removed if they are an immediate danger in the living space of the home. Not in the attic, fascia gap, dormer, etc. As for squirrels, raccoons, possums, etc. Each live trap has to be checked daily until the animals are no longer in the home. To do the prevention on the home, it takes patience, planning, and precision, to ensure that the animals are out and cannot get back in. If you want the animals out of your home and the prevention done the right way, call Alpha Wildlife today.