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Is It Bad to Have an Animal in the Attic?

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It is not good to have an animal in your attic. Animals damage your house, upset your life, and spread diseases.

Attics are the quintessential animal hideout. They are warm, provide ample material for nests in the form of boxes and insulation, and are rarely visited by humans. Unless your house is supremely well protected, it is almost inevitable that you will have to deal with unwanted wildlife in your attic at some point.

Having animals in your attic is stressful. Animal noises like chirping, gnawing, or scurrying can make sleeping hard.  Smells from animal urine and droppings can make visitors wince. And if they are not dealt with quickly, animals in your attic can bring about various costly—and potentially even dangerous—problems.

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Nuisances Caused by Animals in Attic

Perhaps the most aggravating consequence of animals living in your attic is the noise. Birds, for example, create a chorus of chirps beginning around dawn. Raccoons and squirrels create heavy rustling noises, and rats make maddening gnawing noises. Noise is one of the clearest indicators you have unwanted guests in your attic.

Animals that take up residence in your home won’t do you the kindness of relieving themselves outside. Over time, as urine and feces accumulate in your attic, a very pungent odor will develop. Urine and feces can also leave stains, and ruin stored items.

Animals living in your attic often die there, too, and leave an unmistakable, terrible odor behind, one that can pervade the whole house.

Damages Caused by Animals in Attic

Having nuisance animals in your house isn’t merely an annoying situation; it can also be costly, and potentially even dangerous. Here are just a few ways nuisance animals cause damage:

When animals urinate and defecate into insulation, it must be replaced. It cannot be salvaged. This is one reason why it’s imperative to address an infestation before it spins out of control. Also, many animals use insulation in the construction of nests, and heavier animals like raccoons can pack insulation down or move it around, both of which can reduce the thermal efficiency of your home and lead to further problems like ice damming.

Nuisance wildlife can do a number on the systems of your home, such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. Raccoons in particular are infamous for destroying HVAC systems, and the feces and urine they leave behind in ducts can severely impact air quality. Rodents gnaw on electrical wires, either to wear down their ever-growing incisors or to create paths or nests for shelter. This can increase the likelihood of a house fire.

Many people store items with sentimental value in their attics, often in boxes. Once animals get in, they all too often ravage papers and boxes to build their nests, decimating important and irreplaceable books, clothes, and documents.

Health Risks from Animals in Attic

Perhaps the chief concern of having nuisance animals in your attic is their potential to spread disease. Wild animals can carry a whole host of diseases, some of which—such as rabies—can be fatal. You don’t even have to get bitten by an animal to be exposed to disease. Coming into contact with animal droppings can facilitate the spread of such diseases as histoplasmosis, raccoon roundworm, and hantavirus, to name a few.

Mammals often bring in ectoparasites like fleas, ticks, and mites, which can find new hosts in people and open them up to even more illnesses, such as Colorado tick fever, tularemia, rocky mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

It is for this reason that extreme caution should be exercised when dealing with nuisance animals.

Professional vs DIY Wildlife Control

It is always tempting to try to resolve problems with our homes on our own. This can give us a sense of accomplishment, and can save a bit of money. But there’s a reason wildlife removal companies are in business. Wild animals are unpredictable, carry diseases, and their removal often requires specialized techniques not known to the average homeowner.

Benefits from a Professional

They have experience. If you hire a professional wildlife removal company with years of experience, they will be able to respond to unexpected occurrences during the removal process far better than the average homeowner. Responding to the unpredictability inherent in wild animals is where the professionals shine.

They are licensed and insured. Legitimate wildlife removal companies are certified by official authorities and organizations. They also have insurance liability, so you (most likely) won’t be on the hook for any onsite incidents or injuries.

They are efficient. It is in a company’s best interest to remove nuisance animals expediently. It is also better for the homeowner, as the less time the animals spend in the attic, the less damage they are likely to do.

Risk from DIY

Physical harm. Oftentimes, wild animals won’t go quietly and can attack when they feel cornered or threatened. Professionals have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to handle this; private homeowners rarely do.

Diseases/parasites. Animals and their nests are often full of bacteria from waste. Anyone who handles animal waste without taking the proper precautions runs the risk of contracting potentially serious diseases.

Potential illegality. Not all animals that might enter your household are vermin. Some might actually be endangered, protected species. Animals in this category require specialized methods of removal that homeowners may not be familiar with. If you value staying on the right side of the law, it is best to contact a professional to remove wildlife from your home.

Potential mistreatment of animals. Non-professionals who are not experienced in wildlife removal may inadvertently mistreat animals simply through a lack of knowledge of how to properly handle them, and how to keep families of wildlife together.

 

Hiring a Professional Wildlife Control

The Trutech team specializes in returning your attic to pristine condition after a nuisance animal infestation. Our technicians have the training and experience to safely remove an animal, repair the damage, and install exclusions for a long-term, nontoxic solution.

If an animal has been living in your attic, it has damaged it. Damage can include contaminated insulation, destroyed insulation, or damaged air ducts. An animal in your attic also introduces health risks like histoplasmosis or leptospirosis.

 

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