Do You Know What's Living In Your Attic?

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If you have pests living in your attic, getting them out can be a nightmare.  But before you can get rid of them, you have to know how to identify what is actually living there.  Unwanted pests can do a great deal of harm to your home and to the health of your family.  Unwanted pests living in your attic can chew through electrical wires, shred insulation and spread diseases, such as hantavirus and salmonella.

One of the best ways to determine what types of pests you have living in your attic is to learn how to identify their droppings.

Here are the most common attic pests and how to identify their droppings.

1.  Mouse -their droppings are about an 1/8 inch long  and are pellet shaped.

2.  Rat - their droppings are about 1/4 inch long and are sausage shaped.

3.  Squirrel - their droppings are about 3/4 of an inch wide and about 2-3 inches long and are sausage shaped.

4.  Bat - their droppings are about 1/2 inch long, are pellet shaped and are usually found in piles.

The best way to treat for these pests is to try and prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. 

Keep your trees trimmed 8-10 feet away from your roof.  This will prevent rats, squirrels and raccoons from jumping onto your roof

Some pests can squeeze into your home through openings as small as a dime.  So you will want to make sure that your attic screens are all intact and that you check and repair all the gaps in your roof flashing, behind your gutters, in  any rotting fascia and in your foundation cracks.  By doing this, you will almost eliminate anything getting into the crawl spaces and the attic of your home

Unfortunately, once you have pests in your attic, it is extremely difficult to find a humane way to eliminate them from your home. Depending on the pest, you may need to seek professional assistance for this job.  

Some states have special requirements for removing and relocating certain pests like squirrels and raccoons.  So you will need to contact your local state extension services office or your local wildlife agency to find out what laws and permits apply.  It may be necessary to hire a professional trapper to take care of this for you and to ensure the proper compliance with the laws of your state. 

After the removal of your unwanted guests, you will need to have the area cleaned thoroughly.  Again, this is best left to the professionals; however, if you choose to do the clean up yourself, here are a few things to remember:

• Open the windows to air out the contaminated areas - you should leave the area while the windows are open to avoid breathing in harmful dust particles

• You should wear protective goggles, gloves and face masks while cleaning in the affected area

• After clean up, spray the area with a bleach solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water

• Don't use cloth towels to wipe everything down.  You should use paper towels that can be used and then disposed of in a sealed trash bag once you are through

Whatever you do, if you have pests in your attic, don't put off ridding your home of them.  Any delay could cause extreme damage to your home and to the health of your family.

I hope you have found this information helpful.  If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, contact your realtor and ask them for a list of available homes in your area.  They would be more than happy to assist you through the entire home buying and selling process.


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Peggy  Harmeyer & Associates

RE/MAX Real Estate Group

932 Shadyview Blvd.

Pleasant Hill, Ia 50327

Licensed in the State of Iowa

Peggy : 515-208-8132 

Caitlyn: 515-321-3821

An Independently Owned and Operated Member RE/MAX Real Estate Group

Information is believed to be accurate but should not be relied on without verification.


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