How to Get Rodents Out Of Your Attic, and Keep Them Out!
Did you know that rodents from squirrels, to rats, mice and other forms of wildlife cause an estimated 20 BILLION dollars per year in damages to US homeowners and business owners? We have noticed an increase in activity yet again in the Dallas, Texas area. Specifically in the attics of our customers in Garland, Rowlett, and Rockwall so far. If these issues are not dealt with properly the rodents can cause enough problems in attic spaces alone, that you could be looking at thousands of dollars not only to fix the damages they caused to get into your home, but also attic insulation replacement as well.
So how do you get rodents out of your attic space or crawl space, and how do you prevent them from ever entering ever again? Read more to find out!
First and foremost we have to figure out how the rodents enter your attic or crawl space to begin with. Rodents only need a dime to quarter sized entry to point to enter your home. They are known for entering homes very many ways, some of which include:
- Roof Returns
- Gable Vents
- Crawl Space Vents
- Freezer Boards
- Weep Holes
- Furnace Flue
- And More
From here you have the chance to get ahead of any potential rodent issues by sealing up all of these entry points to ensure they never have a chance to be able to do so. What materials should you use you are probably asking, well I am glad you asked. At Preferred Pest Management we only like to use the best products on the market for preventing rodents and pests from entering our customers homes. Some people, including some companies, will elect to go the cheaper route using products such as foam sprays. While foam sprays can temporarily solve the problem they are often a waste of time and money as squirrels, rats, etc. have the ability to chew through them entirely too easily. The list of products we prefer to use is relatively short and straight forward, they include:
- Sheet metal (preferably gutter coil)
- Wire stuffing/xcluder (1/4in and nothing with larger spaces than that!) – this costs slightly more and you may have to order it, but it is a must!
- Wire mesh (we get ours from BuyXcluder.com) and no we have no affiliation to them whatsoever, they simply have the best rodent prevention products on the market.
- Outdoor weather caulking (clear, either paintable or non paintable)
- Caulk gun
- Roofing snips
- Drills with proper drill bits
- 1in screws
- Tapcon screws needed for gable vents and turbine vents if they need repaired
- Maybe some life insurance if you are inexperienced (joke but this is a risky job as you will be on ladders and roofs) something to consider if you are afraid of heights.
From here you will begin your work from top to bottom or bottom to top. We prefer knocking the top outdoor work first when able that way if the weather changes you have everything on the roof completed first. In this blog you will see photos attached of previous jobs we have done, our goal is these photos help you complete your rodent seal up job, however if you need further assistance there are a lot of youtube videos on this subject and we will be coming out with our own on our Preferred Pest Management youtube channel in the coming months.
Now what if you aren’t lucky enough to be reading this blog before rodents infiltrate your attic/crawl space? What do you do to get them out first? Well that can be tricky depending on the specific rodent you are dealing with. However there are two or three primary methods to get the rodents caught and/or out of your attic.
- Live traps/cages: This is the method we use sometimes when we are dealing with wildlife such as squirrels, opossums, raccoons, etc. All you do is get a live trap that is big/small enough where your target rodent can fit in it easily, then set a bait preferably some kind of peanut butter/berry combo for squirrels and usually a cat food can for opossums and racoons. Be sure to set the bait at the back of the trap and check them daily to see if the rodent is caught. Another option for these critters is setting a “one way trap” this can be very effective if you know for a fact the entry point the rodent is entering. The idea of the one way trap is, it allows the rodent to exit your home through that entry, but the moment they go through that trap there is no way they can re-enter through that entry point. From here all you have to do is check and see if there’s any signs the rodent has found a new entry point, or if you are still hearing activity. If there’s no further signs then you are good to seal the home up. If you are still hearing activity, then you may need to dig deeper.
- Seal entry points during the day: most rodent activity we notice in Plano, TX and surrounding areas we service, is during the evening and early morning times. There is a lot behind why this is, but in short most of the time you can seal a home up between the hours of 10am-5pm without the rodents being active in your attic/crawl space. So it can be very simple sometimes, seal the home up during this time frame and you should be good to go. If you are doing this when dealing with rats or mice, we suggest setting a few snap traps in the attic as well and checking them about 7-10 days later to make sure there were no rodents left in the attic during the seal up.
- Snap traps and baiting: This is the oldest method that everyone has probably done at some point. Set the traps along the areas the mice/rats are heard the most/the most dropping activity is seen and check them periodically. Doing this along with setting rodent bait stations with proper bait can a lot of times keep the rodent population under control, if you catch them early. Keep in mind this obviously does not stop them from still entering your home.
Does a lot of this sound like too much work, worried that you may miss some entry points or simply too much time for you? That is what we are here for! At Preferred Pest Management we stand behind our rodent exclusion services with a one year warranty with a renewable option for our customers in the Plano, TX and surrounding areas. If you do not live in our service area, we highly suggest you get at least 2-3 opinions and quotes to feel out who has the best plan, who is going to use the best methods, and who stands behind their work. We often lose out on jobs because we aren’t the cheapest, however a lot of the time these same customers contact us months later to tell us how bad the work ended up being done, and this ends up costing them more as we usually have to take everything off the previous company did. So be objective, get a few opinions and go with your heart on who you think will do the best work.
We hope you learned a lot of information on Rodents in this blog today, and we would love for you to follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out on any future blogs, helping you learn more about pests and wildlife. Have a blessed day everyone!