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Keeping Your Attic Safe from Bats and Other Wildlife

The attic is a very important part of the house. It insulates the home from the outside air, keeping us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As a homeowner, you must maintain your attic to preserve air quality and energy efficiency.

Attics, however, are very attractive to bats and other wildlife. They get inside without us knowing it, damaging the insulation, contaminating the air, and costing thousands in repairs by the time they are discovered. The best this you can do for your attic is to prevent this from happening.

Here’s what you can do to protect your attic from an animal invasion.

Flying pipistrelle bats in attic

Inspect the Attic for Signs of Wildlife

Check on the attic before doing any renovations to the roof. If you don’t, you risk trapping animals inside. See if your insulation is in good shape and if there are any animals nesting inside of it. Bring a flashlight with you and check the insulation for signs of mold, rot, or animal feces. Mice will sometimes leave burrow holes in the insulation, while squirrels will dirty the insulation with branches and leaves.

Bat and Mouse droppings are very similar. Both are very small and black, though bat droppings are usually concentrated in the same areas, directly underneath the beams from which they roost. Squirrel droppings are a little larger, while raccoon droppings look like dog poop. These often appear in piles.

If you’re worried about bats, listen carefully for chirping sounds. Use your flashlight to look between the rafters and little nooks in the ceiling of the attic. Bats like to squeeze into these gaps and sleep there during the day. Call a bat control specialist if you see any signs of an infestation. They will remove the animals safely and humanely.

Seal the Edges of the Roof

Bats, squirrels, and mice often get into attics by squeezing their way through the tiny gaps that form along the edges of the roof. With time, the roof’s drip line may separate from the framing of the house. Using a ladder, carefully examine this part of the roof and look for openings. Gently lift the shingles to check the structure underneath.

If you find any gaps, seal them with mesh, flashing, or caulking. Screw the material right into the roof. If it’s too difficult, contact a roofer for repairs. Remember that bats can fit through gaps one-quarter of an inch. Every entry point counts!

Seal the Gaps Along the Soffits

In some homes, there is a gap between the soffits of the roof and the home’s walls. These are common entry points for bats because they can fly right into them. Look for these openings with a flashlight or by running your fingers along the edges of the soffits. Check for grease streaks, too – bats will repeatedly use the same opening, rubbing their bodies against the wall and leaving marks. Seal these gaps with silicone caulking.

Cover Roof Vents with Mesh

Cover your roof vents with a strong mesh if you can get on the roof. This will prevent squirrels from chewing their way through. Raccoons will also be unable to tear the material off. Choose a 16-gauge, quarter-inch, galvanized steel mesh. Shape it to fit on top of the vents, then screw it right into the roof.

Cut another rectangle of mesh and place it on the rubber mat that surrounds the plumbing vent, as well. Finish the job by capping the chimney with mesh. Bats, raccoons, and other creatures like to nest in chimneys because they are a lot like hollow trees. Contact your local wildlife removal company for help if it’s too much trouble.

Trim trees and maintain the yard

Animals prefer to nest in areas that are quiet and overgrown. Catch up on some landscaping to help keep pests out. Mow the lawn, get rid of weeds, and eliminate any leaf piles surrounding the house. Rake the leaves when they fall and use them for compost or bag them up for collection. Rodents and insects like to hide in piles of organic materials.

Finally, trim off any tree branches that hang over the roof. Squirrels will use these to reach the attic. They also risk breaking off in the winter and damaging the roof. Cut back your vines and trim the hedges. A little maintenance goes a long way.


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