So you’ve heard noises in your attic. You may have a pest or wildlife nuisance living upstairs. It’s important to pay attention to the sound you hear. Occasionally we hear noises in the attic when we’re sleeping because everything is quiet. There are a few things to consider before you call a wildlife professional. Am i hearing these noises on a windy day/night? Sometimes the wind makes attachments on the roof which are not secured tightly squeak. If you’ve considered thoroughly and you’ve concluded that these noises are there majority of the time, now you’ve reached the part where you can identify which sort of pest is causing it. These guidelines are not 100% correct in diagnosis and may be different in actuality of what you may expect. A full and proper inspection must be performed to ensure accuracy of the problem.

Squirrel identification:

A squirrel will sound like a scatter in your attic. You will hear them sprinting non-stop across your attic. They will also chew followed by running. Squirrels are the easiest interpretation when it comes to sound identification. How did they get in? A number of different ways, an old abandoned raccoon entry point in the junctions of the roof. Or a chewed ventilation cover or septic pipe plastic cover. Worst case scenario a roof-line gap which is now chewed and probably letting rain and snow in.

A squirrel will be active through-out the day, as it enter and leaves it’s den (your attic). These noises are heard just a bit before Dawn and after Sun-set.

Misinterpretation:

Mice or rats. Mice and rats can sound similar when scratching the ceiling from the attic. The differentiating point is the scattering noise that squirrels make. Also mice and rats tend to scratch the same area of the ceiling or walls.

Raccoon identification:

Raccoons are very hard to ignore. You’ll wake up in the middle of the night to a sound of heavy walking, as if a burglar is in your attic. Raccoons are noisy and will wake you up at night on their way out to scavenge for food. And then again in the morning on their way back to sleep. These sounds will usually be heard between the hours of 7pm-6am depending on the season. Although it may vary due to weather temperatures and/or sickness.

How did they get in? They can pop the lid off your ventilation covers. Sometimes they dig into your (weak plywood due to age and water) roof. A few other probable areas are soffits. These are weak and flimsy. Raccoons will push these soffits in and enter your attic. Soffits are weak especially in the junctions of the roof where raccoons can sit and be situated to exert maximum force. Alternative entry routes include squirrel entry points which the raccoon will enlarge over time to enter. And finally chimneys.

Interesting fact: raccoons eat rodents and squirrels which is an attractant into your attic.

Misinterpretation:

Opossums can sound similar to raccoons, these cases are more rare. In the past we have found opossums within the attic which were initially suspected to be raccoons.

Mice or Rat identification:

Mice and rats will sound like constant scratching of one area in the house, or multiple areas but in the same place. In other words there won’t be running. You may hear the mouse or rat moving but it will not be as fast as a squirrel scattering. You may only hear mice or rats when your insulation levels are low. This may be because they are walking on solid material instead of your insulation which will amplify the noise as well. These noises may be heard at any point of the day.

Misinterpretation:

Please read the squirrel section above.


Other wildlife are less likely to make noise within your attic and are usually spotted visually entering your attic. These are birds and bats. You may find visual signs to identify them. For birds look for white droppings on the walls or shingles and corners around the home and side vents. Bats are similar but instead you should look for their guano. These are bat droppings and they look dark brown and about x1.5 of grains of rice. Visually they look rounded on the edges and generally uniform in shape. You can find them embedded onto your side wall or the ground right below the entry point.

What to do now? call us and let us help you solve your problem.

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