Signs There’s a Big Pest in Your Attic

RaccoonWhen we were kids attics often seemed like creepy places where things hide out in dark corners. As adults we realize that isn’t entirely untrue. Except instead of ghosts and ghoulies, there’s something much more scary that lives in the attic – large, destructive pests.

During the cold months it’s not uncommon for larger pests to move into the space upstairs since it is relatively warm, private and rarely frequented by people. If you’re experiencing any of the signs listed below you may have an unwanted guest in your attic.

Types of Large Pests That Hide Out in Attics

One of the most obvious signs is actually seeing the pest in the attic, on your roof or around your home. These include:

  • Rats
  • Bats
  • Squirrels
  • Birds
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums

Scratching Noises Overhead

One of the first signs of an attic infestation is hearing noises coming from overhead. Sounds of scurrying, scratching and crawling are often heard, especially if a rat has gotten inside. And the noise doesn’t have to come directly from the attic. That’s where most of the activity is likely to be, but they can also be heard as they move about within the walls.

Nighttime Activity

Many of the animals that hide out in your attic are nocturnal creatures. If the unexplained noises coming from above are happening only at night this is a good indication that a large pest is in the attic.

Unexplained Excrement

One of the least appealing signs is droppings. The larger the droppings, the larger the animal is that left them. If they are small pellet-shaped droppings you likely have either mice or bats. Longer oblong-shaped droppings indicate the presence of a rat. Squirrels, opossums and raccoons have thicker oblong-shaped droppings that are around 1” for a squirrel and up to 3” for a raccoon.

Something Smells Strange

In addition to seeing the droppings left behind by pests, you may actually smell them first. Opossums and bats both have very strong odors, which can be the first (or in the case of bats only) sign that they are in the attic.


Even though your house is warm and comfortable, many pests will go one step further to make it their own home. Rats and squirrels in particular are notorious for creating nests of leaves, sticks and paper. If you see a nest when inspecting the attic you’ve definitely got critters up there.

Missing Shingles and Screens

Notice something missing outside of your home? If shingles or screens are suddenly missing or loose there’s a good chance it didn’t happen on its own. Unlike rats and mice, which look for an opening that already exists, raccoons will make their way into an attic by removing screens and shingles to create an access point.

Insulation in the Vents

All pests love ripping into the insulation of your heating and cooling system. If you see insulation in the vents or the HVAC doesn’t seem to be working as well, there’s a chance that an attic pest has created a hole in your duct-work.

Does your attic seem to be a lot more active lately? Give us a call at Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. Our pest control technicians can take a look at the problem and provide an honest assessment of the situation.

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