Those aren’t the sound of reindeer on your roof. If you hear scurrying or thumps, you have an attic invader trying to seek refuge in your home from the cold winter elements. The four most common are all rodents; squirrels, bats, rats, and mice. They all have the potential to transmit diseases and can cause extensive damage to your home.
Identifying the Nuisance
It is difficult to identify which rodent has moved in based on the sounds they make above your head at night. The best way to know what they are is by their gifts they leave behind. The good news is that if you are squeamish about rodents, you don’t even need to do that to call your pest control company. They will come out and not only identify the nuisance, but effectively remove it and show you how they gained entry so you can make necessary repairs.
Examining the Evidence
If you do feel up for taking a peek though, here are some defining characteristics.
Mice will leave tiny dark brown droppings that look more like grains of rice. They might bulge slightly in the middle and lighten with time.
Rats will leave blackish droppings that are slightly curved and measure almost ½ inch long. They also tend to get lighter over time.
Bat droppings, also known as guano, will be harder to identify as they tend to hang from the rafters and defecate around the eaves when they enter and exit the attic. However, if you have had a population for a while, they will be very easy to spot as they pile up rather than being scattered around like other rodents who forage. You can also examine outside your home for their excrement under eaves or stuck on bricks near the roof.
Squirrels leave droppings very similar to rat droppings and look just like oblong pellets. They can be around ½ inch long and tend to be dark brown when fresh and get lighter with time. They are only slightly wider than rat excrement.
It is important to note that all rodent feces is similar in appearance and they all contain extremely dangerous viruses and diseases. You should never disturb the droppings that you find. Leave that to the experts trained in rodent waste removal. Bat guano especially as it releases a deadly airborne lung disease.