Identity

How to identify your unwanted guest

How can you identify what wild animal is in your home?

Each animal is unique in the type of damage, noise and scat they leave behind. Below is an example of some of the most common animals which can invade your residence or outbuildings.

Raccoons emit growling or chittering noises mostly in the nighttime hours. Baby raccoons are also very vocal when attempting to attract the attention of their mother. You also may hear heavier walking noise in the attic. Most raccoons found in the attic of a home will be females looking for a nesting area and have been known to weight up to 40 pounds. If you enter your attic and find larger droppings such as those left by a small dog it is most likely a raccoon.

Squirrels tend to be active in the daytime and you most likely will hear light scratching noises while they are running around. Squirrel droppings are small but numerous. You may also notice wood that has been chewed, with leaves and sticks along with other outside material brought into the attic as nesting material. If you hear noises and your lights are flickering there is a strong possibility wiring has been damaged. Not all animals opt for the attic. Some, such as skunks or opossum may decide to take up residency under a porch, garage or outside shed.

Skunks normally are 4 to 10 pounds and are fairly easy for the homeowner to identify, especially when they become frightened by the family pet! Skunks are nocturnal animals as are opossum.

Opossum will enter and live in an attic or under sheds or garages. Should they gain access to your attic they are very destructive. Opossum droppings are the size of a small to medium dogs and they are omnivorous, eating carcasses or whatever is available. They have 50 extremely sharp teeth. Most opossum are not aggressive however, as with any animal when cornered they may react. The good news is they are slower moving creatures. The bad news is they are short lived. Should they die in your attic or wall the smell is terrible and the damage could be extensive from the decomposition.

Bats

Bats are nocturnal animals and do not become active until dusk. The most common way to identify if a bat or bats have entered your attic or crawlspace is when they are leaving for nightly forage. The second way is bat droppings which emit a strong ammonia type smell. It is recommended a homeowner never try and trap bats. Exclusion methods are the safest method in removal of bats.

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