When it comes to the peaceful sanctity of our homes, one of the last things we want to imagine is that there might be unwanted guests living within our walls. While we all enjoy the occasional chirping of birds or the soothing sound of rain, critters in the wall can be a homeowner's worst nightmare. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various critters that might take up residence in your walls, the signs to look out for, and most importantly, how to deal with this unwelcome situation effectively.
Before we delve into the solutions, it's crucial to identify the potential critters that may be lurking within your walls. Here are some common intruders:
Mice and rats are notorious for finding their way into homes, especially during the colder months. They can squeeze through tiny openings and quickly establish nests within wall voids.
Signs of infestation: Look for droppings, gnawed wires, or scratching sounds within your walls.
Raccoons are a common invader of attics. Interestingly, many times they are hunting the mice and rats that got into the attic first! The raccoons come for dinner and stay for the hospitable environment. Raccoons are the most destructive animal to have in your wall or attic. They are not only bigger and stronger, but their feces is much larger and can carry just as dangerous of diseases as rodents' droppings.
Signs of infestation: Raccoons will often get in through attic vents or around the eaves. Raccoons need a ~4" or larger gap to gain entry. Droppings concentrated in one area, known as a "latrine."
These creatures are agile climbers and may find their way into your attic or walls. They can create nests and cause structural damage while also being noisy neighbors.
Signs of infestation: Scratching or scurrying sounds, nesting materials in your attic or walls, or visible entry points. Squirrels need a ~1.5" or larger gap to gain entry.
Opossums can also make their home in your walls or attic, but they are more rare than the other animals already mentioned. Opossums are less aggressive in gaining access, so they usually only enter when animals have already been in a home or commercial building.
Signs of infestation: Nocturnal activity, large droppings spread throughout the space.
Now that we've identified potential intruders, let's explore how to handle them:
Prevention is the first line of defense. Identify and seal any gaps or cracks in your home's exterior that critters could use to enter. This includes checking windows, doors, vents, and utility openings.
For smaller critters like mice or squirrels, humane trapping and removal is a compassionate way to deal with the issue. Once captured, release them far from your home.
For more severe infestations, consider enlisting the services of professional pest control experts. They have the experience and tools to safely remove critters and prevent future infestations.
After critters have been removed, assess and repair any damage to your home's structure. This step is crucial to ensure your home remains secure and free from future intruders.
To prevent future infestations, maintain a regular cleaning and maintenance routine. Keep your home clutter-free, and inspect for any potential entry points regularly.
Dealing with critters in the wall can be a challenging situation for any homeowner. However, by identifying the culprits, taking appropriate action, and implementing preventive measures, you can ensure the safety and comfort of your home. If you suspect critters have infiltrated your walls, don't delay; take action today to address the issue promptly.