Thumps and bumps in the attic at night or the pitter patter of tiny feet overhead could mean you have uninvited guests in your roof. Attics and ceiling cavities are common places for mice, rats and possums to make their temporary homes, especially in the colder months. But if left unchecked you could be looking at providing accommodation for the whole family, and their mates! Potential issues with rodents and wildlife in your roof can run to damaged items, gnawed electrical cables causing fire, plus the spread of disease and fleas.
What to listen for
Any noises that involve thumping, scurrying, scratching and chewing, are usually associated with animals in the roof. Rats and mice are the most common culprits and like to run around in the eaves and get into small cavities in between walls. They are most active at night, and you’ll hear them scavenging for food, gathering materials for nests and chewing through insulation and wires.
Possums are also active at night, and they like to climb, so if you have a hole in your roof and tree branches anywhere near your house, then it’s a no-brainer for a possum. Your roof will be a warm, safe environment for a female to have her young, and she won’t have just one! Possums make the most noise when they’re entering and leaving the roof, but generally sound like someone slow and heavy is walking around up there.
What to look for
The signs of uninvited guests are easily spotted. Tiny footprints in the dust are a giveaway as is damage to your belongings, vents, rafters and roof sidings. Droppings, urination stains and nests are all associated with rats, mice and possums. Possums are the worst offenders at leaving a lot of droppings, and they have a strong odour that will attract other possums into your home.
How do I get rid of them?
Unless you’re an experienced at humanely trapping animals, then the first step is to call a pest expert like Cure All and have them removed professionally. Removing a possum from your roof is especially a job for a pro as legally they are protected in Australia, and there are rules and regulations for trapping and releasing.
Once your attic friends are removed, there are things you’ll need to do to stop them returning. (Note: be sure to protect yourself from potential diseases by wearing a mask and gloves when cleaning any area that has been infested with rodents.)
- Clean the area to remove droppings and odours that can attract them back
- Remove material used as bedding or a food source
- Check around windows, drains, air ducts and vents for entry points
- Seal or fill in holes or cracks used as entry points
- Cut down or prune any trees that hang over your roof
- Keep an eye on your home’s exterior for any new entry points.
Remember, acting quickly when you hear any strange noises in your roof is your best defence. Get in touch with the pest removal experts immediately and you’re less likely to experience major damage to your property.