January is the time for resolutions. From getting in better shape to saving more and spending less, the new year is filled with resolutions to improve.
Clark, your neighborly pest control expert, is making a resolution to help California and northwestern Nevada homeowners improve their knowledge of pests and better protect their families, homes, and yards from unwelcome pests.
Over the next few months, we’ll go room by room – from the attic to the crawlspace – to identify potential pest hot spots and what conditions might be attracting them. In this edition, Clark climbs into the attic to identify common pests that might set up housekeeping there.
Strange sounds coming from your attic? They could be caused by pests scratching and scurrying about. Although the attic may be merely a storage space to you, it often can provide a welcome place for pest intruders, including rodents, bats, raccoons, and spiders.
These small rodents prefer to live in dark, secluded areas, and they often invade attics. Exposed, insulation, packing supplies, and other storage items provide perfect nest-building materials for house mice. Also, getting up to the attic is no problem for them, because they are excellent climbers and can easily scale branches that come into contact with structures.
As their name would suggest, roof rats prefer to live in the upper parts of buildings, such as attics. These rodents are known for their extraordinary climbing ability, and can easily use nearby trees to reach the upper levels of buildings. Roof rat pressure has been in the rise in California, and these outliers are able to squeeze through access points as small as a quarter, and can gain entry to a home by following pipes or gnawing through materials such as wood, aluminum siding, and drywall.
There are 25 different species of bats in California, with the most common being the big brown and Mexican free-tailed bat. Big brown bats can roost in an attic quickly, turning into an attic-sized bat cave. Able to squeeze through openings as small as a half inch, these flying creatures will take advantage of architectural gaps near the edges of rooflines, crawling further into structures once they’ve entered. Big brown bats prefer to stay in the same place all year long, and they can create big problems if infestations are left unchecked. Brown bats are protected by law in most states, so anyone suspecting an infestation should contact animal control or Clark for assistance.
Cluster flies get their common name from their habit of forming compact clusters, typically in wall voids and attics. They are widely distributed, and can be a nuisance in the fall, winter, or spring – the fall when they enter homes to hibernate, and again in the spring when they attempt to leave the structure.
Squirrels and raccoons
Despite their name, some types of tree squirrels will find their way into attics. The attic and its insulation provide a perfect refuge for tree squirrels to overwinter. Unfortunately, that perfect refuge also makes reaching these furry invaders more challenging, which could result in costly repairs. Raccoons use their strength and expert climbing abilities to get into homes and attics by sneaking through poorly screened vents or gaps in eaves, but they have also been known to rip right through roofing materials in order to gain entry.
Call or text Clark at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) if you’re experiencing problems with any of these pests in and around your home. You can also drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how we can serve your pest control and lawn care needs.
Until next time, I’m Clark, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.