Scratching Sounds In The Attic Or Walls

Hearing scratching sounds in the attic or walls of your home can be a disconcerting experience. You aren't sure what type of animal is in your walls, how many there are, how long they have been there, or if they have caused damage. In some cases, the scratching sound can be the first indication that there is an unwanted visitor in your attic or walls, giving you the warning you need to kick them out before damage occurs. When you hear these noises or other related sounds, you will want to investigate right away so you can take care of the problem as soon as possible.

Rule Out Non-Animal Sounds

Sometimes you may think that you hear scratching sounds in your home, but that is not actually the case. The most obvious thing to rule out first is a human intruder, such as a burglar. That should only take seconds to do, and then you will want to make sure you aren't simply hearing normal sounds in your home. Make sure that the scratching or similar sound isn't your pipes and ductwork expanding or contracting, wind rustling through the siding or gutters, machinery vibrating, or siding heat up or cooling down.

Listen Carefully

Once you have ruled out the possibility of the scratching being due to non-animal sounds, it is time to pause and listen very carefully. You want to pay attention to every aspect of the sound from the time of the day it occurs at, where it takes place, how fast the scratching is, whether it sounds like footsteps, and what activity it sounds like. This information will help you identify the animal and come up with an appropriate and effective plan of action. To make the most of your listening, try to be familiar with the types of scratching the most common home invaders make.

Bat Sounds

If bats become stuck in your walls, they will tend to scratch as well as squeak due to their disorientation. They do not usually want to be in the walls so if the sound is coming from there, it will be more active as they are trying to leave. Because of their nocturnal nature, the majority of the scratching from bats will occur at night. When bats are living in your attic, you may or may not hear them squeak, but there will be scurrying sounds with the scratching ones.

Bird Sounds

Most of the time, birds enter homes looking for somewhere to make their nest, but they can get stuck in the walls or attic if they aren't careful. Birds who are trapped in these areas will chirp as well as scratch in their attempts to get free. It is also possible for birds to hit their surroundings using their wings or claw at areas. It is more common to hear scratching sounds from birds early in the morning as this is when birds wake up to feed.

Raccoon Sounds

Raccoons are another nocturnal animal, meaning that scratching that mainly occurs at night may indicate this animal. These creatures are likely to enter the attic for shelter, making a cozy spot in the insulation. At night, they may scratch at the drywall or simply run back and forth across your attic. If an animal scratching in your attic is being otherwise loud, there is a good chance that it is a raccoon as they are some of the loudest uninvited visitors.

Rodent Sounds

Scratching sounds are the most common of all complaints homeowners have about mice and rats. These can occur in the walls or in the ceilings via the attic. Like bats and raccoons, rodents tend to make the most noise at night while looking for food. They will especially make noise during the winter at night when searching for shelter.

Squirrel Sounds

Squirrels will also do more than just scratch; they tend to also jump around and scurry across the floor of the attic. These animals are most active during the day and they tend to make the most noise when leaving or entering your home to look for food. Tree squirrels in particular are likely to make your attic into a home, so pay attention to this possibility if you notice scratching.

What To Do

After you have figured out what animal is making the scratching sounds in your walls or attic, you will want to take steps to remove them. Exclusion devices or one-way doors work for the vast majority of animals and tend to be the most humane and effective option. You can also hire a wildlife professional to help you, which is a good idea if you aren't sure which animal is making the sound or whether there are baby animals present. Either way, you will want to evict the animal from your home, seal up their entry point, and repair any damage they have caused.

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