You’ve inspected the crawlspace for termites, you’ve checked the kitchen for ants, and you’ve searched the closets for spider webs. But, have you checked your attic?
Attics get overlooked, a lot. They’re hot, they can be hard to get into, and, sometimes, they’re hard for non-professionals to walk around in.
Maybe it’s obvious, but winter is the best time for attic inspections— especially in Phoenix. Here, we can expect attics to reach temperatures over 150 degrees, which are unsafe for anyone to be in. While there are some challenges to inspecting your attic, it’s a necessary task that can help keep your home pest-free. Homeowners often think that nothing can survive in their attics over the hot summer months, but the number of invaders we find can be shocking.
Major problems can occur when a long-standing issue goes undetected due to a lack of inspection.
Five Common Phoenix Pest Control Issues in Attics
Here in Phoenix, we have a few common pest control issues typically found in attics.
During attic inspections, we can see damage to roof joists and rafters from termites. Shelter tubes can be found hanging from the ceilings, as well. A great termite control plan isn’t complete without an attic inspection. Other signs can include:
- Flying termite swarms on your property
- Piles of wings left behind after swarms
- Crumbling, damaged wood
Roof rats are some of the sneakiest invaders you can have in your home and are a major nuisance in Arizona. These creatures live their lives off the ground, traveling through power lines, trees, and over creative avenues. More active in the winter and spring, winter is a great time to inspect your attic for signs of roof rats.
Because they only need a hole the size of a quarter to get into your home, you might not even be able to see how they’re getting in from the ground. It’s important to keep these rodents out of your home because they can transmit diseases to both people and animals, and cause massive amounts of damage by consuming and contaminating food.
Bats, like rodents, also only need small cracks or holes to make your attic their home. If you suspect you’re sharing your home with bats, do not take care of the problem with DIY methods, this is a wildlife removal best left to the professionals. Bats can transmit diseases, such as rabies, and their guano (poop) has been known to cause health problems in humans. They can also introduce bat bugs into your home, similar to bed bugs.
Signs of bats include:
- Guano around your home
- Oily streaks around potential entrances to your home
- Strong odors in the attic
- Stains on your ceiling
- Sounds in the attic
An attic inspection can help keep a bat problem from becoming more expensive and extensive around your home.
While many think that pigeons are docile animals that are found in big cities rather than homes, they’re actually pretty destructive animals. When they find their way into your home, they can cause extreme damage to your insulation by using it as a nest.
Pigeons have also been known to bring in excessive debris, diseases, and viruses in their excrement. Bird mites and ticks can also hitchhike on pigeons, causing more problems for your family and pets.
Bees will infest homes in attics and walls— especially to establish a hive. The dangers of stinging pests, the mess involved with melting honey, and the pests who are attracted to your home because of the honey brings many additional problems.
Never assume that your attic is safe from pests! All attics should be inspected at least once per year and, to ensure a quality inspection is made, do it when it’s cool enough to spend a little more time in a tight and uncomfortable area like an attic.