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Rodents in the Attic

rodent attic

02.11.2006 - Here I am, on a typical rodent in the attic job. This suburban house had a fairly large rodent infestation in the attic. The rats were climbing the walls of the house and chewing their way into a wooden eave, which had a relatively flimsy screen for a vent. It was easy for the rats to detect the attic space, and to chew their way in.

Rodents often seek out attics to live in for many reasons. The primary reason is for a warm, safe, dry, place in which to live. The rats can smell the air of the attic, they can detect the airflow with their whiskers, and they know that there's a cavity in which to live, so they work hard to get in. They use attics as a place to spend their time when not foraging. They also use attics as a safe place in which to create a nest to have and raise their young, as do many different species of animals. The particular rat in this photo, the Roof Rat, loves to live in attics in particular, since this rat likes to live in high places in general.

I came to the house and I gave it a full inspection. I saw the chewed-out openings in the soffit, along with several vents that were never screened. It was very easy for rodents to get inside this attic. As with any rodent job, the most important part of the process was in sealing the entire structure so that no more rats could get in or out any more. At the time of sealing, a few rats are stuck inside, and for these I set about 15 rat traps throughout the attic. It's very important to set the traps in the areas the rats are most likely to travel, which is often along the edge of the attic, near the eaves. This is why you see me in the above photo crawling about near the edge of the attic. Any good wildlife removal specialist should have no problems crawling into all the little nooks and crannies where the critters live. I trapped and removed all the rats, and the rodent problem in the attic was permanently solved in less than a week.

Mice are also common rodents that live in attics. The methods for dealing with them are the exact same as rats, except the traps are smaller. Squirrels are another kind of attic rodent, but they are removed with one-way exclusion doors or repeater traps mounted on the entry exit hole. Or you can mount live cage traps to the roof of the house. Some trappers use a type of lethal trap, a large tube snap trap or body grip trap. But these traps are not necessary.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Rats page for tips and advice.
Other rodents: Or visit my Get Rid of Mice page or Get Rid of Squirrels page.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.


Roof rats are a common problem in the southern part of The United States. Roof rats love to climb and therefore they invade roofs and attics with ease. Because the top parts of our homes are out of sight and out of mind, it is easy to miss damage to the exterior that allows rats inside. It doesn’t take many rats to create a problem. These pests breed quickly, reach sexual maturity quickly, and have multiple litters throughout the course of a year. Roof rats need to be removed as soon as the problem is discovered. Yard maintenance and home maintenance is important, especially with roof rats because they like to climb. This type of rat loves heavy vegetation, so keep your trees and hedges pruned. The only surefire way to prevent rats is to keep your home sealed against them. Once all points of entry are blocked, the rats can be trapped with snap traps and removed without the worry of more entering to replace those you just captured. Despite all the other products on the market, snap traps are still the most effective means of rat trapping. Glue traps have a high rate of failure and a rat will forever avoid them if it has escaped one before.

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