What's that noise in my attic!

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Are you hearing things late at night up in your attic? Does it sound like there's something up there scampering around early in the morning when you first get up? Or are you hearing noises that sound more like someone bowling at 2:00 A.M. in the morning? These are some of the questions we may ask if you call us to help figure out just what this "intruder" might be. No doubt some of these questions might sound a bit odd but after doing this for so many years, we know the right questions to ask to help you get the right solution for the problem.

For starters, there are many animals that can gain access to the average attic. Common routes of entry into this vast space include gable vents, soffits and construction "gaps" commonly found along facia boards, behind gutters and under overhanging shingles all around the roof line. The attic space found in most any home represents a dry and safe place to live for wildlife. Once found, most animals will quickly take advantage of the warm insulation and sheltered environment the average attic will provide. If you're hearing sounds in your attic there is a good chance some unwanted animal has gotten inside and is now making this space their new home. To help figure out what this invading animal might be, we've compiled some questions and helpful videos which explain what you can do right now as a form of "self evaluation". Our "how to" videos explain what you should be looking and listening for, how to perform a thorough inspection of your attic and what to look for on the outside of your home to identify key entry points. At the end of the second video, you should be able to narrow the choice of animal invaders to a short list.

To get started, you'll need to answer some basic questions….

An important clue to the animals identity is based on the time you hear activity. Is it in the morning, day, evening or middle of the night? Do you hear the sound throughout the entire attic or only in one spot? Do you hear the sound in the walls of your house or only up above in the attic? On the outside of the home, have you noted any animal climbing on your house or roof?  Do you have a pet dog or cat and if yes, have you noted them paying particular attention to any section or part of your home a bit more than normal? Have you recently found any problem with your roof, gutters, siding, gable vents or other part of the outside structure? And what about the attic itself; have you gone up to inspect and see what's happening? If so, did you find any tunnels in the insulation or droppings in any area? Did you enter the attic in the middle of a bright sunny day and note sunlight trickling into the attic space or was it all dark and seemingly "tight"? Does the attic contain a furnace and if yes, did you look it over for animal droppings or any other sign of animal activity such as paw prints? What about the gable vents; do they look secure with screening that hasn't been cut or weakened in any spot? And what about the roof itself; did it appear to have any leaks or bad sections?

Once you get answers to these questions, you should be able to narrow down the list of potential animal invaders. The most common animals include BATS, BIRDS, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, ROOF RATS, SQUIRRELS and FLYING SQUIRRELS. It's actually quite rare that MICE move into any attic and though we sometimes find SNAKES in this space, they seem to come around only after there is something for them to feed upon like rats or flying squirrels. And of the aforementioned animals, by far the most common are the "big three" – roof rats, squirrels and flying squirrels.

At this point you should view the video's below. After watching them and answering the questions listed above, give us a call on our toll free 1-800-877-7290. Based on years of experience, we'll be able to detail a plan that you can use to both identify the intruder and get rid of it.



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Comments on What's that noise in my attic! Leave a Comment

May 20, 2010

Rosie T @ 9:26 am #

Thank you so much for these videos. I've been hearing noises in our "attic" crawl space for a few days… based on your info (still need to tell my husband to get up there and check it out) I'm thinking its either flying squirrils or rats (ugh… cue shivers). We'll be checking that out soon… thanks!

November 19, 2010
December 14, 2010

Brad @ 10:59 pm #

Very helpful. Thanks a bunch.

January 6, 2011

The Howards @ 12:56 am #

Hey there!

I have been hearing the craziest things over the past few months and wanted to run something by you. Today I heard growling coming from the vents in the walls. It appears that whatever it was was not actually in the air system, but just above it. It went back up into the attic and continued to growl and even sounded like it hissed at one point. I have watched both of the videos and looked over some of your other very helpful links, but did not see anything really about CATS being in the attic. I have an inside only cat that was curious but not alarmed during the incident. I don't have access to the attic really and just wanted to see if you had any experience with cats in the attic or some other animal that sounds JUST like a cat. Any suggetions????

Thank you for your time!

January 10, 2011

Ellen @ 12:37 am #

I hear rattling in the walls in my bedroom at night. Have any ideas what this could be?

January 30, 2011

Kristin from PA @ 12:27 am #

Thank you so much for taking the time to make these in order to educate those unfamiliar with attic pests. Quite possibly the most informative videos I have ever seen.

April 13, 2011

Karen Webb @ 8:36 am #

I live in a 2-story townhouse with vaulted ceilings on the top floor. When it rains, I hear activity between the ceiling and the roof – maybe 2 or 3 creatures constantly running. As soon as the rain stops, they leave.

I have had 2 pest control companies to inspect the property. Both companies said they could not find an entry point nor did they see any droppings.

What can I do to end this annoying invasion and noise?

Thank you very much.

May 3, 2011

charles @ 7:48 pm #

I hear somthing in my attic at night and it sound big I look in the attic when it happen but can not see anything

May 17, 2011

guest @ 6:13 am #

We have heard noises in the attic very infrequently…three times now about 2 weeks apart. Always at about 5:00 in the morning. The animal is heavy enough to cause the ceiling to creek. There are no droppings and no damage…just some matted down insulation. There are no trees for it to gain access and our down spouts are connected to hoses that run under ground and have perforated caps on the end. My husband has thoroughly inspected the attic after each occurance and finds no animal or babies. It is a huge mystery to us. Does this sound familiar at all to you? Thank You for any help!

May 24, 2011

Nicole @ 6:52 pm #

we have been hearing noises inside the roof early in the mornings and in the afternoons. The attic is only big enough for a person to crawl in. My dad found a hole and coverd it up… based on what i've read here, i'm not sure if that was a good idea. Anyway, based in the size of the hole, it might be a rat or a squirrel. thank you

May 26, 2011

Binita @ 9:39 pm #

We just moved into a newly constructed home and a few months later began to hear running in the attic with a scraping sound. We found out there was a surreal infestation and the contractor took care of sealing the roof perimeter and getting rid of the squirrels. He still has to change the insulation and fix all the wiring. Now, about two months later we now face a noise in the attic right above the bedroom. It wakes us up every night around 5am. It sounds lime it is scraping into the wood above us. The noise lags for about half an hour and we don't hear it again really until the. Next morning at about the same time. What do you think could be the problem this time? We did have all our trees cut away from the roof areas and the roof sealed. Please advise asap…..thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!

August 14, 2011

Linda @ 1:53 pm #

Can lizards sound like a pack rat in the attic – hear off and on early evening then it loudest around 3 am then around 6 we live in southwest have caught pack rats squirrels recently, but now traps are empty and noise continue….there are large lizards runing around our house during the day. Have seen lizards go through cracks in house….?
Thanks!

September 15, 2011

guest @ 7:21 pm #

Been going on for a month, early morning- at dawn a few times during day and couple at night, called critter control, placed squirrel trap near attic exhaust fans. i've set mouse traps in attic and none have been approached. Sounds are like snapping…Any other ideas what this creature may be? Live in northeast Pennsylvania

October 5, 2011

Scarred @ 7:52 am #

I am hearing loud movement in my attick and the walls late at night. (between the hours of 11pm – 6am). I was sooo scared, I slept downstairs. I know that there is an opening under my roof in the back of the house. I know I need to get that closed up but before I do, I need to know exactly what type if creature is moving around up there. Is there a possibility that whatever it is can escape inside the house? What type of expenses I'm I look at?

October 15, 2011

freaked out @ 9:12 am #

For the past week I am hearing loud noises coming from my crawl space above my room. It sounds like something is slamming into things and moving furniture. It is quite loud!!! It happens around 2 am and lasts for about an hour. Any ideas on what "it" might be, please advise…… Thanks!

October 16, 2011

Sonny @ 2:37 am #

I hear noises in my ceiling all times through out the day but what ever is up there is MOST active between 2am – 3am, then 5am – 6am or 7ish. I hear it loudest in my bedroom. I have gotten so irritated with it that I have hit the ceiling with a broom stick and chased it (not visably chased it) but ran through my apartment from bedroom, to hall way to living room banging on the ceiling trying to make it stop, so this creature isn't limited to one spot. Mind you, I live in an apartment on the second floor. I am not on the top floor, so therefore I have no roof, also I have no attic and every site makes reference to attics and roofs. I'm stumped. My complex keeps brushing it off as its nothing. The noise isn't quiet like little pitter patter, its loud and actually sounds like what ever is up there cant see and runs into EVERYthing. I've been able to record the critter making noise while laying in my bed (to give you an example of how loud it is) I have been able to play back the sound clearly to friends. Please help. I live in michigan and am not sure if there are roof rats or flying squirrels where I live. What the heck is up there? I have no way of check for droppings. And nothing has fallen out of my heat/air vents in the ceiling (thank goodness).

November 30, 2011

Jen @ 5:11 pm #

I had the same problem last year that I have started to have this year. This only started a few days ago. I hear noises in my attic like foot steps or an animals claws on the ceiling. Last night it sounded as if the animal was gragging a cord across the ceiling. My attic is full length of my house. The animals seems to be in the same spot each time I hear it which is over my room which is close to my front porch. Could it be a squirrel?

Jen @ 5:12 pm #

This noise is always at night

January 17, 2012

kristine @ 5:16 am #

I am pretty sure we have a raccoon in our attic. I was up at 4:30 in the morning and I heard a lot of running around. Then last night I went up there and something growled at me.

January 18, 2012

Anne in Brooklyn @ 1:51 pm #

I rent the third floor of a house. Between the roof and me is a crawl space. I used to have problems with squirrels and an opossum, but since my landlady hired someone to patch up holes a couple months ago (after frequent complaints), I no longer hear loud obvious noises.

Now, above my bed, in the eaves, I hear light clicking/tapping noises. The sound does not travel throughout the room. It occurs in small sporadic bursts (of three to ten independent sounds) every few minutes for about an hour or two between 4am and 7:30. It usually subsides by the time the sun is completely up. Although the sound stays in one place any given morning, it has moved by a few feet from morning to morning. I guess what feels unique about it is that it doesn't seem like any animal is moving around.

At this point, I am not positive it is an animal, but my experience with the squirrels and the opossum have left me a little paranoid.

I haven't tried tapping on the ceiling, but depending on what the result is from the tapping test, any thoughts?

February 2, 2012

C in Minnesota @ 7:55 pm #

We moved into a rambler this past summer. My husband was living here and heard strange noises coming from the bedroom ceiling. The noise is like scratching and then you also hear them in the walls. They don't like music as when you play it they chirp. Sometimes it seems they're is something quite large up there. Our pest control guy told us to look up there and we found droppings about bat size around the opening of the door pretty much all over. We have the puffy type of insulation and do not want to walk around and smush it down so we weren't able to see any farther. It is a night animal; only makes noise during the night. Sometimes we don't hear it for a couple of days. When the weather is warmer or raining or snowing the noise gets real bad. Our bedroom faces south. Sometimes you'll hear it in the kitchen. We also found black pooh on the side of our house, which my pest guy said could indicate bats were getting in. It is winter here and we still hear it. Around 30 to 40 degrees right now. When it's really cold outside we are unlikely to hear it. Do you think we are dealing with bats ?

February 3, 2012

Sonny @ 1:56 am #

So I am back…sad to say. I haven't heard any noises in my ceiling since the last time I've post. Yet this evening (8:15pm to be exact) I hear wrestling noises on my front porch. I turn off my light (on the inside) and look out my front window and there it is, FINALLY I see it's a HUGE raccoon lager than a cat and small puppy tearing through the floor of my 2nd floor balcony. As excited as I was to finally find out what has been disturbing me the whole summer, I then start to realize that my pest may have come back! Is there a way that a raccoon that big fit through the space between the second and third floor ceiling? Or is it possible that i may have more than one type of critter problem? Also, are raccoons not scared of people? I shined the flash only cell phone at it and it didn't phase it. I tapped on my window and it came closer as if it was going to come in.

February 6, 2012

josh @ 2:27 pm #

Thanks for the informative video. Every night around 9 to 10pm I hear a "clawing on metal" sound from within my house likely coming from the roof (roof is metal). It lasts several seconds and I don't hear any other noises or activity on my roof before or after. I've had an exterminator check my attic for roof rats and he saw no signs of rats or other animals. He said my attic is sealed tight. However, my neighborhood in southeast FL is infested with roof rats and they've been climbing and nesting in my gutters – which has been fixed. He left a few snap traps and glue boards in the attic, but nothing has been caught after a month. However, I continue to hear "clawing on metal" sounds. What could this be? Could it be a night bird perching to eye for prey at night? Your video leads me to believe its a squirrel or something nesting in the roof but not in the attic? Thanks for your help.

February 19, 2012

DNA @ 7:56 am #

I recently had my roof fixed and now I hear something, but to be honest I heard something a few years ago, but in another room. At that time, I had a sign other go into the attic, he set traps and all types of things, but never saw anything. I have no clue what to do, but want this IT out of here or I'll be leaving my home for someone to have. I simply need suggestions on who to call besides GHOST busters – help me PLEASE!

DNA @ 8:25 am #

Adding to my last comment; I am in the washington DC metro area. I have sent my roofer an email to see what they can do, but do you have any recommendations for companies/individuals that can assist in my area?

DNA @ 8:47 am #

@Tech Support:
Thank you sooooooo much. I am on it right now… googling ;)

February 21, 2012

Pat @ 9:00 am #

I live in MA and the past few early mornings I have heard scratching in my attic. It has NOT been accompanied by any growls. I set a Havahart trap model 1030 (used mostly for large squirrels), over the past 2 nights. The first night I used peanut butter and apple slices I placed on a small cut out paper plate. I then placed the plate on the trap release hoping the animal would set off the trap when eating. The next morning the food and plate were gone and the trap never went off. Last night I placed the peanut butter directly on the trap plate with 3 apple slices on top. This morning 2 of the apple slices were gone but everything else was still as i left it. I have checked the attic and I haven't found any fecal matter. We are considering getting the next size up in cages but I am worried that if the animal is smaller than a raccoon it may not capture it. I am obviously a novice, any advice?

February 22, 2012

Amanda @ 11:36 am #

Our exterminator diagnosed our problem as roof rats. There are droppings trails in our attic and the storage compartment of a second floor bedroom, which connects to the attic. We have a Cape Cod-style home with an extremely steep-pitched roof, with peaks and gables. We discovered the point of entry, a hole, at the valley of the roof where the fascia & soffit meet. The problem is that the roofing board was cut too short and doesn't meet the fascia as shown in your video. The rat took advantage of the space and chewed another 1/2" in the roofing board & fascia to create a hole. One can see into our attic from the outside through this hole. The exterminator stated that the hole was too big too plug and that the 1 inch gap already existing between the boards was a port of entry for rodents. Our roof is 19 yrs old and the shingles brittle, so removing them to replace the boards, is not an option. We were told by our home inspector that the roof was a 25-30 yr roof, and we had at least 5 yrs left, which is what we banked on before we agreed to purchase it. We're not in a financial position to replace the roof this year. We just moved in July. It's become apparent to us that the seller knew he had a rat problem and tried to conceal it as upon further investigating we found "over the counter" rat traps placed under the plywood floor in the storage area. A saw was apparently used to cut a hole and hide the trap presumably to obscure it during a home inspection. Additionally, the seller used spray foam over the rat's hole & of course, the rats just chewed through that. The exterminator says the rats will just push any stuffing out of the way in the hole or just start another hole somewhere else between the boards. Is there anything we can do to prevent rats from getting through this space? I thought about draping steel mesh over the area, but I am not sure it will work. HELP, please.

February 24, 2012

Natalie @ 1:59 am #

Hi there, so it's almost 1 am here and I'm laying in my bed hearing these crazy loud noises in my bedroom ceiling. It's been going on a few days now this is the loudest I've heard it. My husband hears climbing/moving in the walls around 7-8 am eery morning. Then tonight I hear loud sounds kinda like bowling in the attic or as if a person is walking around up there. No smells and once we did hear kinda of a squeaking. My father in law went up in the attic today and said he didn't see anything. I'm laying here wide awake and kind of nervous. Help please; who do I need to call?? Can my father in law remove what ever it is?? Thank you.

February 28, 2012

guest @ 2:01 am #

I here noises in my ceiling in the morning around 7 and sometimes at night. It sounds like something is trying to chew through the wall. If I stomp on the floor the noise stops. Any idea what it could be?

March 10, 2012

Ashley @ 5:55 am #

At 5:30am tonight I got up to use the bathroom and heard a loud "chirping/tapping" noise by our front door. It is constant and rhythmic. At some times it is really loud, and some times it gets quieter. I went into the basement and heard it just as loud on the same wall. There doesn't appear to be any space for anything to live and move? I shined our flashlight on the space and [I think I] heard a slight squeak before the noise moved about 3 feet. Still constant and rhythmic- about one or two "knocks" every second. I kept following the noise with my flashlight, but it didn't disturb the noise anymore. When I woke my husband up, he started pounding on the walls and sometimes it would make the sound stop for about 45-60 seconds. After a bunch of pounding, the noise sounds loudest on the other half of the house. (We have a small ranch with a basement). It kinda sounds like someone is bouncing a small wooden ball against a hard surface. It doesn't sound like a large animal– my thinking is the largest would be a rat. Maybe an insect? Please help so me know how to get rid of it. Thanks!

March 12, 2012

josh @ 12:19 pm #

@josh:

Since I last posted, this noise I described continued. I've narrowed it down to the roof vents. Since 3 exterminators could not find evidence of rat chewing or other evidence in my attic, vents and duck work, I think it may be lizards living in the roof vents at night. I hear claws-on-metal all night.

My exterminator told me a few months ago that the vents were sealed. Well, I finally got up there and saw they were not sealed. So I hired him to seal them with wire mesh / hardware cloth. House is almost totally sealed now. Only entry point would be the sewer line through the ground connections (the sewer pipe vents through the attic and roof). So if the noise doesn't stop, that's where I'll focus next. MAKE SURE ALL ACCESS POINTS TO YOUR HOME AND VENTS ARE SEALED. This is the only way to prevent animals from entering your home. I laid a few glue traps outside and caught a large, fat curly tail lizard and others. My patio, exterior walls and shrubs are infested with small lizards and they are becoming a nuisance.

March 20, 2012

Susan @ 3:21 am #

As I lay in my bed, I hear something gnawing and/or poking into my ceiling from the attic above. A few days ago this started and at the ceiling corner right above my bed, a hole appeared. Something pecked its way into my room.

It looked like a tiny hole, but when I got closer to see it, it was mushy drywall bout the size of a 50 cent piece. I sealed it up and the thing poked through again the next day. Tonight, I banged on the ceiling and it doesn't seem to be afraid of me at all.

Any ideas what this could be? If mice, are they that aggressive? I don't have any food in my upstairs bedroom where I sleep. Pretty freaky to know something is this aggressive to keep coming into my bedroom when I am there awake with the light on. Thanks!

September 26, 2012

Sarah B @ 3:22 am #

I don't know if this page is still frequently followed up, but I'm gonna give it a shot. My husband and I moved into a two story duplex in May and never had any noise issues. We live in Washington state. Regardless, the past two weeks, while my husband is at work mainly, I hear loud banging noises coming from upstairs. At first I thought it was our neighbors, but now I know it isn't due to the fact that the noise sounds like someone is walking around in our bedroom (when we are on the 1st floor.) It literally sounds like something is throwing sacks of potatoes against the walls (facing the side of the house – not the middle). Our neighbors in the house next to us say they can also hear it and it sounds like its right in our walls almost. It only happens around 8AM-9AM and again between 2PM-5PM.. sometimes it will happen in the later evening as well. It is extremely loud when it happens – sometimes our decor shakes.

Tonight, I realized that the access to the attic from our bedroom looked as if it was lifted up recently. The seal is cracked all the way around and wasn't when we moved in. We refuse to go up there and are calling our landlord in the morning, but I can't stop researching the possibilities. What in the world could this be??

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