old attic

Santa has come and gone, so if you’re still hearing the prancing and pawing of reindeer hooves on your rooftop, it is quite likely coming from some other four-legged (or flying) critter.

Attics are a common place for pests to move into, especially during winter months when they’re seeking shelter from cold conditions. Identifying what kind of wild animal you have in your attic can be difficult, since it’s not an easy space to navigate and many of these pests are evasive.

We’ve rounded up some of the most common attic invaders and are sharing some signs to look for if you suspect you have uninvited house guests.


Mice will dig or knead attic insulation to create nests, and during this process, you can hear them scratching on the ceiling. Since homes are generally full of activity and conversation during the day, it usually isn’t until nighttime when these noises are noticed.


A squirrel of the side of a stucco wall.

Squirrels are active throughout the day and night and are big chewers. Squirrels often chew wires in your attic that can cause significant damage and even house fires. If you have squirrels in your attic, you may hear running, chewing, and even rolling of acorns or other nuts they may drop.


These nocturnal nemeses hunt for food at night, so you are most likely to hear them moving in and out of your attic at dusk and dawn—on their way to and returning from their nighttime excursions. Raccoons, along with other critters, can enter a wall of the house at the foundation and crawl up to the top with or without entering the attic. Large thumps and scuttling are common noises made by raccoons in attics.


Like raccoons, bats are nocturnal so you’ll likely notice their activity in the evenings and early mornings. Bats attach to soffits in the attic and will push up and down the insides of walls to seek ideal temperatures. If you hear flapping, movement up and down the walls, or clicking noises, you may have bats in your attic and home.

Bat on the wooden ceiling in the house.

In order to purge these unwelcome pests and reclaim the peace of your home, you have to find out what kind of animal has invaded and implement the proper removal strategy and techniques.

A professional pest control specialist will examine your attic, as well as the foundation of your home and walls, for droppings, nests, fur or hair, trails through insulation, entry and exit points, and potential food sources to determine what kind of creature is claiming stake in your space. Once the animal is identified, the specialist can safely remove the pests with the correct technique and eradicate the problem.

If you suspect you have animals in your attic or walls, contact A-1 Able Pest Doc at 1-800-737-8189.