Freezing temperatures are finally here in Maryland, which tends to leave wildlife searching for a place to nest, sleep, and take shelter. Unfortunately, your attic is the perfect place for these pests to hide and stay safe from cold and unfavorable weather. Let’s take a look at the kinds of wildlife that could be nesting in your attic this season in Annapolis, Columbia, Kent Island, and Queen Anne’s County.
Why the Attic?
There are a couple of key reasons why different species of wildlife tend to choose attics as their home during the winter months in Maryland. Since heat rises, your attic (if insulated properly) is likely the warmest area of your home. Although raccoons and squirrels can live outdoors in cold temperatures, they much prefer feeding, nesting, and giving birth in warm, cozy spaces. Additionally, homeowners tend to neglect their attics, and an unfinished attic or a roof with holes or other damage provides these species of wildlife with a dark, uninterrupted space to make their nests.
Raccoons in the Attic
Raccoons are mischievous and curious critters that are known for their strength and ability to climb. Because of these characteristics, raccoons are a common nuisance species. Their climbing abilities allow them to reach top levels of homes and their strength gives them the ability to pry or rip open siding and roofs.
Signs of Raccoons: Large tracks, droppings, chattering, growling, loud thumps – especially in the hours between sunset and sunrise
Raccoon Habits: As this species has evolved and adapted, they have learned how to take advantage of human influence and can be found rummaging in garbage cans for uneaten food items and climbing their way into residential attics to keep warm and dry during the winter. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so they are most active at night. They are a destructive species, so it’s not uncommon to find much of an attic torn to shreds after a raccoon has made it their home.
Squirrels in the Attic
One of the most common species of wildlife to invade Maryland attics, squirrels choose residential homes as spaces to give birth to and raise their young. There, a mother squirrel is safe from cold temperatures, snow, and other wildlife that could prey upon her newborns.
Signs of Squirrels: Wood shavings, droppings, chew marks, scratching/scampering/rustling sounds – especially at dawn and dusk
Squirrel Habits: Squirrels are known to chew and gnaw their way into attics and can typically do so without a large existing entry point in your home’s roof or siding. They tend to chew the wooden beams located in the attics of Maryland homes and can even get into your electrical wires, which poses a significant fire hazard. Mother squirrels give birth to two litters per year – one in summer and one in winter. Late January is a common time for homeowners to find squirrels in their attics, as mother squirrels are starting to birth their first litter of the year.
What To Do with Raccoons or Squirrels in Your Attic
There are a few important things to be cautious of when considering investigating the critters you suspect to be in your attic:
- They can carry diseases that can infect humans, including Lyme disease, Salmonella, and Rabies.
- They can be very territorial, especially if they are with their young.
- They may have chewed through electrical wires while inhabiting your attic, and a fire could be waiting to happen.
Because of these concerns, it’s your best option to contact a Maryland professional squirrel and raccoon removal company as soon as you notice signs of these animals inside your home. K.P. Wildlife Control is here for you. We provide expert animal removal to Maryland residents and pride ourselves on our fast response times, humane removal practices, and expertise to ensure the smoothest and safest procedures possible.
If you’ve noticed signs of squirrels or raccoons in your Annapolis, Columbia, Kent Island, or Queen Anne’s County attic this winter, contact us today!