How Do Rodents Get in the Attic ?

It’s the middle of the night, and you’re jolted awake by a scratching noise from the attic.

You slowly open the door and peer into the darkness, trying to make out the source of the sound. And then you see a family of rodents darting around, rummaging through your things.

There are many ways that rodents can enter your home, but the most common is through small holes and cracks in the foundation or exterior walls.

Once inside, they can squeeze into tiny spaces and set up shop in your attic, basement, or even your walls.

how do rodents in the attic

Different Ways Rodents Get in the Attic

It’s always a good idea to find out how rodents are getting into your home so you can seal up the openings and prevent them from coming back.

Here are some of the most common ways that rodents can get into your attic:

Through Small Spaces in the Roof or Eaves

Mice and other rodent types can squeeze their way through tiny spaces, including cracks in the roof or eaves.

If you have any gaps larger than a quarter of an inch, rodents can easily squeeze through.

Through Holes in the Walls or Ceilings

Holes in your walls or ceilings are another common way rodents can get into your attic.

These holes can be caused by previous infestations, construction work, or even wear and tear over time.

Holes and Cracks in the Foundation

Foundation cracks, gaps around utility pipes, and other openings in your foundation can also give rodents access to your attic.

Most of the time, these openings are small enough that you might not even notice them.

holes and cracks in foundation, gaps

Vents and Openings Around Pipes and Chimney

By now, you’ve probably noticed a trend: rodents can get into your attic through just about any small opening. This includes openings around vents, pipes, and chimneys.

A thorough and regular inspection of your home’s exterior can help you identify and seal any potential openings.

Climb Up Trees and Use Branches to Jump Onto the Roof and Through the Attic Vent

Another way rodents can get into your attic is by climbing up trees and using branches to jump onto the roof.

From there, they can easily access the attic through an open vent. Although this may seem uncommon, many homeowners tend to overlook this potential entry point.

Why Rodents Choose Attics as Their Hiding Spot

Rodents are creatures of the night. They are nocturnal and prefer the dark, so they often seek out attics as a place to live and breed.

They are also skilled climbers, so they can easily access roofs and eaves.

Aside from this, these rodents are naturally invading types. They often take over areas where they settle. Because attics provide ample food and shelter for rodents, they can quickly become established in these spaces.

What Do Mice Eat in the Attic?

Mice are opportunistic eaters and will pretty much eat anything they can find. This includes things like cereal, bread, fruit, vegetables, meat, and even other rodents.

In the wild, mice typically eat a diet of seeds, fruits, and insects. But when they get into your home, they’ll take advantage of whatever food source they can find. 

In the attic, if there are seeds coming from trees outside, the mice will feed on these. If there are any insects, they’ll also eat these.

Mice will also rummage through insulation to find food sources like nesting birds or small mammals.

rat on top of old pans and pots

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their primary food source will be coming from the attic. They nest and live in the attic, but they’ll also forage for food elsewhere in the home.

During the night, when everyone is asleep, they’ll come out to look for food, bring it back to the attic, and store it there.

Making Your Home Less Inviting to Rodents and How to Get Rid of Them

As mentioned earlier, rodents look for a warmer place to settle as the temperature drops. Although rodents can be found all year long, they’re more active in the fall and winter.

This is because they’re looking for a place to nest and breed before the cold weather sets in.

To make your home less inviting to rodents, you need to do a few things:

  • Seal all cracks and holes on the exterior of your home, especially around the foundation, eaves, vents, pipes, and chimneys.
  • Keep your gutters clean and free of debris.
  • Trim trees and shrubs, so they’re not touching your roof or house.
  • Remove any food sources that might be attracting rodents, such as open bags of garbage, pet food, or bird seed.

However, if you’re already dealing with a rodent infestation and suspect that they’re taking shelter in your attic, taking action immediately is one of the most important things you can do.

Here are a few tips on how to get rid of them:

Figure Out How They’re Getting In

Before you can get rid of the problem, you should start by trying to figure out how the rodents are getting into your attic in the first place. This will help you determine what course of action you need to take.

With that being said, take a look at your home’s exterior and see if you can identify any potential entry points. Assuming you find some, you’ll need to seal them up.

This will help prevent any more rodents from getting in and will also make it easier to get rid of the ones that are already there.

Use Traps or Poison

There’s nothing more effective than good old-fashioned traps and poison when it comes to getting rid of rodents.

The best thing about these methods is that they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

If you decide to go with traps, you can either use live traps or snap traps. Live traps are great because they allow you to catch rodents without harming them. Once you catch them, you can then release them into the wild far away from your home.

Snap traps, on the other hand, are designed to kill rodents. These are usually more effective than live traps, but they’re not for everyone.

If you decide to use snap traps, make sure to place them in areas where children and pets can’t reach them.

mouse trap with cheese as bait

As for poison, this is definitely one of the most effective ways to get rid of rodents. The poison will kill them, and they’ll eventually die in your attic. However, it’s important to note that you’ll have to eventually find the carcasses and dispose of them.

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of poison, there are also natural alternatives that you can use, such as plants that are poisonous to rodents.

Call a Pest Control Professional

Some people can get away with baits and traps. However, for a more severe infestation, it’s best to call in professionals.

Not only will they be able to get rid of the problem quickly, but they’ll also be able to help you figure out how the rodents are getting into your attic and what you can do to prevent them from coming back.

Final Thoughts

Rodents can get through the small holes, gaps, and cracks that are found both inside and outside your home.

Check for tree branches that can provide access to the roof, and clean your gutters on a regular basis.

If you find that rodents have gotten into your attic, find strategic locations to place traps or poison.

If the problem persists, call a pest control professional to get rid of the rodents for good.