How Do You Tell If There Is An Animal In Your Wall?

Pests are destructive little critters. They will not only destroy your food but also can cause serious structural damage to your house. This happens when these small animals find their way into the walls of your house.

Animals find a residence in your walls during winter when it gets cold. This is because walls have some warmth that lets them have offspring, raise them, and feed them on the food you worked hard to buy.

Once wild animals and pests make their way into your house, it can be difficult to spot and get rid of them. Read on to find out some of the ways you can know if there is a rodent living in your house, how to find it and get rid of it, together with a couple of prevention measures.

Signs that there is an animal in your wall

Here are some of the giveaway signs that will help to confirm whether your walls are hosting an uninvited guest:

  • Noises in the walls. If you hear pitter-patter and some scratching in your walls, there is a chance that a creature is living there. Most of the animals with these tendencies are nocturnal, so you are likely to hear these noises as you try to catch some sleep or when you are getting a late-night glass of water.
  • Animal droppings. If you are cleaning your house and you come across a pile of animal feces, this might confirm your doubts. The droppings are usually on corners of the floor and close to wall outlets.
  • Stains. Sometimes, the creatures in the wall drop their waste and urine while they are in the wall. If this seeps across the wall, you will notice that the walls have some stains on them.

you can also have a rough guess of what animal is in your house by checking a couple of criteria:

  • The type of noise made by the animal. You can tell if it is a large or small animal based on the sound of the weight of their footsteps. Also, some animals will make noise during the day and be quiet at night or vice versa.
  • The entry point. The part of the house that the animal used to get in can also give you a little insight. By checking the size of the hole and how it was made, you can know what animal it was.
  • Type of droppings. Once you spot some animal droppings around the house, you should examine and compare them against a set of pictures of the droppings of animals that you know. 
  • Type of damage done. You can also inspect the places that the pest has caused havoc. Analyzing this will assist you to see how the animal did the damage, for example using their teeth or the limbs.

Now that you know what criteria to use to tell what animal is in your walls, here are some of the common pests you can find in your walls and your attic:

1. Squirrels

These little rodents can also get trapped in your walls. They enter the house by creating a hole with a diameter of around two inches. In some cases, the circumference of the hole is chewed around.

They are tiny animals so they make a fast scurrying noise when they run around the house. They move around a lot, so you may hear their noise at different parts of the house every day. Squirrels are daytime animals and they rest during the night. You will hear them being very active early in the morning and before dusk.

Their droppings are similar in size to rat and mouse droppings but they have a lighter color.

2. Mice

These are some of the most destructive rodents. They make a path for themselves inside your walls so that they can easily get about. They can enter the house from any point thanks to their small size and soft feet. 

As I had said, they form a distinct path to use to move around. You will hear light tapping following the path. They are highly nocturnal so they are mostly active at night. A few ways to distinguish them is that they make no vocal noise and if you tap the wall when you hear them, the noise stops and then starts again after a short while.

Mice leave droppings everywhere they go so if you have an infestation, you will start to see that there are droppings everywhere- on the floor, in cabinets, and under furniture and appliances.

Their droppings are black and look like small pellets with pointy ends. A mice’s urine has a strong odor and it leaves stains on the carpet and the walls.

3. Rats

These animals are closely related to mice and they wreak the same havoc. They are also nocturnal so you will hear most of their noise when you try to catch some sleep. They run very fast and sometimes you can hear them scratching on the walls. 

They make no vocal sounds and just like mice, when you hit the wall, they go silent for a little while then continue to scurry irritatingly in your walls.

They mainly infest houses to look for food so if you see some food packages and containers with small bite marks on them, you might have an infestation in your hands. They also chew through electrical cables and pipes that could be in the walls or the attic.

Rats urinate everywhere they go so if you smell a strong unpleasant odor, you might have a rat problem on your hands.

4. Bats

These are flying rodents that can make their way into your walls, attic, or crawlspace. Bats carry with them a plethora of diseases. Bats are usually quiet so unless you have a large infestation, you will not hear them a lot.

Once in a while, they make scratching sounds and towards dusk, you will hear chirping sounds as they prepare to leave since they are nocturnal.

These animals do not chew through your pipes and cables or steal your food. However, they drop urine and feces, collectively called guano, in large amounts. These bat droppings can cause a disease called histoplasmosis that affects the lungs and it could be fatal.

5. Raccoons

These are larger than the other animals we have looked at so you may think that a raccoon can’t get into your walls. Small-sized adults and baby raccoons can find their way into your house then get trapped inside. They create entry points by tearing holes into the house. 

Most of the time, the raccoon that gets into your house is a female with a couple of baby raccoons. Because of their size, you will hear heavy walking sounds, especially at night. The babies also make vocal noises. These can sound like chirps for baby raccoons and in adult raccoons, it sounds like an animal that is in distress.

What to do if there is an animal in your walls?

Once you realize that there is an animal in the walls but you are unsure of what animal it is and where exactly it is you should contact a professional to come and get rid of the animal.

If you try to capture and release the animal by yourself, you may destroy your walls while trying to search for the animal. This extra damage will mean that you have to incur more costs for repairs of the wall.

Also, in your search for the animal, you may find it and corner it, causing it to attack, scratch, and bite you. Wild animals have diseases that they can transmit to us so we must leave the matter to a professional to deal with.

How to keep animals away from your walls?

Once you have found a professional and your home is free from animal infestation, there are some measures you need to take to ensure that the incident does not recur. Here is a couple:

  • Check your house for any entry points. These could be small holes in the wall and roof of the house. You could do the inspection yourself or you could extend the services of a professional. Once they are through, they should seal them properly.
  • You should ensure that if you have an outside faucet, it does not leak. In addition to gradually raking up your water bill, a leaky faucet will provide the pests with a water source and attract them to your house.
  • Keep your house clean at all times, especially the kitchen. If there are any spillages or messes, clean them right away. You should also store leftover food in airtight containers in the fridge.
  • When you turn down for the night, ensure that you have locked all the windows and the doggie door because they can serve as entry points. You should also ensure that you do not leave out your pet’s food and water outside as this will attract the animals.
  • If there are trees and plant cover around your house, ensure that they are trimmed so that they are not too close to the house for animals to easily get in.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author, and she enjoys traveling, reading, and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC.

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