That thump in the night (or day) could be squirrels in the attic. Especially in fall, but also through winter and spring, they try to escape the cold by accessing our warm spaces. The attic may not seem warm to you but if you could burrow in the insulation and escape the outdoor elements, it's definitely a better alternative. They also seek indoor, protected spaces to give birth in spring.
Squirrels are difficult to keep out because they love to chew and have very strong jaws. A flying squirrel has more power (PSI) in its jaw than a wolf!! Ridge vents are a common access point, as shown in this photo. They are often capped with foam, which the squirrels will chew away until they can just pop the piece of foam out for even easier access.
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The main squirrel offenders in cottage country are red, grey (black squirrels are also grey squirrels) and flying. Red and grey squirrels are diurnal, or active during the day, whereas flying squirrels are nocturnal. It's important to note what time of day the ruckus can be heard to determine what kind of squirrel you're dealing with. Flying squirrels tend to have higher numbers inside, with an average of about 7-10 inside the same building. We helped one cottager with a total of 27 in their cathedral ceiling! Red and grey squirrels tend to congregate in smaller numbers, with the largest group being 6 in our experience, and an average of 1-2. The longer they are in there, the higher the numbers tend to be. They create a habit of getting inside for winter and pass that behaviour on through generations.
There are several options for squirrel removal and exclusion, with sealing being an imperative aspect of any squirrel program. If their access points are left open, it will just invite other squirrels - or smaller animals like mice - back in the same area. Price depends on the situation and how many visits are required. Call us today to discuss your scenario, we'll make suggestions and come for a site visit to put together a customized solution.