Pets. That’s a nice way of putting it. Rodents and critters somehow always find their way into our home, specifically the attic. Whether it’s termites, roaches, or rats, these pesky friends can infiltrate nearly any home at any time and they don’t know when to tell their welcome is up. You might wonder, How do they get up there? What can I do to stop them? We’re glad you asked.

Termites

Any home with wood in its frame is susceptible to termite damage. Those mites love to take a bite out of some nice, pulpy wood. Termites crave dark areas rich with moisture. Anywhere wood is involved in your home, every effort should be made to keep it dry and far enough away from the actual house to prevent the transportation of termites into the house. Wood piles, while excellent to have on hand during those snowy months are a huge attraction to termites. Literally, those piles get really tall. Jokes aside, if you’re going to store firewood, elevate if off the ground at least 5 inches from the ground, and keep it covered and dry. Mulch and cluttered gutters are formidable culprits. They meet all the requirements of being wood, dark, and damp, and they butt right up against the house making the trip inside to the bones of the house a super easy feat. Even tree branches the brush up against the house can become a carrier of doom. Proper attention and maintenance can reduce the risk of termites finding their way into your home.

Roaches

Roaches will rule the world. Or Keith Richards. Either way, these cringey critters that make the skin crawl are large in number and likely to find their way into your home in any way imaginable. They travel through the plumbing and sewage. They hide in nooks and crannies. The love a good chunk of old and rotting cardboard. They’re resourceful enough to hitch a ride inside via grocery bag, moving boxes, or your child’s lunch bag. The best combatant for roaches – outside of traps – is keeping food properly stored and not leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Don’t keep cardboard or paper bags laying around in damp spaces (under the kitchen sink), and buy a trash can with a tightly closing lid. If you’ve already got an infestation, it’s time to call in the pros. They can get in anywhere and survive anywhere. Nip it in the bud, buddy.

Rats

These larger rodents take a page from both the Book of Termite and the Book of Roach. They are attracted to food waste and can find their way inside by way of a clogged gutter. Any holes in your housing larger than a quarter, and they can wedge their way inside. Unlike termites and some roaches, these rodents prefer a dry place to build their nest, which means crawl spaces under the house, air ducts, and between the insulation and a house’s frame are the perfect space for spawning the next generation. While you’re being mindful to keep food waste and mess to a minimum, do a careful survey of your home in search of possible points of entry. If you do find yourself playing host to a whole host of rats, call in a professional. If they haven’t already sullied your insulation, they will. Rather than incurring more costs by waiting til it’s unbearable, cut the heads off the Hydra before it can wreak more havoc on your home.

It may seem futile when you think of the overall population of these pests. In a game of sheer numbers, the odds will out. But you don’t have to live in fear if you’re proactive about preventing the problem. And if you do find yourself in hot water, there will be a professional ready for the rescue.