Removal of a Critter in the Attic


04.05.2006 - Sean and I went to this home today because the customer was hearing noises above his head, and he suspected that he had a critter in his attic.  We climbed the garage ladder hatch and entered the attic, with gloves, headlamps, and dust masks, as usual, and began our inspection.  We found plenty of tracks and opossum droppings, so we knew what critter we were dealing with.  Most of the time, we never actually spot the animals in the attic.  They quietly hide in the deepest darkest corners when they sense a potential danger, and they are tough to find.  That's no problem, because we just set traps for them.

But in this case, I heard Sean yell, "There it is!' and sure enough, after some scampering and thumping, I saw him come marching back from a corner of the attic with a critter in hand.  It was an opossum, which is one of the few animals that can be easily caught by hand - because it's slow, and held, because it has that strong prehensile tail.  Sean was most pleased with himself.  We put the animal in a holding trap and brought it down to the customer, who assumed that this is the way it always goes - critter in the attic, critter catcher pros go up there and grab it and come out.  If only they were all so easy!  Then again, to see Sean wrestle with this thing in the attic, I guess it wasn't so easy after all.

We specialize in nuisance wildlife control - this is the field of removing unwanted wildlife from homes and property, and solving conflicts between people and wild animals. From home inspections to preventative repairs, wildlife trapping, attic cleanups and more, we solve critter problems with professional expertise. Call me, David, or click on the below link to find any one of hundreds of wildlife trappers in every city and town in the US.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Opossums page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.

Removing opossum from your house – identifying the culprit - Do you have some kind of wild animal making its home in your home and driving you crazy? Obviously, if this is the case, you are going to want to do something about it, but in reality, you are going to need to know which kind of animal you are dealing with before you take steps to effectively remove the creature. Trapping any kind of animal takes the same kind of steps, but with regards to releasing the creature, or figuring out what to do with it after you have caught it, as well as things such as trap placement and bait will all very much depend on the kind of animal that you are dealing with.

If you think you have an opossum in your home then you will need to identify that this is, indeed, the culprit. This means that you are going to do some investigative work, and one of the first things that you should look towards is to listen out for the sounds that the animal is making. With an opossum, you are likely to hear chattering of a mother opossum to her babies, males barking and fighting, and general scuffling as the creature makes itself comfortable in the depths of your home.

Another thing that you are going to want to take a look at is the poop that the animal is leaving behind. If you have an opossum, the poop is going to look very similar to that of a dog's, which means that you should think very carefully before you berate your puppy for pooping in the home! You may also find that the opossum is leaving poop on the driveway and in the yard, as well as on the roof which could end up in your guttering.

The urine is another common factor with an opossum, and you will usually find that this stains the materials that it comes into contact with. The walls could appear to have a dripping brown fluid, and you may also realize that there are stains in your ceiling from the opossum living above it.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways in which you can identify the opossum but the ones mentioned here are possible the best places for you to start.

For more wildlife stories, click my Wildlife Blog or click my below banner to hire a local trapper.

Critters residing in your attic can become a nuisance if you don't shoo the pests away sooner. On top of it, critter removal shouldn't be cyclical—leaving the doors open for the buggers to re-enter their newfound home and raise their newborn babies. If you know their entryways and options to remove them, you can make your attic pest-free for sure. Why Do You Need to Remove Critters?

Wild animal removal turns into a necessity because it pests can cause damage in your attic: chewing electrical wires, destroying your carpets and curtains, spreading diseases such as rabies, salmonella, and Hantavirus. How to Humanely Get Rid of Critters in Your Attic?

If the raccoon, squirrel, or possum accidentally wandered into your attic, it will possibly find a way out soon.

Yet, here's what you need to do about critter removal:

1. Be sure to keep a distance
2. Identify the pest/predator animal
3. Give them time to leave the attic on their own by opening exits and lighting up the attic
4. Do your research about its removal (Possums can react by causing a smell that'll never leave your home; so this step is essential)
5. Find out how to trap it the humane way
6. Relocate it out in the open away from residential areas
7. Call for professional help to clean your home of the critter
8. Once the animals are gone, block the entries altogether
9. Regularly inspect your attic

How to Remove Different Critters Usually Found in the Attic:

Here are a few animals commonly found trapped in attics and ways to remove them:


Possums are smelly nuisance creatures and their droppings are an additional mess. Possums react by releasing an unbearable smell when they feel threatened. And, the smell is difficult to get rid of. Thus, these critters are the hardest to remove. The only way to remove the smelly possums is to humanely trap and relocate the animal. It's best to encourage possums to move out of the attic and then trap them rather inside the attic due to a threat of their reactive smell.

Mice and Rats:

Rats can build nests in your attic if there's an ample amount of water available. To remove the pesky animals, use wooden snap traps or even bait traps. For efficient rodent removal, pay attention to sanitizing the attic surroundings and use rodenticides to repel them.


Raccoons can make their way into the attic by chewing holes and ripping off the shingles. The best way to remove them is by lighting up the attic and playing loud sounds to make the surroundings unpleasant. Seal all the entryways and install a one-way door out of the attic to make the critter move out once and for all. Be sure its babies are mobile and aren't left behind.


Squirrels create scurrying and scampering noises when trapped in your attic. They mostly leave the attic within a couple of days as soon as they find the exit. To keep them out, seal all the entry holes such as roof vents or eave gaps properly.


Pigeons can accidentally enter the attic through broken vents, windows, or eaves. Shoo them away by opening the windows. If they have laid eggs, consult the professionals to remove them.

Final Verdict:

Critter removal is equally essential and tricky. If you are thinking of trapping the animal as your last resort, we highly recommend seeking professional help to keep it humane.

Select Your Animal

Raccoons Raccoon Removal Advice & Information

Squirrels Squirrel Removal Advice & Information

Opossum Opossum Removal Advice & Information

Skunks Skunk Removal Advice & Information

Rats Rat Removal Advice & Information

Mice Mouse Removal Advice & Information

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Dead Dead Animal Removal Advice & Information

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