In my 15+ years as a wildlife removal professional, I have seen it all: attics filled with strobing lights, blaring radios, ultrasonic sound machines, and more. Here's the problem with animal-removal devices in general: once a wild animal lives in your attic, and has a nest of babies there, that's it. That's the only option for survival. They will endure anything rather than to leave and die outside without shelter. There is no device, no repellent that will make them leave. It's a life-or-death scenario, and a bad noise or bad smell doesn't do the trick. Go ahead and buy them - waste your time. But they have zero demonstrated effectiveness. The only way to actually solve a problem with wildlife in the attic is to identify the entry holes, seal them shut, and either physically trap or exclude the animals from the building.
These products are sold everywhere, and emit high-frequency sound. They are so fraudulent the FTC has issued a warning about them as a consumer product.
In about half of the jobs I service, I see that homeowners have tried products like these first, before they realize they don't work, and then do it right, by trapping.
Repellents are gimmicks meant to take your money, but worst of all, waste your time. These won't solve the problem, which will only get worse while you wait.
When a homeowner finds an animal living in their attic, they have a tendency to try anything to get them out, whether or not it truly works. Unfortunately, many of the repellents and deterrents companies make a profit off of are ineffective. In the case of certain repellents, they may even be dangerous. Take a look at some devices to get animals out of your attic then find out what actually works.
Sound Machines Won’t Work
It doesn’t take more than a quick internet search to find numerous ultrasonic sound machines that claim to keep animals away and get them to leave even if they have already taken up residence in your attic. The theory is that these machines emit sounds at a frequency that the animals can hear, but humans won’t. Theoretically, the wildlife will be annoyed by the noise to the point that they will leave. In reality, these devices are so ineffective that the FTC has issued a warning labeling them as fraudulent. In rare cases, humans may also hear the sounds they emit, leading to annoyance to your neighbors. Keep in mind that even if the sound machine did work, you’d need to keep it plugged in 24/7 to prevent animals from coming back, something that will increase your electricity bill.
Neither Do Strobe Lights
Another popular electronic deterrent is strobe lights. Like the sound machines, using these leads to an increase in your electricity bill as they have to be on constantly. These strobe lights are also ineffective, merely causing an annoyance to the animals in your attic. To give up their shelter and face predators, animals need a very good reason to leave and the strobe light is not enough.
Repellents Typically Fail
Even the average repellent you find in stores or online will be ineffective for deterring animals in your attic. This is true both of the ones you buy and those that you make yourself from things like peppermint, ammonia, or chile peppers. These are also not enough to make the animals leave. To make matters worse, many of the repellents you will buy already made contain harsh chemicals that can be damaging to the environment or even put your health at risk.
Consider Exclusion Instead
Since strobe lights, sound machines, and similar deterrents won’t get animals out of your attic, you may be wondering what does work. There are two effective methods: trapping and exclusion. Exclusion involves sealing up every single hole leading to the attic with the exception of one, which is preferably the most commonly used entrance. You then place a one-way door or exclusion device over this remaining entrance. The animals will leave to get food but not be able to reenter. Within a few days, they should all be gone and you are able to seal up this final hole and make the necessary repairs to your attic.
Or Consider Trapping
Depending on the animal in your attic and your preference, you may choose to use traps to get the animals out instead. Before trapping, always consult your local regulations as the laws vary with some areas placing restrictions on the type of animals you can trap or what you can do with them afterwards. In the case of rodents, use snap traps as they will kill the mice or rats instantly and humanely. For all other wildlife, opt for a live cage trap as this is the most humane option. Be sure to check the trap regularly so the animal doesn’t suffer in it unnecessarily. There are a range of trap types, including those designed to catch a single animal and repeating traps which can catch multiple ones. Some of these can also be placed over the exit to the attic in a way similar to an exclusion device, but trapping the animal instead of keeping them out.
Make Home Repairs
Once the animals are out of your attic, the only way to keep them out is via home repairs. Since you can’t count on constantly running strobe lights or an ultrasonic sound machine to deter the wildlife, you need to make sure there is no way they can get inside. If there are no gaps in your siding, roof, or other areas of your home, entry won’t be possible and your wildlife problem will be solved.
Get Professional Assistance
Of course, the easiest way to get animals out of the attic and keep them out of it is by letting a wildlife professional take care of everything. They will be able to quickly determine what type of animal you have in your attic, whether young are present, and determine the best course of action. They will also have all the necessary supplies on hand, preventing the need for a trip to the store. Most importantly, professionals are more likely than the average person to spot every potential entrance. Remember that if you leave a single hole open, the wildlife will just return or new ones will take their place.
Do animal deterrent devices work at getting them out of the attic? NO! Luckily, the problem is just as easy to solve with repairs and exclusion doors as it is with a applying an attic repellent. Do it the right way and get your animal problem solved.