Unless you live in a particular old house in Amityville, it’s unlikely that those noises in the attic are ghosts or supernatural in any way. Yes, it’s possibly the sounds an old house makes when it shifts, or the wind blowing through the rafters, but if you’re starting to feel that you’re not alone in your house, and have ruled out the neighborhood poltergeist, it’s most likely that you’ve got some kind of animal infestation in your dwelling.
Noises in the Attic: What Could It Be?
Thumping: Raccoons and large animals will knock down dumpsters and crates. Heavier or more solid sounds are most likely due to raccoons, since they are both strong and active animals.
Scratching: This could be anything from rats to squirrels to birds building nests. Attics are particularly pleasant for wildlife searching for a quiet place to nest.
Rolling, Small Objects Being Dragged: Rodents and squirrels often push or roll nuts.
Vocal Sounds: Some animal infestations—insects, rats-- rarely make sound. Other animals, such as birds, can have very particular calls. Squirrels often make lower pitched and non-continuous chattering. Bats tend to emit higher pitched sounds, mostly at dawn and dusk. Baby raccoons are commonly found in the attic and emit a higher pitched “chittering” sound.
Scurrying: Rats, squirrels and other small wildlife can scurry through ducts and through the walls, and the sound is often like fast-moving scratching.
Flapping sounds: Both birds and bats in larger populations can make noise and small gusts of wind by the flapping of their wings.
· Try to ascertain details about the noises. At what time of day is it loudest, or more constant? Is it localized just in one area, or moving throughout the house?
· Note any unusual, strong or sour smells. Bats and raccoons often bring a very persistent smell with them. Skunks, of course, have a unique and particular scent that’s hard to miss.
· Try to note any unusual or new property damage, such as torn drywall or insulation, chewed cables, scratched or shredded surfaces of wood, plastic, and some types of metal.
· Don’t just ignore it. An animal trapped in your walls or attic might die. The decomposing, insects it attracts and the accompanying smell can lead to much bigger, more expensive problems.
· Unless you’re sure that you’re only dealing with an individual animal or a very small, contained, population, call a professional wildlife removal expert immediately.