Category Archives: Birds

raccoon in chimney

How to Keep Animals Out of Your Chimney with a Chimney Cap

In this post, we’ll discuss how to keep animals out of the chimney of your home.

That chimney on your house may look like an inviting home to wild animals. It’s a common nesting place for birds, bats, raccoons and squirrels.

To an animal, a chimney is a nice warm space safe from predators. But these animals bring insects and diseases with them and their droppings can be a difficult issue to deal with.

If you get to the point where you require professional animal removal service, then we can help you with that. But we bet that you would prefer never having the situation get to that point.

For professional removal of animals from your chimney in Chicagoland, call (847) 464-1861

Install a chimney cap

chimney capA chimney cap is the best way to prevent wildlife from moving into your chimney.

It’s an affordable solution that can prevent the problem for decades. If you don’t mind working on your roof, then it’s possible that you can even install it on your own if you want.

A chimney cap can be purchased at your local home improvement store for as little as $50. High-end models may cost several hundreds of dollars. There are many sizes and styles to choose from, from stainless steel to chimney caps made of copper.

Related: Chimneys are common animal entry points

How to install a chimney cap

Tools you will need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder
  • Chimney cap
  • Screwdriver and/or wrench
  • Caulk for chimney flues made of tile or brick

How to choose a chimney cap

The screen height of the chimney cap you choose must be sufficient to allow your chimney to draft properly. It is recommended that your cap should be about six inches higher than the chimney flue.

Stainless steel is usually the best value for your money. You may choose a different cap though which better suits the look and architectural style of your home.

Whatever style you choose, installing a chimney cap will provide you a reliable solution for keeping wildlife out of your chimney and could save you hundreds of dollars in animal removal, dead animal removal and repairs of your home.

For professional removal of animals from your chimney in Chicagoland, call (847) 464-1861


What Do Animals Do During Fall?

Where do animal pests go when the whether becomes chilly? Surprisingly, many of them stay active before the snowy, winter months hit. Read more to discover what do animals do during fall.

what do animals do during fall

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Migration

Many birds and insects migrate to warmer areas during the chillier months of fall. Because temperatures begin to drop during the fall season, these creatures begin to find more suitable conditions. For example, swallows migrate south once the weather begins to cool and their food sources dwindle. You may think that since some animal pests are leaving during this season you’ll see less activity, but it’s far from the truth. In fact, you may see more activity in your home at this time of year.

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Hibernation Preparation

Other animals prepare to hibernate during the fall. Squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs will gather food to store for the winter. Although chipmunks and squirrels do not go into a true hibernation state, they a relatively inactive during the winter. This leads them to frantically stockpile leftover food near your garbages or from your bird feeders. These small mammals can be quite pesky during the fall.

Bats will also hibernate during the cold months. You can expect their presence to taper off as the insect population dies down with the cool weather.

In addition, wasps and bees will still be active during the fall. They do not hibernate until winter. If there’s a nest near your home that needs to be removed, unfortunately the cold weather won’t be enough to detract them. Make sure to call pest control for assistance moving wasps or bee nests.

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Stay Active

Many other animals stay active during this time of year. Skunks, for example, stay in their dens but are awake during winter. You’ll see (and smell) plenty of skunks during the fall. Raccoons behave similarly, and will stay active year round. This means, you still have to be vigilant and remove outdoor food sources for these pests. In fact, you may notice more pest activity because homes have plentiful opportunities for food, while the cool weather limits natural sources.

Opossums are also active during the colder months. You may be surprised to know that they’ll even become active during the day, though they are nocturnal. Nonetheless, you should never take a chance with an opossum behaving strangely, as it may be infected with rabies or another disease.

Lastly, rodents remain highly active during the cold months. You may see more mice and rats in your home during the fall, as fields are plowed and they escape to your safe home. In addition, homes are full of food sources and provide shelter from the elements. Your rodent problem may be highest during the fall. Call Attic Solutions to remove your pests safely and efficiently, so you can enjoy the fall season without pests.

Histoplasmosis: The Danger of Animal Droppings


Did you know that bat and bird droppings can harbor fungus spores which cause illness in humans? Simply cleaning the mess will not remedy the situation either—in fact, it could make spores more airborne. This dangerous illness is known as histoplasmosis.

What Is Histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum. This fungus thrives in soil that is rich in organic material. It is commonly found in bat and bird droppings. When these droppings are cleaned, the spores can become airborne and enter lung passages.

Signs & Symptoms

There are several types of histoplasmosis. The mildest form shows no signs and symptoms. Symptoms of histoplasmosis include fever, headache, muscle ache, dry cough, and chest pain. Some experience joint pain and a rash following exposure to the spores.

Chronic histoplasmosis can occur in those with pre-existing lung conditions. Symptoms of chronic histoplasmosis include weight loss and coughing up blood. Severe histoplasmosis can occur in those with compromised immune systems, like infants or the elderly. It can affect multiple organ systems. When left untreated, this is usually fatal.


For mild cases of histoplasmosis, treatment is not always necessary. Severe symptoms or those with immune compromised systems should seek medical treatment. Anti-fungal drugs are used to treat the infection.


The best prevention for histoplasmosis is avoiding exposure to bird or bat droppings. Avoid areas prone to harboring these animals, like caves, coops, attics, and old barns. If you’ve had bats or birds nesting in your attic or near your home for a long period of time, professional removal may be required. Hosing down any contaminated droppings with water can prevent spores from being released in the air.

If you discover bats or birds nesting in or near your home, call animal control to safely remove the pests. Preventing these pests from leaving droppings can prevent histoplasmosis from reaching you and your family.

Preventing Wildlife From Entering Your Home

Summertime in the Chicagoland area usually means warm weather and longer days. It also means animals are out moving about and mothers are teaching their young how to forage. This time of the year you need to keep a lookout for animals who just might be trying to take up residence in your home. And they do not plan on paying rent!



We need some water!

Raccoons love food and there is an abundance of that this time of year, thanks to picnics and barbeques. Be sure to bring in your garbage cans as quickly as possible (try not to leave them out overnight), and keep any exterior porch or garage doors shut.


I hope they don't see me!

Just hanging around!

Opossums are shy animals that only act scary to frighten away would-be predators. These meek creatures spend their nights in search of food, and now that it is warm out there is a tendency to have our pets and our pets’ food outdoors. If you leave pet food out, you can bet you will have an opossum taking up residency shortly. To keep them out, remove any food and do not feed your pets outside.


So what do we do now!

So what do we do now!

Now that is has warmed up, the birds are flying north again! Be on the lookout for any that may have nested in your chimney, attic vents or soffits, or vents. While all the birds have likely hatched by now, some may have decided to call your house their home. Permanently. If you are just looking to prevent any birds from moving in, consider a chimney cap and wire mesh around any exterior vent or soffit openings.

Small Rodents

Wood mouse

I sure hope no one sees me here!

These nocturnal creatures are out and about now that it is nice out. Window wells are an easy spot for these opportunistic animals to sneak in. To animal-proof your window wells, consider putting a plastic or metal grates over them.



Who can I tag next!

While we’re past full-blown skunk season in Chicago (it’s generally February through late March), there are still plenty of these smelly creatures around. Skunks aren’t much for foraging, so they go where the ground is soft and there are plenty of people. Skunks have been known to burrow under decks and porches, and an outdoor motion-activated floodlight might help scare them away before they move in.

And of course you have your deer, coyotes, squirrels, turtles, and foxes… Just hanging

How To Prevent and Remove Birds From Your Home

swallows-nest-335050_640Birds can be more than just a nuisance if they decide to take up residence in your home. Bird nests can damage your home and are filled with bacteria and germs that can be a health hazard.
What Damage Can Birds In Your Home Cause?
When wild birds decide to move into your home, you may be in for some expensive damage. Birds may come in through various points of entry, including the chimney, bathroom or dryer vents, windows, and cracks. If birds get stuck in your vents or build large enough nests, it can cause damage to your heating and cooling systems. If woodpeckers invade your home, they may do damage to the wood in your home, while Chimney Swifts can be very loud and obnoxious.
One of the diseases associated with birds and their nests is histoplasmosis. Some birds carry fleas and mites, and other parasites. The unsanitary conditions bird nests create can be harmful to human health, which is why it is important to keep wild birds out of your home.

How To Keep Birds Out Of Your Home

There are several methods to prevent and/or remove birds from your home.

• Seal all points of entry.

Some ways you can seal points of entry include capping your chimney and capping your vents with the proper material that still allows safe airflow.

• Bird deterrents.

While they might not be the most aesthetic method, big scary eye balloons are an excellent (and cost effective) way to scare birds away from structures. Another deterrent product includes tape and predator decoys.

• Bird repellents.

The most common bird repellant for prevention is bird gel. This product is good for areas where bird spikes cannot be used, however you have to be careful with its placement since it will melt if it gets too hot outside.

• Bird spikes.

Bird spikes will prevent birds from being able to have space to build nests. Bird spikes are usually placed along building ledges and under the roof lines.
If you find wild birds have decided to move into your home, call the trained professionals at Attic Solutions to safely and humanely evict them. The specialists at Attic Solutions are qualified experts in removing bird infestations and repairing any damage they may cause.

Watch Out for Birds Nesting in the Attic

An intrusion from a single animal can be troublesome enough within a home but the problem can become much more complicated if the animal is nesting.  One of the most common animals that nests within homes is birds.  Birds are always looking for nesting spots that are safe from predators and indoor spots such as vents and attics provide an appealing haven for birds to build their nests.  Nesting birds can cause a range of problems within a home and it is best to have a professional such as Attic Solutions remove intrusive birds and their nests.

Nesting Birds Create a Home in your home

Birds that build nests within a home are a huge nuisance because they are establishing a home for themselves and the egg laying and hatching process could cause them to stay in the home for months.  After the eggs are laid, the female bird will not leave the nest until the babies hatch which could take three to four weeks and they learn to fly which could take an additional three or four weeks.  This process could cause the birds to live in the home for up to four months and possibly longer if there is a disruption in the nesting process.

Problems with Nesting Birds

There are plenty of problems that a nesting bird can bring to a household.  One potential problem is disruption of the heating and cooling system that is caused when birds build their nests in vents or air ducts.  Bird nests in the vents can decrease the efficiency of the heating and cooling system and cause property damage as they build their nests in these areas.  The other major problems caused by nesting birds in a home are health related.  Large amounts of bird feces can lead to respiratory issues and they also may have lice and mites that could spread throughout the home.  Bird mites can infect personal areas such as beds and they leave behind itchy red marks with their bites.

Control Birds in Attic

Nesting birds present more of a problem than birds that have intruded alone because they actually establish a home and stay longer so that their eggs can hatch.  While nesting, they can cause destruction of property and introduce a range of health problems with their feces and the lice and mites they could be carrying.

As soon as you suspect you may have a bird infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with bird exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the birds and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about bird control and removal services from Attic Solutions.

Keep Summer Animals Out of Your Home

Keep Summer Animals Out of Your Home

The summer is at its halfway point and if you have been successful in keeping pests and intrusive animals out of your house, then you have won half the battle.  In the remaining days of the summer, homes are still at high risk for animal intrusions so homeowners should continue to be aware of the potential entry points and common hiding spots for animals in their homes.  There are a variety of different animals in the Chicago area that seek shelter indoors and the following tips will help you prevent animal intrusions and take the right actions should one occur.

Identify What Animal Has Invaded Your Home

There are always a variety of animals looking for indoor shelter and animals such as birds, bats, and snakes are most likely to invade homes in the late summer.  Many birds are laying eggs in the mid to late summer which means that they are also looking to build nests.  Intrusive birds commonly nest in attics and crawlspaces so make sure to check these areas regularly for any nests.  Bats and snakes may also invade these areas during the summer as they enjoy the heat and the shelter.

Find Exit/Entry Point

If you believe an animal may be going in and out of your attic or crawlspace, place a piece of cardboard over each possible entry point.  The cardboard will have chew and claw marks if there is an animal coming and going but this discovery could also mean that you have trapped the animal inside.  If you are positive that the animal is indeed trapped in your home, it is time to take actions to get rid of it.

Removing Animals from Your Home

The first thing you should do once you confirm that an animal is in your house is shut your interior doors to quarantine the animal in one room.  Once this is done, try opening a window or door to the outside and turn off the lights so that the only light in the room is coming from the opening.  Many times the animal will find their own way out in this scenario.  If the animal has made itself comfortable in your home by building a nest or lodging itself into a small space such as the dryer vent, then it is best to contact a wildlife professional to trap and remove it.

As the second half of the summer season starts to wind down, make sure to stay alert and watch out for animal intrusions around your home.  There are several types of animals such as birds and bats that commonly invade homes in the late summer and taking these actions can help you prevent or eliminate late summer intruders.  If an animal infestation is too much for you to handle on your own, contact Attic Solutions for our live trapping and animal removal services.

As soon as you suspect you may have a animal infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with animal exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the animal and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about animal removal services from Attic Solutions.

Inspecting Your Home for Animals this Spring

The winter weather has finally left the Chicago area and the spring season is the ideal time for homeowners to do a thorough inspection of their homes for animals or signs of an intrusion.  This winter was extremely cold with record snowfall so it is possible that a squirrel, raccoon, or other animal may have found shelter in your home to escape the conditions.  By thoroughly inspecting your home inside and out, you can locate potential entry points and discover areas where animals may have been.

Inspect from the top down

The best way to inspect your home for animal intruders is to start in the attic and work down towards the basement.  When performing this inspection, make sure to take your safety into account as intruding animals may bite and scratch which could spread infection or disease.  It is recommended to wear protective clothing, work gloves, and steel toe boots and it may be wise to consider wearing a respirator mask and safety glasses as well.  Make sure to carry a bat or something to defend yourself with in case an animal is still hidden in your home and attacks you.

Areas in your home to keep an eye out for

As you work your way through the house, inspect the floors, walls, and ceilings for small openings that may allow animals to enter from the outside.  These openings should be sealed to help prevent animals from entering in the future.  When you reach the basement, use plenty of light during the inspection because working in the dark may startle groups of squirrels or skunks and create a difficult situation.

Finish with an exterior inspection

Your home inspection should end with a thorough inspection of the exterior of the house to locate and repair possible entry points.  Make sure to carefully inspect the gutters, roof, foundation, and siding for any openings as well as vents, air ducts, and windows.  As you discover potential entry points, look for any signs to suggest that an animal has been there.

This past winter had some of the harshest weather conditions the Chicago area has seen which makes it important to inspect your home for animals that may have intruded to escape the winter weather.  Follow these tips as you work your way through your home and if you do not feel comfortable searching through certain areas of the house, contact an animal control professional such as Attic Solutions for assistance.  It is best to locate and remove any intruding animals now before they start breeding.

As soon as you suspect you may have a animal infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with animal exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the animal and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about animal removal services from Attic Solutions.

What’s that Noise? Animals could be in Your Home

What's driving you nuts? SquirrelImagine you are in your bed, happy to be lying down after a long day but your rest is abruptly interrupted by loud scratching noises coming from your walls or attic. 

If these noises persist, chances are you have an unwelcome roommate scratching around within your walls, attic, crawlspaces, or basement.

Animals that invade homes are looking for food and shelter and if they become too comfortable, they may start digging further into your home scratching through wood, drywall, or insulation.

It is best to contact a wildlife control expert such as Attic Solutions if an animal is found in your home.

For professional wildlife removal and attic restoration call: (847) 464-1861

The following are the most common noise-causing home invaders and a description of the noises they make.

Scratching Noises from Bats

Bats are most likely to invade homes in the late summer and fall seasons and they often enter through small openings in the attic.  They have a tendency to get stuck in walls and respond by making scratching and squeaking noises as they try to free themselves.

Bats can also form colonies in attics if there is a significant infestation which can be very noisy and cause property damage.  The scratching and scurrying noises from bats occur mostly at night because they are nocturnal animals.  If you believe your home may have bats due to scratching noises, contact Attic Solutions to have a professional check it out.

Related: Bat Hibernation

Noises from Rats and Mice

Rodents such as rats and mice are among the most common home invaders and they can usually be identified by the scratching noises they make.  They can be heard scratching around within walls and ceilings as they seek food and shelter within your home.  Attic Solutions can help rid your home of a rat or mouse infestation and implement preventative measures to help keep rodents out of your home.

Related: The differences between rats and mice

Trapped Birds

Birds typically enter homes looking for a nesting spot and their quest sometimes causes them to get stuck in walls, attics, or crawlspaces.  As birds try to find a way out, they make scratching and chirping noises or cause a commotion by vigorously flapping their wings.  They are most likely to be heard early in the morning as they try searching for food.  Make sure to contact Attic Solutions if you suspect a bird infestation in your home.

Related: Watch out for birds nesting in the attic

Noises from Raccoons

Raccoons are known for invading home attics in search of shelter and making homes for themselves out of the insulation.  Raccoons are nocturnal animals and can be heard scurrying in the ceiling and making scratching noises in the middle of the night.  They are also among the loudest home invaders.  It is best to have a professional from Attic Solutions handle a raccoon intrusion as they can be quite wily and dangerous.

Related: Raccoons in the attic

Squirrel Noises

Squirrels most commonly invade homes through the attic from tree tops and they can be heard running, jumping, and scratching in the ceiling.  They are most active during the day and make the most noise when coming and going from the house to look for food.  Squirrels can be quite tricky to deal with which is why you should contact Attic Solutions if you discover a squirrel in your home.

Related: Removing squirrels in the attic

As soon as you suspect you may have an animal infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with animal exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!).

We will remove the animal and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about animal removal services from Attic Solutions.

Call us at (847) 464-1861

Nesting Season for Wildlife

It has been a long winter in the Chicago area but the spring is finally here and the wildlife that inhabits the area will become more active as the temperature starts to rise.  The majority of the wildlife in the Chicago area has been dormant throughout the winter and by the spring; they are looking to build nests which may cause some of them to invade your home or yard, digging up your lawn or destroying your property in the process.  However, there are some preventative actions you can take to prevent animals such as rodents, birds, and others from nesting on your property.  If you discover an infestation that has already taken place in your yard or home, contact Attic Solutions to have the animal removed.

Spring Animal Nesting

The main priority of most animals after they become active in the spring is to build a nest for themselves and their offspring.  There are several locations in which animals may nest such as trees and shrubs as well as places where they become a nuisance such as chimneys, attics, or basements.  These animals may also cause problems as they collect materials to build their nests by digging up plants in the yard or destroying insulation and drywall if they are nesting within your home.  While it is natural and unavoidable for wildlife to nest in the spring season, taking certain preventative actions can reduce the possibility of an animal nesting in your home or property.

Nesting Prevention

Taking the right preventative actions is crucial when dealing with wildlife because it could save you from the property damage and headaches that an animal infestation causes.  One such preventative action that will help keep animals out of your home is trimming your shrubs, bushes, and trees so that they are away from your house.  Certain animals such as squirrels and birds may build their nests in trees and bushes and if the branches are close to or touching the house, it will be much easier for an animal to enter your home.  Another important preventative action to take is to inspect your home for possible entry points and fixing them so that animals do not have a way in.  This includes checking for torn screens, cracks, holes, or any other spaces that could act as potential entry points.  It is also beneficial to keep attics, garages, and basements free of clutter so that animals do not have extra places to hide.

As the wildlife activity increases in these first few weeks of spring, take some time to inspect your yard and your home and take these preventative actions if necessary to make sure that animals stay out of your home.  Most animals will be nesting in the coming weeks and even if you take the necessary preventative actions it is still possible for an infestation to occur in your home or lawn. By following these preventative actions and keeping a constant watch for potential intruders, you can avoid animal intrusions this spring.

As soon as you suspect you may have a animal infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with animal exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the animal and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about animal removal services from Attic Solutions.