Identifying Noises Caused by Wildlife in Structures

WARNING: Noises and sounds in wildlife damage settings are not a very accurate way to determine the species causing a problem. Like pain, noises only tell you that something is wrong;┬árarely do they tell you what is wrong. This is because people have different hearing abilities and activity schedules. You also have to take into account the┬áthickness of insulation and the kinds of materials used in the building’s construction. Finally, remember you can’t hear a noise if you aren’t in the right part of the building at the right time. Please read this information with the appropriate skepticism.

Before inspecting any of these locations, learn Proper Inspection and Safety Techniques

Is the sound consistent and repetitive?

If yes, then the noise is likely mechanical, such as from a smoke detector. Or does the sound only occur when the wind is blowing or at specific times of the day, such as late in the day when the vinyl siding is the hottest?

If no, then continue on below.

Where does the noise emanate from?

Attic or Walls

Scratching noise in wall Rats, mice, birds
Running in attic Squirrels
Heavy walking Raccoon or opossum


Scratching Could be anything from squirrels, to birds, to raccoons
Chirping Raccoons
Grinding Chimney swifts (a federally protected species)