Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall

Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall

August is here and as much as we don’t want to think about it, fall is right around the corner. As the days begin to get shorter and temperatures drop, wildlife creatures begin to prepare for the fall and winter seasons. Fall is the time when wildlife search for warm shelter and begin to stock up on food, sometimes leading them right to your home!

Here are some of the most common wildlife critters that can find refuge in your home for winter, along with some ways to prevent them from taking up residence in your home.

Squirrels

Squirrels like to “fatten” up in the fall as they get ready for the colder months. They often seek shelter in attics where they will make their nests and store their food. They are especially hazardous in homes because they have a tendency to chew through wires and wood, creating significant damage to your home.

Some ways to prevent squirrels:

  • Install chimney caps or screens
  • Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight
  • Take down bird feeders in the fall as squirrels love to scavenge these for seed
  • Trim back any limbs or branches that extend within 10 feet of your home

Raccoons

Like squirrels, raccoons also like to “fatten” up for the winter. Raccoons are nocturnal, which means they are more active at night. When the weather gets cooler, this causes raccoons to become more active and creative in their search for food. They will often find food in your trash cans and home and can often enter your house through the roof. They are known to seek shelter in either your attic or crawl space.

You can prevent raccoons by:

  • Keep trash in bins with secure, locking lids
  • Seal any entry points on the exterior of your home
  • Rinse out trash cans once a month to help eliminate odors
  • Install bright exterior lights to deter them from your yard at night

Rodents

Rodents, like mice and rats, will begin to be more active in the fall and you can usually hear them in your walls or attic. They seek shelter in your home because it supplies them with an available food supply throughout the winter.

Prevent rodents this fall by:

  • Storing food in plastic or metal containers with tight lids
  • Sealing up holes inside and outside the home
  • Cleaning up spilled food immediately and washing dishes soon after use
  • Keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible

Bats

Once the temperature dips below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, bats will begin their hibernation. While some species of bats do migrate south once the weather cools off, some will be in search of warm, dark spaces to roost that are hidden from predators. Unfortunately, they will often roost in the attic or chimney of your home.

You can prevent bats by:

  • Installing chimney screens
  • Using window screens and draft guards on doors and windows that go into the attic
  • Sealing any openings in shingles and weatherstripping
  • Making sure insulation isn’t worn down

Wildlife removal can be a difficult task to handle on your own, as there are some regulations for certain species. It is often best left to the professionals. If you suspect you have a wildlife problem, contact your local professional wildlife control company. These professionals will inspect your home to identify the animal problem. They will also provide you with the best plan of action to remove nuisance wildlife and prevent it in the future.

Preventing Wildlife in Attics

Preventing Wildlife in Attics

Now that winter is here, it is time to make sure your attic is not harboring wildlife from the cold. The most common pests that find refuge in attics are racoons, squirrels, bats, birds, and mice. These pests can cause severe damage to your home and pose a significant threat to your health.

There are many ways for wildlife creatures to get into your home. The most obvious ways are through vents and construction gaps. These can sometimes be unavoidable, since rodents can squeeze through cracks as small as half an inch wide. Some of the pests can be taken care of with DIY pest control, but some do need professional attention. Bats are a pest that you should not take care of yourself. They can carry rabies and some species are protected.

The damage that can be caused in your attic can be anything from chewed wires to disturbance to your insulation, which can end up being costly for you. There are many ways to implement wildlife control in your attic. Here are a few of our favorites below:

  1. Regularly inspect the exterior of your home to ensure there is no damage to the roof or siding. If you notice any damage or openings, look to seal them immediately. Fixing issues before they escalate is the best way to prevent pests from entering the attic.
  2. Keeping branches trimmed back away from the house will help keep wildlife like squirrels and raccoons from potentially jumping onto your roof. This will not keep them fully away, as they are both good climbers, but it will hinder their options.
  3. Consider investing in some roof vent covers to keep wildlife from accessing your attic. These will help to block entryways on the roof and are built to resist erosion and weather conditions, so they have lasting effects.
  4. If your home has a chimney, getting a chimney cap is a terrific addition. This will help to keep creatures, such as squirrels, from entering through the chimney into your main living space.

If you believe that you have wildlife in your attic, consider calling your local pest control company to help locate entry points, safely remove them, and prevent them from entering your house in the future.

Mouse vs Rat: 5 Differences Explained

Mouse vs Rat: 5 Differences Explained

As members of the rodent family, mice and rats look very similar and are often mistaken for one another. Both are harmful, transmitting serious diseases to humans and pets, contaminating surfaces in our home, and chewing through structures and wires, causing damage and putting you at risk for fires. How do you know if you are dealing with a mouse vs rat? Here are 5 key differences between these two rodents.

Physical Appearance

Mice are noticeably smaller than rats, growing 3 to 4 inches in length. Mice weigh anywhere from 0.5 oz to 3 oz. A mouse’s tail is equal in length to its body and is thin, long, and covered in hair. Mice have small heads and large ears with pointy, triangular snots and smooth fur. Mice can be white, gray, or brown in color. Rats, on the other hand, are much larger, measuring 9″ to 11″ in length and weighing anywhere from 12 oz to 1.5 lbs. A rat’s tail can be 7″ to 9″ in length and is long, thick, scaly, and hairless. Rats have small ears and large heads with blunt snouts. They have coarse fur that can be dark brown or multicolored.

Droppings

Mice have smaller droppings, about 1/4″ in length. Mice droppings are black with pointed ends and resemble a grain of rice. Mice can leave up to 100 droppings at a time. Rat droppings are larger with an elongated oval shape. These droppings are about 3/4″ long, black in color, and resemble a banana. Rats can leave up to 50 droppings at a time. Rodent droppings of both species are known to carry diseases that can be harmful to humans.

Diet

While both species are omnivores, their diets tend to vary. Mice commonly eat fruit, seeds, and plants. In your home they may nibble on bread crumbs or other cereals and grains. Their palates are not as wide as rats. Mice can also survive on 3 mL of water per day. Rats, on the other hand, will eat almost anything, even scavenging through your garbage for fruit, eggs, meat, and other leftovers. They will also eat plants and seeds. Rats need anywhere from 15 to 60 mL of water per day.

Habitat

While both rats and mice will come into your home, they tend to frequent different areas once inside. Mice can be found in garages, under trees, under decks, and in walls and other voids that are too small for other rodents to get into. The species of rat you are dealing with determines where they prefer to live. Norway rats can be found in sewers, inside walls, and in cellars. They prefer lower levels of your home to reside in. Roof rats prefer higher environments, often being found in cabinets and attics.

Behavior

Mice are nocturnal animals. They are timid but social within their own populations. They are very territorial and more curious than rats, making them easier to trap. They are skillful climbers and can access areas rats can’t because of their small size. Rats are also nocturnal but are more cautious and fearful of new things than mice are, making them more difficult to trap. Rats are also skillful climbers. Both rats and mice will gnaw through structures and wiring in your home, causing damage and putting you at risk for fire. Mice have weaker teeth and can’t chew through glass or metal to get to food. Rats have much stronger jaws and have been known to chew through wood, glass, sheet metal, aluminum, and even cinder blocks.

Regardless of which pest you are dealing with, proper identification and treatment is essential to eliminating them. Contact your local pest control company who can determine which type of pest you have and set you up with the appropriate rodent control plan to eliminate them.

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

Cockroaches: Types and Prevention Tips

Winter Pests to Watch Out For

Have a Pest-Free New Year

What Threat Do Rodents Pose To Humans?

Overwintering Pests: Boxelder Bugs and Ladybugs

Signs of a Mouse Infestation

Signs of a Mouse Infestation

Mice are incredibly resourceful as they can quickly adapt to new environments. Small in size, these pests are looking for a warm place to shelter and provide a food source. If these rodents make it indoors, they can cause significant damage to your home. Here we list the major signs of mice in your home and how you can prevent them.

Seeing holes, tears, and gnaw marks is a major sign that mice are indoors. You can typically see this damage in bedding, clothing, fabrics, and other materials. Mice will use these shredded fabrics to help build their nests, usually located in dark, secluded areas. These pests will also chew and leave gnaw marks on inedible materials such as wood, plastic, cables, and electrical wiring.

A more obvious sign of a mouse infestation is hearing noises throughout the night. Mice can fit through holes and openings smaller than their bodies. Using their ability to fit through the smallest hole, they will often use the spaces between joists to travel from one part of the house to the other. If a mouse has gotten inside the walls, you’ll often hear scratching or scrabbling noises.

Another alarming sign that a mouse is inside is seeing their feces. Mouse droppings are around three to six millimeters or ¼ inch in length. They typically resemble small grains of rice and sometimes can be mistaken for cockroach droppings. If you see mouse droppings, it’s best to carefully pick them up with gloves and place them in a sealed plastic bag to ensure they don’t release bacteria or virus particles.

To help prevent mice, place the preventative measures below throughout your house.

  • Seal any cracks and holes on the exterior of your home with caulk.
  • Keep your basements, crawlspaces, and attics clean, decluttered, and dry.
  • Clean up any spills and crumbs immediately, vacuuming and sweeping often.
  • Don’t leave food out overnight, including pet food outside.

If you notice any signs of mice inside your house, consider reaching out to your local pest control provider, where they will provide you with the best plan of action.

3 Holiday Pest Control Tips

3 Holiday Pest Control Tips

The holiday season is a time to enjoy family, eat delicious food, and not worry about pests! Unfortunately, overwintering pests such as spiders, rodents, ants, ticks, and more are looking indoors for food, water, and shelter. During the holiday season, Christmas trees, wreaths, firewood, decorations, and storage boxes provide the ideal opportunity for these pests to hitchhike inside.

Check out our top 3 pest prevention tips for holiday pest control.

Check Your Decorations

Attics, basements, and garages provide perfect storage spaces for our holiday decorations. These areas in your home are dark and secluded, making them the perfect place for pests to invade.  Stored decorations provide an undisturbed hiding place for pests such as mice, rats, spiders, and more. These creatures will often crawl into the storage boxes you put away last season, contaminating and destroying your decorations.

To ensure that you do not bring these pests into your main living space, inspect and unpack these items outside first. After the holiday season has ended, pack your decorations like foliage, potpourri, and Indian corn in air-tight containers to help prevent pests for next year.

Check Your Firewood

With colder weather here, many homeowners start utilizing their fireplace, bringing in more firewood from outside. However, it’s crucial to inspect firewood before bringing it inside the home. Pests like spiders, termites, and ants are often found on firewood. Consider placing the firewood outside 20 feet from your home and on a raised platform.

Check Your Christmas Tree & Wreaths

If your family celebrates Christmas, you might opt to buy a real Christmas tree and wreath. While both can showcase the authentic look of Christmas, they also tend to carry pests such as spiders, moths, mites, and even squirrels!

To prevent these unwanted pests from hitchhiking indoors, inspect both items outside and then shake them. Also, check these items for any droppings, gnaw marks, or other damage before bringing them inside.

If you suspect that you have a holiday pest problem, consider reaching out to your local pest control company. These professionals will be able to inspect your home, provide the best pest control plan, and recommend prevention techniques for your home.

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