With spring upon us we can look forward to nicer weather, fresh air, and more time spent outdoors. The same is true for wildlife. This time of year these pests are emerging from hibernation in search of food, water, and the perfect nesting spot to have their first litter of the year. Here are some of the most common spring wildlife creatures and some general tips on wildlife prevention.
Skunks emerge from hibernation and become much more active in the spring. Skunks usually birth their first litters in early to mid-spring, as well. Skunks can cause damage to your property by burrowing under buildings. They are also known to spray noxious fumes when they feel attacked or cornered. Skunks are also the second most common carriers of rabies.
Although squirrels are not as common indoors as their other rodent cousins (mice and rats), once their hibernation period is over they will awaken looking for food and nesting sites. Squirrels also have their first litters in the spring. Squirrels can get into attics and wall voids, chewing holes, electrical wires, and phone cables.
Raccoons don’t usually hibernate but they are much less active in the winter. They have their young in the spring, often going in search of food and water to nourish them. Raccoons are very smart and will often get into trashcans at night. They can also be destructive to homes and lawns and will attack if they feel cornered. Raccoons are also known carriers of rabies.
Snakes start emerging from brumation/hibernation in early to mid-spring when they start laying their eggs. Snakes will often look for nesting sites in wood piles, under porches, under rock piles, and other shady, secluded areas around your home.
Most wildlife are generally harmless to humans but can become problematic if they get inside your home. Wildlife control starts at home with prevention. Help keep wildlife out with these handy tips:
- Keep garbage stored in tightly sealed trashcans or use bungee cords to strap lids closed.
- Remove any outdoor food sources such as birdseed and pet food.
- Block off any openings under porches, decks, patios, and garages with wire mesh or chicken wire.
- Keep windows locked and screened.
- Trim tree branches and shrubs away from your home.
- Clean gutters to prevent water pooling and potential nesting sites.
If you suspect a problem with wildlife or other pests, contact a professional pest control company for a full analysis and treatment plan.
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It’s true – many wildlife creatures invade and infest homes during the colder months of the year. However, there are still plenty of pests that are active and looking for a place to inhabit. Knowing which types are prevalent this season and how to prevent them can help you protect your home and family.
As coldblooded animals, snakes get their energy from the sun. Because of this, snakes are more active during the warmer months as they require more energy to mate. You’ll typically see snakes out in the early morning and late evenings to avoid the high heat of midday. When they aren’t out, snakes like to hide out in cool, dark places such as underneath rocks and decks. You could also find them hiding out in your basement if they’ve gained access.
To keep nuisance pests from infesting your property it’s important to keep your lawn neat and clean. Clean up any yard clutter, such as piles of leaves and wood. Keep your grass mowed to eliminate coverage and trim bushes and hedges regularly. Always check your garage, garage doors, windows, and exterior doors for gaps and seal any openings.
During the spring and summer, opossum females care for their young, meaning they are more active in searching for food to nourish them with. These animals are nocturnal and search for food at night. During the day, possums will hide in trees where they will stay until the evening. While they eat unwanted pests such as snails, cockroaches, spiders, and rats, they also eat garbage, fruit, grass, and roadkill.
To prevent opossums, keeping food from being left out outside your house is crucial. Make sure you bring in pet food and water from outside. Pick up any fruit that might have fallen from trees, including tossing out the rotten ones. It’s equally important to keep your garage doors, pet doors, or unscreened windows closed during the night.
Rats are active year-round, but the warmer weather provides them with more sources of food. These rodents can reproduce very quickly and controlling them can become difficult once they’ve infested. Rats will typically make burrows before wintertime, building these under buildings, concrete slabs, around lakes and ponds, and even near the garbage. These wildlife creatures can be a risk to humans as they can contaminate food, chew wires causing fire hazards, and their urine and feces can cause health concerns.
Taking necessary precautions before you start seeing rats is the key to preventing them. Check around the exterior of your home and seal up any cracks, crevices, and holes found in the foundation or siding. Remove clutter throughout your garages and storage areas, along with using plastic storage instead of cardboard. Keep your kitchen clean from any crumbs and spills and take your trash out regularly.
If you’ve taken the necessary steps to prevent these common wildlife but are still seeing them, it might be time to call your local pest control company. They’ll be able to assess the wildlife issue and provide you with the best wildlife control and wildlife exclusion options.
Warmer weather triggers the emergence of animals from hibernation. What many homeowners don’t realize is that wildlife will sometimes take refuge inside your home during the cold winter months. Once the weather starts warming up, these overwintering pests will start waking up and come out in droves looking for food and water. While some wildlife may be harmless, others can cause significant damage to both your home and your health. Some pests leave feces behind that can contaminate your food, kitchen surfaces, and even the air inside your home. Other pests can chew through wood and wires in your attic and walls, putting you at risk for fires.
Some common spring wildlife that can cause issues for homeowners include birds like swallows and sparrows; rodents like rats and mice; bats; squirrels; and raccoons. Birds use eaves, vents, and holes in the roof to make nests. Bird nest removal and bird control is regulated and usually best left to professionals. Rodents are some of the most common nuisance pests, getting inside through tiny spaces and reproducing quickly. Chewing and contamination are huge problems with rodents. While not as common as some of the other wildlife mentioned previously, bats can cause problems for you in the springtime. Bats will usually roost in gable vents and soffits but can also get into your home through the chimney or holes that they can use to access the attic. Larger mammals like squirrels and raccoons can get into attics and chimneys and even crawlspaces and basements. They are some of the most destructive spring wildlife, chewing through materials in your home and leaving behind huge messes.
So what can you do to keep these animals from seeing your home as a safe haven? Check out these tips to help control wildlife this spring.
- Check the outside of your home for any possible entry points and seal them.
- Repair any leaks or damaged and rotted wood around your home.
- Repair or replace damaged window and door screens.
- Use chimney caps.
- Use screens over dryer vents, air vents, and stove vents.
- Trim back trees from your roof line and shrubs from the sides of your home.
- Seal trash in containers with lids and don’t put it out until the day of trash pickup.
- Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.
- Store unused pet food in sealed containers.
- Empty bird feeders daily.
- Keep your gutters clear or consider installing gutter guards.
- If you suspect you have a wildlife problem, contact a professional wildlife control company to safely remove any animals you may have.
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Snake season in Georgia starts in spring and runs through late fall. As the temperatures start to warm up, snake activity in our area will increase. As snakes emerge from hibernation, they will go in search of one thing: FOOD! This quest will often lead them into our backyards, gardens, and even local parks. With snake season just around the corner, now is the time to take action. Here are some snake prevention tips to help you prepare for snake season.
Clean Up Your Yard
Snakes will use anything they can find for cover. Take the time now to clean up leaf litter, fallen logs, piles of bricks and rocks or anything else snakes can use as a hiding spot. If you can’t remove them, try to elevate them off the ground. Keep your lawn and any other surrounding areas with grass mowed short. Snakes will use tall grass as cover. Low hanging growth from trees, shrubs, hedges, etc. provide natural places for snakes to climb and hide. Keep them trimmed back from your home and off the ground. Discard any mulch or grass clippings away from your property as snakes will burrow into these for a sheltered hiding space.
Inspect Your Home
Snakes will use holes in the exterior of your home to gain access inside. Carefully inspect the outside of your house for holes, making sure to check under roofs, under the house, in skirting, on garages, etc. Repair or block any openings that you find.
Snakes will often go after hatchlings and bird eggs. If you have chickens, ducks or any other birds, make sure their pens or aviaries are kept tidy and in good repair.
Eliminate Food Sources
Snakes will feed on rodents, frogs, and other insects. Keeping these pests away from your home will help keep snakes away, as well. Clean up spilled or uneaten birdseed from underneath feeders; keep outdoor trashcans sealed with tight lids; feed your pets indoors when possible; if you must feed outdoors, feed once or twice per day and bring food and water bowls indoors in between feedings; seal pet food and bird seed in plastic or metal containers with tight lids.
Moisture also attracts rodents, frogs, and other insects that snakes feed on. Eliminating moisture will help make your property less attractive to snakes. Eliminate any areas of standing water; fix leaky pipes and spigots; try to avoid overwatering your lawn; consider enclosing your crawlspace.
Get Routine Pest Control
Establishing a routine pest control service helps prevent nuisance pest problems before they get out of hand. By keeping these pest populations under control, you decrease the risk of snakes by eliminating potential food sources.
Most snakes that are encountered are non-venomous; there are some venomous snakes in our area that you should be careful to avoid, however. If you must be outdoors during snake season, wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves, and closed toed shoes. If you go outside at night, take a flashlight, lantern, or torch. If you do encounter a snake, don’t go near it and don’t try to kill it. Stay calm, keep your pets and children away, and allow the snake to move away on its own. Back away slowly. If you choose to, contact your local wildlife control company who can come and properly identify the snake and safely relocate or eliminate it.
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With warmer weather here, many animals are beginning to emerge from hibernation and are ready to roam. Unfortunately for many homeowners, that means you may need to start protecting your home from wildlife entering. Pests such as squirrels, mice, raccoons, and more are in search of food and water, two things that can be easily found in your home.
There are a few signs that you can look for if you suspect that you have wildlife inside your home. The first is hearing noises. Some animals tend to sneak in-between walls or find their way up into attics. You can hear them running in your attic or hear scratching noises inside your walls. If you hear these noises and happen to see small openings in walls, it is most likely that these animals are inside your house.
Another sign to look for is seeing droppings from animals. Places to look for these droppings include basements, along baseboards, or even in pantries. Animal droppings can be considered very dangerous as their feces can contaminate the air in your home. The contaminated air contains spores that develop from the fungus grown in animals’ fecal matter, causing illness if breathed in.
Keeping wildlife out of your home can be challenging but with these wildlife prevention tips you can lessen your chance of seeing these animals inside your home.
- Clean out your gutters
- Bring all pet food inside the house and keep them in sealed containers
- Trim back all trees from the roofline of your house
- Keep outdoor trash in tightly sealed containers
- Caulk and seal up entrances around your home
- Remove bird feeders as they can attract squirrels and other animals to your home
Depending on the pest, it’s always best to have a customized plan for removal. Make sure to call your local pest control company who can inspect and create a plan to remove and prevent these animals.