Food, water, and a warm place to live are three things wildlife creatures are in search of this winter season. For them, our house can give them direct access to these needs, where they often find their way into our chimneys, attic, basements, and crawlspaces. It’s important to know what pests to look out for and what preventative measures to take, to help prevent a wildlife infestation.
Seeing a rat inside is always alarming. These rodents are known to live in crawlspaces and between the side beams of walls, often accessing inside through the smallest hole and gap. Once inside, rats will chew on electrical wire, causing property damage and an increased risk of fires. Their droppings are also a risk, as they contain pathogens dangerous to humans.
Nocturnal omnivores, raccoons are dexterous and can use their paws to open lids and doors. These animals will use their hands to dig for food, especially in garbage cans. A creature of habit, once raccoons discover food sources in a particular area, such as your house, they will keep coming back over and over, causing both a risk of an infestation and damaged property.
Squirrels are one of the most common wildlife creatures homeowners see. While they are cute from afar, if found inside your home, they can cause considerable damage. Squirrels will take refuge in basements and attics, often bringing acorns to store for the wintertime. Like rats, these rodents will also chew on electrical wire, creating a risk of a fire. Both squirrels themselves and their droppings can contain diseases and pathogens.
To avoid a winter wildlife invasion, prevention is key. Here are a few wildlife prevention tips to help with wildlife control:
- Seal garbage cans and compost bins at night.
- Bring pet food and water bowls indoors at night.
- Trim tree limbs and shrubs away from your house.
- Place a grated screen on top of your chimney.
- Consider enclosing your crawlspace to eliminate entry points.
- Examine your home exterior for any holes and gaps. If holes or gaps are found, seal them immediately.
Main living areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms are all places that homeowners want to ensure are pest-free and wildlife-free year-round. While these spaces are always important to keep free of pests, it’s equally important to prevent them from entering the “forgotten rooms” in your home, as well. These forgotten areas include your basement, attic, and even extra storage rooms. Unfortunately, many homeowners are so focused on keeping the main living areas pest-free that they sometimes forget these other areas too.
Wildlife critters and household pests are looking for three things: water, food, and a warm environment. These three elements are easily available inside every home. Your attic is the perfect room for wildlife to make their home and for a pest to infest. Wildlife such as raccoons, squirrels, and birds can make their way through any openings or gaps leading into the attic. Sealing up any entry points is always a great start for wildlife prevention. Check your attic for any holes or gaps and seal them up immediately. In addition, inspecting your attic insulation is key to household pest prevention. Proper attic insulation can help prevent bugs such as roaches or ants from making their way inside.
Basements will often contain moisture by way of standing water, which provides pests and wildlife a plentiful water supply. Water is one of the main sources of attraction for pests like termites and millipedes. Cutting down moisture is essential to pest prevention. A moisture barrier for your crawlspace and a gutter protection system for your roof are great investments to help eliminate any standing water. These investments both help ensure that water is not filtering into your crawlspace and basement area.
If you suspect that you have a pest or wildlife infestation in your home’s “forgotten areas,” consider reaching out to your local pest control company. A professional will inspect these areas and provide you with a prevention and treatment plan.