Prevent Wildlife from Invading Your Home This Winter

November 21, 2014By

With the coming cold weather, you might notice your home becoming a magnet for wildlife. Whether you have bats in your attic, skunks nesting under your porch or some other type of wild animal trying to make your house its new home, let Fischer Environmental help you with some tips to deter these animals from taking up residence.

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Animals in the Attic

Any mammal or bird may try to get into your attic during the colder months, but the mostly likely culprits would be birds, bats, squirrels and raccoons. To prevent mammals from taking residence in your attic, the best solution is to install screening over any vents, louvers or other openings.

A diligent homeowner may also wish to go a step further with caulk or expanding insulation to fill in smaller cracks.

Dryer Vents

Dryer vents are warm and appealing, especially to chipmunks, squirrels or small birds. The solution is to cover the opening of a dryer vent with a piece of wire mesh cloth or screening to keep these animals out.

Chimney Protection

A chimney provides the perfect opportunity for nesting and it can attract raccoons, birds, bats and squirrels. Birds are often the unfortunate victims of nesting in chimneys, because they can easily get in but most often cannot get out.

A homeowner can alleviate chimney nesting by installing an inexpensive screen or using hardware netting to deter nesting from wild animals. The best solution for protecting a chimney against nesting (which can also be a fire hazard) is to install a chimney cap.

Before installing any prohibitive netting or screens, it is important to remove all the debris to prevent a fire.

Protecting Porches

The space beneath porches and decking is a perfect spot for many different animals to make a new home. The best solution is to cover any openings under a porch or deck with mesh, wood or hardware cloth. To stop animals from digging and tunneling under a porch, the homeowner should bury a barrier about 12-inches into the ground.

Overhangs and Gutters

If the overhangs of a home are open, it can be a great place for birds, squirrels and raccoons to take refuge. A homeowner should keep facia and soffits in good repair and cut back any tree branches that could provide access for animals.

For preventing birds from nesting in overhangs and gutters, a homeowner may want to invest in some enclosed gutters.

Scare the Animals Away

Sometimes even the most determined family dog cannot convince local wildlife to select a different winter residence. Fortunately, there are a variety of different ways a homeowner can deter wildlife from their home.

Simple visual deterrents can include installing a lighting system with a timer or motion sensor. To keep wildlife away from a home without a territorial canine, soaking a rag in ammonia will mimic the smell of predator urine and can prove to be effective.

Other Recommendations

Not only will wildlife be attracted to a home’s warmth during the cold winter months, but other common household situations can make a human dwelling seem appealing. A homeowner should keep trash containers secure and put the container out for collection only that morning.

Keeping tree branches trimmed at least six feet from the home will make it harder for wildlife to get on the roof and gain access to a chimney or attic. Lastly, remember to clean up any leaf piles and debris and keep compost piles secure.

Following the above-mentioned tips will go a long way in helping a homeowner in keeping wildlife from taking up residence at their home during cold weather. By taking these steps, a homeowner can avoid unsafe encounters with wildlife and it will protect the home at the same time.

If you experience any animals trying to make your home their winter residence, the professionals at Fischer Environmental will remove them quickly and safely.

Filed in: Fischer Environmental