No matter how much you love animals or how much you want to be surrounded by nature, you really do not want to share your home with any uninvited wildlife. It is great to watch the local wildlife enjoying themselves in their natural habitat but no matter how cute an animal might look climbing trees or burrow under leaves, it is anything but cute when they decide to move into your personal space and make themselves at home in your attic or basement.
As the old adage states, “prevention is better than cure” and that is the mindset that you need to apply to your home. You don’t wait for your roof to blow off before you repair it and you shouldn’t wait for the wildlife to move in before you look for entry points. The removal of wildlife that has already made a nest or den in your home is far more difficult, time-consuming and costly, than preventing them from finding a way in, to begin with. Rather than calling in the wildlife removal experts to get rid of an existing problem, it makes far more sense to ask them to prevent wildlife from becoming a problem in the first place.
As a homeowner or tenant, you need to constantly be on the lookout for possible wildlife entry points on your property. And just because your home was secure a year ago or before the winter does not necessarily mean that it is secure now. Harsh winter storms and high-wind can cause extensive damage to your shingles, siding, soffit, and vents, and can open up holes in your roof that are the perfect entry point for local wildlife, most notably raccoons and squirrels.
Besides the nuisance factor of wildlife deciding to move into your home, there are also health and safety concerns. Animal and bird droppings in your attic can cause diseases and respiratory complications. While animals like raccoons, rodents and squirrels will rip up your insulation and chew your electrical cables.
Warm air from roof vents is an open invitation for wildlife to move in
Roof vents are a crucial part of the construction of your home and vents in your attic allow the release of warm air from your house. Wildlife, however, views these vents as the perfect entry point to your property and any animal that finds its way onto your roof will see this warm air as an invitation to come on in. Aluminum or plastic roof vent covers are no match for a squirrel’s sharp teeth or a raccoon’s strong claws. Any gaps around the roof vent cover will make it easy for a raccoon to pry the vent open or for a small animal like a mouse or bat to slip inside and make themselves comfortable in your warm attic.
Many attics will become too hot for squirrels in the summer and they will move out, making it the perfect time to get a professional wildlife control expert to inspect your property, replace or repair damaged roof vents and fix any holes. Make sure that when you check your roof vents, you also check your gable vents.
Animals can gain access to your home through your weep vents
Weep vents are found over lintels in the external cavity wall of a home and provide ventilation as well as a place to discharge water that can collect at the window or door head. But like any small gap, weep holes provide a convenient and often overlooked entry point for animals, most notably mice and bats. These small gaps enable them to gain access to the nice warm cavity between the walls – a perfect place to spend the cold winter months safe from predators and the harsh winter weather. Make sure that the weep holes in your house are covered by secure screens that prohibit small animals from gaining entry to your property.
Soffits are warm and cozy hiding places
Soffits are the underside of an overhanging eave, arch or balcony. The soffit is designed to help ventilate your attic and has small holes to allow air to pass through and circulate. Raccoons, squirrels, mice, bats, and birds all like to make nests in your soffits. It is a safe, warm spot for them to call home and once they are in, you will need professional help to get them out safely. The best thing to do is always inspect your home after a bad storm and replace any damaged soffits as soon as possible. Pay close attention roof-soffit intersections because where two roofs meet it will never sit completely flush and these gaps are the ideal entry point for smaller animals like squirrels.
AC pipes are an easy entry point for rodents
The exhaust from your AC, found on the outside of your home, is another great entry point for rodents. You need to ensure that any gaps around your AC pipes or plumbing vents are sealed with expanding foam to ensure that no unwelcome guests find an easy way into your home. Remember, mice and rats only need an extremely small opening to climb through. Exhaust pipes from dryer fans and stoves are also perfect squirrel homes so makes sure that they are covered with proper mesh or stainless-steel covers – plastic is no match for a squirrel’s sharp teeth.
Siding needs to be secure
In our harsh climate, the siding on our homes tends to deteriorate quickly. Moisture typically collects on roof edges and ice dams quickly form, this softens and weakens the wood making it easier for squirrels to chew through and for raccoons to rip it off. It is essential to inspect your siding before and after winter (and after any storms,) replacing any damaged, rotting or broken boards you find. Even wood in good condition is no match for a determined squirrel so if you live in an area with an abundance of squirrels it is worth considering sealing your roofline with galvanized metal that is custom made for the job.
Squirrels, raccoons, mice and other wildlife are all highly resourceful when it comes to finding nice cozy places to build nests and dens. They are constantly on the lookout for a good place to call home and that means that you always need to make sure that your home is wildlife proof and that you secure all entry points. Do regular home inspections, especially when the seasons change or after high winds and big storms. Pay close attention to vents, sidings, and soffits. If you spot a wildlife entry point the best solution is to call in the professionals. A qualified wildlife removal expert will be able to find and secure any entry points and ensure that the wildlife stays in the wild where it belongs.
Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has extensive experience in securing homes from unwanted animal invasions. Our professionally trained technicians will inspect your home from top to bottom and look for any possible wildlife entry points. We will draw up a comprehensive wildlife prevention plan that will keep your home safe and secure from wild animals.