Cold weather can be as hard on wild animals as it is on humans. This is especially true for animals that do not hibernate because they have to stay active to find food and keep up their metabolism. Such animals include raccoons, mice, and skunks, all of which may seek shelter somewhere on your property, likely in or under your home. The warmth and access to food that your home provides may attract these animals, a problem that can be resolved humanely with wildlife control in Newmarket from Skedaddle.
Raccoons become extra active during the fall scavenging for food to build up fat stores for the winter. However, because they do not hibernate, they metabolize their stores of fat quickly and have to rebuild them during the winter. Raccoons are omnivorous, meaning they can eat almost anything and are highly adaptable. Many have learned that food is easily accessible from garbage cans outside human homes. Raccoons like to build their homes near food sources and can cause extensive property damage while getting cozy, not to mention potentially exposing your family to disease.
You may be able to prevent raccoons on your property by storing trash in sealable containers, but never for more than a week at a time. Wash out disposable containers before throwing them away and clean outdoor garbage receptacles seasonally. Seal garbage in airtight plastic bags before taking it outside.
Relative to their size, mice can cause disproportionate destruction. Due to the fact that their teeth never stop growing, mice have to gnaw on things such as electrical wires to wear them down. They can also use their sharp teeth to rip up things like clothing, insulation, and linens for material to make nests and raise their young. Mice give birth to large litters every six weeks or so, compounding the problem through sheer numbers. They also spread serious diseases, primarily through their excrement.
Mice typically seek shelter in human homes in the fall as the weather starts to get colder, attracted by both warmth and food. They can detect faint food aromas that escape through tiny openings in foundations or around doors or windows from far away. Once they get close enough, they can feel the warm air that escapes from drafts and squeeze into very tiny holes to get into your home. You can help prevent mice by keeping your home clean, storing food in airtight containers, and sealing up any gaps or cracks around your home.
Like mice and raccoons, skunks do not hibernate per se. However, they do enter a state called torpor, during which their metabolism slows down so they can live off a layer of fat that they have built up prior to winter. Torpor is different from hibernation in that the skunks may be roused from it with warm weather so they can go out and forage for food.
Most skunk species can’t climb, so they make homes near the ground. They have strong claws that enable them to dig their own burrows. However, they prefer an existing shelter that they may excavate slightly to make it larger and more comfortable. As a result, you may find a family of skunks living underneath your deck or porch.
Skunks are docile creatures that mostly keep to themselves. They can be beneficial by eating harmful pests. However, they can cause problems on your property. Like raccoons, they sometimes feed out of garbage cans. Also like raccoons, they are often infected with rabies. Though they typically don’t spray unless threatened, they make an exception during the breeding season in late winter as they compete with one another for mates. You can prevent skunks from taking up residence by blocking spaces underneath decks or porches with wire screening.
Wildlife Control in Newmarket
While sometimes nuisances, these animals all have ecologically important roles to play. It is better to have them removed professionally by Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control to avoid injury and keep them from coming back.