Critter Wars – Keeping Unwanted Wildlife Out of Your Home

by Carmen Corbin on February 29, 2012

It’s fun to watch the neighborhood squirrels playfully scamper about from tree to tree, searching for the best acorn your yard has to offer.   We laugh at their attempts to raid our birdfeeders, and marvel at their agility and speed.  But nature’s entertainment comes to a screeching halt when we’re lying wide awake at night, listening to the constant scratching of a noisy squirrel up in the attic.  Now, he’s on your turf.  Now, it’s war.

The Main Culprits

While each region of the country has to deal with different types of invaders (such as scorpions – yeow!), the most common offenders are squirrels, raccoons, birds, bats, possums, skunks, woodchucks, and of course – rats and mice.  Whether your home is in the city, country or suburbs, there’s something out there that wants to get in.  Our warm, dry homes are the perfect place for nest building, food scrounging or just hanging out.   So what can be done?

Removing the Welcome Mat

Prevention is the key to reducing the chances of an animal taking up residence in your home.  You can start by taking some of these steps:

Attics and Soffits:  Repair loose or damaged attic vents and cover them from the inside with a heavy steel screen.  Check for additional gaps around roof peaks and call a roofing company if you need help repairing them.  Also secure any soffits that have gaps and loose areas.

Chimneys:  Install a screened chimney cap to prevent animals and birds from making nests in your chimney, which can create a fire hazard.

The Perimeter:  Walk around the exterior of your house and look for loose siding and trim, foundation cracks, and other visible gaps.  Repair with nails, caulk, mortar, sheet metal and whatever else you have in your arsenal.

Trees and Brush:  You can make it harder for squirrels to jump down onto your roof by trimming overhanging tree branches.  Also, remove piles of brush in yard areas – they make inviting shelters for certain kinds of wildlife.

Decks and Porches:  Woodchucks love to burrow under low decks and porches, and their tunnels can severely undermine your footings and foundation.  Installing lattice may deter them for a while, but pouring concrete underneath should reinforce your “Stay Out!” message.

Grills and Garbage:  Food smells attract all kinds of wildlife (and maybe even the neighbor’s dog!), so clean up grill spills and spray down the garbage cans periodically to help remove them.

For more information on protecting your home from wildlife invasion, contact your local roofing contractor or home improvement professional.


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