Fall and winter in the Carolina’s can get chilly for people and local wildlife, including squirrels, bats, raccoons and opossums. During the colder months, animals are just like people and prefer to stay warm and cozy. It’s important to take some precautions during the fall and winter to avoid winding up with a wild and unexpected roommate. Damage Caused by Wildlife Intruders Wild animals can do a lot of damage to your home. They chew on wood and sheet rock that causes structural damage. They may gnaw open storage boxes and plastic containers, damaging the contents inside. The entry they create into your home can be an invitation for bugs to take up residence also. Those entryways can also allow water to seep into parts of the home and cause mold growth. Wild animals may also chew on electrical wiring, which can cause a dangerous electrical fire.

Who is Sneaking In? In our area, the most common wildlife intruders are squirrels, bats, raccoons and every once in a while an opossum. They generally take up residence in parts of the home you don’t use frequently, such as attics, basements, crawlspaces or even inside walls. Unless you hear scurrying sounds or happen to go into one of those spaces, you may not even know you have a new wild roommate (or a few). Intrusion Prevention The best way to avoid wildlife intruders is to use measures to prevent them from gaining access to your home in the first place. Here are a few tips to protect your home from intrusion:

  • Trim tree limbs that could provide an access route to your home, particularly up near the attic and roof. This is a common way squirrels break into attics.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside. This entices wildlife into your yard looking for a quick meal.
  • Properly address any cracked or broken windows in any part of the home but be sure to inspect those in the attic and basement.
  • Ensure safety screens covering attic fans and chimneys are properly secured and don’t have any holes or damage.
  • Seal any cracks you find (or have a profession out for repair) to prevent animals accessing your home through a crack in siding or foundation.
  • Take trash out promptly and make sure your trash container lid snaps shut securely to avoid attracting wildlife. Also, if you compost, be sure to use an animal-proof composting unit.

No one likes to be cold, especially local wildlife. If they can find a way into your home, they may decide to move in for the chilly season. There are measures you take to prevent squirrels, bats, raccoons and the random opossum from making themselves at home in your house. If you suspect you may have a new wildlife roommate, call Pee Dee Wildlife Control to investigate and safely remove any intruding critters.