Fall is the time of year when homeowners begin to notice cute furry animals in their yard. Animals such as squirrels, chipmunks and other rodents are often seen looking for food and preparing to escape the colder weather. What many people don’t realize is that these pests may be looking for food and shelter in your home. Once these animals enter a home, they can cause severe property damage and pose health risks such as exposure to rabies and the potentially deadly Hantavirus.
The most common fall animals to look out for are squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats and raccoons. They tend to enter through very small holes or will make a new hole to fit their way in. Once an animal is in the home, they can cause structural damage or bite through electrical wire and cause a fire. In addition to property damage, the droppings left behind from these pests can spread disease or allergies in young children.
Here are some simple tips that all homeowners can use to keep these furry friends out of their homes and in the wild:
- Store boxes and containers off the floor and organize items often to prevent rodents from residing in undisturbed areas.
- Seal cracks and holes, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
- Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean.
- Do not leave pet food or water bowls out overnight.
- Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid and keep sealed at all times.
- Keep grains and animal feed in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids. In the evening, return uneaten animal feed to containers with lids.