When you think about the fall, the top things that most likely
come to mind are back-to-school, football, leaves changing colors
and finally, cooler temperatures. What you don't want to think
about is that scratching noise in your attic or walls. Fall is one
of the busiest times of the year for wildlife as roof rats,
squirrels, raccoons and even bats are all on the prowl, looking for
shelter for the winter months ahead.
In their quest to find a nesting place for the winter, these
furry pests will do anything it takes to get inside including
chewing and clawing through wood, plastic and siding.
Hopefully you will find the following information on the most
common fall intruders useful and educational and also gather some
practical tips on how to prevent them from entering your home.
Roof Rats: The most frequent fall intruder, roof rats were not
even found in many southern states 20 years ago. Typically tree
dwellers, they have adapted to high places inside structures
including soffits and attics to survive the winter and reproduce
very quickly making them very difficult to control.
Squirrels: Both gray and flying squirrels are known to find
winter shelter in attics, exterior walls and even between floors
using insulation as nesting material.
Raccoons: Another common wildlife pest is the raccoon. Mostly
nocturnal in nature, raccoons most often choose crawl spaces,
attics and chimneys to build their nests and use their very adept
hands to open garbage cans, remove siding and even tear off
Bats: Last, but not least, homeowners should be on the lookout
for evidence of bats in their attic. Since bats can fit through
spaces as small as half an inch, they often find their way inside
through rooflines, chimneys, gables or vents - making attics a
prime location to nest.
Here are some tips from our experts on how prevent these pests
from entering your home:
• Use plastic boxes and containers with seal-tight lids for
storage, keep off the floor and organize items to prevent wildlife
from residing in undisturbed areas;
• Seal all cracks and holes, including areas where utilities and
pipes enter the home;
• Clean up spilled food and immediately wash dishes and cooking
utensils after use;
• Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean;
• Keep bird feeders away from the house and use squirrel guards to
limit access to the feeder;
• Do not leave pet food or water bowls out overnight; and
• Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid - and
keep it sealed at all times.
Now that you know what to be on the look for, we hope that you
will put the above tips to good use. And, remember, if one of these
fury intruders manages to find their way into your home, be sure to
contact a pest professional immediately.