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 shingles.
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.