Arrow Exterminators Blog

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Keep Wildlife Outside This Winter

With cold temperatures here to stay for the next few months, it’s time to hunker down inside where it’s nice and toasty. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one looking for a warm place to sleep this winter. While you’re wrapped up in blankets and enjoying the heat of the fireplace, a number of furry critters are hoping to make their way into your house to find their own break from the cold.

The cozy comforts of home are an open invitation to local wildlife, and it’s important for homeowners to know the telltale signs of pesky intruders. Not only can these animals cause a lot of damage to your property, but they also carry a number of diseases (keeping the flu at bay is enough of a hassle this time of year).

Here’s a quick rundown of the houseguests you don’t want this season and a few tips for keeping them outside where they belong. 

Roof Rats

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Roof rats weren’t very common in the south 20 years ago, but now they’re one of the top pests to look out for. Outside, they typically live in trees, and look for similarly high places to nest in your home, such as your attic or soffit. Roof rats reproduce quickly, making them particularly hard to control.

Don’t give these pests a place to cozy up for the winter. When storing things around your home, particularly in the attic, use plastic boxes with sealed lids. Keep them off the floor if possible, and organize them to keep roof rats and other wildlife from nesting in undisturbed areas.

Squirrels

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Hearing scratching noises in your walls or attic? It’s probably a family of grey or flying squirrels making a home in your insulation. Squirrels love to sneak in through any holes in your outside walls that are easily accessible from nearby trees, and they nest in exterior walls, attics and even between floors. They also tend to bring mites, fleas and ticks along for the ride. 

Squirrels love to snack on birdseed, so if you keep it around your yard be sure to move bird feeders away from your house, and use squirrel guards to limit their access to feeders. Make sure you don’t have any loose window screens or gutters around your home either; squirrels will often tear them down trying to get inside.

Raccoons

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These five-fingered pests are good at using their hands to aid them in their constant search for food and shelter — including tearing siding and shingles from your home, or rummaging through your garbage. These guys are incredibly destructive, and will often make a nest in your attic, chimney or crawl space. Along with fleas and other parasites, they’re also known to carry rabies.

To keep these pesky critters away from your property, don’t leave pet food or water bowls out overnight, and keep outside cooking and grill areas clean. You should also use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid; properly tie up all garbage bags, and keep the can sealed at all times.

Bats

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Unfortunately, garlic won’t keep these flying pests from nesting in your home. They can fit through spaces as small as half an inch, and will often come through rooflines, chimneys, gables and vents to find a warm place to stay for the winter. Bats travel in colonies, so there’s really no such thing as a small bat problem.

Their droppings create a perfect breeding ground for diseases, so no one wants these guys nesting in their attic. Seal all cracks and holes in your house that lead outdoors, including areas where utilities and pipes enter your home, to help keep bats outside where they belong.

The professionals at Arrow are trained to handle almost any wildlife control situation. So if you do find yourself with unwanted houseguests, give us a call. We’ll be happy to kick them out and give you a plan specific to your home that will keep them out permanently.