The brisk weather of fall and winter is approaching, and it’s time for everyone to prepare for the harsh months ahead. Just as human prepare for the cold wind and snow, animals also prepare food and warm shelter to survive through fall and winter. However, there are animals that decide to take shelter in an inhabited home during fall and winter to take advantage of the warmth and strong protection from the elements. While it may be paradise for them, it can be a nightmare for the homeowner. To keep pests out of your home this winter, follow these helpful tips.
Snakes are not very fond of the cold. They prefer warm and cozy areas to curl up in. That is why snakes are a common pest found in homes during fall and winter. While not all snakes are venomous or constrictors, they can still be uncomfortable to live with.
To keep snakes away, do a thorough check on the outside of your home for any holes or cracks that a snake could slither through. This includes ventilation ducts, utility pipes and dryer vents. Remember, snakes can be incredibly small and they’re all very flexible. Even a tiny hole could be big enough for a snake to get through. It’s also a good idea to check higher up on the walls in case there are any access points such as trees or poles near the wall.
You can also put down some snake repellent around the perimeter of your house right before or during fall to keep snakes away.
Similarly to snakes, rats make their way into houses through small openings in the house. However, rats can be even more flexible than snakes and they’re better climbers. They can make their way into openings as small as a penny. You’ll need to be even more vigilant in finding access points when trying to keep rats out.
One of the main issues with rats is that they frequently make their way into the living quarters instead of staying in hiding like a snake. It may be impossible to keep rats out completely since there are so many ways rats can get in, but you can rat-proof the interior of your home by putting wire mesh over any openings in the wall such as holes around pipes or cables, putting all food in sealed plastic containers and placing rat repellent around and within your home. If you plan on putting chemical repellent in your home, remember to keep it away from pets, children and food.
Squirrels are a slightly different matter because they store their food supply for the winter in the place that they intend on inhabiting for the season. If their food supply is already in the home, keeping them out can be very difficult. In addition, all homeowners must realize that keeping a squirrel away from their food during winter can quickly lead to the squirrel’s death.
For a more humane method, it’s best to prepare during mid to late summer while the squirrels are preparing to store food. Squirrels frequently access houses by jumping from nearby branches and entering through high access points. Since blocking off high access points may be impossible, it’s best to work from the ground up. Wrap a two-foot wide piece of sheet metal around the trunks of the trees that are close to your house. The metal should be secured about eight feet off of the ground to keep them from avoiding it.
If these methods fail, you can also purchase traps to capture most pests in your home. Glue traps are popular since they are fairly humane and they can catch practically any pest. If you’re not comfortable dealing with a live animal in a trap, you can call an exterminator or a wildlife rescue specialist to release the animal for you.
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Austin blogger, Peter Wendt, recently contacted his Austin roofing contractor for information about how to keep critters out of his attic this winter. All he wants to hear up there is Santa’s sleigh landing!