Spring is here, which means many of the wildlife pests that you haven't seen since winter have made a full transition out of hibernation. Unfortunately, there are going to be plenty of bats, raccoons, skunks and squirrels searching for shelter around your home, and some of them may even find their way inside. To keep this from happening, there are many simple steps you can take to evaluate the exterior of your home. You may find a few issues in the foundation that are inviting these pesky rodents inside.
Consider sealing the following areas to keep the wildlife pests from entering your home this spring:
Fireplace and Furnace Chimneys
This may be the immediate source of where the pests are entering, especially if your chimney does not have a cover. To keep the wildlife from entering through your fireplace or furnace chimney, The University of Illinois Extension suggested installing a chimney cap that must be bolted or screwed into place. Or, consider using mesh hardware cloth to cover the chimney, just make certain it is secured tightly or the furry critters will find a way to scuttle inside. But before you secure the opening, be sure to check that there are no living animals in your space - this is a step that is very important for the safety of your home and the animal.
The Humane Society of the United States suggests inspecting your attic for any sign of animals, such as droppings, nesting material or chew marks. Once you've identified that the pests have been in the attic, check for holes that may be in the roof, trim or exhaust vents. Then, if you find any openings, use caulk, hardware cloth or otherwise make permanent repairs based on the severity of the holes.
Porches and Decks
When the weather allows it, hanging out on your porch or deck is one of the best ways to enjoy the warmth of spring time. However, pests tend to gather underneath these areas and use it as shelter, which may put a damper on your outdoor get together. To keep this from happening, consider using hardware cloth to wrap around the foundation of the porch. The Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management suggested using a piece that is large enough to cover the distance from your deck's opening to about 4 inches below the ground - so you'll want to do some digging. This will make it difficult for the pests to find a way to intrude. If you're interested in a method that doesn't involve digging, simply install the mesh hardware cloth and lay patio block around the foundation on a vertical slope - this helps to decrease chances of flooding.
Here are a few more basic tips recommended by Home Advisor that can keep the wildlife pests from intruding and gathering in an unwanted area:
If you leave your garbage outside, make sure it is placed in containers with secure lids so that animals cannot get inside.
Unfortunately, bird baths and feeders tend to attract more wildlife than just the birds themselves. If you use either of these items in your yard, keep them far enough away from your home so that wild animals are not encouraged to investigate your space.
Install fencing around gardens and other plants to keep the pests from destroying your property.
Always clean up excess leaf and debris piles - this is a common area for wildlife to gather.
Keep branches trimmed far enough away from your home so that wildlife animals can't use them to climb onto your property.