When the temperature begins to drop, wildlife starts looking for places to stay warm. Although you can’t blame them, critters aren’t typically welcome houseguests. The problem is, unlike people who wait for an invitation, animals seeking shelter will chew through wood, squeeze through small openings and dislodge aluminum soffits in order to get inside. The first sign you have a problem might be the scurrying of tiny feet across your attic floor keeping you awake at night.You may not have out a welcome mat, but critters take any crack or opening into your home as a sign that there is a vacancy. Bats, for example, can crawl into spaces with openings as small as 3/8ths of an inch; so if you want to make sure your home stays critter free this winter, you’ll have to be diligent in sealing up any and all openings. There are however, some preventative measures you can take to discourage wildlife from taking up residency in your home. Below are some helpful tips.
Clean Your Gutters- Clogged gutters allow water to pool and freeze. The standing water can rot the fascia boards and roof sheathing. Rotting wood is soft and squirrels can chew through it easily.
Keep Dry- Repair water leaks like leaking pipes and clogged drains that will lead to rotting wood.
Get Sealed Up- Seal holes, cracks and all small openings on the outside of your home and basement. Don’t forget places where pipes and wires enter your and the spaces between your siding and chimney. Replace loose mortar and weatherstripping. Make sure your doors have doorsweeps at the bottom and cap your chimney.
Don’t Feed the Animals- Feeding wild animals attracts them to your home. Bring your pet’s dishes in at night.
Trim Up Your Trees- Squirrels are olympic jumpers. Keeping branches trimmed will help keep squirrels off your roof and out of your gutters.
Cover Vents- Cover your house’s air vents with grills or screening.
Keep it Tidy- Make sure your garbage cans have lids that fit tightly. Don’t store your firewood close to your house. The area under steps provides cover for animals. Keeping that area clean of debris makes it less appealing to critters.
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