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Close up of a mouse in fallen leaves.

Fall is time to harvest and prepare for the oncoming winter. In the Midwest we put up our storm windows, unpack our sweater drawer and stock up on winter foods. Animals in the fall do much the same. When worlds collide, nuisance wildlife can become a problem in your home.

Common pests like mice and rats climb in through small cracks or broken screens. Squirrels, racoons and skunks seek warm nesting areas in attics and crawlspaces or in your yard. Bats seek cozy places to hang. Larger animals seek reliable food sources. Take time in fall to make sure your home is prepared for any critter contingency before it becomes a problem.

What Nuisance Wildlife is Most Active in Fall?

  • Rats and Mice are the most common nuisance animals in the fall. They don’t hibernate but remain active. In the wild they will build insulated nests to shelter in over winter. If they can find a warm home, garage or barn to hole up in, all the better.
  • Skunks become dormant and seek sheltered areas like decks or sheds to burrow under. They will also be fattening up. Trapping and removing a new skunk in the neighborhood takes finesse.
  • Bats are another animal that becomes dormant in the fall/winter months. While some species fly south, others winter in caves, mines or, if they find access, your home. Roosting bats damage insulation and crawlspaces with their unhealthy waste.
  • Racoons spend much of the winter dormant in their dens. Like bears, during the fall months they load up on food for the energy to sustain them. This may mean turning over garbage bins, rooting through compost and checking for entry into human habitat.
  • Squirrels remain active all fall and winter. They create food caches in the fall. You may find evidence of these around your yard. Fall is a good time to remove any squirrel nests around your home as they mate in January and birth their litter in March. You may not welcome the patter of little feet on your roof.

How to Prepare Your Home Against Nuisance Wildlife This Fall

A little elbow grease and prevention make life a lot harder for nuisance wildlife. Fall is the perfect time to proof your home against potential invasion.

Start at the ground level. Mice and rats are cunning to a fault. You’d be surprised by how a large rat can fit through a small crack or under a door. Small rodents smell food and feel warm drafts through the smallest of outlets. If there is a way in, they will find it.

·       Patch up cracks in your foundation, even small ones.

·       Seal around doors with weatherstripping.

·       Cover window wells where small rodents can get trapped.

·       Stay dry. Wet or humid basements attract wildlife.

Inspect the upper floors and roof. Plenty of pests climb and fly. It’s not unusual for a racoon to turn your attic into its nest. To prevent upper level infiltrators:

·       Check and repair window screens.

·       Inspect siding, especially corners. Steel wool is an easy way to fill cracks.

·       Cover vents or fans with screens.

·       Cap chimneys

·       Trim tree branches at least six feet from your home. Squirrels are excellent jumpers.

·       Check for loose or missing shingles or roof tiles.

Clean and landscape your yard. The outdoor perimeter is your first line of defense against unwanted animals in fall. Don’t let them build their habitats in yours.

·       Rake leaves and remove brush piles. These become nesting grounds.

·       Stack firewood 20 feet from your home. Mice love to shelter here.

·       Secure garbage containers and compost. Don’t feed the locals.

·       Fence beneath porches and decks. These make good hidden shelters.

·       Move birdfeeders. You may be feeding more than birds.

All the precautions above take work, we know, but the results make it worthwhile. If you’re looking for guidance on the best way to secure your home or just what someone to do it, our trained professionals are ready to proof your home or business against any and all animals in the fall.

What Do I Do If I Have Nuisance Wildlife in My Home or Business?

Have they already gotten in? Removing wild animals is not a simple job. Wild animals can be unpredictable and dangerous. Smaller animals are elusive and most carry health risks. Hardware stores and rental services rent out live traps, but it may be more hassle than you want.

A wildlife control expert can catch or trap unwanted four-legged and winged roommates. Let us remove your furry freeloader safely and humanely and prevent future unannounced visitors.

Your Midwest Source for Animal Control and Information

We want to be your go-to source for information and support with nuisance wildlife. Our trained technicians understand the habits of problematic wildlife. We can recommend preventatives, trap pests and clean and restore damaged property.

Contact us today for expert advice and support with all nuisance wildlife concerns in fall and all year round.

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