March has been teasing us with the warm weather, but it’s not yet clear if it’s going to stick around. Meanwhile, birds, groundhogs, raccoons and many other animals have taken the warmth as a signal to start their mating season. And guess what? They will be looking for a perfect spot to build that nest or den to rear their young. Make sure they don’t pick your attic, chimney or crawlspace! During winter, these areas of your home could have suffered some damage and are now an easy target for nuisance wildlife. Here are a few places our Maryland wildlife removal experts recommend checking this spring.
Examine the Roof Line
Depending on the size of your home, this is something you may be able to do on your own. Just get a ladder and keep moving it until you inspect every side of your home. Look carefully at the fascia board, which is a board right behind the gutter. Notice if it feels rotten, has holes or is otherwise broken or weakened. Sometimes when you get ice dams in your gutters, the ice may push hard enough to damage the fascia. If you find signs of damage, consider replacing this board to protect your home from wildlife critters.
Check the Roof Itself
Depending on your handyman skills, this may be something you should leave to a roofing contractor. Roof inspection will require getting on top of the roof and looking for missing shingles, damaged flashing and areas where leaves may have accumulated and caused rot. Animals like squirrels and raccoons often take advantage of these sorts of damage, ripping or chewing the weak area to create a hole. Roof plumbing vents and chimneys should also be checked for damage as well as for existing wildlife that may have overwintered there.
Inspect the Foundation
The frequent freeze and thaw cycles that happen in winter can put stress on your home’s foundation. As a result, new cracks may develop. While these cracks may be too small for an animal to use, they can serve as access points for pest insects. And if you have pest insects such as cockroaches, they in turn may attract snakes and other wildlife.
Check the Vents
We’ve talked a bit about the plumbing vents, but there are also other vents around your home, such as dryer vent, kitchen exhaust vent, attic vents, etc. Many of these vents are made of PVC or plastic, which is durable but not ever-lasting. If your vents have animal-proof caps (which they should), check the caps too. Cold temperatures, snow and ice may cause unprotected metal parts to rust, which could lead to the cap failure.
Clean the Backyard
Does your backyard have piles of firewood, stacks of lawn chairs or other items that could serve as a shelter for an animal? During the windy winter months, dead leaves and twigs gather around these bulky objects, creating the perfect hideaway spots for snakes, mice and other small wildlife. Try to eliminate all piles and rake the dead leaves, making your backyard as open as possible. This and keeping the grass short will discourage many animals from building a den on your property. And if during all these inspections you notice that you may already have a wildlife intruder, feel free to contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control for professional and humane wildlife removal in Maryland.