Fall may be a few weeks away, but animals already sense its imminent arrival. We’ve talked in our previous post about how to protect your attic from unwelcome animal invaders looking to “catch a free ride” at your expense. We gave you some good tips for wildlife-proofing your home, but we haven’t talked much about who you are up against. Our Howard County wildlife removal experts are here today to address this topic. Whether you live in Columbia, Ellicott City, Glenwood, Hanover, Jessup or elsewhere in Maryland, here are some of the opportunistic animals that may try to get into your home this fall.
Not all bats hibernate during winter—some migrate to warmer clients. And of those that do hibernate, most prefer to do so in caves or hollow trees. However, there are two species of bats common in Howard County and throughout Maryland that have adapted to hibernate in buildings. We are talking about the Big Brown Bat and the Little Brown Bat. An entire bat colony may quietly move into your attic or roost inside your walls without you noticing a thing until it’s too late. Bats typically require a hibernation temperature between 40F and 50F, and your attic accommodates them wonderfully in this regard. If it gets too hot, the bats can move closer to the roof. And if it gets too cold, they can flock together against the interior-facing walls. Bats start moving into attics when the temperature drops in late October – early November and they stay until March – April.
Rodents, such as rats and mice, are pretty content with living in the wild during the warmer months. But once the vegetation dies and their sources of food diminish, rodents start looking for a better winter shelter. And what’s better than the warmth and comfort of your home? When it comes to rodents, rats and mice are the ones you should be on the lookout for. They are relatively small and can enter through existing holes around your foundation and even run into the open door as you are airing out the basement. One or two mice or rats in a home may not be a problem, but where there’s one there’s soon going to be a dozen. Rats and mice can chew though almost anything to get to the food they want, so keep an eye on damaged food packaging in your cupboards or pantry.
It’s fun to watch squirrels hopping around your yard and gathering nuts from nearby trees. But it’s only fun until you realize that the squirrel is stashing those nuts in your attic. Despite the fact that we rarely see squirrels in winter, they don’t hibernate. Therefore, they need a warm shelter and food supplies to make it though Howard County’s bitter cold winters. Your attic makes a perfect winter den for both the Eastern Gray Squirrel and the Flying Squirrel. These are some dangerous neighbors despite their small size—their extensive chewing can lead to expensive repairs and even create fire hazards.
A raccoon has adapted to surviving the cold winter weather in numerous ways. It grows thick fur, builds up fat stores and takes every opportunity to secure a warm den. Sometimes, this means breaking into your attic and ripping up your insulation. Instead of hibernating, raccoons enter a state of torpor, which means they sleep for long periods of time, yet they wake up and look for food on warmer days. This makes raccoons living in your attic during winter hard to spot, as they are quiet most of the time and do their business at night when everyone’s asleep. Do you think these or other critters may be looking to move into your Howard County home this fall? Give Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control a call or contact us online today to remove current and prevent future wildlife infestations.