Where did the summer go? It seems like 4th of July was last week and now it’s Labor Day already!? There are no drastic temperature drops yet, but the nights keep getting cooler. You might not feel it, but the animals living in the forest near your home don’t need a calendar to tell that winter is around the corner. And they already have dibs on your attic as the perfect spot to overwinter. Our Maryland wildlife removal specialists typically get a lot of calls in the fall about bats, raccoons, squirrels and other critters invading attics. If you don’t want to deal with wildlife invasion this fall, take these steps to protect your home.
Repair Any Evident Damage
Most animal home invaders are opportunistic creatures. If they see a gaping hole or a loose shingle, they will take the chance. Some animals, such as raccoons and squirrels, can use their hands and teeth respectively to make an existing hole big enough for them. So make sure you don’t have any damage to the outside of your home that screams “Come on in!” Check and repair the following:
- Damaged or missing shingles
- Missing eave drip edge
- Rotted fascia boards
- Loose or missing siding
As you can see in the photo above, there is a big hole chewed through by a gray squirrel in the roof of this home in Severna Park, Md. Even though the shingles were in a good shape and the drip edge was installed, this didn’t stop a determined squirrel. At least in this case, the homeowner noticed the hole. But if your roof is already shabby, you may not see any squirrel entry signs at all, so get it fixed!
If you have large trees next to your home, they probably have long branches that arch over your roof. This is another way animals, especially raccoons and squirrels, can get onto your roof and into your attic. Don’t make it easy for them! Trim back long branches to make sure that the only way to get on your roof is by climbing, which brings us to the next tip.
Remove Clutter Around the House
Do you have a tower of plastic chairs piled up next to your garage after this year’s family reunion? Or maybe you keep your firewood right against your home? Whatever it is, be sure to clear the space around your house and garage, especially if your garage is attached to the house. This will give wildlife critters fewer opportunities to make it to your roof and attic.
Examine the Gable Vents
A gable vent may be too difficult for a raccoon to reach, depending on its location, but it’s perfect for bats. Gable vents with loose or missing covers or damaged screens can serve as a bat access point, leading to an entire bat colony overwintering in your attic. Make sure your gable vent cover is intact, as well as the screen behind it. Your gable vent may not have a screen at all, in which case small critters like bats, birds and squirrels could be getting in through the gaps in the grille.
Cap Your Chimney
Besides the attic, a chimney is another popular place for wildlife to nest. And if your chimney is missing a cap, animals have no trouble accessing it. As you are getting your chimney inspected before the start of the heating season, have a chimney cap installed if you don’t have one. When you are doing all these home repairs, first ensure that there are no animals already living in your attic or chimney. Avoid sealing them in, as it may lead to even more problems. If you suspect that there could be wildlife invaders in your home, contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control today to get them safely removed.