It’s the end of the year and it’s time to make plans for 2017! You can plan vacations, major home renovations and your personal goals. And although it’s not a very exiting thing to plan for, we’d like to encourage you to plan to inspect and patch up your home to keep it safe from animal intruders. This is especially important for older homes and houses where maintenance was not been in the budget for the past few years. Make the time for it, put away some money and you will benefit long term from not having to deal with raccoons in your attic or bats in your walls. Our Maryland wildlife removal experts are happy to guide you and help you figure out which items may need your attention.
Sometimes, animals can enter your home through the chimney, but more often they use the chimney as a safe nesting spot. Think about it: chimney is hard to see into, protects well from the elements, and the very bottom of it is warm, as it’s inside the house. Squirrels, raccoons, birds and bats all are known to live in unused chimneys. To prevent this from happening, make sure your chimney has a chimney cap that is securely installed. In addition to living in the chimney, some animals may use the weak flashing around the chimney to get into your attic. Squirrels do this frequently, as they are small and don’t need much of a hole to squeeze through. Be sure to have a roofer inspect your chimney flashing and replace it as needed.
We’ve talked in detail about protecting your vents in one of our recent posts, so feel free to refer to it for more information. To sum it up for you, make sure that all vents that exit in or near your roof have covers on them that prevent animals from getting in. These should be covers made of steel mesh or similar materials—something a squirrel can’t easily chew through. The specific vents you should worry about include gable vents, plumbing vents, appliance vents, etc.
Roof Line and Fascia Boards
Homes are different. Some homes are built like fortresses, while others are much less secure. For example, in many older homes you can find an unsealed gap right where the edge of the roof deck meets the fascia board. In construction, this space is called a drip edge and it needs to be sealed with a metal strip. If it’s not sealed, animals, especially squirrels, can lift the shingles up and then widen the gap with their teeth until it’s big enough for them to get through.
Porch and Deck
If you have a front porch or a ground-level deck with space underneath, you may find that many animals gravitate to it. Chipmunks, opossums, skunks, groundhogs, foxes and raccoons are all known to nest under decks and porches. While a chipmunk won’t do much damage, a groundhog can seriously undermine the structure. To keep these animals out, wooden lattice is typically not enough. You may need a galvanized mesh and you may need to bury it several inches below ground. If your deck, porch or shed is high enough off the ground that you can crawl under it, consider keeping it open and airy instead. Most animals like dark, secluded places, so if your “crawlspace” is sunny and airy, they may be discouraged to use it.
Landscaping is something many homeowners overlook when taking measures to protect their homes from animal intruders. Meanwhile, landscaping is very important in keeping wildlife at bay. For example, maintaining shorter grass will provide less cover for snakes, groundhogs and mice to hide in. Removing overhanging tree branches will help prevent squirrels and raccoons from accessing your roof. Finally, removing certain types of trees and shrubs can discourage certain animals that come to your property for nuts or berries. If you take care of these 5 areas around your home, you will be far ahead of many homeowners! And if you ever find yourself dealing with nuisance wildlife, you can always rely on Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control for immediate help!