Ways to Control Wildlife at Home This Winter

squirrel in a house gardenCold winter weather often sends rodents scrambling towards warm shelter and your house could be next. Read more to learn about the various ways that you can prevent these pests from entering your home this winter.

As the cold weather begins to quickly approach, the streets become emptier while we take shelter in our homes to avoid the cool winter chill. Similarly, rodents mimic this behaviour and are unfortunately notorious for invading approximately 21 million homes each year with roughly 45% of these intrusions occurring during the fall and winter. Consequently, pests in houses have created an ongoing series of mouse problems across the GTA, but don’t panic – we have a few tips and tricks that you can follow this winter!

Evaluate the Exterior

Rodents vary in size and have a unique body structure that gives them the physical ability to fit in and between confined spaces. Rats can squeeze through pathways the size of a quarter and mice can successfully pass through spaces the size of a dime, while a raccoon-sized creature can enter through an opening as wide as 6-inches. As a result, when examining your home’s exterior walls, SOS Wildlife Control recommends you to look for light coming through cracks. Pay special attention to areas where utility pipes are present; any form of damage can act as an entryway for pests, as they may enter your home through sink and bathtub drains. Another tip is to feel for air movement between crevices which may ultimately point you to a crack that may have been missed and to replace loose mortar and weather stripping.

Rodents are scavengers and generally have sharp teeth to complement their lifestyles. Rats and mice have sharp teeth known as incisors, which are highly specialized for gnawing on and through tough material. With this in mind, SOS Wildlife Control highly suggests homeowners to fill larger gaps on exterior walls with thick material including pieces of steel wool. The roughness of the steel fibres makes it difficult for rodents to gnaw through the material.

Focus on Windows and Doors

These are the most likely entry points for pests. If you plan on ever leaving your windows or doors open, you should fit them with screens, or check any existing screens for tears. Inspect the doors and windows for any cracks and seal any with inexpensive caulk or foam, if present. Once again, feel for air movement that may be a result of a present draft from your windows and doors.

Put Screens on Vents

Not every hole should be plugged up. Some are there for a reason, such as air vents in the kitchen or under cupboards. Installing screens allows air ventilation to take place while ensuring your home’s security against unwanted pests. Rodents (mice in particular) are both scavengers and mobile animals so be sure to replace or mend damaged screens immediately to prevent them from traveling in and around pathways throughout your home.

Control Your Garden

Plants close to the house provide a haven for insects and rodents as they await their chance to dart through an open door.  More importantly, the presence of fresh food is a key factor that causes pests to continually visit homes. Rats and mice feed on a variety of fruits and vegetables; popular garden fruits and vegetables that these animals take a liking to include carrots, cabbage, blueberries blackberries. To reduce the likelihood of rodents invading your home, keep garden plants about 1 to 2 feet away from the house. Like raccoons, rats and mice are known to scavenge through garbage bins while seeking for food. To reduce the likelihood of rodents loitering around your home, secure your garbage bins shut and place them an agreeable distance from home entry points. If you have any pets, it is also advised that you feed them away from doors and windows as well, due to the fact that numerous pet foods such as bird seeds have been known to attract these scavengers.

Monitor, monitor and monitor

Vigilance is key. Pests mount their primary attacks on our homes twice a year – president of Green Earth Pest Control, Josh Alpert says. It often happens once the temperature drops at the beginning of winter, and once when it goes up again as summer starts.  Therefore, being aware and taking proactive action towards home safety is important this time of year.  

If Your House is Invaded by Pests:

 

  • Identify the animal

 

You need to know what you’re dealing with so you can better prepare yourself to get the job done. It can sometimes be difficult to catch a glimpse of the intruder but there are a few indicators that may point you in the right direction. For instance, fecal droppings, chewed wires and gnawed baseboards may indicate the presence of a mouse or rat. A quick Internet search may also help you identify your intruder.

 

  • Plan a course of action

 

Eliminating unwanted pests isn’t as scary as you may think it is. Once you have identified the intruder, plan and take a course of action to get the intruder out of your home once and for all. A series of over-the-counter products can be used to help treat these pests.  

 

  • Leave it to the professionals of SOS Wildlife

 

Getting rid of unwanted house pests may sometimes cause you a hard time and may become dangerous, so it is important to know where to draw the line and when to call the professionals at SOS Wildlife. For your safety and the animal’s, contact us at (647) 994-9453!

If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS Wildlife, we provide superior wildlife removal services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients, guaranteeing effective results. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year for EMERGENCY wildlife nuisances, and can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait and call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.

Call SOS Wildlife 1.800.981.0330 for Pest and Wildlife Removal!

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