Last Updated: May 2016
You’ve heard the saying “winter is coming” and with winter, also comes wildlife. Seeking shelter from the cold and new breeding grounds, they are quite adept at getting into your home. They will claw, scratch and clamor from the side vents, rooftops and even soffits. The best way to prevent animals from coming into your house is to wildlife proof your home with a qualified wildlife control specialist. If you are unable to do this, there are still steps you can take to ensure you property is less attractive to animals. Here is an extensive list of wildlife preventive tips you can do.
Wildlife Prevention Tips
- Keep the balcony clear of all junk, debris, garbage, food and animal droppings
- Repair broken windows and screens
- Close accesses to storage areas
- Use wire mesh, plastic netting, pull down blinds or a commercial barrier to keep wildlife away
- Securely attach tin or other light metal at a 45-degree angle on the balcony ledge. This prevents animals from climbing onto your balcony
- Remove any material that birds might use for building a nest
- If you plan to be away, ask a friend or neighbour to check your balcony frequently for signs that animals have moved in or use wire mesh, plastic netting, pull down blinds or a commercial barrier to keep wildlife away
- Keep them clean and free of grease
- Keep dumpsters closed as much as possible, especially during the evening
- Keep all work areas clean of debris and garbage
- Always close doors when you’re not using them
- Screen off all vents and fans that lead into the building
- Discourage anyone from feeding wild animals
- If an animal invades a work area, open access to the outdoors and allow it to escape
- Teach wildlife safety to your children. Tell them that they should never approach or touch a wild animal and to call for an adult if they do see one.
- Properly cap them to block animals from getting inside the chimneys
- Check the cap annually to make sure it still blocks access
- Repair the flashing (tin or other metal that builders use to weather-proof the chimney) if animals have pried or chewed it to try to get inside
Decks and stairways
- Enclose open areas
- Repair enclosures when necessary
- Fill any holes under stairs with clay or concrete
- Clean out regularly to prevent debris from building up. If you have a lot of debris in the eaves troughs, birds may try to build nests there.
- Inspect all siding and general exterior for leaks, damaged or rotten areas and make necessary repairs
- Place screens on all dryer, air, stove and bathroom vents that animals can’t get inside
- Feeding birds is a nice way to attract them; however, bird feeders may also attract other wild animals
- Avoid encouraging wild animals by offering them food or leaving food available for them.
- Repair leaks, damaged or rotted areas in the siding, roof, foundation and outside walls
- Never leave your garage doors open overnight or for extended periods
- Keep garbage in sealed containers at all times in an enclosed area
- Place containers at the curb only on the day of garbage pick-up
- Staff at your neighbourhood garden center can advise you how you can eliminate grubs and other insects that some animals like to eat and can also let you know what you can use to safely remove the grubs without hurting the grass, other plants and your pets.
- Repair and seal fixtures because birds like to nest in and on them
Mailboxes and ornamental fixtures
- Clean and check regularly
- The presence of a pet may deter wildlife; however, never let a pet chase or scare wildlife as wild animals could seriously injure your pet.
- Don’t leave pets outdoors unless you’re watching them as animals roaming free are always at risk of coming in contact with wild animals.
- Don’t feed your pets outdoors as food may attract wildlife
- Vaccinate your pet yearly against rabies and other diseases
- Animals may fall into your pool, unless your have raised it above the ground or fenced it in.
- Muskrats and ducks like to use your pool as a pond.
- Cover your pool with solar blanket when you’re not using it.
- Repair and secure shingles and vents
- Place screens across vents.
- Repair leaks, damaged or rotted areas in the siding, roof, foundation and outside walls.
- Never leave your shed doors open overnight or for extended periods.
- Close up the area beneath the structure, so animals can’t live there.
- Repair or replace any loose or rotten soffits.
- Enclose and keep them free of debris as animals may fall in and become trapped.
- Clean out and place a screen over the top.
- Seal any holes or openings in windows
- Fill in window boxes or place screens over them.
Yards and other parts of your property
- Clean up debris in the yard.
- Avoid using woodpiles, if possible as many animals like to nest or hide out in woodpiles.
- If you must have a woodpile, keep it in an enclosed area, such as a garage or shed.
- Cut down or remove any overhanging branches or old TV antennas around the home.
For additional prevention methods, we recommend a wildlife control company to assist you with wildlife proofing your home. Remember that the longer animals are in your home, the more damage they cause. The best way to think about wild proofing your home is see it has a home improvement and/or damage prevention.