Once a wild animal has made your home their home, it can be difficult to get them to leave. Successful wildlife removal is an involved, multi-step process that usually requires professional intervention. However, there are steps that you can take to help stop the need for wildlife removal by stopping animals from ever moving in, and that will save you, and the animals, a lot of worries later on. Here are 5 ways you can help animal proof your home:
Securing Access Points
By making it difficult for wildlife to access your home, you may be able to avoid an animal incursion. However, small animals such as bats and rodents can access your home from areas as small as a quarter of an inch, so determining potentially vulnerable areas can be quite difficult.
Vents, Chimneys, Weeping Holes, and Foundation Cracks
Attics make nice, dry, warm, and cozy homes for many animals, such as rodents, raccoons, squirrels, and bats. Vents are the most common points of access to your attic, therefore, making sure they are secure is vital to safeguarding your home against wildlife intrusion. Mesh or wire vent cover can be installed over exposed roof vents to help deter would-be invaders – just make sure you purchase a quality product and install it correctly; some animals, like raccoons, are crafty and surprisingly strong. Chimneys are another animal favorite. Wire grates can be installed on top or around exposed areas to stop animals like racoons and squirrels from nesting inside.
Weeping holes, while tiny, can also offer an access point to your home. It may be tempting to simply fill these holes to block off access, but they are actually very important to the ventilation of your home. Instead, you can install small squares of wire mesh inside the holes to keep unwanted animals out.
Cracks in your foundation are another area small critters, particularly mice and bats, are able to gain access to your home. Locating and filling these minor cracks with a caulking compound is recommended as a preventative measure.
Maintaining Your Property
Another important aspect of keeping wildlife out of your home is to remove anything that may entice them to enter in the first place. Exposed garbage bins are by far the largest lure for wildlife looking for an easy meal. As much as possible, it is recommended that you keep your garbage and food waste bins indoors until the morning of collection – do not put your garbage out the night before. A closed garage would be the next best option. If these options are not possible, it is wise to invest in securely locking bins, usually available through your local municipality.
Maintaining trees and shrubbery around your property is also important to securing your home. Trees or shrubs that overhang or climb up the sides of your home offer a tempting access point to vents, chimneys, gutters, and soffits. Keeping them trimmed back and neat will make access your roof, and your home, more difficult.