Keeping Wildlife Outside Your House

Published on: Sep. 24, 2007

It’s that time of year when the nights cool down and the mice, skunks and squirrels are looking for a cozy winter home. So before they start getting into your house, this is a great time to see if you’ve done what you can to make the four-footed fiends unwelcome. (I already messed up—I heard the patter of paws in my attic.)

  • Trim tree limbs away from your house to avoid creating an avenue for squirrels and raccoons to get onto your roof.
  • Thoroughly inspect your home and outbuildings for openings that might provide access.
  • Patch any openings immediately.
  • Pay attention to foundations, window wells, concrete slabs (driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) and decks where animals may burrow under or otherwise find refuge.
  • Keep pet food and other food sources out of reach of wildlife.
  • Set trash out only on trash pickup day.
  • Keep a clean yard. Remove brush piles, rock piles, etc., that might provide shelter.

That last idea conflicts with the logic of attracting and providing shelter for certain kinds of wildlife throughout the year. But in general, creating that kind of habitat close to the house might attract mice and other animals that you really don’t want to invite indoors. So if you create that sort of habitat, you just need to be sure there are no easy openings into the house.

I know they promote energy audits where you inspect your home for snugness this time of year, so why not do an animal audit at the same time and keep the critters outside where they belong?

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