Keeping Wildlife Away from Your Home
When days grow shorter and outdoor temperatures begin to fall, many homeowners begin getting more animal visitors. Creatures, large and small, including rats, mice, possums, raccoons, skunks and coyotes take up residence near or in urban and suburban areas.
Urban wildlife can pose serious health risks by harboring and spreading diseases such as rabies, plague or hantavirus. Many of them can harbor insects such as fleas, mites and ticks, which also bite humans. Wildlife can cause a lot of structural damage by chewing or tearing holes in walls, doors or screens. They can damage or contaminate food and clothing. Some of these pests may even bite us or our pets.
To keep your wild animal neighbors self-sufficient, and deter them from moving in with you and your family, here are some simple things you can do:
- Install one-half inch fireproof hardware cloth over all vents and the chimney.
- Install barriers, such as doorsweeps, screens and screen doors, to keep creatures out of your home.
- Inspect the perimeter of your home for cracks or holes where animals can enter, and seal them after there's no evidence of animals inside.
- Keep siding in good repair and free of holes.
- Fix any holes in window casings.
- Enclose any open areas under decks, stairways and sheds.
- Keep your home, balconies, patios and yard clear of junk, debris and garbage.
- Keep barbeques closed and grills clean and grease free.
- Keep garbage containers closed, especially at night.
- Attach garbage container handles to the ground using stakes, to prevent animals from tipping them over.
- Store pet food in securely sealed containers.
- Keep pets indoors at night.
- Install motion detection lighting.
- Clean up fallen fruit and other debris from your yard.
- Cover hot tubs, pools and ponds if you don't want animals to drink from them.