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Getting Rid of Unwanted House Guests This Winter

Getting Rid of Unwanted House Guests This Winter- SWAT Wildlife

Most Canadians like to stay indoors over the winter months, where it is warm and cozy. Animals and pests want to do the same. As the weather gets colder, you may find signs that you have some unwelcome guests living in your home. Mice, raccoons, rats and more look for warm spaces to hide from the cold Canadian winter. If you’ve seen evidence that some of these critters have taken refuge in your home, you should call an animal control professional for help. There are also various things you can do to make your home less inviting for these guys. 

Types of Animals That Could Share Your Home

Many different types of animals seek shelter from the harsh winter weather, and some may find their way into your home, including:

  • Opossums –have a thin coat of fur that does not provide enough protection from the winter winds, which is why they seek warmer spaces during these months. They don’t hibernate and can be found in attics and sheds. You may also see them near bird feeders trying to gather food that is in short supply at this time of year. 
  • Skunks – due to their gentle nature, skunks stick together during the cold months and build dens under decks, porches, and sheds. You may not see them often as they don’t leave the warmth and safety of their homes during particularly cold weather. 
  • Raccoons – if you’ve heard noises in your attic, it’s likely a raccoon has set up a den there. While they usually sleep during harsh weather, raccoons don’t hibernate. Rather, they wait for mild weather to get out and forage for food. 
  • Mice – while they may choose to cohabitate with you at any time of year, you may notice signs of mice activity more during the winter. If you see small holes in food packaging, notice droppings, or hear scratching from your attic or walls, you’re likely living with a mouse. An additional problem with these critters is they reproduce quickly. So, you want to tackle the problem before your house is swarming with them. 
  • Squirrels – similar to raccoons, squirrels like to set up in your attic. They are more active during the day while raccoons move more at night, so if you’re hearing noises during the day, it’s likely squirrels. They can be pesky because they often hide stashes of food and nuts and are unwilling to move. 

Ways to Pest Proof Your Space

Autumn is an ideal time to start pest-proofing your home so you can avoid animal control headaches over the winter. Here are some ways that you can start:

  • Investigate – look around the exterior of your home for any holes or small openings that these animals can sneak in through. Remember that they don’t need to be very large, as mice can wiggle through tiny cracks. If you find some, seal them up quickly. 
  • Clear your yard – remove any old vegetation from your garden, which can attract these critters. Also, look for any branches that could be used to gain access to your roof or attic. Trimming your shrubs and trees before it gets too cold can reduce the chances of unwanted guests.  
  • Seal your garbage – if you live in Ontario, you probably already know the importance of sealing your garbage containers to keep raccoons out. During the fall, double-check that the lids are still fitting the containers tightly. 
  • Clean up pet food – don’t leave any pet food or water outside overnight as it can attract raccoons and other animals who will happily eat it and stay for more. 
  • Remove water – animals need water as much as they need food, so if you have pools of water gathering around your home or yard, it will serve to attract them. 
  • Firewood – store firewood off the ground and away from your home as it can be an ideal staging area to allow animals access inside. 

How Animal Control Can Help

Finding unwanted guests in your home can be a surprise. We understand you don’t want to share your space with these critters who can be dangerous and carry disease. However, removing them from your property after they’ve gotten comfortable can be a challenge. Safely and efficiently helping them move on is our job. If you’ve done all you can to pest proof your home and they still move in, contact Swat Wildlife, and we’ll help you take back control of your domain. 

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