No one wants to think about creatures and critters getting into their house, or even dwelling on their property. Whether you’re dealing with a raccoon under your deck, a squirrel in your chimney, or rats, mice, bats, or skunks, these are critters that belong outside - and should stay there!
But, things do happen. No home is 100% secure, so it’s not all that uncommon for animals to get inside. Most of the time, they’re looking for food or shelter, but some might just be curious.
No matter the reason, it’s important to have precautions in place that will help to prevent animals from invading your property and getting in. Having a professional service like SWAT Wildlife safeguard your home is one of the best things you can do. But, you may also be able to try a few tricks of your own to keep these furry friends outside.
Though it’s best to have it done by a professional, chimney capping is a great way to keep curious critters from crawling into your chimney. They may be trying to get warm or they may accidentally fall in after exploring your roof.
Chimney capping is a relatively simple concept. It consists of installing a cover that goes on top of your chimney. The covering is usually made of steel or copper to match the design of your home. But, the most important part about chimney capping is that it typically includes some type of wire mesh material that will prevent animals from getting in.
Screen vents all-around your house are important to keep out raccoons and squirrels. Uncapped chimneys and even other openings along your roof can make it easy for these creatures to get in.
Pigeon netting or bird netting is used to keep birds from reaching certain areas, so they won’t be able to get into your house. It’s a great way to keep “urban” birds away from your property and it will last for a long time without having to repair or replace it. Plus, pigeon netting is discreet, so it won’t be an eyesore while you’re trying to keep your property safe.
Cover the Trash
Most animals start to lurk around residential properties in search of food. Some people think they’re looking for shelter, and while that is sometimes the case, it’s usually the smell of food that draws them in.
Because you’re probably not leaving scraps of food outside to lure animals to your property, it’s more than likely your garbage that is attracting everything from mice and rats to raccoons. The worst thing you can do is to leave your trash exposed outside or even have bags of it in open bins.
Instead, make sure it is secured in closed bags and inside of a sealed plastic or metal bin. If you’re still worried that an animal might be able to get inside, you can add a weight or a heavy rock on top of the bin to make it more difficult to open.
Cut Back Tree Limbs
Some critters, like squirrels, are expert tree climbers. Unfortunately, if you have hanging tree branches over your roof or other parts of your house, it makes it far too easy for animals like these to “drop” from those branches and find a way inside.
One easy way to combat this is to cut back your tree limbs away from the house. Make sure it’s nearly impossible for animals to use those branches to gain access to your home. You’ll also get the benefit of adding more natural light to your home without branches covering your windows or weighing on your roof. If you’re not sure how far back to cut your limbs, it’s best to go anywhere from 6-8 feet from the line of the roof.
In addition to trimming back your trees, it’s also a good idea to limit vegetation throughout your entire yard. That doesn’t mean your landscaping efforts need to go to waste. Instead, just focus on cleaning up any debris from your yard like leaves and brush. Small animals and rodents use materials like these to build their nests and houses. The further they are away from your house, the less likely it is that those animals will be building their nest somewhere they shouldn’t!
One of the best things you can do to make sure there aren’t any animals trying to invade your property is to frequently check out your home and yard for any signs of a disturbance. It only takes a few minutes to see if there are any openings around your house or on the roof that would make it easy for an animal to get inside.
You should also check for any noticeable signs that an animal is trying to claw or break its way in. The more frequently you do these “checks,” the less likely it is that the animal will actually have the opportunity to get inside before you can make some changes and prevent them from doing so.
Put Your Pet to Use
Small animals are often less likely to be interested in a particular property if you have a pet. Letting your dog out at night will likely keep nocturnal animals like raccoons away, and mice and rats tend to avoid any homes with a cat inside.
While having a pet isn’t a foolproof way to keep animals from invading your property, it can certainly lower your risk. If you already have a pet, make sure you’re letting them out in all areas of your yard to roam around. If other animals smell them, they’ll be more likely to stay away.