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How Wildlife Threats Break Into New York Homes In Winter

Raccoon in new york

Some pests may disappear for the winter months, but others only become more prevalent and threatening. As the weather cools, these animals look to human homes for sources of food and shelter.  Among the pests that could enter your home for the winter are bats, raccoons, and squirrels. Each pest poses a threat to your home and health. It’s important to know how each of these animals may break into your New York home.


Bats are attracted to homes for their sources of food and water. Initially, landscaping, ponds, and other water sources attract these pests. They often use attics, sheds, eaves of barns and garages, and other high locations to roost. Broken or damaged siding and shingles can allow bats to find a way in. Open garage doors or barn doors may also help them gain entry. Bat feces can cause contamination wherever they roost. Histoplasmosis is a fungus found in their feces that can harm human lungs. Bats also have the ability to carry rabies. They are likely to lash out when feeling threatened. Any contact can put you in danger.


Raccoons are well-known for getting into people’s trash and dumpsters. They look for human properties to provide sources of food and shelter. Trash cans without tight-fitting lids can attract them, as well as pet food that’s left out. Your home will provide a warm place for them to live with a food source close by. They’re likely to choose the attic, under porches, and other rarely disturbed locations. Raccoons can be damaging to properties and they’re very aggressive. If they feel cornered, they will lash out by scratching or biting. They can also be potential carriers of rabies.


Squirrels are attracted to human homes for the same reasons as most wildlife - access to food and water. They are commonly found in trees and can travel along roofs to find their way inside. Squirrels may, perhaps, be the most damaging to homes. Their incisors continuously grow, meaning they need to chew often to keep them at an appropriate length. This gnawing is a hazard in your home. Your insulation can be damaged, wires frayed, and holes may appear in wooden structures. Squirrel also carry diseases such as leptospirosis.

Learn more about problems squirrels cause to our homes and businesses.

Keeping Wildlife Off Your New York Property This Winter

Parkway recommends putting prevention steps in place in order to keep wildlife off your New York property this winter.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Keep trash a safe distance from your home and tightly sealed.
  • Seal any holes or opening around the exterior of your home.
  • Repair damaged siding and shingles.
  • Trim branches and shrubs away from your home. This allows squirrels easy access to your roof.

Contact a professional.

When removing wildlife in and around your home, you should always seek professional help. It can be dangerous to remove these animals on your own. An infestation should be taken care of promptly to alleviate the threats they pose in your home.

Parkway Pest Services offers nuisance wildlife control to meet your pest needs, from rodents to birds and more. We specialize in the removal and exclusion of wildlife in both homes and businesses. Read about our nuisance wildlife control services and contact us to learn more.