At any given time in yards and parks across the country, squirrels, raccoons and other small woodland creatures are spending their days frolicking in the sunshine while they gather food or look for a new home to spend the inevitable cold days of winter. No doubt that you have had the opportunity to see them in motion and thought that they were cute, furry and funny. Unfortunately, these cute little creatures are also highly skilled at wreaking havoc in the very homes you live in, if they happen to decide that your warm, cozy attic is a good spot to wait out the chill.
Most small animals, such a squirrels, raccoons and possums, are more than adept at getting into small spaces without being spotted. Though you might not think it's a terrible thing that one might make a temporary nest in a small corner it can actually be quite dangerous for a number of reasons. These animals can be quite destructive to your walls and vents as they search for a suitable spot. Worse yet, they can plug up your chimney with nesting material or chew on wires creating a perfect environment for a fire. Many of these animals also can carry disease, such as rabies. A bite off of a raccoon with rabies can be extraordinarily dangerous to both humans and pets. As cute and innocent as one might be through your window, it is quite another story when one feels cornered or threatened.
There are things that you can do to keep our forest creatures in the forest and out of your attic. Take some time before it begins getting cold to make sure that all of your screens and door sweeps are in good repair. You can also make sure that your chimney has a cap and all vents going into the home are in good repair. Your property will seem a whole lot less attractive to wildlife if you can make sure that trash is kept in properly in sealed canisters and disposed of regularly and that bird seed is stored out of reach. It is also important to keep pet food picked up when they are not eating. Make sure that you keep tree limbs trimmed away from the home and that all wood piles and debris piles are kept at least 20 feet away. It is also a good idea to eliminate any moisture in areas such as attics and crawlspaces with proper ventilation.
Finally, to make sure that you do not have any unknown houseguests living in your attic, call your local pest professional about having regular home inspections. Not only can they make sure that your home is not an obvious target for wildlife, they can help eliminate any threats that have moved in without your notice. They have the training and skill to deal with any problems quickly and safely.