November 13, 2018
Winter will soon be upon us here in South Carolina, bringing the season of good cheer as the holidays arrive. Unfortunately, that can mean the arrival of some unwanted guests in your home - and I’m not talking about your in-laws. Wildlife looking for a warm, welcoming place to nest for the winter can mean serious problems for you and your family, and you want to prevent these animals from even darkening your doorstep in the first place. Here are some local wildlife pests to look out for, and what to do if they start lurking around your home.
Flying squirrels and gray squirrels may look harmless, but they’re not. They can cause a lot of structural damage to houses with their excessive chewing when they nest inside. They carry mites, fleas, and ticks on their fur, and can introduce bacteria and diseases to humans and pets. If they are cornered and feel threatened, despite their cute appearance, they are still wild animals and may bite or scratch. Though both types of squirrels typically nest in trees, they seek warmer places to live as the temperatures fall, and homes provide warm, safe, indoor shelter for their nests. Prevent both flying and gray squirrels from entering your home by sealing and repairing cracks, crevices, and any spaces around the foundations, roof, or windows, and placing tight-fitting caps on chimneys. All vents should have tight-fitting covers on them as well, and remove any bird feeders near your home that could attract squirrels to a food source.
Little brown bats are another small mammal that you don’t want inside your house. Like squirrels, they carry pathogens, including the very serious rabies virus. They leave a mess behind with their urine and feces, and can introduce mites, fleas, and ticks to your home, as well. Bats can be difficult to eliminate because they hide in hard-to-reach areas such as attics, soffits, chimneys, underneath siding and shutters, and garages or sheds. The only way to prevent a bat infestation is to figure out how they are getting in, and seal off their entry points.
Opossums and raccoons are both attracted to food sources in houses, often to garbage left outside, and may move indoors after discovering the warm, safe haven of a basement or crawl space. Both are potentially dangerous wild animals that can carry diseases and introduce other bugs, including ticks and fleas, into your home. You may notice pet food being eaten and outdoor garbage cans being opened, with garbage strewn around, as signs of opossum and raccoon infestations. To prevent your property from becoming an attractive residence for these animals, keep garbage in tightly-sealed containers, and make sure gutters are working properly to prevent water from pooling and creating water sources. Woodpiles are often excellent hiding places for opossums, so keep wood stored away from the house. Repair holes or gaps in the exterior of your home, make sure vents and chimneys are covered with a tightly-fitting cap, and trim any tree branches away from your house to prevent opossums from reaching your wall or roof and finding a way to gain entry.
At the first signs of any wild animals in or around your home, you should call Spencer Pest Services for a free inspection. Never try to remove or handle wildlife by yourself! Flying squirrels, gray squirrels, bats, opossums, and raccoons are all wild animals, and are potentially dangerous to humans and pets.
At Spencer Pest Services we have the experience, equipment, and training to handle wildlife safely and humanely. Let us take care of your home - call us today to learn more about our wildlife services!