Rodents and other unwelcome wildlife pose many risks; keep them outside with this expert advice.
(NewsUSA) — As colder weather settles in, many creatures are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Rodents, birds, raccoons and other wildlife are seeking refuge from the cold — in your home.
Birds will take shelter in warm attics, mice will snack on holiday foods, and raccoons will paw through garbage. These over-eager guests can spread disease by leaving droppings and urine around your home and wreak havoc on wires and insulation, increasing the risk of an electrical fire. Plus, mice can bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into the home.
However, if homeowners are prepared, they can prevent a wildlife problem before damage ensues. Check out these tips from the National Pest Management Association to help keep wildlife from becoming a nuisance this winter:
• Seal all cracks, holes and voids. Mice can squeeze into spaces as small as a nickel. The best way to keep mice and other rodents outside is to eliminate all holes and entry points. Look for them in attics, basements and other storage areas that aren’t often frequented.
• Keep firewood and debris piles away from the house. Some rodents, like rats, take cover in brush, logs or whatever shelter is around. Remove anything that could harbor rodents, including sources of moisture or dampness. Look for mice and rats in pantries, cupboards or any other space where dry foods are stored.
• Keep pet food and trash covered and out of birds’ reach. Nothing is more inviting than a smorgasbord of scraps for birds to snack on. Also avoid letting pools of water collect in gutters or other spots. Standing water provides birds with a much-needed water source, which encourages them to nest.
• Clean out attics early. All kinds of insects and critters will nest in the eaves of a house, especially once it gets cold. Cleaning and sealing any openings early on prevents future nesting and infestations.
To learn more tips about pest prevention, check out www.pestworld.org.