Cold Weather Can Bring Unwelcomed Guests

Nuisance Wildlife Removal wants to remind everyone that as temperatures drop, wildlife seek shelter in and around people’s homes, posing serious risks to personal property and human health.
“The winter months are when animals like mice, squirrels, and raccoons seek out sources of heat and food in people’s homes, outlying buildings and backyards,” said Tom Reilly, president of NWMPA. “Smaller animals tend to follow warm air drafts into attics, crawl spaces and garages to maintain a consistent body temperature. Once inside they infest insulation and items in storage, which can cause serious damage and create unhealthy conditions, especially for people with asthma and allergies. “Raccoons may hole up for weeks at a time to conserve energy, and will make a latrine close by that can lead to serious health hazards,” Reilly says.

” People with bird feeders are a prime target for all types of nocturnal visitors, and this easy source of food gives them a reason to make themselves at home. Predators like coyotes regard the family dog or cat as an easy meal when outside, and raccoons will stake out unsecured trash containers even in cold weather since other food sources are in short supply.”

“Uncapped chimneys and old or rotted trim boards are a constant target for nesting critters and should be repaired and access to the roof removed,” Reilly says. What can people do to protect themselves from such unwanted visitors? Reilly said that people should have a qualified wildlife management professional come to their homes to conduct a full assessment of their property for signs of easy access or infestation. If evidence of wildlife activity or damage is found or suspected, WMPs will take steps to eliminate the problem, and educate homeowners about how they can protect themselves safely and humanely from wildlife damage now and in the future.
“Most people know who to call when they see ants, cockroaches and termites, but many of these pest control professionals are not trained in wildlife damage management,” said Reilly. “The same is true of animal control officers, fire, police and others engaged in public safety professions. Wildlife issues are often misdiagnosed. Mice are confused with squirrels, bats often confused with mice and so forth. Wildlife control is best left to trained and insured professionals. For their own safety, homeowners should not try to confront unwanted wildlife or attempt off-label use of household products, which is dangerous and illegal.”

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