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How to Prevent Animals from Making Their Way Into Your Home: Strategies for Every Season

Wild animals are amazing and majestic.  We stop dead in our tracks, and in our cars, to watch them meander through the woods or across the street.  We plan trips to see wild animals at the Columbia Zoo and to even pet them at The Lazy 5 Ranch.  However, the minute that they come into our homes, it’s a different story!  Many “wild” YouTube videos are created about scares that happen when wild animals break into homes.

So how do you keep wild critters from entering your home?  Here are our recommended solutions to keep wild animals in the wild and not invite them into your home.

First, take a look around the outside of your home and check for any holes or cracks that animals could fit through.  These include:

  • Gaps around doors and windows
  • Holes in siding or brick
  • Vents without screens
  • Unscreened chimneys
  • Damaged soffits or fascia boards
  • Spaces under decks or porches
  • Gaps in the foundation

If you find any area that an animal could use as an entrance, be sure to secure it.  This also means your pet door, especially at night while you sleep.  If you have a pet door, consider a PetSafe Electronic Smart Door that uses your pet’s collar to gain entrance.

Be sure to also trim any trees or vegetation that are close to your home.  Animals will use these as a way to climb onto your roof or into upper-story windows.  Think of these as a wild animal bridge to your home.

If you have bird feeders, it’s best to keep them at least five feet away from your home.  While you certainly don’t want to deprive the birds, a feeder that’s too close to your home will also attract other animals, like squirrels, who will then try to find their way into your home as well.

You might also want to keep an eye on any water sources that wild animals can use for hydration.  While it might be tempting to leave a bowl of water out for your animals, raccoons, squirrels, deer, and even skunks can find it too.  Bird baths can also be used as water sources for these animals.

It’s best to bring any pet bowls inside at night and to keep bird baths dry.

Another way that animals can find their way into your home is by following the scent of food.  Keep pet food in airtight containers, especially at night, and if you have an outdoor pet, be sure to bring their bowl inside as well.  Just like water, wild animals will share your pets’ food too. Not only does this bring them closer to your home, it costs you money as well.  Do you want to buy food for the wild animals around you?

If you have rodents in your home, it’s likely that other animals will find their way inside.  Mice and rats leave behind a scent that attracts other animals.  If you think you might have rodents, be sure to call a professional for help in removing them from your home.  Rodents carry diseases that can harm your family as well.

Securing your garbage is extremely important to keeping wild animals away from your home.    If you have an outdoor garbage can, invest in one with a tight-fitting lid.  If you have to leave your garbage out overnight, be sure that the lid and bags are animal-resistant.  There are expensive and less expensive options to secure your garbage cans.  From small structures to bungee cords, be sure that wild animals can’t make their way in to scavenge for their dinner.

Outdoor lighting can also help keep animals away.  If you have security lights, keep them on at night.  Investing in motion-sensor lighting can be beneficial and uses less electricity. These will turn on when any movement is detected and can startle animals that are trying to make their way onto your property or into your home.

Having a pest control provider treat more often can help keep wild animals away from your home.  Removing insects from your home and surrounding areas removes a food source for smaller wild animals.  As the circle of life goes, if there are fewer smaller wild animals, there will be fewer mid-sized wild animals and beyond!

Finally, it can be helpful to use natural products that are irritants to animals, like cayenne pepper, hot sauce, garlic or mothballs.  These natural products will not hurt animals, but they do not like the aroma or taste that these products emit. Aromatic herbs like rosemary, basil, sage, and mint are great to grow because the intense smell will ward off wildlife. With herbs you’ll also have the benefit of having herbs handy for cooking. Strong smelling soap, like Irish Spring, cut into slivers can be placed around your home perimeter to create a barrier that animals won’t cross. Do not use an unscented or floral smelling soap as these aren’t effective.  Finally, you can also use a spray with water and essential oils like peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus to spray around your home.

By following these tips, you can increase your odds of keeping wild animals away from your home all year long.  

So you’ve tried these strategies but now you have a wild animal in your home?

Call us Catawba Wildlife Removal at 704-564-5686

We can take care of the removal of birds, snakes, bats, raccoons, and even dead animals.  We guarantee that we can safely remove wildlife from your home without harming the animals.  After removal, we will take care to seal up any potential entry points to prevent any future infestations.