4 Ways to Keep Dangerous Animals Out of Your Home
Winters in Florida may not be as extreme as in other parts of the country, but even a small drop in temperature is all it takes for rodents and other dangerous wildlife animals to seek shelter indoors. Unfortunately, that may mean these nuisances find their way into your home -- endangering your family, pets, and overall comfort.
The Most Common Animals that Invade Homes
Potentially dangerous animals that are most likely to invade your house during the colder months include rats, mice, raccoons, opossum, snakes, and squirrels. These creatures hide away in your home’s walls, attic, garage, and other obscure spaces, coming out in search of food, water, and materials to build nests. They chew through insulation, wiring, drywall, and wood and make a mess of your pantry -- leaving droppings, shredded paper, and packaging waste wherever they go. Non-domesticated animals can also carry disease and can be aggressive, posing a health hazard to your family and pets.
Rats and mice are especially prone to seek out the warmth of your home during the winter, and they’re extremely common here in the Tampa Bay area. Did you know we made the top 50 list of most rat-infested cities in 2017? Rodents multiply at the rate of up to a dozen offspring every three weeks, which means if you see evidence of even one, you likely have many living in your home. But guess what? You don’t have to settle for a rodent or wildlife infestation this winter. Take these preventive measures to help keep your home free of uninvited animals as the weather gets colder!
#1: Seal Potential Points of Entry
Did you know that a mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime? You heard that right -- a DIME! Rodents and other wildlife can infiltrate your home through even the smallest holes in your home’s foundation, walls, and attic. They also enter through vents, chimneys, drains, and openings around pipes. One of the absolute best ways to keep rodents (and all pests) out is to close off these potential entry and exit points. You should:
Use silicone caulk or spray foam filler to seal cracks
Plug gaps around pipes with steel wool
Install screens or grates over chimney and vent openings
Repair issues with your home’s construction
#2: Don't Leave Food Out in the Open
Animals have highly developed senses of smell which help them seek out food. Edible scraps and crumbs -- and even pet food that is left outside or on floors -- will draw wildlife close to your home. Rats and mice are also attracted to food left on countertops or in open containers. Rodents will easily chew through paper or lightweight plastic, so be sure to store your food in hard plastic canisters and containers if possible. We’d also recommend scheduled feeding times for your pets if possible -- rather than leaving pet food on the floor at all times throughout the day.
#3: Keep Your Trash Cans Tidy & Secure
You’ve heard the saying that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Well, that holds true for animals in search of their next meal! Most nuisance animals will eat nearly anything, and household trash is a veritable buffet for them. Ensure trash containers, both inside and out, have lids that remain tightly secured. You should also:
Avoid overfilling your garbage bins
Never leave garbage bags in front of your door
Clean up spillage in your garbage bins
Regularly wash off any residual waste residue on trash cans
#4: Maintain Your Yard & Shrubbery
Woodpiles, accumulations of leaves, and items left in your yard offer protection from the elements, enticing both bugs and wildlife to camp out near your home. Unkempt shrubbery and overhanging tree branches provide easy access to entry points to its interior. Keep shrubs cut back at least 12 inches from your house and remove any branches that would give animals access to your roof or gutters. Maintaining a tidy yard will not only protect your home from wild animals, but it will also make your neighbors happy!
We Can Help Get Rid of Rodents
While prevention is always your best bet when dealing with a rodent or pest infestation, we understand that not everyone has to foresight to implement these measures before it becomes a problem. We’ve been getting rid of pests -- including rodents -- for over 30 years in the Tampa Bay area, and know the best ways to keep them out of your home for good. We unfortunately don't offer animal or wildlife control, but if you’re dealing with a pest or rodent infestation, the experts at Anti-Pesto are happy to help give you fast relief!