How To Keep Wildlife Out Of Your Home

Homeowners living near wooded areas or in areas that are close to clear cutting projects may have troubles with unwanted visitors like raccoons and opossums. In some areas, wildlife can become a homeowner’s nightmare, especially when expensive structural repairs have to be made due to one small wild animal. Learning more about humane and effective wildlife control is important and can help to save you a great deal of money for home repairs.

Making A Landscape Unattractive To Wild Animals

The area around your house is important to consider when you are having woodland visitors. The trees near to your house can provide the perfect entry way for several creatures like raccoons and squirrels. Making sure tree branches are kept cut away from your house can help to deter some animals from reaching your roof. Placing a wide band of sheet metal around the trunks of trees for preventing animals from climbing up trees. Sheet metal bands should be placed at least five feet from the ground to be most effective.

Taking the time to clean up the area around your home can help a lot to make it less attractive to wild animals. If you have outdoor pets, never leave their food bowls out at night. Doing so is a grand invitation to hungry nocturnal creatures like raccoons. Securing trash cans or moving them into an enclosed garage at night is a good idea. If you have children, make sure there are no foods left outdoors in play areas.

Shrubbery next to your house is a good place for animals to hide, especially the slithering kind. Snakes are notorious for living in areas that are shady and cool. The shrubs around your home should be trimmed at least a foot above ground level. This takes away the element of privacy for snakes that like to lie underneath shrubs. Placing mothballs underneath trimmed shrubs is another way to deter snakes and frogs as well.

Securing Your Home Is Important

Securing your house is necessary to keep creatures out of it. This is especially true for homes that have chimneys on the roof. Most home improvement stores sell chimney vents that have special screen on them. Installing a vent will keep animals from going down into the chimney. However, you want to make doubly sure no creatures are already in the chimney before you install a vent.

  • Inspect your roof for damaged areas that would allow animal access
  • Take time to inspect the attic for venting or chewed area that would allow creatures easy entry

Keeping out voles, also referred to as field mice, from your home is important to prevent chewing damage and some diseases the creatures can carry. If you are experiencing troubles with rodents, calling a professional is the best option for getting rid of them and securing your home so they cannot come back in.

  • Calling a professional for getting rid of voles lessens the use of poisons that could be dangerous to your family and pets.
  • Pest control professionals have a trained eye that would catch issues you may overlook when it comes to mice and voles.

No matter what kind of wild animal you may see on your property, making sure you do not encourage it by feeding and coaxing it is extremely important for your safety. Wild animals bite and can cause serious harm to children and elderly folks. Always call a wildlife control professional when you need a creature removed from your property.

For more information on wildlife control in Rhode Island, contact us or call us at 401-992-9000.

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Bonus Blog Article

9 Tips to Keep Ants Away

Ants are far from arbitrary. If you are seeing ants in steady streams, it is because their scouts had already assessed your home as accessible, available, and an easy target.

Ants aren’t all that different from us. Like us, they are looking for food, shelter, and water. Remove their access to these resources in your home and you can greatly reduce their interest in making your home a permanent residence. Because like us, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll look for it somewhere else. And you want that somewhere else to be outside, in their natural environment. That is rule #1 in getting rid of ants.

1. Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately

Ants seem to start out on your floors and on your countertops. They are there because your crumbs and spills are there. Make a habit of sweeping up crumbs right away. Spills should be wiped up, and if sticky, should be cleaned with soap and water or another appropriate cleanser.

2. Keep food in sealed containers

Opened bags of chips, crackers, cereals, and other snacks should be rolled up tightly and kept closed with a clothespin or other similar device. Sugar and flour should be placed in airtight containers. Honey, maple syrup, and other sticky-sweet goodies should be stored in the refrigerator.

3. Dispose of garbage appropriately and regularly

Keeping food scraps in your household garbage is a huge no-no, especially in the summer. Invest in an outdoor composter and put raw food scraps in the composter, immediately. Raw food scraps include potato peels, banana peels, lettuce ends, carrot tops, and any other uncooked food. You can also toss your eggshells, coffee grinds and tea bags into your composter. Make sure to keep your compost bin far away from home’s foundation. We like to use my grandmother’s method of eliminating cooked food scraps. In the summer, my grandmother would put cooked food scraps in a plastic bag and put this bag in the freezer until trash pick-up day. Any food scraps left in your regular trash are a homing beacon to hungry ants.

4. Keep pet food and water dishes clean

Your pet’s food bowl is easy-pickings for ants. Serve your pet only the amount of food that she will eat in one sitting. Any leftover dry kibble should be tossed or put back in the bag for tomorrow. Wet food leftovers should be treated like cooked food scraps (see above). Your pet’s water bowl should be cleaned regularly to avoid an accumulation of food residue or the stray bloated kibble. Your pet’s dry kibble bag should be kept in an airtight container.

5. Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk

Silicone caulk is readily available at any of the big box home improvement stores. Your local hardware store is also likely to carry silicone caulk. Youtube can provide you with a quick tutorial, if you need one, on how to apply caulk to exterior cracks. 

6. Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens

Big box home improvement stores sell screen repair kits, but truthfully they can often be a pain. Oftentimes, your local hardware store can be your best resource when you have a rip in a screen. Our neighborhood hardware store fixes screens for $2-$5 a screen. You take them out of the window, drive them down, and often can pick them up the next day.

7. Replace weather-stripping

Your doors and windows can provide easy entry for not only you and your expected guests but also the unexpected and unwanted guests—ants. Inspect your doors and windows regularly and replace any loose or damaged weather-stripping. These materials are cheap and easy to use. In most cases, you roll it out, remove the backing, and just stick it on.

8. Repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows

This is a task best left to the professionals. Surprisingly, masons are not as expensive as one might think. Lookup a reputable mason, or get a good solid reference from a dependable source.

9. Keep tree branches and other shrubberies well-trimmed and away from the house

This is another situation where you may want to call the professionals. We’ve all heard the stories about the neighbor who insists on cutting his trees himself, on a step ladder, with a chainsaw. Save yourself the trip to the emergency room (and the humiliation), and call a tree surgeon to trim your overhanging trees. You can likely take care of the low shrubbery yourself with a good set of hedge clippers.

Still have ants?

If ants persist, despite all your best attempts, a professional pest removal service will be your best bet. A good service technician can provide preventative pest control that can often be environmentally friendlier than you might think. Ants are smart and catch on pretty quick. Once they know your home is being maintained regularly, they will lose interest and look for their resources elsewhere.

For more information on ant control in Providence, call us at 401-992-9000.\

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