Now that most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and freezing temperatures are becoming more frequent, mice, moles and similar vermin are seeking for a warm place to bunk down for the winter. That means its a good time for you to critter proof your home.
The first step in properly securing your home is to check all the possible openings for wildlife to enter.
Attics: First go about checking all the vents, eaves and gables to make sure all screens are still intact. If you find any holes in the walls or torn screens use some mortar or metal hardware cloth at least 26 gauge in thickness. Make sure to tack the metal cloth down securely!
*If an animal has already made its way into your attic use some ammonia to induce the animal to leave. Once the critter decides to relocate it’s time to find where the entry was gained and repair it.
Chimneys: Make sure that your chimneys are securely capped with hardware cloth, and have been properly fastened down. Animals can easily shimmy their way into small gaps and loose openings. If you notice that your chimney isn’t capped, check with area chimney sweeps or roofing companies to have this done.
If an animal has already made its way into your chimney do not attempt to smoke it out by lighting a fire. It may overcome the animal and cause it to drop into the fire. This will cause a much bigger problem. Simply place a dish of ammonia at the base of the chimney and open the damper a ½”. The vapors will force the critters up and out.
Dryer vents and exhaust fans: Make sure all your screens are securely fastened around each area. Make sure to use heavy metal screen or metal hardware cloth of at least 26 gauge in thickness. Make sure to clear any nests or debris prior to installing the screen.
Pipes entering home: Go over all the areas where pipes are entering your home. Small rodents like moles and mice seek out these areas especially. If you encounter any cracks or holes make sure to stuff them with very coarse copper wool. This will prevent not only rodents but can also assist in bat prevention.
Trees near home and roofing: You can further help limit access to your home by keeping up with pruning overhanging tree branches. Simply tacking some sheet metal around areas where animals climb can help to prevent them from getting the footing they need for roof access to your home.
Garbage: Last but not least, make sure you have a secure and durable garbage can. Nothing promotes animal intrusion more than food. If you can keep the food away from them chances are they will keep away from you and your home.
And of course, if your efforts fail to prevent invasion, contact a licensed pest control company. Ask for a free estimate, timeline, and if they will come back and do free follow up as part of their service.