It’s Rodent Awareness Week! The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) estimated 45% of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter. Many homes can attract nuisance pests, like raccoons, squirrels, bats and other small animals. Wildlife can damage your property and their droppings can contaminate your living spaces.

Squirrels are particularly difficult to control because of their persistence and their speedy, acrobatic movements. It is best for homeowners to take measures to prevent these pests to from entering your home.

Squirrels in particular love to live in small enclosed areas, and our attics and other architectural gaps provide such areas. Oftentimes animals are attracted by the presence of food sources, such as bird food left outside. Once an animal has established a behavior of visiting your property for these food sources, it can be hard to make them break the habit.

Squirrels can cause considerable damage to gardens and yards, roof and attics. They are excellent chewers and are notorious for chewing their way into homes. Once they gain entrance, they go on to create a mess with their constant gnawing.

It’s best to leave wildlife control to the professionals, like Terminix, so that a trained technician can evaluate the situation and then work with you to tailor a prevention and control plan that suits your needs. That being said, there are several things you can do to help prevent hearing noises in the walls in the first place:

1. Fix any leaky outdoor faucets so you’re not providing pests with a water source.
2. Inspect your home for any holes that pests could use as entry points. If you see any, have a professional properly seal them. Or better yet, have a professional do the inspection for you.
3. Try to keep your gutters and yard free of all debris, including acorns, fallen fruit, gardens that have gone to seed, pinecones and so forth.
4. Keep vining plants, shrubs and tree branches trimmed so that they don’t provide access to your home.
5. Don’t leave pet food or water outside at night.
6. Tightly tie trash bags and keep the lids to your trash cans secured.
7. Stack firewood or leaf piles far away from your home.

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