4 foolproof ways to keep wildlife out of your home

Wildlife is usually best seen outside of your own house. With some simple, foolproof tricks, however, you can keep the wildlife in the wild, and your home pest-free.

4 foolproof ways to keep wildlife out of your home

1. Seal off entry points

  • Mice, birds, bats, squirrels, snakes, raccoons and many other critters (and insects) can be kept out of the house by carefully sealing all possible entries
  • Seal off any cracks around the foundation.
  • Check under the siding where it overlaps the foundation.
  • Also, check around basement windows for possible points of entry.

2. Check vents

  • Check vents in the attic, especially gable vents, to see whether animals can get through.
  • In cool weather, look for any spots where you feel cool air moving in the basement and attic. Many animals will follow air currents to gain entry into the house.

3. Seal the cracks

  • Larger areas can be sealed with expanding foam insulation.
  • Cover vents and other openings on the inside with1⁄4 inch hardware cloth nailed or stapled to the open area.
  • Steel wool stuffed in crevices often keeps animals out.
  • Use removable rope caulk around any basement and attic windows that need to be opened in an emergency.
  • The most effective and humane time to seal out animals is late summer when they're hunting for winter quarters. They will then be able to find a more natural home outdoors.
  • If the animal is nocturnal, such as a bat, seal off openings at night after it 's left the house.

4. When wildlife gets in

  • Rabies is becoming more prevalent, even in populated areas. Never try to handle an animal that's behaving strangely.
  • Nor should you handle an injured animal. In such cases, contact your local animal control office or humane society for help
  • If an animal gets into your house, stay calm. Most often, it will slow down after a few minutes of desperate running or flapping.
  • If you shut the room's interior doors and open its windows and exterior doors, the animal may find its own way out.
  • In the case of a small bird, catch it in a bath towel and release it outside. Wear heavy leather gloves to avoid injury.

Wildlife inside the home can be messy and expensive, so it's best to take a preemptive approach to their invasion. Seal the cracks, check the vents and keep the critters outside where they belong.

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