Fall is here, which means that more wild animals are looking for a space to ride out the weather changes for the next two seasons – and humans just want to keep the critters out. Unfortunately, for some people, that means that critters are desperately looking for ways to get inside their homes where there is warmth, shelter, and food and water to tempt them. This is why it is so important to critter-proof your home before the full fall weather takes hold. Below are some of our top tips for preparing your home for fall and how to keep critters out of your home as the weather cools.
Screens and Vents
One of the most important things to do is to make sure that your window screens, vents, chimney, and roofline are all intact and have a tight seal. These are some of the primary ways that critters like raccoons, mice, and squirrels can get into your home and nest. Look for any tears, cracks, or warping and get them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Something that can draw the attention of a host of different local pests is your garbage can. For your outdoor garbage can, be sure that all trash is properly bagged and tied off and the lid of the can is tightly fitted. The smell of the garbage is a massive draw for rodents, raccoons, opossums, and a wide variety of bugs. To avoid drawing any undue attention to your home from these pests, it is best to keep the garbage well sealed and clean the can regularly to minimize smells.
Trees and Shrubs
As we have said many times before, small wildlife and bugs use your greenery to gain access to your home. They can climb any branch or shoot that scrapes against the side of the house or the roof and then find any cracks or crevices hidden there to sneak their way inside. In order to keep these critters out, cut back any branches or limbs that are too close to the house including the foundation. As a general rule, try to keep all greenery at least 6 to 8 inches away from the house. If you don’t have time to control trees and shrubs yourself, make sure that someone is caring for those landscaping elements for you.
It is inevitable in Autumn for the leaves to fall on the ground into your yard. And while it may not be a big bother to you, it is a great place to bugs and small creatures to take refuge. This is why it is important that you not let the leaves or other debris pile up for too long. Be sure to rake it up and then place it in a bag that can be securely tied. Also, if you keep firewood, it is just as important that you store the wood at least 20 feet from the house as it is also an ideal harbor site for small critters.
Birds here in Florida are plentiful. Thanks to our warmer, subtropical climate we have them all year long. So, it is nice to have seed and feed available to draw them to your yard. But bird feeders also draw other pests like squirrels. So be sure to use birdfeeders that are squirrel proof and keep the feed locked up tightly out of reach.