When the weather turns colder, most want to head indoors for a little warmth. Unfortunately, that includes rats, mice, squirrels and other unwanted guests. Here are some signs they've encroached on your property, ways you can deal with them and how you can prevent them from coming back.
Inspect Common Problem Areas
Prime nesting spots include the attic, the garage and crawl spaces with outside access. Examine these areas for droppings, urine smells, fur and holes leading outside. And if you hear squeaking or gnawing sounds at night, chances are you have a pest.
Remove Current Squatters
If you suspect you have critters living in your home, don't seal them in. They could starve, and you could be left with a horrible smell that's difficult to get rid of. Baited poison, snap traps and sticky traps are options, but a more humane method is to set live traps and release them back into their natural habitat. It's also a safer option if you have children or pets.
Close Any Openings
Look for holes in siding, gaps in flashing, burrows under the foundation and other openings as small as 1/4 inch that animals could fit through. Once you've removed the freeloaders, seal any holes with expanding foam or block them with wire mesh.
Maintain a Tidy Yard
Clear the area surrounding your home of anything that may attract pests, and remove potential sources of food and water. Trim tree limbs so they're at least six feet away from the roof, and keep trash cans securely closed. If you have a grill, make sure it's clean and covered.
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