We do not typically spend a lot of time in our home attics. It may be just to put the holiday decorations away or bring down your spring and summer clothing when the St. Louis winter passes. But did you know that if you don’t pay close attention, you could be hosting raccoons, bats or other wildlife this winter? These animals are about as excited for the cold as we are. They are in search of any opening that could lead them to a warmer shelter and place to spend their winter. The problem with these pests invading your attic or other living spaces is that they can cause a lot of structural damage, and pose health risks for you, your family, and even your pets.
Raccoons are a common intruder in homes, as they are able to force themselves in through vents, windows, or other partial openings. If you find a raccoon in your attic, there is a good chance it is a mom and she is accompanied by a litter of pups. Many female raccoons resort to sheltered spaces like attics when it’s cold outside so they can provide a safe, sheltered nest for their babies. Raccoons will use any of your belongings to create their nest, which can leave you with a lot of damage. Not only do they cause destruction of your home, but raccoons are notorious for being infested with fleas and ticks, which puts your family’s pets, and even you, in danger of another home infestation. Raccoons are also known to spread diseases; they are especially known for carrying rabies.
Bats are another animal that you may find spending the winter in your home. Although there is a lot of fear around this species, they are great for their insect eating abilities. Many bats feed on the very insect pests that we try to avoid. However, bats can also get into your home and become a pest themselves. Bats can fit in spaces as small as 3/8 of an inch and often find a entry points from vents or chimneys that are exposed to the outside. If a bat does get into your home, there can be big problems, especially if they form a colony. Bat urine can destroy ceilings and walls and leave a horrible smell that requires replacement of the affected area. Bats, like raccoons, are known to carry and spread many diseases, which leaves them a danger to have in your home.
In order to prevent wildlife from making their way into your attic this winter, follow these simple tips. Keeping your routine pest control services going year round is a great way to keep many pests out, but if you have a problem with raccoons or bats forcing their way in, you should take some time to make your house a closed gate to wildlife. A great start is to do a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior and make sure that there are no holes or cracks that could be entry points for pests. Also, check that all vents are secured so that raccoons cannot force their way inside. Removing food sources is another good prevention tip, because some pests are after food as much as shelter. Keeping the trash away from your home in secured bins and keeping a clean kitchen, will help deter any animals from invading your living space.
If you live in the St. Louis area and have any questions on home pest control, or if you have identified a wildlife infestation in your home, contact the pest control pros at Rottler Pest & Lawn today. Don’t let wildlife take over your attic, basement, or garage this winter and cause you stress, damages, and possible health risks.