It is that time of year when the urban wildlife will be heading inside. Rats, mice, squirrels and raccoon are the most common attic dwellers. Torn up patio furniture covers are one clue that there is nest building going on. Make it a habit to walk around your house and check for signs of critter damage. Any place they can get their teeth or claws in, they will exploit. A game camera is the best way to figure out what type of critter you are dealing with. Place the camera by the suspected area to see what is moving when you are not there.
Wildlife needs food, water and shelter to survive. Keep that in mind when you are trying to keep these animals out of your house. Remove all food sources, this includes taking down the bird feeders (for about a month), pick up the uneaten dog food and empty the birdbath. Dog doors are an excellent entry point for these critters to gain access. Keep your acorns picked up (I use my lawn mower and bag them). If you keep your pet food in the garage put it in a steel container. If you have a swimming pool, well, good luck.
Now these critters are in your house, how do we get them out? For the rats and mice garage entry is very common. Glue boards (my favorite) are most effective when placed between the garage door track and the wall. They rats and mice stick to the glue boards and die. The glue boards will work in almost any situation as long as you know where they are getting in. The tried and true spring traps work, but I would suggest baiting them without arming them. Once they take the bait then arm them. Rodenticides (poison) work but I consider them a last resort.
For the critters in the attic, the go-to product is fox urine. Predator scents have the best track record right behind a firearm. Predator scents will work on just about every critter that thinks there will be food in your attic. You must know the point of entry for your visitor and what time of the day or night they are not there. Squirrels are active during the day and everything else is nocturnal. While they are gone, get in the attic and surround the entry point with (4 –6) applicators (a cotton ball in a plastic bottle with holes in it) filled with fox urine. A good pair of dishwashing gloves is a sound investment. Do not fix the hole until it has been two days with no sounds of activity.
Other methods include live traps, sonic deterrent devices and just let them be. I have heard mixed reviews on the sonic deterrents. We sell live traps. If you go with this method and plan to release them, do not do it an area that turns them into someone else’s problem. Bait the traps with what they eat. Here is the important tip; cover the top and sides of the trap. The critter needs to see front to back not side to side. Please don’t just leave them alone. They bring with then insects (fleas mainly) and can cause major damage to your house and car.
Oh, by the way, it’s time to start feeding the birds again. We carry a large variety of birdseed blends (some are on sale this month) and for the squirrels we have peanuts (on line coupon).