Urban wildlife starts heading inside around this time every year, usually they’re headed for the attic. Rats, mice, squirrels and raccoons are the most common attic dwellers. Torn up patio furniture cushions that are missing stuffing are one clue that there is nest building going on. Make it a habit to walk around your house (scouting) and check for signs of critter damage. Any place they can get their teeth or claws in they will exploit. If you see evidence of a potential entry point, think about getting a game camera. Game cameras are the best way to figure the type of critter you are dealing with. You can get a game camera to fit almost every budget. Place it by the suspected area to see what is moving when you are not there. It is much easier to stop an animal if you know what kind of animal it is.
Wildlife needs food, water and shelter to survive. Lucky for us they don’t need fire! Keep this in mind when you are trying to keep them out. Remove all food sources, this includes taking down the bird feeders (for about a month), pick up the uneaten dog food, empty the birdbath and keep the acorns picked up. If you keep pet food in the garage put it in a steel container. If you have a swimming pool, well, good luck. This needs to be a group effort so make sure you talk to your neighbors about this.
One area that you don’t hear much about is pet doors. Pet doors are an excellent entry point for these critters to gain access. I have some friends, who about twenty years or so ago walked into their kitchen when a coyote was about half way through the pet door. Needless to say it scared them half to death. They nailed the door shut after that. Nowadays you have a choice, you can either lock the door or install one of the electronic pet doors. Both will eliminate this problem.
Take a look in the garage for droppings. They are gaining entry at the lower corners of the garage door. A quick glance will reveal, in most cases, an angle cut at the bottom of the wood trim. These cuts are designed to keep the wood from rotting but they also provide an entry point into the garage. From there it’s short work for them to chew through the sheet rock and there in the attic. The answer to this situation is the glue board. A sticky trap that is placed on the floor, between the wall and the garage door track. It will catch them coming and going. Pick up the trap with pliers and in the trash they go. As much as I like glue boards, they do have their draw backs. They work better in hot weather than cold. Sometime the critters they catch are still alive when you throw them away. And they will catch non targeted species, especially geckos. A two pack of glue boards is $6.00.