Friday, January 27, 2017

Don’t let Wildlife Intruders Wreak Havoc in Your Attic This Winter

Stark Exterminators Offers Prevention Tips to Keep Wildlife Outside

This is the time of year when wildlife such as squirrels, rats and even raccoons start seeking food and shelter inside homes as the temperatures drop. Hearing scratching and scurrying noises in your attic or walls can be very unsettling and often the first sign of a wildlife infestation. Much more than a nuisance, many wildlife intruders can spread diseases, build nests in insulation, gnaw threw electrical wires, and often bring in other pests such as ticks and fleas. It’s important for homeowners to know the signs of these persistent intruders which is why Stark Exterminators has prepared a list of the most common wildlife looking for a home this winter and tips to keep them outside where they belong.


Roof Rats: Roof rats were not even found in many southern states 20 years ago, but they are now one of the most frequent home invaders. Typically tree dwellers, roof rats look for high places to nest inside structures including soffits and attics to survive the winter. Like all rodents, they reproduce very quickly, making them nearly impossible to control without the help of a professional.   


Squirrels: Both gray and flying squirrels are known to seek shelter in attics, exterior walls and even between floors using insulation as nesting material. In addition to the damage their chewing and nesting can cause, squirrels can be carriers of fleas and other unwanted organisms that can infest the entire home once brought inside.


Raccoons: These masked bandits live in a constant search for food and shelter.  They use their very adept hands to open garbage cans, remove siding and even tear off shingles. Categorized as an extremely dangerous and destructive pest, raccoons can cause structural damage to a home and infest living spaces with fleas and parasites. They are also known to carry rabies.


“We see an increase in calls related to wildlife infestations every fall,” said Stark Pest Expert Charlie Jones. “Much like humans, these pests crave food, warmth and shelter which drives them into homes when the temperature drops.”


To help prevent furry intruders from entering homes, Stark Exterminators recommends the following tips:

  • Seal all exterior cracks and holes, including along the roofline, around the chimney and areas where utilities and pipes enter the home;
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys
  • Use plastic boxes and containers with seal-tight lids for storage, keep them off the floor and organize items to prevent wildlife from residing in undisturbed areas of the house, garage, basement and attic;
  • Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean;
  • Keep bird feeders away from the house and use squirrel guards to limit access to the feeder;
  • Do not leave pet food or water bowls out overnight; and
  • Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid – and keep it sealed at all times.