Unwelcome animals digging under your foundation is a large problem for many homeowners around the world. Animals such as groundhogs, squirrels, raccoons, skunks and moles tend to be extremely exploratory which can lead to health hazards as well as home damage. It is important for homeowners to know signs of animal activity, how to prevent them, as well as what actions to take if the intruders are already there.
What Type of Animal is Lurking Nearby?
Before dealing with any unwelcome animals digging under your foundation, it is important to identify which wild animal species you are dealing with. If you hear activity during the day, it is possible that squirrels have invaded. Raccoon’s tend to come out at night, and if the Raccoon has babies with it, you can tell by the sound the babies make. Baby raccoons tend to sound like puppies and are quite vocal. It can be quite obvious when a skunk is under your porch or deck due to its distinctive odor, but if you are not entirely sure, look for small patches of torn-up grass. Finally, if you notice some of your flowers have been eaten or burrows in your lawn, you may have a groundhog in your area. Groundhogs are known more for damaging lawn rather than foundation, but they are known to burrow on houses built on slab foundation. Most animals are found in basements and attics, depending on the structure of house as well as location of garden.
How Can Wild Animals Enter My Home?
These intruders tend to get in through the chimney as well as the laundry vent. One solution to this is installing a vent guard. A vent guard is an inexpensive way to stop these animals from entering. The average price of a vent guard is anywhere between 5 and 25 U.S dollars, depending on where they are purchased and what type is purchased.
How Can I Make My House Less Attractive to Wild Animals?
The animals are lured towards the home usually due to available food sources. Some food sources that lure these intruders are gardens, pet food, bird food or garbage in garbage cans. When in contact with these animals, it is extremely important not to feed them! Not only can it be dangerous, due to any disease the animal may be carrying, it will also make the animal feel welcome and they will return. It is important to secure these food sources. For gardens, installing a chicken-wire fence usually works very well. The recommended dimensions are a minimum of 3 and a half feet, and buried 1 foot into the ground. To stop animals such as raccoons from entering garbage cans, use garbage cans with lids that are able to be tightly sealed. If the lid is not able to completely seal, you can weigh down the lid with heavy objects such as bricks. Another big attractor is the seeds that fall from bird feeders. If purchasing a bird feeder, make sure to purchase one that has a seed catcher tray. It is also important to sweep the surrounding ground frequently.
There are Wild Animals in My House! What Can I Do?
Now, if animals have already arrived, it may not be clear on what action to take. When dealing with squirrels in your attic, one solution is to install a one-way squirrel exclusion door at the opening. Seal all other openings with steel mesh and place the door at the main entry/exit. This will allow the squirrels to exit but not re-enter. It is important to note that placing traps in your attic is rarely a successful solution. Raccoons tend to dislike bright lights so if you have have some unwanted visitors, flashing them with lights can cause them to exit by themselves. If that does not solve your problem, using a one-way door can be a solution. Make sure that there are no babies in the area as this could possibly harm them. Again, baby raccoons sound like puppies. When dealing with groundhogs, it is important to first protect your gardens. They are attracted by food and like mentioned above, chicken wire is a sufficient way to keep your garden unharmed. After doing that, a groundhog repellent, either liquid or granular, should do the trick. Using these repellents will discourage the animal from eating, digging and will most likely drive them out of the area. Finally, if neither solution is successful, traps are always an option as well as the help of a professional wild animal removal service.