Animal Proofing Your Home

Wherever you live, it is inevitable that you will be surrounded by wildlife of some description. This could be bats, mice, rats, rabbits, foxes, birds, squirrels, racoons, skunks, or even wasps and bees. Some creatures can be a pleasure to observe in the garden, while others can unfortunately be nothing but a nuisance.

Once unwanted guests have moved into your home or property, they can become very troublesome and difficult to remove. So, the best way to ensure that this doesn't happen to you is to take preventative action right away.

Take a walk around the outside of your house and check all levels for any holes, cracks or signs of weakness. If you have just moved into a new house, it is a good idea to make this job one of your priorities.

  1. First of all, think carefully about the yard; large trees with overhanging branches leading to the house can allow animals such as squirrels or racoons to reach attics and chimneys.

  2. Trim back or remove ivy and keep grass regularly cut, as these areas can make excellent hiding places for small animals. Remove any piled up wood or rocks, too.

  3. Collect fruits and nuts that have fallen from trees, as these can make tempting meals for some species. If you have pets, don't leave food bowls containing uneaten food lying around the yard. Think carefully about what food you put out for the birds too, as uneaten food left on the ground could also be an attraction for certain animals.

  4. Double fencing and garden sheds can be a problem. Spaces underneath or in between can make ideal hiding places or homes for rats, mice, etc.

  5. Make sure compost heaps are covered and protected and that all trash is sealed and protected in secure bins with lids - easy to reach trash is one of the main attractions for certain creatures. If possible, keep it shut away in an outbuilding until your garbage collection day.

  6. Check chimney, attic vents and eaves of the roof. Cap chimneys and seal other areas with suitable preventative building materials, which will resist gnawing. Remember that some small animals can even squeeze into very tight cracks and gaps. Use concrete to fill gaps in concrete and masonry.

  7. Check for gaps around doors, windows and any other vents - even dryer vents can pose a problem. You can purchase protective covers for these, which are easy to install.

  8. Some animals can obviously dig, so this is another issue to think about. Porches and decking areas need to be screened underneath - always check for any loose or rotten wood too.

  9. If you have a cat flap, or any other type of pet flap in a door, once your pet is in for the night make sure that you fasten it up securely.

  10. Make sure there are no obvious cracked or broken tiles on the roof, as even small cracks can be an easy entry point for wasps or bees.

Although checking and repairing every small exterior area of your home may seem like hard work, it is well worth making the effort to protect your home from unwanted pests. Wild animals in your house can be very noisy, especially if they are nocturnal. They can also cause a large amount of damage, particularly to wood. So, preventative measures will not only allow you to sleep peacefully at night, but they may save you money on major household repairs too!