Some animals belong inside your home while others you want to keep out. It’s okay to have your pets running around, but the local wildlife is different. There are several different types of animals that can get into your house including your walls, crawlspaces, and chimneys. They can cause structural, electrical, and plumbing problems, along with potentially spreading disease.
Where you live determines what critters you have to worry about. For example, if you live in Maine, armadillos aren’t a problem. However, some animals are common problems for homeowners across the country.
Here are a few critters you don’t want in your house.
Common animals that can get into your house
Some animals look cute and cuddly, while others are creepy. Regardless of its appearance, you don’t want these critters making themselves at home in your house.
1. Rats and Mice
Rodents are a problem for homeowners. Rats and mice can chew on wires and plaster resulting in expensive repairs. The small pests also leave droppings on your floors and counters creating unsanitary living conditions.
It’s surprising how many ways mice can get into a home. Tiny openings in the foundation, walls, and floors are common entry points. Windows not properly fitted or sealed, along with drainage pipes are other ways the pests enter your home.
Once there are mice in your home, they’re difficult to get rid of without contacting a professional exterminator. It’s another expense on top of any repairs.
Raccoons look like cute, furry bandits, and they’re known for their curiosity, persistence, and intelligence. The animals are common intruders in attics and crawlspaces, and they can leave a trail of destruction when they decide to build a nest in your home.
Gaps between the roof and eaves are common, especially in older homes allowing raccoons to move in. Vents in the roof and gables are other potential access points. If you have wood shingles and a determined raccoon, they can rip the shingles off to get inside. These pests are strong, destructive, and difficult to catch.
Some people think squirrels are adorable, while others consider them rats with fluffy tails. However you feel about squirrels, you do not want the energetic animals in your home. The pests most often take over attics, but inside walls and unused chimneys are other favorite places.
Squirrels can get into your home through the chimney or vents in the walls or gables. They can fit through some amazingly small holes. Once they make their nests, the rodents are almost impossible to get out. Even though they’re small, squirrels can also do a lot of damage to electrical wiring, installation, and even walls if they start burrowing.
No one wants snakes moving in, even harmless garden ones. Depending on where you live, and the pets your neighbors may own, the reptiles may not be non-threatening. Rattlesnakes, water moccasins, and non-local species owned by neighbors can make their way into your house.
Snakes prefer dark environments and usually enter a home through small holes or cracks at ground level. If you can see the hole, there’s a good chance a snake can fit through it. You may never know if a snake is living inside your home, but most do make an appearance.
The best way to keep snakes out is to keep up with your home maintenance and perform routine inspections for any access points the reptiles can use.
Opossums are skilled climbers and often find ways to get inside attics, often through holes and slits in the eaves and vents. They are scavengers and will eat almost anything, including garbage, plants, and insects. If your garbage is frequently overturned at night, there’s a possibility you have an opossum as a housemate.
The animals have a distinct odor. It’s unpleasant, and another indication one may have moved in. Opossums also leave wide trails of droppings. Along with the smell, the feces can make pets and small children ill.
Did you know that the Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in the United States?
Homeowners in the Midwest and eastern parts of the country are more likely to have problems with groundhogs. The burrowing rodents are famous for predicting when spring is coming, but it doesn’t mean you want one to take up residency under your home.
Groundhogs are less likely to move in, instead preferring to burrow underneath homes. They can move a lot of dirt in a short time building their dens. When they decide to move in under your home, it can cause structural problems, especially with slab foundations. The shifting dirt from the groundhog’s den can cause the slab to shift or sink.
One pest with an odor stronger than an opossum is the skunk. The fluffy black and white animals are cute in cartoons, but you don’t want one in your house. It’s a smell that’s impossible to forget and hard to get rid of.
Wintertime is when skunks are more likely to enter homes, seeking warmth and shelter from the cold temperatures. They can enter a home through the crawl space or other areas with ventilation. The animals will use their paws and sharp claws to remove protective screens to gain access.
Birds can make nests in chimneys and attics creating a noisy mess. Along with bird droppings, birds can also be noisy. The chirping and sound of wings flapping can make sleep almost impossible. In the chimney, their nests present a fire hazard.
It doesn’t matter where you live, there will always be some critters that can get into your home. Some may be cute outside, but it’s a different story when they move in. Expensive repairs are common, and some animals can even present a health hazard.
Keeping vents intact, windows and pipes sealed, along with any other small holes and cracks will reduce your risk of getting unwanted housemates. Don’t forget to check under porches, you never know what may move in. If you do have unwanted animals, it’s best to call an exterminator. They can safely and humanely remove the pests without injuring themselves or causing additional damage to your home.