The pitter-patter of tiny feet is not a sound you want to hear in your attic.

nuisance animals in yard

Luckily, keeping nuisance animals out of your house can be easier than getting rid of them after they’ve made themselves at home. The keys to wild animal control are blocking their potential points of access and removing their preferred sources of food, water and shelter. Although Terminix advises contacting a wildlife control professional to remove and/or exclude wild animals from your property, here are some tips that can help deter wildlife from entering your home.

Nuisance Animals That May Invade Your Home

Even in densely populated urban areas, these wild animals can be a common sight — and a frequent source of frustration for homeowners.


Exclude Nuisance Animals From Your Home

Helping protect your home against wildlife starts with taking some preventative measures.

To help control nuisance wildlife, start by inspecting the exterior of your home for potential entry points or having it inspected by a professional. Look for siding that has deteriorated or been damaged by the weather. Locate all holes and cracks. Many animals can squeeze through surprisingly tiny openings. Some of these animals can even make tiny openings bigger so they can squeeze through.

Walk around the foundation of your home and look for openings and signs of animal activity where pipes, cables and vents exit the house. Foundation vents can be especially susceptible to wild animals. Repair any damaged vent screens, and consider installing vent covers to appropriate vents to discourage animal entry.

Have a professional examine your roof, soffit, gutters and fascia yearly for damage. When looking for pest entry points, he or she should pay special attention to areas where the gables or dormers meet the roof line. The professional should also look for water damage that promotes wood rot, which makes it easier for wild animals to create or enlarge holes and enter your home.

Have a professional install a commercial animal-proof chimney cap to help keep wildlife animals like bats, birds and squirrels out of your chimney. However, do not confuse this material with window-screening, as it can clog with soot and other debris, resulting in a serious fire hazard.

Trim any overhanging tree branches and keep them at least 10 feet away from your roof. Tree squirrels, roof rats and other tree dwelling animals can use these branches as bridges into your home, especially if they are touching or resting on your roof.

If you do discover any places where an animal has clawed or chewed its way inside or you want a professional to inspect for potential openings in the first place, contact a pest control specialist.

Remove Sources of Food and Water

Don’t feed squirrels, opossum, raccoons or other wildlife and don’t let fallen seed accumulate around your bird feeders.

If possible, feed your pets inside. If you must feed them outside, bring their bowls inside at night and clean up any spilled food.

Store your garbage in secure containers. Use a cord or weights to help secure the lids on your outdoor trash receptacles.

Clean your grill regularly. Don’t put food scraps in your garden. Cover and secure any compost piles, and never add meat scraps or grease to your compost.

If you garden, build a fence around your beds to help deter hungry animals, such as raccoons, rabbits, gophers, moles and even larger nuisance wildlife like deer. Also, don’t leave ripe fruit on the ground. Pick up fallen fruit and dispose of it properly.

Eliminate Wildlife Shelters

Store firewood away from buildings or fences. Stack it on a frame at least 2 feet off the ground to help prevent nesting in the wood pile or the soil below it. Doing so will also help protect your home from termite infestation. 

Remove dead trees, brush piles, tall grass or debris from your yard. Doing so can discourage wild animals from ever taking up residence on your property at all.

Wild Animal Control

Should these preparations not be enough to keep wild animals out of your attic, basement or any other area of your home, or if you want professional assistance from the start, Terminix® can help. Our pest control professionals know how to remove nuisance animals and how to keep them from coming back