Friday, March 14, 2014

Ways to Prevent Unwanted Houseguests in Keller, Grapevine, and Southlake, Texas

Ways to Prevent Unwanted Houseguests in Keller, Grapevine, and Southlake, Texas 

Squirrels are often described as  "cute," "furry," or "playful."  However, when squirrels take up residence in an attic, those adjectives quickly turn negative into "annoying," "demonic," or "fiendish."  Other unpopular creatures like armadillos, raccoons, and possum can warrant those same disparaging adjectives.  These critters and other ones like them cause a variety of degrees and types of harm:
  • At their worst, armadillos can burrow under foundations and cause structural damage.  Less major--but annoying--destruction can be inflicted on landscaping, sprinkler systems, and house trim.
Banded Armadillo

  • By chewing electrical wire and structural insulation, squirrels harm utility lines, cars, and homes.  They are also well-known for destroying tree bark, landscaping, and trim and siding on homes.   

  • Raccoons usually tip over trash cans, eat garden vegetables, and raid bird feeders.  Raccoons plug chimneys, destroy roof shingles, tear ductwork, cause roof leaks from inside the attic, and decimate lawns and gardens.

  • All of these animals can create odor, unhealthy, and unsanitary conditions because of their droppings and nesting behavior.
While prevention methods are not foolproof, there are steps that can be taken to help deter unwelcome houseguests:
  •  Inspect regularly to caulk and seal any openings, even the smallest ones.  Look closely at window and doorframes, pipe and cable wire entry and exit points, external dryer vents, and weep holes in brick.  Use silicone caulk to completely seal smaller or unnecessary entry points.  If an opening must remain unblocked, pack steel wool into the hole and/or attach wire mesh to the opening.  (Depending on the type, a squirrel can enter through a hole as small a golf ball.)
  • Pet food should be accessible only during feeding times for your pet.  At other times--especially at night--bring it inside the house or into an impenetrable place in the garage.
  • Remember that tree limbs are a prime entry vehicle.  When trimming limbs, bear in mind that squirrels have been known to jump as far as nine feet.
  • Install a chimney cap or  wire over your chimney to prevent entry of raccoons and other pests.
  • Regularly clean up seed droppings from bird feeders.
  • When you hear noises, take action immediately to lessen the likelihood of substantial damage.  Identifying the kind of critter is essential to knowing the steps to evicting your houseguests.
Remember that the members of the Grove Team have years of experience in dealing with all kinds of problems encountered by home owners.  Please call to ask any question you may have about home ownership.
Office (817) 337-0000
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