Wildlife Woes? Humane Solutions for Unwanted Guests in Your Home

Wildlife Woes? Humane Solutions for Unwanted Guests in Your Home

April 23, 2024

Depending on where you live, your home may become an attractive place for various types of wildlife to visit and hang out. If you're a big believer in coexisting peacefully with wildlife, your neighborhood may benefit from carefully planned community wildlife management initiatives. However, since wildlife is prone to spontaneous activities, always searching for reliable sources of food and shelter, these urban wildlife and nuisance wildlife initiatives may not be enough to keep critters away from your home.

Fortunately, there are safe and effective wildlife deterrents and exclusion methods for different species that protect your home from invasion. These tips may come in handy when dealing with common wildlife intruders.

Search for Entry Points

Your home may have one or multiple cracks or holes that make it easy for wildlife to sneak inside without you knowing. Attics are notorious for being cozy havens for birds, bats, raccoons and other species. But that's not the only place to keep your eye on.

Basements, porches, windows and crawl spaces underneath the home may also be points of entry.

Home exteriors are another place that offers plenty of opportunity for entry. These spaces include holes in roofing, siding that has become warped over time, loosened vent screens, dryer exhaust vents, chimneys and piping.

It's a good idea to conduct a thorough inspection of every area of the home to look for hidden openings.

Seal entry points. Once you've spotted the openings, take immediate steps to seal off those areas. Not only will you prevent wildlife from entering your home, but also keep air from entering, lowering energy bills.

Check Your Home for Hidden Wildlife

Do you sometimes hear strange noises but assume it's nothing to be concerned about?

Maybe it's time to start checking around the house for critters who snuck inside and set up a nice little home for themselves. Once they are inside your home it's too late for deterrents, so you may have to contact local animal control or a professional pest control service for removal.

Clear Away Outside Debris

Debris around the house's exterior are a convenient place for wildlife to search for food, create a living environment and breed. Deter wildlife by making sure all trash cans outside are strong and have secure covers. Keep gutters, foundation and yards free of leaves and miscellaneous debris.

If you're into composting the rule of thumb is to avoid composting meat scraps and keep compost piles completely covered.

Tree branches are an easy bridge for wildlife to travel straight into your home from outdoors. If trees are close to the home, make sure that tree branches are trimmed and branches remain at least six feet away from the home's exterior.

Cut the Grass Regularly

How do you spot a snake in the grass or other hard-to-see critters? Keep the lawn grass cut short.

Consider Installing a Fence

Fencing areas around the home is one of the best ways to keep a wide variety of wildlife from entering your property. There's fencing that encloses the whole yard and fencing that protects small spaces such as a home garden.

Avoid Live Traps If Possible

Trapping live animals may have dire consequences for their health and well-being, according to the Humane Society of the United States. They recommend turning to animal trapping and relocation as a last-resort solution.

Engage in Gentle Harassment

Think of this as annoying wildlife to the point of making them want to leave your property alone.

Unpleasant scents. Many animals have a keen sense of smell, and they identify certain smells with danger or they may find a scent highly unpleasant. Apple cider vinegar is one such scent. Some people have resorted to spraying outside areas with commercially produced predator urine. A few whiffs are all it takes to keep them at bay.

Unpleasant noises. Some devices annoy pesky animals by emitting ultrasonic noises that only they can hear. These may or may not work effectively. Sound-sensitive animals can also be driven away by loud noises coming from inside or outside the home. Banging on a pot with a spoon or playing loud music may get them to scurry off for quieter surroundings.

Sprinklers. Another harmless harassment method is to turn on the sprinklers near places where they've created burrowed underground homes.

Seal denning areas. Once you've discovered an animal's denning area, you should take steps to seal it. However, do not do this while the animal is still living inside. To find out if they are there, you stuff a piece of cloth or paper loosely into the entryway. Wait a while. If they are there, the temporary plug will be pushed aside.

Remain patient as they complete the rearing of any young ones and eventually leave the space. You can then seal the opening permanently to prevent re-use of the den.

How Pest Control Services Can Help

Some pesky wildlife invasions require the help of professionals who are committed to removing pests from the home using techniques that can be done safely and humanely. Here is a list of common pests that often require professional pest control assistance.

Bed Bugs. These tiny bugs breed quickly and once they're inside of your home, getting rid of them for good is difficult. Not only are they a nuisance but they also feed on warm-blooded animals and humans. Pest control involves strategic planning, eradication and monitoring.

Fire Ants. Fire ants may hitch a ride into your home through a potted plant bought elsewhere. If you can't get rid of them using natural methods, call in the professionals.

Flies. If clearing away garbage doesn't stop a serious fly invasion, you may need a proven two-step pest control method.

Mosquitoes. These pesky insects are always searching for a blood meal. Keep them away from your home with proven eco-friendly mosquito misting and fog-repellent solutions.


  1. Humane Society of the United States
  2. Wildlife Removal USA

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