Home Invaders: Animal Edition

For many homeowners, the changing seasons bring with them a common concern – unwanted house guests in the form of insects, rodents, and other critters. These animals often seek shelter from the cold or a place to nest, and they can become quite a nuisance.

Dane Maier, Training Coordinator and Supervisor at Kwik Kill Pest Control, says, “Many times they are going into the corners of your siding, attic space, or insulation in order to beat the cold weather. They also seek shelter in your home for protection from predators.”

 He said that many common invaders follow certain cycles. For example, fall invaders operate on a 12-year cycle. This means that how much we see them varies depending on their position in the cycle. 

“If they’re at year two or three in their cycle, we’re probably not going to see quite as many out and about,” says Maier. “If they’re closer to that 10 or 12 year mark, they will be more prevalent. Understanding these cycles can help predict when certain pests will be more or less active in a given year.”

Why Do They Choose Your Home?

The draw to wall spaces and attics in someone’s house is because of their warmth and safety. Insulation in attics provides a cozy environment, making it attractive to rodents and insects. Additionally, these creatures can sense temperature changes, which become more extreme in the fall. The difference between the chilly outdoor air and the warm attic is a beacon for them, motivating them to find a way in.

How can you tell if you have unwanted animals or pests in your home? Some common signs include:

  1. Sounds: Pay attention to the sounds you hear. Light scratching, usually occurring during dawn and dusk, might indicate mice. Heavier, daytime scurrying may point to larger animals like raccoons or squirrels.
  2. Visual Clues: Keep an eye out for visual evidence of an infestation, such as droppings, gnawed materials, or damaged food packaging.
  3. Odors: Unpleasant odors, such as the musky scent of rodents or the ammonia-like smell of raccoons, can indicate their presence.

When to Call in the Professionals

If you think you have an infestation, don’t hesitate to contact a professional pest control service. Pest control experts have the knowledge and experience to handle the situation. They identify entry points and seal them off, preventing further unwanted guests.