Steer Clear of Nuisance Wildlife This Winter
Rose Pest Solutions Northfield offers tips on keeping wild animal invaders away from homes
Although mice are often considered the most common wintertime pest, Rose Pest Solutions, servicing Chicagoland, advises homeowners that nuisance wildlife like raccoons and squirrels can also frequently invade homes during the colder months.
“Wild animals are more apt to wander closer to human environments this time of year as they search for shelter from the winter elements,” said Bill Hastings, Manager for Rose’s Specialty Services Division. “While they may seem cute and cuddly from afar, nuisance wildlife pose a unique set of health and property threats, especially if they find a way inside our abodes.”
Below are some of the most common wild animals in our area that are notorious for gaining access to homes.
There are about 40 different bat species found in the Unites States, most of which are active during the warmer months and hibernate for the winter season. Bats commonly roost in attics, belfries and behind shutters or loose boards. Like other nuisance wildlife, bats can carry rabies and spread disease.
The opossum is the only marsupial found in North America. Opossums occasionally den in attics and garages where they may make a messy nest. They are also known to bare their sharp teeth and hiss when threatened, and in rare cases may bite.
Raccoons are rarely seen during the day due to their nocturnal habits. They can cause significant damage to roofs and chimneys while searching for places to build their dens in preparation for the winter months. Raccoons are one of the major hosts of rabies in the United States.
During the colder months, squirrels are known for invading homes in search of a place to keep warm. Fortunately, squirrels rarely pose a threat to homeowners, but they can damage electrical wires and telephone lines outdoors. They’ve also been known to carry fleas and mites, which could be a problem if you’ve got pets at home.
There’s no question that if you’ve got a squirrel romping around in your attic or you can see raccoons coming and going out of your roofline as they please, it’s time to call a professional for nuisance wildlife removal.
Licensing and Permits
The state of Illinois mandates that in order to handle wildlife pest control, you must either be a commercially certified professional that’s gone through training specifically for handling these types of animals, or you must obtain a permit from the IDNR to remove an animal from your property.
If you go the permit route, bear in mind you cannot release the animal you’ve trapped just anywhere. You can’t just drive it to a forest preserve and let it run free. It has to be someone’s private property that will promote the well-being of that animal. There are so many regulations and rules, that unless you’ve read through the entire trapping guide, you risk getting a hefty fine.
And really, these things are in place for your own safety. Some of these animals can be very viscious; especially during months where they’re mating. And a lot of them are vectors for diseases, like rabies, distemper, and mange.
So if you’ve ever wondered why hardware stores sell animal traps to the public when there are so many laws against DIY wildlife pest control, think of it like fishing. Places like Wal-Mart sell fishing equipment, but you need a license to fish. Ultimately, it’s YOUR responsibility to know and abide by laws that the state puts in place.
How to prevent a wildlife invasion
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has several tips on how to prevent a nuisance wildlife invasion in your home.
- Keep trash in fully sealed containers
- cut back tree limbs from the roofline and
- be proactive in fencing off openings to the home
Anyone who encounters a wild animal on their property should contact a wildlife removal services professional for assistance, instead of trying to trap it on their own. It’s just safer. And wiser. Attempting it on your own is just not worth risking the fines they’ll hit you with!
We’re here for you. Feel free to request a free wildlife removal quote now! 🙂