Rodents are the most common type of wildlife that invade New England homes during the winter, but many other animals may also seek shelter if it is available. Wild animals may become bolder when faced with the prospects of freezing temperatures and mountains of snow. Any home that animals can get into becomes fair game, so humans may have to take a more proactive approach when it comes to keeping nuisance wildlife out during the winter. Different animals require different prevention methods and may introduce different types of risks.
Possums in the Garage
Possums are not highly suited for New England life, being native to Central and South America. The nocturnal creatures do not hibernate, so it is necessary to find a warm place that is easy to enter and exit to find food. Garages and attics present an ideal home for possums in the winter because they can make a messy nest that will be more likely to go unnoticed. When cornered, possums may bite or bare teeth, injuring residents.
Bats in the Belfry
Bats hibernate in the winter, opting for high hiding spots such as attics, high shutters, and belfries. Bats are known to carry rabies and other diseases, which can put pets’ and residents’ lives in danger. Since bats are not active during the winter, they may occupy high spaces unnoticed and bite when disturbed.
Squirrels in the Walls
Squirrels stay active throughout the winter, but set up shop in a warmer place, such as inside the walls of homes or in attics. Squirrels are not aggressive and will typically run from confrontations. However, squirrels may cause damage to electrical wires and telephone wires, which can cause residents to get shocked. Squirrels may also keep homeowners awake by running through the walls and attic.
Raccoons in the Chimney
Raccoons commonly nest in chimneys and attics during the cold winter months in New England. Since raccoons are nocturnal, homeowners may not know that raccoons are present in the home until one is spotted leaving or reentering. Raccoons may bite when cornered and are one of the most common carriers of rabies in the U.S.
Nuisance Wildlife Control
If nuisance wildlife is spotted in a home during the winter, contacting a professional pest control service is advisable. Home residents may become injured when trying to trap or capture wild animals, especially those that have been infected with rabies or other diseases. Pest control professionals can also advise homeowners on the best ways to prevent nuisance wildlife from entering the home, performing evaluations to spot holes and weak points in the home structure that may be allowing pests in.