How to Keep Nuisance Wildlife Out of Your Home or Business

By WebFX Dev

How to Keep Nuisance Wildlife Out

Wildlife can sneak into your New York home or business looking for food and warm shelter. Your neighbors might have had rodents, raccoons or squirrels lurking around their properties. In that case, you probably want to prevent these creatures from coming near your building. This guide explains how to keep rodents and squirrels out of your home and make your property off-limits to wildlife.

What Is Nuisance Wildlife?

The term “nuisance wildlife” describes menacing or destructive animals.

The following wildlife are prevalent in New York and may become pests in your home or business:


1. Mice and Rats

Rats eating in messy kitchen

Rodents might come into your home or business when it’s cold outside. They can cause severe building damage, chewing through wires and spreading waste. Since they tend to multiply quickly, if you see one, you probably have many more hiding somewhere.

Mice and Rats Entry Points:

  • Foundation cracks.
  • Gaps in your roof.
  • Holes from utility lines and vents.
  • Garage door or wall cracks.
  • Missing or cracked siding.


2. Squirrels

Squirrels Under Roof

Squirrely usually invade an indoor property when they need a warm place to stay. Like mice and rats, they chew through wires and utility lines. Once they set up a nest, they might also reproduce quickly and can even bring fleas and ticks inside.

Squirrel Pest Entry Points:

  • Missing pieces on the roof.
  • Garage door or wall openings.
  • The top of the chimney.


3. Raccoons


Raccoons are nocturnal, so you might not even notice when they try to break into your home or business. They can damage your roof or chimney as they look for shelter when it’s cold outside. After clawing their way inside through window screens or other delicate building components, they tend to give birth to their young after making a nest.

Raccoon Pest Entry Points:

  • Gaps in the roof.
  • Open garage doors, entry doors and windows.
  • Ripped window screens.
  • The top of the chimney.


4. Voles


These rodents look like mice, but have shorter tails. They usually wander inside to keep warm, especially in basements. Since they’re vegetarians, they prefer to be outside, but they might seek shelter indoors if there’s a surplus population. Like mice and rats, these critters tend to breed quickly.

Vole Pest Entry Points:

  • Cracks in your foundation.
  • Open windows or doors.
  • Holes from utility lines and vents.
  • Missing or damaged roof shingles.
  • Garage door or wall gaps.


5. Chipmunks

Chipmunks usually burrow underground, creating areas for storing food and building a nest below the surface. Though they typically stay outside, they might come indoors to get warm if your building has a basement or crawl space. Chipmunks in your home or business can become a problem if they set up a nest and make themselves comfortable. They can cause severe structural damage to your walls or attic.

Chipmunk Pest Entry Points:

Fun fact: Chipmunks can travel underground!

  • Cracks in your foundation.
  • Holes from utility lines and vents.
  • Missing or damaged siding.
  • Cracks in window sills.
  • Open doors or windows.


6. Opossums

Opossums usually stay outside, but they occasionally come into a home or business to make a nest in the attic or garage. They may become defensive around their young or anything they establish as their territory. When threatened, they usually hiss or bare their teeth.

Opossum Pest Entry Points:

  • Missing or damaged roof shingles and underlayment.
  • Openings in your garage door or walls.
  • Unstable pet doors.
  • Open doors and windows.

Tips for Preventing Wildlife From Entering Your Home or Business

As a residential or commercial property owner, you can block any entry points to your building and eliminate access points for wildlife to come inside.

Follow these steps to keep raccoons, rodents, squirrels and other wildlife out of your home or business:

1. Inspect Your Property

Walk around your property and check for openings and other signs of damage that could bring wildlife inside your building. Inspect these places around your residential or commercial space for cracks and holes.

  • Around the foundation: Check your concrete slab foundation, especially near the ground or under decks. If your property has a basement, inspect the windows for gaps and cracks around them.
  • Around pipes and vents: Look at the areas throughout your property where pipes, utility vents and cables enter the wall. These openings might take up more space than your utility lines and pipes need, leaving room for unwanted guests to sneak inside.
  • Near your garage door: The garage door is the largest entryway into your residential or commercial space. Over time, the weatherstripping could tear and leave the bottom or sides vulnerable to wildlife. There might also be cracks around your garage’s walls or windows.
  • In your siding: Rodents and other pests can chew through wood or vinyl siding. Check the exterior of your home or business for gaps in your siding, especially after a windy storm.
  • In your roof: Large gaps in your roof might provide access to wildlife, especially if you have tree branches nearby that nimble animals can climb. Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles and rotten wood framing.
  • Near your chimney: Your chimney needs to remain open to remove smoke and harmful gases from your property. Inspect the chimney to find out if pests have tried to get inside through this opening.

Home Inspection Checklist     Commercial Property Inspection Checklist

2. Seal Entry Points

Take the following steps to fill in the gaps around your property’s exterior.

  • Sealing foundation cracks: You can purchase a liquid vinyl concrete patch from your local home improvement store. Before applying this product, clean debris out of the cracks for a secure seal. Mix the vinyl paste with latex and fill in the gaps with a trowel.
  • Repairing and sealing your roof: Consult a roofing contractor to apply a specialized roof sealant around the openings near your siding or chimney. Replace any missing or loose shingles and underlayment as necessary.
  • Filling in gaps for utility lines and vents: Fill large openings around utility lines and vents with steel wool, and use silicone caulk to hold it in place.
  • Replacing garage door weatherstripping: Substitute your garage door’s weather seal with metal guards that wildlife can’t chew.
  • Replacing missing pieces of siding: Install new vinyl or wood siding to keep rodents out of your home or business. You can repair minor damage with a wood filler or silicone caulk.
  • Installing a chimney cap: Cover the top of your chimney with fine wire mesh or a chimney cap to keep squirrels and raccoons out of your home or business. These coverings still allow smoke and gases to leave your property.


Contact Pestech to Schedule a Property Inspection

Pestech offers nuisance wildlife control services to help prevent these critters from entering your New York home or business. We use integrated pest management methods to keep animals outside all year long. Contact us online or call us to ask us how to seal your home or business from wildlife. We’ll schedule an inspection and help guard your property against rodents, squirrels, raccoons, and other pest wildlife.

Contact Pestech