Problems Caused By Nuisance Wildlife
Having animals visiting your yard can be cute at first, but wildlife can quickly turn into a nuisance. Whether the animals somehow enter your home through the attic or a crack in the wall or stay in your yard, they can cause a wide range of problems, from damage to disease. The best way to deal with this is to resolve the problems and then prevent them from recurring by keeping the nuisance wildlife away. First, however, it helps to be familiar with the various problems that wildlife can cause so you are prepared to deal with them and will have a better chance of recognizing the animal responsible.
While each type of animal will cause a specific range of issues for your property, there is a great deal of overlap. It is common for nuisance wildlife to either create a hole in your home or expand an existing one as a way of entering the building to shelter from the elements or nest. They may also chew or scratch things such as walls, wires, and insulation, leading to a potential fire hazard depending on the damage done to electric wiring. Almost all nuisance wildlife will add a fair amount of noise and a foul odor to your home simply due to their presence, but some may also carry disease.
Bats aren't likely to cause severe problems in your home, although they will leave behind a urine and guano (feces), particularly if your home hosts a large colony or they live there for a long time. It is the guano that causes the biggest problem as guano carries a fungus that causes histoplasmosis, a lung infection. Anyone who inhales the spores of this fungus found in the guano will be at risk. Bats will also lead to a strongly unpleasant odor from their waste. It is also possible for bats to chew and damage your insulation, wiring, or walls. Many people are concerned about bats causing a major problem in the form of giving them rabies, but this is actually fairly rare and physical damage or histoplasmosis are the real issues.
As with bats, the droppings from birds are the source of the main problems caused by this type of nuisance wildlife. Bird droppings are highly acidic, meaning that they can start to damage tar-based roofing, leading to leaks. Birds may also build a nest in inconvenient locations, such as drains or gutters, blocking water flow and leading to standing water. The standing water in turn can cause serious damage, including leading to the collapse of your roof in severe cases. Nests may also cause a problem by blocking ventilation, whether through your ducts or chimney, leading to a fire hazard or even a buildup of carbon monoxide.
Raccoons are one of the nuisance wildlife more likely to cause physical damage to your home. These animals are highly destructive and will chew on wires leading to an extreme fire hazard. They will also trample insulation or even move it to get more comfortable. They may rip paper or insulation off walls, damage ducts, or rip holes in the ceiling, roof or walls. These holes will weaken your home, be a potential spot for rain to enter and cause water damage, and offer an entry point for more nuisance wildlife to enter your home.
Rodents are known for their gnawing abilities and rats, for example, can gnaw on almost any type of material, from wood to plastic to lead to copper. This leads to significant damage in some cases, weakening the structure of your home. If the rodents get near your food items, they will contaminate them, leading to potential disease and the need to replace everything. It is also possible for nuisance rodents to cause various health problems, including murine typhus, rat bite fever, salmonellosis, plague, and leptospirosis, although some of these are much less common than the others.
A final example of nuisance wildlife is squirrels and they can cause similar damage to the other animals. They may chew your eaves and siding in their efforts to build nests. They may also chew on wires, creating a fire hazard. Squirrels are known climbers and will run across your cables and wires, which can lead to a transformer shorting out. They may also damage your garden or lawn in their search for nuts.
How To Prevent Problems
The best way to prevent any of the above problems caused by nuisance wildlife is to keep the animals out of your home or off your property. The first step in this process is to cut off their food source, whether you are directly feeding them, leave pet food outside, or simply have a tree that drops fruit and nuts. You will also want to seal up any entry points into your home, no matter how small the hole is, but always make sure the wildlife is not inside before doing this.
Read the Pest Wildlife Home Page page for helpful information and to learn more about Problems Caused By Nuisance Wildlife
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