Once you have followed the humane eviction steps and are certain that no animals remain behind, you need to animal-proof your home. If you have an existing problem with animals denning in your attic, soffits or other areas of your house, spring is not the time to exclude them; you should determine whether you have a nursing animal with a nest of babies.
Animal-proofing is best done in late fall. If you make animal-proofing part of your late fall cleanup, you can avoid many wildlife problems, rather than dealing with them after the fact, which is often more costly and time consuming.
Maintain your house in good repair by replacing any loose shingles, soffits or fascia; seal possible entry holes and vents with hardware cloth; install a chimney cap; and trim overhanging tree branches. Cover window wells with wire mesh. To patch holes, staple 1⁄2-inch welded-wire mesh (also called hardware cloth), which you can purchase from any hardware store. Extend the hardware cloth 8 to 12 inches on all sides of the entrance hole. You can also use hardware cloth to seal vents and other openings. Do not use chicken wire as it is not strong enough.
For burrows under decks and sheds, fill in the existing hole and install an L-shaped barrier by sinking hardware cloth 4-6 inches into the ground and then bend it at a 90-degree angle, away from the deck for 8-12 inches to create a false bottom so animals don’t dig under the barrier. Once done, you’ll never have problems again!
Feel free to give us a call for advice on your particular situation or for tips on helping wildlife to move along.
You can also visit the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies for solutions to common wildlife problems with raccoons, squirrels, mice and rats, and skunks.