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Would you willingly open your home to a friend or relative knowing they would pay you nothing and cause expensive damage to your property? Probably not, but every month we get dozens of calls about nuisance wildlife—critters who have moved in and damaged property, caused sleepless nights and unwanted expense for the homeowners.

Identifying nuisance wildlife in your home

In many cases, homeowners don’t immediately recognize they have a problem. They may hear some scratching or noise overhead and believe it’s outside when it’s really coming from the attic. Often times, the problem becomes apparent when urine soaks through from the attic into the ceiling drywall, leaving a stain. In other cases, there may be issues with electrical wiring as the result of rats or other pests gnawing through the wires. We actually had one call where an opossum was making so much noise building a nest at night near the duct work in a crawl space that the homeowner thought a person was living in his crawl space!

Common nuisance wildlife calls

While any number of different animals may try to make your home theirs, squirrels, opossums and bats make up the bulk of the calls we receive. In most cases, they are simply looking for a warm, dry environment to call home. If they can get into your attic or crawlspace easily, they’ll do it. Clegg’s will identify the type of animal in your home and then set traps to capture the animal(s), after which they will be relocated.

The damage they do

The degree of damage to your property may vary based on the type of animal in your home. Bats will leave droppings which may soak through and stain your ceilings over time. Mice, rats, squirrels and opossums also leave droppings and will build nests, chewing up wood, insulation and just about anything else they can find. These animals may also bring fleas and ticks into your home, and may carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. We’ve had more than one call where a homeowner thought they had bed bugs but it turned out they were bat bugs coming down from the attic after being brought in by bats.

Stopping repeat visitors

The only way to ensure you don’t have a repeat is to find out where the animals are getting into your home and close the entry point(s). Most animals can get in through very tiny openings, so it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out how they are entering your home. A word of caution: don’t plug the hole until you are certain the critters are out of the house, otherwise they may cause more damage trying to get out or they may die inside if they cannot find an exit. If you do try to remove the animal by yourself, use caution so you don’t get bitten. While rabies is uncommon in squirrels and opossums, their bites can still cause infections or tetanus. It’s also important to note that bats are protected under federal law. They cannot be moved during nesting season (October through March), so it’s best to keep them out in the first place.

If you find signs that you may have a furry freeloader in your home, give Clegg’s a call. We’ll come out and identify your unwanted house guest and remove it from the premises.


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