These Animals Will Damage Your Home & Property
Buying a house the last thing you think about is the animals that can cause damage to your home. It’s not even on most peoples radar with the exception of possibly termites. Some of these critters move in years after the homeowner does and it can take months or years before they find out they have non paying guests. Some fairly simple preventative measure are often enough to keep them away from your home.
In nearly all cities, towns, suburban subdivisions and rural communities you will find bats. They are very industrious creatures and do a lot for the community they live in. They are wonderful for controlling the insect population with a nursing female bat consuming her body weight in one night.
Bats Do A Lot of Good
If you discover bats in your house you must contact a professional wildlife control expert to remove them. Bats are very beneficial to the environment nor are they dangerous to humans despite their reputation thank you Dracula! Many species of bats in North America are listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern. Bats rest during the day and search for food at night often returning home a number of times a night. Bats can be sharing your house with you for a while before they are noticed. Bats can enter your house through the attic,vents, gable and roof joints. They can use any small opening sometimes small as a half an inch.
Bat Poop Has It’s Own Exotic Name!
Bats are not overly destructive just hanging upside down but can be if left unattended for some time. A colony of bats will create large amounts of bat poop called guano which could pose respiratory problems. This also causes metal and wood damage even leading to ceiling collapse in extreme cases.
Hire A Pro To Get Rid Of Your Bats
The process of removing bats from your house is complicated and often requires ladders and multiple stages. Bats are protected so you need to understand the law. It is best to pay a professional to remove the bats. It is very important to exclude the bats which means letting them leave and blocking them from getting back in. The first stage will be where the professional will identify where the bats are gaining access to the house. A piece of fabric or plastic is placed over the opening which allows the bats to fly out from below. When they return they can’t find the way in.
After a number of days the company will return, when all the bats have left and seal the openings. There are times of the year in certain states where you are forbidden from blocking entry to bats. Summer when the young bats are born, are too weak to fly and rely on the mothers to feed them. The last thing you want to do is have bats die in your attic.
Deer are common in many parts of the country, easily crossing through suburban subdivisions to farmland and back. Golf courses, parks provide a habitat for deer avoiding stray golf balls and walkers by laying low in the woods. While they can be a novelty at times “look a deer!” a couple of them can do a lot of damage to your plants. So much so that you could plant $200 worth of something they eat ( and they eat almost anything) and wake up to a flower bed with zero flowers.
Deer Resistant Plants
So before you design your landscaping project it is wise to research what plants deer don’t like. The best way to find out is by contacting a local master gardener. They can advise you about deer resistant plants, flowers and also recommend the best regional plants for your area. There are plants that deer don’t like that can be planted among plants they do like which will deter them. Fences will deter deer if there is a decent food supply outside the fence it should keep them out. If the only food available is behind the fence they might jump it. They can jump pretty high easily hopping over a four foot fence. Deer are responsible for millions of dollars in damages to crops. Because they now live close to roads and populated areas the incidences of them being involved in traffic accidents is increasing sometimes with fatal results.
Keeping Deer Away From Plants
There are ways to minimize the damage deer do to your landscaping. There are gadgets that claim to scare deer away like ultrasonic devices that emit a high pitched sound only animals can hear. You can buy a motion activated sprayer that attaches to your hose that shoots a spray of water at them. There are also sprays and repellants that you can apply to the plants which have been effective. It may take some experimenting to find the right one and it is possible the deer could get used to the repellant so you might need to keep changing the recipe. Some home remedies include bars of soap hung on trees or placed in the ground near the plants. The good thing about deer is that if they find something unpleasant about your yard they learn to avoid it and tell all their buddies.
Of all the critters that can cause damage to your home, termites are probably the worst. If left unattended and the conditions are right termites will not stop eating their way through your house until they are discovered. There are a number of species of termites. Subterranean termites are the most destructive in the US living in underground colonies but there are others including termites that nest in attics and roofing material.
Termites Don’t Just Eat Wood
The first layer of wood that comes in contact with the foundation is normally pressure treated which deters termites. However termites do not only eat wood, they will consume any cellulose product including paper, cardboard, wood panelling, sheetrock, carpeting. It takes about 3-7 years for there to be any noticeable damage and there are some factors that influence how quickly the damage spreads. Warm moist climates are more favorable to termites but they can be found anywhere there is a food supply.
A termite colony in the soil could contain between 200,000 and 2,000,000 workers, once the colony matures swarmers are created to forma another colony. You can see swarms of termites sometimes emerging from tree stumps they look a bit like flying ants. Termites need humidity which is why they construct mud tubes on surfaces and wood where they are feeding. Mud tubes in the crawl space or anywhere around the foundation is an indication of either present or past infestation. Make sure you never leave anything in your crawl space, wood, cardboard, furniture. Maintain the insulation if it has fallen down as these are all sources of food for termites.
Prevent Termites Now
It is estimated that termites cause nearly 5 billion dollars in property damage each year in the United States. The typical cost to a homeowner who discovers extensive termite damage can run into the thousands. Homeowners insurance typically does not cover termite damage. The surest way to prevent termites from invading your home is to set up a termite service agreement with a pest management company ( not all service agreements include termites so check yours does). The company will perform an initial inspection of the property, determine of there is any infestation, treat the property and then do annual termite inspections.
Mice and rats are not a problem most homeowners luckily have to deal with. Most definitely an unwelcome pest in any house or property that must be dealt with the sooner the better. Most new homes are so well sealed for energy conservation it is harder for rodents to enter a newer home. Older homes often have access like poorly fitting doors, windows or damaged wood and masonry that provide entry points.
Mice can squeeze through the smallest of holes so if there is food and shelter and mice are in the area they will find a way to get in. There is a world of difference between city and suburban living when it comes the problem with rodents. City living where homes are built in rows joined together is much easier for mice and rats to thrive. A ready food supply from trash, restaurants, factories and dumpsters, is why there are more rodents in cities.
2.5 Rats Per Person
In Paris it is estimated there are over 6 million rats living amongst the 2.5 million people..While in London the size of the rats is about twice what is was in the past. Fueled by a constant supply of fast food scraps and construction sites. Most cities in the world have rats and mice with the environment, predators and physical conditions playing roles in the size and growth of the problem.
Suburban homes are not immune to rats and mice if not to the same degree. Visit any farm or horse barn and you will likely see signs of them. The barnyard cat is there for a reason. Regardless of where you live if rats or mice are in your house they must be dealt with. Rodents can do significant damage to a home and much of it is out of sight so by the time you find them they have left their mark. Mice will chew through drywall, plaster, electrical wiring creating a fire hazard.
There are a few other animals that can cause damage to your home, squirrels, moles, raccoons, crows, bears…OK lets leave it there.