February 10, 2022
Everyone loves the idea of getting away for the winter, typically to seek somewhere warm and sunny, but humans aren’t the only ones seeking cozier locales. Animals have many natural defenses against the cold, but ultimately, they’re just as prone to frostbite as we are when the temperature drops. As such, they’ll do whatever they think is necessary to survive when things turn icy, and your climate-controlled dwelling is a perfect winter hideaway. If they can get inside, they’ll absolutely make themselves right at home.
Despite their plump appearance, raccoons are quite flexible, and any hole they can get their head through is a sufficient entry point. This is unfortunately true for most animals, from mice to foxes, so don’t be fooled into thinking a gap is too small for any determined pest seeking warmth. They generally don’t mean us harm, but these feisty little critters can do a great deal of damage to homes; chewing through whatever they like, tearing materials apart to make nests, and leaving droppings and other messes in their wake, so it’s best to keep them out of our homes.
Do Raccoons Hibernate?
Though we may see a lot less of them, not all animals sleep away the colder months, or at least not entirely. Raccoons are certainly less active when it’s cold, but they take advantage of warmer days to forage, and they’re typically hungry with so little food to go around. As a result, human dwellings become quite enticing to them during these hard times. Between our furnaces, plentiful trash and insulated homes, we have everything they could ask for! Due to their arboreal nature, these animals naturally seek out unused attics, following the warmth and the smell of food, though they’ll happily take up residence in other comfortable areas.
What Else Might Be in Your Attic?
Attics can make perfect homes for many unwanted visitors, but those of the furrier variety can be some of the most troublesome when things get chilly. Mice and rats have little trouble finding their way inside, and possums are no strangers to human dwellings, but raccoons can be the most destructive for a multitude of reasons. Being some of the largest pests a homeowner may face at 10 to 30 pounds, they can possess surprising strength and use their dexterous hands coupled with impressive intelligence to accomplish all kinds of mischief. What makes them particularly dangerous in their winter hideaways, however, is their tendency to overwinter in groups. Upwards of ten individuals can gather together to share warmth in a single space!
How Can You Prevent Animals from Wintering in Your Home?
The most proactive strategy to keeping out pests is scheduling regular check-ins with professionals, particularly to search for openings an animal can exploit to gain entry. Regular checks on your own are a great way to start, and a trained technician can spot other areas you might miss, keeping your home free from vermin of all sizes. Did you know Black Diamond offers Animal Evaluations?
What To Do if You Find an Animal in Your House
While they don’t usually intend to harm us, it’s never good to let a wild animal stay in any part of your home, even if it’s an area you don’t utilize often. Calling a professional is always the best way to ensure you and the animal can part ways safely, as raccoons have over forty sharp teeth and the potential to transfer rabies! Don’t worry though, Black Diamond’s trained technicians can trap and relocate animals safely, letting them go on their way so they don’t bother you again. If you think your home might have some uninvited guests, then give us a call at 877-DEAD-BUG today!