When a homeowner calls us to deal with an animal infestation, our technicians don’t just drive over, trap the offending critter, and then leave. Part of our multi-step process is to check the client’s house for entry points that an animal may have used to infiltrate the structure, and if we find any, we’ll try to fix them. The ultimate goal is to avoid future infestations.

At Chimney and Wildlife Specialists, we’re pretty big on being proactive instead of reactive. To put it simply, we firmly believe that it’s better to try to prevent animal infestations from occurring at all instead of trying to fix things when you’re in the thick of it. Here are three reasons why:

Because infestations almost never go away “on their own.”

In the eyes of a wild animal that’s used to wandering around outside, human homes probably seem like five-star resorts. Our dwellings are climate-controlled, sheltered from rain and other elements, and offer an ample supply of food and bedding material. Man-made walls and fences also tend to keep large predators at bay, which is a definite plus for prey animals. Is it any wonder, then, that most pests will set up shop and refuse to leave unless they’re physically ejected?

Now, infestations of nesting birds do often end relatively peacefully, with the adult birds and mature chicks vacating the nest (and your domicile) when they’re ready to fly the coop. But don’t expect the same courtesy from a raccoon, opossum, squirrel, or colony of mice. In fact, when these animals start reproducing inside your home, it often drives them to really “dig in their heels” and become even more adamant about staying put!

If you suspect that there are pests in your house, your best bet is to take action immediately. The longer you delay dealing with the issue, the worse things tend to get.

Because even temporary infestations can put you and your family at risk.

How would you feel if you heard one of your friends or neighbors say, “I don’t really concern myself with that whole ‘fire prevention’ business? I mean, if my house catches on fire, I can just call the fire department and deal with it then, right?” You’d probably wonder if that person realizes just how serious (and potentially deadly) house fires can be. You might also ask them, “Are you insane?” but that may come across as a bit rude.

To be clear, we’re not saying that animal infestations are as dangerous or as immediate of a threat as house fires tend to be. However, many folks tend to underestimate the kind of health risks posed by interactions with wild animals. Bites, scratches, and (when the animal in question is a skunk) spraying are obvious hazards, but intruders may also carry “invisible” diseases like rabies, toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis, and leptospirosis. All of those diseases are extremely unpleasant to contend with and potentially fatal—especially rabies.

The longer a wild animal stays in your house, the more your risk for illness or injury increases. The best way to protect yourself and your family (including pets) is to avoid the situation entirely.

Because pest-determent measures aren’t particularly difficult.

You don’t have to lock your home down like Fort Knox to significantly decrease the likelihood of an animal infestation. Just a few simple actions can make a world of difference. Some of our favorite suggestions include:

  • Regularly inspect the exterior of your home and other outdoor structures for holes. If you do find a hole, either plug it with steel wool or patch it with proper building materials.
  • Fit your outdoor trash cans with tight, secure lids.
  • Don’t leave food scraps out in the open, and always store dry goods properly.
  • Bring bowls of pet food inside at night, or stop leaving food outside altogether.
  • Remove tall grass, piles of brush, dead trees, and other debris from your yard.
  • Trim your trees so that the branches are at least six feet away from your roof.

Chances are, you do some of these things already (e.g., putting food away and trimming your trees). Just add a few more steps to your routine home maintenance, and you’ll be a pest-deterring master!

Here’s the truth: pest animals are tricky and surprisingly resourceful, so even if you exercise due diligence, you might still wind up with an unwanted guest (or guests) in your home. But it really is better to make a conscious effort to keep them out instead of just dealing with them as they come. Do it for safety’s sake…and do it to save yourself a major headache down the road.


Photo courtesy of btfrewinphotography on Pixabay