How to Have a House

Living with and understanding a home.

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Know your Spring Animals, They could be moved in already.

It’s becoming spring around here.  We had a dry winter, hardly any snow at all.  It got pretty cold but not long enough to be too bad.  Now we’re ready for some spring rains. In our area, a lot of vegetable gardens have some cold weather plants coming up. I’ve seen another  sign of spring show up in some media posts and in a visit to a couples home last week.  Animals.  We haven’t seen these guys all winter, not because they weren’t just outside, digging, climbing and flying, but mostly because we’ve been inside, staying warm. During the winter some animals have moved into attics, eaves and porches.  Some of these families are already having babies.
Just about any kind of critter moving into the spaces of a building is going to create a mess.  Animals (including birds) carry in grass, trash, mud, dead bugs, live bugs, sticks and other nest building materials.  While they are in the space they glue, pack and secure their nest into the space they choose, sometimes dislodging trim or hardware.  Once the animals are evicted they leave behind a used nest area that is packed with the shards of rearing offspring, feces and sometimes carcasses. All well and good in the wild, but in the attic and eaves, not funny. Chewing and pecking animals will tear up woodwork.  They manage to chew and peck holes in shapes that are inconvenient and hard to repair.
Evicting the animals is important.  Then, to be fair, the house needs to be repaired so another animal family doesn’t move right back in.  If it’s all adult animals or birds, this chore is sometimes no more complicated than putting on a respirator and removing the nesting material. Close the access, have that repaired and move along.  If the animal is to much, like say raccoons or big rodents, animal capture companies take good care of these processes. Some animals like mice and rodents are killed as a matter of process.  Other animals like squirrels, raccoons, and birds are frequently captured and re-located.  Again, when it’s just adult animals this is a little less dramatic.  Moving a next of baby animals is stressful to the animals, even when it is done humanely. Some babies do not move successfully and die.
I’m torn by this of course. Ultimately I know the house has to be taken care of, but I”m kind of an animal guy.  Luckily there are humane critter movers now.  Call me a tree hugger but I’m glad.  I’ve got a customer that live traps ground squirrels and drowns them. Simple as that. Cheap and easy.  She’s got a sparkling garden and keeps the place in perfect shape.  For the rest of us, we’d like a little assurance the family we’re about to evict will have a fighting chance to move on intact.  It keeps our conscience clear and encourages the work to be done sooner than later.
Take action with vagrant critters.  First sign of someone moving in, get them out.  Call a professional for the high places or any other part of the job you’re not comfortable with.  Keep the exterior features of your home tight and closed.   Every spring, every year, it’s amazing what goes on around houses.