The most common wildlife critters we think of are typically a nuisance in the winter as they enter our homes in search of food, warmth, and shelter. Just because the weather warms up, however, doesn’t mean these animals just disappear. In fact, many of them are just as active in the summertime and can cause just as many problems. Some common summer wildlife include snakes, bats, rats, raccoons, armadillos, and opossums.
Snakes are cold blooded and require the sun and heat to generate energy. Snakes typically mate in the summer and thus require extra energy than normal. This is why you will often see snakes moving around in the early mornings, late evenings, and night in the warmer months.
Summer is also the maternity period for bats. They will establish their summer roosts (often in attics or basements) as a place to give birth to their young and raise them until they are able to fly. This period usually runs from May to August.
Rats are active year-round. The summer months provide them with a plethora of food choices, making them more active during these months. They are also hard at work building their burrows and storing food to get ready for the upcoming winter season.
Raccoon usually give birth to their young in April and May, causing them to become more active in the summer months feeding and nurturing their young. They are nocturnal creatures and are usually seen at night foraging for food.
Armadillos typically mate in the fall and give birth to their young in the spring. Much like raccoons, they are quite active in summer searching for food for their babies. Armadillos dig burrows that can be up to 25 feet long, which can significantly damage tree roots. These burrows can also cause flooding if they are dug around crawlspaces, patios, or walkways.
Opossum females are laden with their young in the summer months, making them more active in their search for food. They are nocturnal and will forage for food at night. They are beneficial in that they eat harmful and unwanted pests around your home.
While many of these pests can actually be beneficial in keeping other pest populations diminished around your home, they also are known to carry serious diseases and pose significant health concerns for both humans and pests. Prevention is key as once they have established themselves, exclusion and removal can be quite difficult. Here are some wildlife prevention tips you can use this summer:
- Clear away yard clutter, piles of leaves, and wood.
- Keep your grass mowed short to eliminate coverage.
- Trim bushes and hedges regularly.
- Make sure birdseed doesn’t fall on the ground and clean it up if it does.
- Walk the perimeter of your home and seal, cover, or repair any crack or crevice.
- Seal any gaps around water pipes, electrical lines, sump pumps, and other spots that utilities enter your home.
- Ventilate crawlspaces and repair leaky faucets and pipes.
- Use window screens, chimney caps, and screen vents.
- Clean up any rotten fruit that may fall to the ground.
- Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.
- Don’t leave garage doors, pet doors, or unscreened windows open at night.
- Remove clutter from garages and storage areas.
- Try to use plastic storage bins versus cardboard boxes.
- Store firewood away from your home.
- Keep food and pet food stored in airtight containers.
- Keep your kitchen clean from crumbs and spills.
- Empty the trash regularly.
If you suspect you have a wildlife problem, contact a professional wildlife control company who can assess your situation and provide you with the best removal or prevention options available.