Signs of Animal Activity Outside Your Home

Kelly Garvin
Written by Kelly Garvin
Updated March 2, 2016
raccoon in wildlife control cage
Knowing the signs of nuisance animals outside the home can keep wildlife removal inside the home from becoming necessary. (Photo courtesy of Animal Trapping & Relocation Services)

The first step for effective wildlife control is learning to tell if nuisance animals are visiting your yard.

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No matter what time of year it is, you can be sure some pests or animals are active around your home. As our small towns continue to flourish into big cities, it isn't the animals that are invading our yard, but rather us invading theirs. To protect yourself and your home from nuisance wildlife and pests, you should be educated and aware of the clues.

Telltale signs of nuisance animals

You may not see wildlife in your yard, but a quick walk around your home may reveal a lot. Raccoons, squirrels and skunks abound right now, and just like cats or dogs they have specific areas they return to do their business. They’ll leave pellets behind, ranging from golf ball to bean size, and they’ll leave it in mounds.

If you find any evidence of this, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to search for premium shelter spots. These spots may include your garage, any openings in your roof that lead to the attic or, worst case scenario, any opening in the foundation leading to your basement or under your home.

If there is still snow on the ground during your inspection, it can reveal evidence faster than you know! You can find animal tracks through your yard, on your porch and if you can see on your roof, you’ll find them up there as well.

Another way you may be able to tell if an animal has been snooping around your yard is to take a look at your edibles. Fruit trees, herb and vegetable gardens and birdseed are all viable sources of food for a myriad of animals. If it seems that there has been some unwanted nibbling on any of those things, there is an excellent chance you’re receiving visits from nuisance animals.

Wildlife control stops more than a nuisance

Nuisance animals are nothing to brush off, as they can cause damage to your house and possibly even you. On top of damaging your property, the animals and the “presents” they leave behind are vectors for many terrible diseases, including rabies, leptospirosis, Hantavirus, round worm and others.

If you find droppings, use caution when removing them — or call a pest control professional to assess the problem right away.

Effective wildlife control blocks out animals

If a nuisance animal decides your home should become theirs, it’s best to address the situation as soon as possible. Damage to decks, foundations, siding and shingles can be expensive to fix. Once an animal has made it’s way inside, it will only become more expensive.

Nuisance animals such as rodents and bats in your home can quickly turn insulation into a tainted batch of fluff requiring you to replace every last bit. Also, you must disinfect the entire area to ensure your home's safety.

Most people forget to protect the outside of their homes from animals, since they’re more worried about animal intruders getting inside. But it's important to remember the very critical wiring that supplies your home's electricity, air conditioning and cable is at risk.

Once inside, you can certainly imagine the damage nuisance animals can cause. Inside the walls, they can easily shred other wiring and structural components to bits. A determined rodent can poke its way through the wall entirely, creating a new doorway to its mother lode of sustenance — your pantry.

Quick tips for better wildlife control

Reinforce the fencing around your home and yard. You may not be able to stop smaller animals that weave their way through the trees and are excellent climbers, but you can deter the bigger ones. Animals tend to take the path of least resistance, so a good quality fence may be your best defense.

Protect your wiring from nuisance animals by consolidating and housing it in enclosures to save you the time, effort and money to replace it.

If you're a garden lover and grow your own herbs and vegetables, think about constructing a raised garden, off the ground away from the ants and a bit harder to reach for animals. Be sure to construct a fence around the nursery to make it extra difficult for animals to nibble.

Living in the country can be great, but oftentimes your home is backed up against the woods. The woods, though, happen to be a great place to find wildlife.

Have you discovered nuisance animals are making your home a hangout? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

As of March 2, 2016, this service provider was highly rated. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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