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The Danger Winter Wildlife Can Pose On New England Properties

squirrel in snow

What do bumblebees, snakes, wood frogs, turtles, bats, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, hummingbirds, groundhogs, ladybugs, bears, and some species of snails have in common? They all hibernate. Well, sort of. Most animals really don't hibernate. Even bears don't truly hibernate. They enter a low energy state called torpor. This is just a deep, restorative state that helps them get through the long winters without eating. Some bugs go into this kind of hibernation. It is called diapause. When conditions are unfavorable, some bugs shut down until conditions are favorable again. In this low-energy state, they stay alive by consuming the fat inside their bodies. Torpor and diapause don't just happen in the winter. Some creatures can go into a low-energy state during a hot summer. Understanding how hibernation works can give you some valuable insight into winter wildlife pests and how important winter wildlife control can be.

What Wildlife Do In Winter

Just before it gets cold, some pests break into homes and find a place to hide. Bats may find a way into your walls and go into torpor all winter long. You won't hear a sound from them until it warms back up. A skunk might get under your deck and find shelter from the cold. In the spring, it will emerge and return to its foraging. Raccoons, squirrels, and other animals can take up residence in your attic spaces. Mice and rats can create nests in your attic spaces and wall voids. There are many pests that can break into your home in the fall. It is important to do a detailed inspection of your exterior during the fall and take the time to seal any gaps, holes or cracks. This can help you prevent hibernating animals from getting in.

What you may not know is that those "hibernating" animals may not hibernate at all. When they realize that it is springtime inside your New England home, they may stay active all winter long. This can create problems for you.

Winter Pest Invasions

On a winter day when temperatures warm up outside, some animals come out of hiding and go exploring. You might see a skunk waddling through your yard or you might find that a raccoon has knocked your trash cans over. You could see rat droppings on top of the snow. The key factor for wildlife activity is warmth. Most wildlife pests do not have an internal clock that tells them to stay sleeping until spring. That means they can get into your home or take up residence underneath a structure on your property any time of the year.

There are many animals that can make an appearance in your backyard throughout the year. When they do, they can become a pest problem. They bring ticks, fleas and other parasites into your yard. They damage the vegetation in your landscaping and get into your garden. They damage your screens and get into your attic spaces. When cornered, an animal can lash out at you. It is wise to work on wildlife prevention no matter what time of year it is and no matter how cold it is outside. You never know when it is going to warm up enough for a furry animal to get the idea that it could be safe to go outside and hunt for food.

Wildlife Prevention

When wildlife comes into your yard, don't make the mistakes many homeowners make. Take steps to reduce food and harborage options.

  • Put bird feeders at least 20 feet from your exterior.
  • Put firewood at least 20 feet from your exterior and elevate the stacks.
  • Put exterior trash in sealed receptacles and secure the receptacles so they can't be knocked over.
  • Install fencing to prevent animals from finding harborage under structures and to keep animals out of food sources.
  • Remove yard clutter that animals could use to hide in.

If wildlife becomes a problem in the winter, or any other time of the year, remember that Big Blue Bug Solutions offers industry-leading wildlife management. We can help. Reach out to us for immediate service.