Cold season is here, which means wildlife living around your home may be seeking food, water, warmth and shelter. It’s important to learn about the wildlife in the greater New Orleans area that could possibly enter your home this winter. We break these different critters, gauge their threat, and give some pointers for prevention and removal.
Common winter wildlife pests in Southern Louisiana
We recently wrote about all things rodents in Louisiana including common types, how to identify them, potential health hazards and the damage they can do to your home. Rodents are active all year-round in Louisiana, but in the winter, they try to come inside your homes to escape the cold. Mice and rats can be dangerous because they cause damage by gnawing and nesting, and they can spread filth and disease.
Snakes are common here in the deep south because of warm weather and marshland. Here in Louisiana, there are 47 native snake species, but luckily only seven of them are venomous. Unfortunately, during the winter, these cold-blooded reptiles may decide to hibernate indoors. Popular places for these slithery pests to hide include attics, basements, drop ceilings and leaky water pipes. Many of us are afraid of snakes, and they also carry diseases and germs that can make us sick like salmonella.
Sometimes you may mistake an opossum for a rat, but opossums are actually marsupials, not rodents. Opossums feast on pet food, rotten fruit and human garbage, which means they could find their way into your home, your garage or shed to keep warm. Luckily opossums are not aggressive or dangerous to humans, and they don’t get rabies. However, they can bring diseases and disease-carrying pests into your home. Not only that, but they can also bring destruction by chewing through and gnawing on wood and drywall, electrical wires and pipes. Opossums can also rip up books, fabric and insulation to build nests.
Like opossums, raccoons are considered nuisance wildlife in Southern Louisiana. They’ve adapted nicely to urban environments because they are not picky eaters! Racoons feed on pet food, fruits, vegetables and anything else they can find in your trash! While raccoons may look cute and cuddly, they can actually be aggressive if they feel threatened. And what’s worse is that raccoons can carry rabies – a potentially fatal virus that infects the central nervous system. In the winter, they like to seek shelter near food sources and warmth, which could unfortunately include your garage or attic! And if you don’t evict these guys in the winter, there could be babies living there by spring.
Here in Louisiana, there are two species of squirrel – the gray and the fox. It’s a common misconception that these squirrels hibernate in the winter, but they’re still active. And if they decide to hide out in your attic or crawlspace, they could drive you nuts! (Pun intended.) Squirrels are non-threatening, but they could mate and give birth to a litter in your home in the winter. Like mice and rats, they can also cause similar damage to your home or business.
Skunks are unwelcome house guests for obvious reasons! Besides the potential foul smell, skunks can also carry rabies. So while these animals might look to make their winter home and hibernate under your house, deck, or outbuildings, you’ll want to do your best to prevent this from happening!
Pest bird infestation can become a problem for your home or business. Bird droppings are unsanitary, can spread disease and cause damage to structures or building materials. In addition, bird nesting habits can even cause structural damage and or create fire hazards.
How to stop wildlife from entering your home in the winter
The best way to avoid the headache of an infestation is through prevention. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid a winter wildlife infestation in your home:
- Close up all access points into your home including attics, chimneys, crawl spaces, vents and windows. Repairs are usually minor and can include caulking smaller openings, installing chimney caps and placing screens on vents.
- Trim trees, shrubs and other vegetation to eliminate any bridges wildlife may use to get into your home.
- Secure trash containers and don’t leave food outside near your home.
- Clean up debris around your home including leaves piled in gutters and around the foundation.
Professional Winter Wildlife Control in New Orleans
If prevention doesn’t work, you can always seek the help of professionals. At LaJaunie’s Pest Control we use safe, EPA-approved methods for wildlife control to get you the protection you need without any added risks to you, your family, and the environment. We offer:
- A comprehensive wildlife inspection of your home to identify wildlife type, their behaviors, and their hiding places.
- A custom action plan tailored to your home and your individual needs.
- The use of a variety of control methods such as exclusion, trapping, and insulation.
- Comprehensive, one-time service to completely rid your home of wildlife and prevent their return.
- An annual renewal warranty on all wildlife control services.
- Free repairs for any damage to our exclusion work.
Allow LaJaunie’s Pest Control to protect your home against wildlife this winter. Give us a call at (985) 401-7244 or contact us here to schedule your wildlife removal treatment today!