Animal and Insect Invasions: What to Do as a Homeowner

Insect Invasions in home

Any homeowner knows home projects can be never-ending (and costly). Between the home remodeling wish-list and required repairs, your house is seemingly always under construction. And then enters pesky pests who add to the pains of proper home maintenance. Here are tips and resources for when outsiders from the wild are breaking and entering:

Critter Invasion

As soon as you start to notice signs of animals living in or around your home, the first step is to locate the entry holes. Then install traps or exclusion devices surrounding those areas. Once the little intruders are trapped and removed, seal the entry holes.

For extra security, hire wildlife control experts to thoroughly inspect the area, especially since animals can be dangerous, destructive and hazardous to your health. Professional services can also ensure animals are handled in a humane and ethical way that’s safe and even environmentally conscious.

Wild Animals Are Not Pets

For the animal-loving homeowner, a rabbit or an iguana, for instance, may look cute enough to capture and bring into the home. Remember though, these animals have needs, instincts and behaviors connected to their natural habitat. It’s inhumane to bring a wild animal into captivity.

Don’t disregard your own well-being either. Wild animals may cause physical injury, from a nasty bite or scratch to even a fatal attack. Not to mention, wild animals can carry zoonotic diseases like Brucellosis, Salmonella and Ringworm, as well as parasites. All wild animal species of all sizes deserve to be free-living beings outdoors where they know how to survive on their own.

Freeing a Bird from Your Chimney

Chirping. Rustling. Scratching. These are all signs of distress that you may have a trapped bird inside your chimney or fireplace. It’s important to act quickly when you discover a bird that’s stuck. The bird may struggle to the point of fatigue and exhaustion leading to death. Here are a few solutions to try, first by opening the fireplace damper, so the bird can enter the fireplace.

  • Attract the bird out of the fireplace using a flashlight, guiding it to an open window where it can fly out. Remember to keep the room quiet.
  • Shut the fireplace door, so the bird is enclosed. Slowly open the door while tossing a cloth on top of the bird. As the bird starts to calm down, gently catch the bird and release it outside.
  • Place an open box inside the fireplace opening. Then use a flashlight to get the bird to enter the box where you’ll capture and release it.

But If There’s a Bird’s Nest …

Keep in mind, if birds are nesting in your chimney, do not disturb the nest. Chimney swifts are a protected species. And once baby birds reach the flying age, they’ll escape on their own. Tips to remember: Don’t light a fire, call a professional chimney sweep to remove the vacant nest and cap the chimney to prevent future nesting.

When Your Wall Buzzes with Honeybees

Avoid your first instinct to kill honeybees in your wall. When bees die, honey extracts moisture, which allows bacterial growth and fermentation. Honey will explode within the honeycomb and soak into your wood structure. Your wood structure will decompose or break down, resulting in expensive and severe structural damage.

Step one is to determine the infested area by listening for buzzing or feeling for warmth on the wall. Next, contact a professional beekeeper who will have to break open the wall to remove the colony and comb and extract the honey. Then use ammonia or bleach to wash the walls to eliminate pheromones, replace the wall, inspect your home for entry holes and seal these areas.


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