Winter Wildlife Prevention For New England Homeowners

A squirrel crawling on a tree

'Tis the season for wildlife invasions! Be on the lookout. You may see a creature or two scurrying around your home, inside or out. There are several types of wildlife that may try to get inside your home for shelter during these colder months. Some of these include raccoons, skunks, and squirrels. Let’s take a look at each of these, and the risks they pose, more closely.


Most of us recognize raccoons by their notorious black masks of fur around their eyes and their ringed tails. They’re usually slightly larger than a house cat, weighing around 10-20 pounds. Another thing raccoons are well-known for is their reputation for getting into the trash, and likely spreading it all over the yard. These pests can cause structural damage, contaminate areas of your home with urine and feces, and they can be aggressive. If they feel threatened, there is a high chance that raccoons will defend themselves by scratching or biting. On top of all this, raccoons can be carriers of rabies. What usually gives these animals away are the disturbed trash bins outside. You may hear noises at night -coming from your attic, around the foundation of your home, or perhaps from under your deck. 


Also easily recognized, skunks are black with two white stripes down their bodies. They’re usually slightly smaller than a raccoon. These animals are less active in the winter, and will sometimes choose people’s sheds, porches, decks, or garages as their home during the cooler months. Skunks may be less active, but they don’t actually hibernate during the winter. Like raccoons, they’re nocturnal, so you may hear their activity at night. As pests, they will cause damage to your lawn from their digging. The biggest reason you don’t want these animals around is their smell! You and your pets are both at risk of being sprayed any time you’re near them.


Squirrels are the smallest of these three animals. They are quite well-known for their bushy tails, but that doesn’t mean they do less harm than the other wildlife described here. These relatively small pests can cause significant damage.

Being rodents, their chewing can go through insulation, wires, drywall, wooden structures, and even personal items. This not only causes frustration but costly damage and safety hazards as well. They will enter your home through holes in its exterior as the weather gets colder. Urine and feces from squirrels can contaminate your property, and they have the ability to become aggressive when feeling threatened. 

How to Keep Winter Wildlife Out of Your Home

To prevent these animals from becoming pests in your home and on your property, there are some steps you can take:

  • Keep your trash confined, with a tightly-fitting lid.
  • Store trash bins a good distance away from your home's exterior.
  • Inspect your home's exterior for cracks and holes in its foundation, rips or tears in window screens, and spaces around windows and doors.
  • Seal all cracks, crevices, tears, rips, and spaces that you find. 

If you do notice wildlife during your inspection, or at any other time, it’s important to contact a professional to get help removing them.

This task should never be done on your own. Most wildlife creatures will make their homes near people for shelter and for easy access to food. The harder it is for them to find either, the less likely they are to choose your property!

Contact a Professional

American Pest Control offers comprehensive wildlife control services using humane standards. After removing the animals, our technicians will help put prevention methods into place by animal-proofing your home. To get started right away, contact American Pest Control!