Let’s assume you don’t have any unwelcome critters in your attic. If you do, we’re really sorry about that and suggest you reference Part I of this series regarding how to REMOVE critters from your attic. Even if you haven’t had problems with the little animals, all homeowners should ensure that their attic is equipped with safeguards in order to avoid animals setting up shop in their rafters.
Check the Exterior of your Home for Potential Entry Points
Critters can enter your home through smaller holes than you think possible. Tiny holes, even ¼ - ½ inch in diameter can be squeezed through or made larger by chewing and scratching.
Look for holes in the roofing or gaps between the area where the roofing and the siding meet. Also, use a ladder to inspect the areas that you can’t see from the ground. Patch any gaps you discover. Stapling or nailing hardware cloth over the opening is a recommended method.
If you have vents to the outside of your home that do not have vent covers, install covers immediately. Next, confirm that all existing vents are firmly installed. Critters are often smart enough to pry off loose vent covers as a means of entry. Check the size of the openings in your vent covers. If they have large enough holes for animals to squeeze through, consider replacing them with covers that have smaller openings—less than ¼ - ½ inch gaps.
Many attics have their own “attic vent.” This is a prime attic entry point for cold and curious animals. Install a heavy duty vent cover over your attic vent to seal it off.
Small animal intruders often make use of the chimney. Use a chimney cap—a raised structure placed on top of the chimney—to cut off a critter’s means of entry. The cap will still allow ventilation while keeping out unwanted animals.
Clean Up any Food Sources
Any type of animal food source makes your home a target for pesky critters. If they can make a home in your attic and have a consistent source of food nearby, you’ve provided them a squirrel’s version of the American Dream.
Put lids on all trash cans
Cover your compost bins
Feed your pets inside the house or bring the food back inside after your pet is finished eating
Get rid of the bird feeder
Pick up any dropped food in the yard (fruits or nuts)
Trim Tree Limbs
If you have tree limbs extending over your home, allowing critters to crawl onto your roof, be sure to trim these back. It’s much harder for critters to scale the wall of a house than the trunk of a tree.