Winter is Coming – Watch Out for These Animal Problems
As if the snow and cold of winter weren’t problem enough. There are always additional animal pest problems that come with the season, and here are the 3 big ones you need to worry about.
Sure, mice aren’t the only rodents that can cause problems or damage over the winter. Rats, squirrels, and voles are all potential pests, too. But since mice are the more common culprit, they’re the ones you should be focusing on. Once they have moved in for the winter, there is a lot of problems they can cause. The main one is damage from chewing. They can (and will) chew holes in the walls just to gain access to the house, they’ll chew through walls once they’re in the house, and they will chew through any number of boxes and containers to get at food. They also chew up fabrics and stuffing to gather nest materials, because even mice like to be warm in the winter.
Unfortunately, that’s not all. The other big problem with mice is that their droppings foul everything they touch. Even when they don’t tear something to shreds, finding piles of feces and urine is damage enough.
These tricky beasts can be a big problem in the yard during the winter because food is scarce, leading them to take bigger chances than usual to find a meal. If they live in your area, take care to put out your garbage is very sturdy containers with latches or locks on them. A raccoon can pry the lid off of a plain garbage can in a few seconds flat. Looking for shelter, they can move in and start nesting in garages and sheds that have large enough access holes. They can (and will) pull at siding or loose screen though they don’t chew there way in like mice do. Given their larger size, raccoons can be a threat to any outdoor pets though they aren’t that aggressive if left alone.
Deer aren’t only a summer problem, though they aren’t as much of a problem in the winter compared to rodents or raccoons. But as food gets scarce, they’ll come looking for something to eat. Exposed foliage will be a temptation. Trees and anything that is visible over the snow will be immediately targeted, so try to wrap with burlap or put up some temporary snow fencing around trees or shrubs. A layer of snow cover won’t help that much, as deer are good at pawing down to the ground in search of food. Not much you can do about that other than have a good repellent on your property to encourage them to keep their distance.
One big advantage you have during winter is that you can see tracks in the snow, to get a heads-up when new animals are moving into your territory. Get to know the different prints, and you will have a little warning against incoming pests.