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Open House Recap: Keeping Critters Out of the House

Last week's Open House dealt with unwelcome critters in your home. You responded with stories about squirrels, raccoons, bats, snakes, ladybugs — and even a deer that walked into a house on its own!
I've rounded up some advice on how to guard your house against future creature infestations. For my list of tips, just


  • Seal your home properly by closing chimneys, attics, and crawl spaces.
  • Repair holes or weak spots around your home where an animal could enter.
  • Trim tree limbs six to eight feet from your house.
  • Remove any fallen tree fruit.
  • Animal feeders often attract more trouble than they're worth, so consider discontinuing their use around the house.
  • Use 2 inch by 4-inch mesh wire over and around bird feeders to keep squirrels and rats out.
  • Install one-way doors to allow animals to leave, but not to enter.
  • Secure compost bins and trash containers with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Bring pet food containers indoors.


Join The Conversation
paintsquared paintsquared 9 years
Kitties are really great helpers. We moved in to a VERY old house ... 1829 ... and thank goodness for our 3 cats! They caught a mouse a week for 6 weeks & we haven't seen ne since. Love my kitties!
geohiker geohiker 9 years
I miss my cat; the day we took him to the hospital for his final visit we saw our first mouse in the house. Apparently, despite being declawed and fat and old, he was still doing a good job of keeping the mice in check. We felt like he had really earned all those treats we had been giving him over the years! :) Since then I keep traps set all over the place. The nice new plastic ones are great; you just squeeze one end and it is set - no more flirting with broken finger bones when setting a peanut butter filled trap.
desertbanshee desertbanshee 9 years
Animal feeders often attract more trouble than they're worth? Totally disagree. In fact, I have an entire food chain at my feeders every day, from the largest Harris hawks and Great Horned owls, to the tiniest and rarest hummingbirds, who have learned my home is a stopping point as they travel thousands of miles north for summer and south for winter. I wouldn't give up seeing the Gambel quail babies or even the beautiful coyotes with their tails tipped in black for anything. Sharing apples, oranges, sunflower seeds, and other food scraps is never any trouble at my house, it's a well rewarded delight.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Or get a kitty or Beagle haha! I once saw my Beagle go after a mouse in the ktichen and kill it!!!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips for those who need 'em.
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