Bob Vila Radio: House Pests

By Roseann Foley Henry | Updated Dec 9, 2014 12:55 PM

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We’re all drawn to the warmth and shelter of a cozy house, so it’s not surprising that critters like squirrels, opossums, and raccoons are too. Follow these suggestions to keep out these unwelcome guests.

House Pests



Listen to BOB VILA ON HOUSE PESTS or read the text below:

Examine your home’s exterior for small spaces where animals could creep in. A raccoon can get through a hole just four inches wide! Use binoculars to inspect the roof and upper floors.

Look for cracked or rotting soffits or fascia boards, loose or damaged vents, missing shingles, and gaps where utility lines enter the house. Check your foundation for openings and install window-well covers over basement windows, if you don’t already have them. And make sure your chimney is capped and vents are covered.

Keep your gutters clean, because backed-up or leaky gutters can speed the rotting of wood behind them, opening up holes and making it easier for animals to chew through. To make it more difficult for wildlife to reach the roof, keep tree limbs pruned, so they’re at least ten feet away. If you find waste or other evidence that animals are already in residence, don’t plug up holes until you’ve had the squatters removed by a qualified professional—you don’t want to lock them in.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on pests, consider:

How to Combat Garden Pests (Part 1)
How to Combat Garden Pests (Part 2)
How to: Rodent-Proof Your Home