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Winter Wildlife Woes

The Trifecta Wildlife Services truck out in a central KY snowfall

The Trifecta Wildlife Services truck out in a central KY snowfall

Cold winter weather is here and critters want to be cozy too!

Fall has come to a close and winter is officially here, and though in Lexington KY much of December felt like spring weather, we’ve seen the cold return and the animals have expected it too. I thought I’d share some recent pictures from wildlife inspections to illustrate some common animal entry points into our homes.

The soffit corner of this Lexington KY home was chewed into by gray squirrels which nested in the home’s attic. Soffit corners are often the most vulnerable to wood rot, or softening with age, and sometimes water damage, all of which increases this area of a home’s vulnerability to squirrel or other wildlife entry.
A hole made by gray squirrels through the soffit of a central KY homeSoffit of a Lexington Ky home that has been chewed by a gray squirrel

This Lexington KY home had a static roof vent chewed through by gray squirrels and resulted in squirrels finding their way into the ceiling over the living room. Static roof vents are often constructed of metal which is resistant to this sort of damage (but not wildlife proof!), however, this home’s vents were constructed of plastic leaving them very vulnerable to the chewing habits of a gray squirrel.

A static roof vent chewed by gray squirrels

You may be noticing a gray squirrel theme and it’s indeed a peak season for gray squirrel damage to homes. This Lexington KY home’s corner was inadequately flashed and gray squirrels utilized their saw-zaw like teeth to chew right in. Roof corners are often vulnerable as numerous edges of construction materials are coming together creating welcome starting points for squirrels or other rodents to begin chewing.

Gray squirrel entry into a roof corner through aluminum

Yes, gray squirrels again… But, no chewing this time. What occurred on this Lexington KY building was a maintenance issue where some flashing had lifted away creating an opening into the attic that squirrels gladly exploited. Prudent upkeep of your home or other property is frequently sufficient to prevent wildlife issues from ever beginning.

Loose flashing was exploited by gray squirrels to enter this property

Yes, rodents again, but not squirrels, these are two very common mouse entry points. Mice invaded this Lexington KY home through crawl space vents that had long ago seen their protective screening rust away leaving easy access to the home’s crawl space. Additionally, mouse sign was found in the garage where mice had easy access at the garage door corners.

Unprotected garage door corners are a common mouse entry pointUnprotected crawl space vents are a common entry point for mice and other wildlife

Raccoons are looking for shelter this time of year as well and our homes and properties are often warmer and more secure than tree cavities also used by raccoons. The roof vent on this Lexington KY property allowed this raccoon direct entry into the ceiling space of the apartment below. After capture of the raccoon the vent was properly excluded with welded wire to prevent recurrence.

Roof vent on a Lexington KY property that allowed raccoon entry into ceiling over apartment.Roof vent that served as an entry point for this raccoon.

Vinyl soffit returns common on many modern construction Central KY homes can be displaced by raccoons, and other wildlife. This Richmond KY home had a raccoon finding shelter in the attic and to prevent recurrence after its removal I installed a galvanized steel sheet metal backing into the soffit construction and bent down onto the roof field. Then vinyl soffit panels are reinstalled regaining an aesthetically pleasing look while eliminating the ability for raccoons and other wild animals to gain entry.

Vinyl soffit return breached by a raccoon in Richmond KYRaccoon exclusion process at a vinyl soffit return.Completed raccoon exclusion at vinyl soffit return.

Chimneys come in all sizes, and this one took the 40′ extension ladder to access. Uncapped chimney flues are an open invitation for raccoons and other wild animals to enter for shelter this time of year; unfortunately for some species a trip down the chimney flue is a one way trip that can result in dead-animal odors. Bottom line, chimney caps are a great idea for many reasons. Here the client opted for HY-C brand Raccoon Screens to prevent continuing use of his chimney flues by a raccoon.

Lexington KY home where a raccoon had entered the chimney flue.HY-C Raccoon Screens installed on chimney flues.

Unfortunately just because you play by the rules doesn’t mean wild animals always will. If wildlife of any kind has invaded your attic or entered your home or property in Lexington-Fayette or Central KY call Trifecta Wildlife Services, 859-415-4226, for safe and effective wildlife removal, exclusion, and damage repair.