Keeping Critters out of Your Home | Environment

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Keeping Critters out of Your Home

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- They can cause the kind of damage that can lead to costly home repairs. They are the four-legged critters looking for a place to stay warm.

"There are rodents, squirrels and raccoons always around this time of year looking for nesting sites," said Jeff Saylor.

Saylor, with Arrow Exterminators, said those nesting sites are in First Coast homes.

Saylor the entry points are easy to find; just look near the air conditioning systems.

"Service lines are easy access points for rodents to get into your home," said Saylor.

He said another weak spot is the soffit, the area under the eaves of the roof. 

"Rats can get through an area the size of a quarter, mice can get through about the size of a dime," he said.

Even a tree near your home can become an access point.

Saylor's advice is pay attention to the surroundings.

"The homeowner can listen out for things, If you're hearing noises in your attic, if you're seeing droppings in your pantry on the baseboards," he said, "you may have a critter in your home."

Also check the attic of the house. The exterminator said in dark areas like the attic, you may have to use your eyes and your nose to search for rodents.

"They leave their scent and grease on the wires and plumbing and that will help you determine a problem," Francis French.

French is also an exterminator and recently found the wood siding of a home chewed up by a squirrel.

Exterminators say because you don't have a problem today does not mean there won't be a problem this fall. 

"You may have never had a problem in the past, but they might find your house this year, when they didn't last year," said Saylor.

Here's what you need to do to limit possible entry points.

  • Cut back tree branches at least six to eight feet from your gutters.
  • Remove structures near the home you no longer use.
  • Make sure all of the attic vents are screened.
  • If you have an open chimney, install a cap.
  • Make it a habit to survey around your home for entry points on a regular basis.

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