Small animals will probably manage to sneak into your home for shelter and warmth during the winter season. If there is a way in, bear in mind that it will be found by these unwanted guests. After they enter your home, you may not know for a few weeks or even months that they’ve been residing in your home. Critters such as mice, rats, and bats are quite good at hiding, particularly in houses with basements and attics.

Below are some of the critters that you may find in your home. We also explain what you can do to humanely evict them.


The most common home invaders you will come across are rodents, rats, and squirrels. They are small and capable of squeezing into tiny nooks. In fact, certain tenacious rodents can find their way through entry holes as small as 1/4 inch. Scouring the house for minor gaps, covering all cracks and openings, and applying weather stripping to all windows and doors, is the safest way to keep them out.

Avoid using poison or traditional mouse traps to catch rodents. Instead, place cotton balls soaked in peppermint or eucalyptus oil in areas where you’ve seen them. Also, ensure to secure all open food and food contained in cardboard, as well as garbage bins. Once the rodents leave your house, seal all the holes and cracks from where they appear to have entered from. Set catch and release traps if you still find some rodents in your house. If none of these tricks work, call a pest control professional.


Where squirrels are concerned, the first thing you need to do is locate their nest. You might most probably find it in the rafters of your attic. If you find baby squirrels, don’t throw them out right away. Wait a few weeks until they’re old enough. Until then, seal all the openings in your attic and leave only one exit point with a one-way cage door installed on the outside. This way you will be able to catch the squirrels when they try to escape. Remember to check the cage and feed the squirrels so that they don’t starve and die. Once you think all the squirrels have been caught and the baby squirrels have grown old enough, release them five miles away from your home.

Larger pests

In order to evade the harsh cold weather, raccoons, skunks, and possums may also frequent your attic, basement, or garage, but without professional help, they can be harder to trap. The easiest way to keep them from returning once caught and released is to always keep the doors and windows of the garage and basement shut, cap your chimney, and secure outdoor trash cans with wildlife-proof lids and/or bungee cords.

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