If you have had squirrels or raccoons around your home, there is a chance that they could find a way into your home. You would be wise to take precautions. Trim tree limbs growing close to the house, secure loose shingles, seal holes in soffits with heavy wire mesh. Have a contractor install a mesh chimney cap and cap soil stacks. Seal all holes. Keep pet food indoors. If squirrels nest in your attic, turn up the volume on an obnoxious radio or tv show. They hate loud noises. Scrub down surfaces with ammonia and scatter mothballs where you see evidence of rodent habitation. To deter raccoons, place ammonia-soaked newspapers at the bottom of garbage cans and cayenne on top of the garbage. Some people even tie down the lid of the can with a rope or bungy cord. Consult your state Department of Natural Resources for rules to trap and release wildlife. A good source to use when dealing with these types of critters is the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management at www.icwdm.org.
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Natalie A. Gauci
Licensed Interior Designer working in the Tampa Bay, Florida area.