In recent weeks, there have been frequent pictures posted of moose and bears roaming through populated areas in Cottage Country. According to Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, now is the time to prepare for that by “wildlife proofing” your property.
Officials with the sanctuary say animals are now looking for a comfortable place to spend the winter. Now, they say, is the best time to make sure your home is set up to ward off animals looking for food or a place to rest.
First and foremost, they save to remove access to all food sources. By tying up trash bags, securing them, keeping your kitchen neat and tidy, keeping your yard clear of fallen fruit, pinecones, and acorns, and feeding your pets inside rather than outside, officials say it will reduce the chance of wild animals spending unwanted time at your home.
Officials say the next step is to make sure all entry points to your home are sealed. They say to install chimney and vent covers, close off the entrance points under your porch or deck, check your roof for holes, inspect windows and doors for cracks, install window-well grates if you have basement windows, and repair cracks, if there are any, in your home’s foundation.
“Understandably, finding every nook and cranny can be a challenge,” officials say. Mice and squirrels have been known to squeeze through the most absurdly-small cracks. And yet, there is no denying that your home will be far less appealing if you eliminate the snacks and close the gates.”
August is when the majority of babies leave their nests, but officials add it’s not uncommon for squirrels to be born in September.
Officials say staff at the sanctuary are always open to providing guidance on how to encourage wild animals to stay away from your home, but add that “patience is a prerequisite.”