A Nuisance Wildlife Home Inspection in Albany, New York
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If you think there might be a wildlife infestation in your home, the problem may be larger than you expect. There might even be several species living throughout your house. A thorough home inspection is necessary to determine the scope of the problem. At Hudson Valley Wildlife Solutions, we provide detailed inspections to homeowners in several counties in Upstate New York. Our thorough review helps us ensure that our service proposal will provide the best solution to our clients.
We were recently hired to complete a residential home inspection in Albany, New York. The homeowners claimed to have heard movement in the walls and in their attic. They believed the noises were being made by red squirrels, but our inspection found evidence of a few other types of wildlife.
Inspecting An Attic for Nuisance Wildlife
We began our inspection by climbing up into the house’s attic. We had to inspect the attic walls and layers of insulation on the floor to find signs of wildlife. We have to be extremely careful and watch our steps through any potential job site. There might be tripping hazards, animal droppings, or other signs of wildlife. We also have to gauge whether what we’re walking on is safe and will support us. One of the two attic vents was unreachable without the risk of falling through to the floor below!
This home in Albany already had a layer of wire screening over the attic vent that we were able to reach from the inside. This screen helps to prevent wild animals from squeezing into the vent. Unfortunately, there was a small hole splitting the wires. The homeowners had tried to patch it up themselves, but a small animal had broken through and made an entry point into the attic. We surmised it was a mouse based on the size of the hole.
It is very important to choose a durable screening material for your attic vents. We prefer galvanized hardware cloth: a strong wire mesh that wild animals cannot chew through. It’s perfect for covering most vulnerable potential entry points in your home. Save time and achieve the best results by hiring professionals to protect your home.
Signs of Wildlife on a House’s Exterior
Our inspection in Albany continued outside the house. We walked the perimeter of the building and looked for signs of wildlife entry from the exterior. There were a few holes on the underside of the back roof. These also looked like the work of a mouse, based on the size. We then found another, much larger entry point in their brick wall, where electrical wires came out of the house. The cobwebs within the hole had been pushed out of the way to the sides, which is a sign that animals had been using the hole to gain entry. While the space between two bricks was large enough for a squirrel to get in, a squirrel would have cleared out all the cobwebs. We figured that this was a mouse hole as well.
When we inspected the garage, there were large cracks in the concrete underneath the garage door. This can happen when a homeowner uses salt to prevent ice from freezing over their driveway. The salt breaks down the concrete, leading to significant cracks. A small animal could crawl through these cracks and sneak under the garage door to get inside the home. At this point, we were certain that the homeowners had been hearing mice. All the entry points we had found matched in size. And believe us, a mouse will find those entryways. They like to stay warm and dry just like we all do!
Inspecting A Chimney for Nuisance Wildlife
We had finished circling the house and noted all potential entry points around the exterior. Next, we grabbed a ladder and made our way up onto the roof to look in and around the chimney. Chimneys are often an entry point for wild animals into your home. The dark, narrow interior mirrors a hollowed-out tree trunk, which many animals prefer to use for their home in the wild.
If your chimney is not capped, wildlife will be able to get inside without trouble. A cap will allow smoke and ash to get out while preventing animals from getting in. At the house in Albany, we noticed bat droppings on the corner where the chimney met the house. It looked like bats were coming into the chimney and making a home within the surrounding roof. Our service proposal would have to account for more than just mice.
What If There Are Multiple Wild Animals In Your Home?
This bird’s nest was kept safe and dry by the shutters.
We took a closer look at the attic vent that we were unable to reach from the inside. This one was right by the chimney and the bat droppings. It was also on the wall where the homeowners claimed that they were hearing the loudest noises. We lifted the vent shutters and found evidence of a third species – a bird had made a nest on the ledge! The angle of the shutters provided just enough room outside the wire screening for a bird to make a home, shielded from the elements.
The homeowners had attached some screening inside this attic vent themselves as well. The screen was a bit mangled, but we could not tell whether that was human error, or if a wild animal had tried to get in and misshaped the wire screening in the process. If it was the work of wildlife, we suspected a squirrel based on the size of the damage. If the squirrel had succeeded in entering the home, that would be a fourth species to contend with! The house seemed to be comparable to the antlers of Dr. Seuss’ Big-Hearted Moose, Thidwick.
Ultimately, we would need to ask the homeowner more questions about all the different entry points. This would help us determine which wildlife had caused the most damage and plan the best course of action for repairing the home. As you can see, dealing with wildlife in your home can become very complicated pretty quickly. Save time, and potentially a headache as well, by contacting the experts at Hudson Valley Wildlife Solutions.