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Are There Animals in My Basement?

Perhaps you think there’s a creature living in your basement - but what kind? Check out the most common types to settle into homes.

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Something’s scratching at your walls, running along your pipes, and generally making your basement less pleasant to be in. What animal has made its way into your home, and what can you do now that it’s inside?

Dealing with animal invaders isn’t easy. Not only are these critters a nuisance on their own, but they can also cause serious problems for your wiring and insulation. While the professional contractors in your area cannot help you with animal removal or extermination, they can walk you through the process of repairing your home—but only after you’ve had your pesky invader removed.

animals and snakes in your home

What Animals Can Invade Your Home? 

Several types of animals can make themselves a nuisance around your property and settle down in your basement. Among the ones that can make their way into your basement are:

  • Rodents – Rats and mice have bad reputations among homeowners. While some of the bad breaks rodents get are unfounded, others are merited. Mice, for example, can be disease-ridden and spread this throughout your home, as can rats. Rodents can develop their colonies inside your walls and tear into your electrical wires. While, in doing so, they can often hurt themselves, they can also raise your electric bill or make it more difficult for you to maintain your home. You’ll want to watch out for rodents once the weather starts to turn, as they tend to move inside as the weather gets cooler. 
  • Snakes – While snakes aren’t an immediate threat to your home’s structural integrity, they’re still not critters that you want in your home without your knowledge. Pet snakes are manageable, but wild snakes pose an immediate threat to your family’s health and safety. These critters will roost wherever in your home is the warmest, meaning that you may readily find one near your heater or HVAC system. 
  • Raccoons – Like smaller rodents, raccoons can wreak havoc on your home’s utilities. Raccoons will readily make nests out of your insulation and toys out of your wiring. Pregnant raccoons may also make themselves at home in your basement, crawl space, or even your attic, allowing their young to make a further mess of your home’s structural supports. 
  • Squirrels and chipmunks – While squirrels and chipmunks don’t have the same size element going for them as raccoons, they can still be wildly destructive forces inside of your home. Both creatures—rodents, like rats and mice, but with their own unique skillsets— will live inside of insulation, destroy wires, and a unique noise in your walls. These critters can also bring diseases into your home if they’re allowed to have contact with you or any children on the property. 
  • Groundhogs and rabbits – While groundhogs rarely find themselves getting inside a home, they can still rapidly destabilize your foundation and basement. If they cause enough damage to your home, you may find them making themselves at home in the cracks leading into your basement. The same can be said for rabbits, who can build hollows beneath your home and force your basement floor to start buckling. Both critters will also rapidly reproduce, meaning that if you don’t take care of them quickly, you’ll be contending with their offspring for years to come. 
  • Bats – Like snakes, bats don’t pose an immediate threat to the structural integrity of your home. They do, however, pose a health threat to you and your family. Bats will settle into the corners of your basement where you’re loath to look and can fill those corners with guano. If you or your children come into contact with these critters, you can readily find yourself dealing with illnesses that you don’t know how to contend with. Removing bats from your home can be tricky, especially if you try to do so without professional assistance. 

Signs of Animal Damage in Your Basement

Some of the animals that can make their way into your home make themselves more obvious than others. For example, raccoons, chipmunks, rats, mice, and other rodents all tend to leave behind obvious droppings as well as destruction. You’ll know that you’re dealing with some manner of rodent if you spot chewed wires or damaged insulation throughout your basement. 
 
Bats, as mentioned, are a little more difficult to spot. If you’re noticing strange movement in your basement or odd noises coming from the corners in the middle of the night, you may want to reach out to a representative with animal control in your area. 
 
If you see your floors starting to buckle but you haven’t had to contend with any moisture before, you may be able to trace the damage to the presence of unwanted critters outside of your home. Rabbits and Groundhogs tend to cause significant damage by targeting structural supports instead of your utilities 
 
Finally, snakes are among the most difficult invaders to catch. You’ll want to watch for snake skins if you can, as snakes do need to shed on a somewhat regular basis to remain healthy. If you have any pets, watch their behavior, too. Your pets will avoid invaders they see as an immediate threat to their health. Alternatively, they may hunt any invading snakes, solving your problems for you. Either way, be especially careful if you live in an area where snakes or other reptiles are prominent, as they can be difficult to get rid of and especially dangerous. 

Professionals and Invading Animals

Unfortunately, the professionals who help you restore your home after flooding or water damage cannot remove animals from your property. They can, however, help you repair your Fargo, ND, home after an animal’s been removed from the property. If you’re contending with latent animal damage, reach out to area experts for a free services quote noting what means you may need to prevent animals from getting back into your home in the future. 

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