So we have had one real cold week outside and the garden is gone. The leaves have fallen, so there is not much to say about the trees and shrubs. The grass is pretty much done growing for the season …
So we have had one real cold week outside and the garden is gone. The leaves have fallen, so there is not much to say about the trees and shrubs. The grass is pretty much done growing for the season and hopefully you put down your lime, fertilizer and milky spore to help your lawn thrive next year.
Your pruning should be done by now and almost everything should be wrapped up for the winter, for if you don’t wrap it, they will come. The deer that is, and there are a lot of them this year, so get out your burlap and deer netting. And like every fall, it is time for critters to try to come in and visit you for the winter.
Like that commercial on TV starring the muppet “Animal” where the couple say they love their house but there is an animal in the attic. Most people do not like roommates that don’t pay rent, chew up all their stuff and leave droppings everywhere.
Now mice are easy, the basic snap trap or poison will work fast on them. But chipmunks, red and grey squirrels are a lot harder. Unlike mice, poisons will not work on these rodents as they have the ability to regurgitate the poison. So it is either snappy traps or live traps to get rid of them. Now most people don’t like to use a snap trap on a chipmunk because we think of them as cute little critters like Alvin, Simon and Theodore.
So that leaves the live traps (Hav-a-hart) to catch those little critters. Trap size does matter, so you should have an idea of what critter you need to trap before buying one. So let’s skip ahead and say that you have now trapped and removed all the critters from your attic, how do you keep them from coming back.
First you have to find where they are coming in. Is it some loose siding or did they chew a hole into the wall? Loose siding is easy, nail it back fast to the building and you should be all good. If it is a hole that they have chewed it needs to be filled. Expanding foam insulation that comes in a can is the best way to get inside the hole and make sure all the gaps are filled.
But you must add the secret ingredient for it to work properly so that they will not just chew throught the foam insulation. Since I am such a nice guy I will tell you what it is so that you don’t have to make a special trip into the store to see me. The secret ingredient is steel wool.
Not the Brillo you use to clean dishes as that has detergents in it that can affect the foam insulation, but just plain old steel wool like the type used for wood working and refinishing. This steel wool has no detergents and will not react badly to the foam insulation.
Pack some steel wool into the hole before appling the foam insulation, the foam will go through and around the steel wool totally encapsulating it. By doing this you can ensure that the rodents will not chew through the foam, for if they do they will hit the steel wool and it will cut up their mouths and they will stop.
No, this is not to say that they won’t try to chew a couple feet down the wall, but they will at least have to wait a couple weeks for their mouths to heal first. Maybe in that time, the neighbor’s cat will get rid of them for you.
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