What Animals Do In The Winter
What Animals Do In The Winter
As temperatures drop, wildlife and pests start looking for a warm place to stay. While many animals hibernate, there are plenty that do not, but they start looking for a warm place to take shelter. This could be in the ground or in a tree, but it could also be in your attic or crawlspace!
Raccoons In the Winter
While raccoons are not true hibernators, they slow down in the winter and rely on fat reserves stored over the warmer months.
Raccoons live in dens, and when the weather is cold, they like to say in their den. Raccoons are not picky when it comes to where they will make their den, and they are open to sharing with other raccoons. It could be in a tree trunk, a den another animal has abandoned, or you may see a raccoon make a den in your crawlspace or attic.
Raccoons in winter come out of their den every few weeks to look for food and water. They will eat whatever they can get ahold of because food and water are hard to come by. Out in the wild, raccoons will eat nuts, seeds, and leaves. Raccoons will also take advantage of dumpsters for a hearty meal. If they know your house or trash can is an easy food source, they will make your house a frequent stopping place for meals.
Raccoons are known to move from den to den every so often in the colder months. They do this to protect themselves from predators. If a raccoon has babies, they will stay in one place for longer. They will usually wait until the kits are old enough to be safely moved. If raccoons find your home a suitable denning location, you could have a family living with you for a while without the proper wildlife removal techniques.
Rodents In the Winter
Rodents do not hibernate, so to survive the cold temperatures, they need a warm place to stay. Rodents in the wild will make cozy burrows in tall grass and thick shrubs.
Rodents are a common nuisance in the winter because they have a way of choosing your home to make their cozy winter den! Mice and rats use their whiskers to sense warmer air and will follow that warm air to make their cozy home for the winter. They also use their excellent sense of smell to locate food sources. Mice can get into a hole the size of a dime, so if they sense food or warmth from your home, they are experts at finding their way inside.
As the temperatures start to drop in the fall, rodents prepare for winter. They store food away to have enough for the cold season ahead. An unused drawer or hole in your attic that is insulated make the perfect place for rodents to store away stockpiles of food for the cold weather ahead.
Squirrels In the Winter
Squirrels do not hibernate, so to survive, they start putting on pounds before winter hits. In the fall, squirrels will start hoarding food and preparing their nest to bundle up in throughout the winter. The most common place for squirrels in the winter to make their nest is in trees. However, like rodents, they may find your home to be a suitable place for a den as well. As the winter progresses, and food is scarce, you may see squirrels looking for food in the woods, your yard, or your trash can.
As squirrels look for the perfect place to spend the winter, your home could be just the spot. A hole in the attic with insulation or an unused closet with blankets would make the perfect den for them to store their food and spend the cold months ahead.
Snakes In the Winter
Snakes brumate in the winter, which is similar to hibernation. They stop eating and look for a place underground to stay until the weather warms back up. Because snakes can’t regulate their body temperature, they need somewhere warm to live. While they usually brumate under rocks, in holes, and in caves, they may also use crawlspaces, garages, and basements to stay warm.
To discourage snakes from spending the winter around your home, there are some steps you can take. The first is to eliminate food sources. Snakes like to eat rodents. Keep your home sealed from rodents, and you have a win-win for discouraging snakes. It's also important to prevent snakes from seeing your home as a good habitat. Keep tall grasses trimmed, Keep wood piles off the ground, and seal any potential entry points to your home.
Opossums In the Winter
Similar to raccoons, opossums need a cozy place to stay in the winter. Opossums like to spend their winters in dens that are dry and warm. They may den in trees or logs, they may also find a place to den in your crawlspace, attic, or chimney.
While opossums are attracted to your home for warmth and comfort, they may also be attracted to your home for food. They may get into your pet food, bird seed, or trash can. To discourage opossums from choosing your home to nest and feed, be sure to keep your home sealed and food put away.