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How Do Wild Animals Get Into Homes

mouse in home next to boot

How Does Wildlife Enter My Home? 

Wildlife will often find any way they can to get into your home. Some common entry points for wild animals in the house include:

  • Chimneys 
  • Roof vents
  • Small gaps or cracks
  • Holes in shingles or siding
  • Holes underneath your house
  • Natural openings like doors and windows

Wild animals see your home as a sanctuary. It's warm, dry, and provides a perfect shelter for them during harsh weather. Wildlife often find the small and dark spaces of your attic, basement, garage, and walls to be the perfect habitat for them, especially if food sources are available. Not only can they damage the structural integrity of your home, but they can also carry dangerous diseases such as Salmonella, Hantavirus, Tularemia, and more. 

Signs of a Wildlife Infestation

If you suspect that a wild animal has found their way into your house, keep an eye out for the following signs: 

  • A strong, unexplainable odor: If a rodent dies inside your wall, the smell will be unavoidable. The smell of urine is also a strong indicator of a hiding rodent. 
  • Odd pet behavior: If you have a pet, they will likely sense the presence of wildlife in your home.
  • Droppings: Rodent droppings are one of the most common signs of an infestation. Make sure you wear gloves and a mask while cleaning up wildlife droppings because they can carry dangerous diseases. 
  • Holes: If you notice any holes or gaps in the structure of your home or walls, it may have been caused by a rodent trying to enter. 
  • Grease marks: When rodents squeeze through small gaps or holes, the oil on their fur can create grease marks on surfaces that they come in contact with. 
  • Noise: Wildlife and rodents are typically active at night. If you hear scratches from your attic or inside your walls, you likely have a rodent infestation.

Common Rodents in Florida

Our professional exterminators have compiled a list of common rodents and wildlife they encounter in Florida. Understanding how wild animals are entering your house is a critical step for keeping them out in the future.

Mice and Rats

Mice are capable of fitting through extremely small openings in floors, walls, and foundations. After they enter homes, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Mice may also enter the home through gaps in windows or ceilings, as well as around sewer lines. If drainage pipes are not properly sealed, mice may enter homes through sink or bathtub drains. They are known to find their way inside via entry holes around plumbing and oven gas lines. 


Squirrels are sneaky pests that can move through tiny holes, gaps, and openings. Typically, squirrels will reside in your attic after gaining entry through your roof or chimney, gable vents in the attic, or wall vents along your house.


Raccoons can enter the attic in a variety of places. The most popular area is any place where an eave meets up against a roof portion of the house, such as a dormer, or any architectural bend leading sections of the roof to meet. Other very common entry areas include soffit vents, gable vents, and other roof vents. Sometimes raccoons will simply rip right through the shingles and wooden roof, right into the attic – they are that strong.


Snakes usually enter at ground level through gaps or cracks. These openings can be remarkably small and are created by careless construction, settling of the structure, or by other animals. If you can see daylight through a gap, a snake could use that space to access your building.

Opossums and Armadillos

Other wild animals tend to use the variety of entry options described above. We often find opossums in attics, crawl spaces, decks, porches, and outbuildings like tool sheds. They will tear loose vents and rip holes in shingles or siding.

How To Prevent Wildlife from Entering Your House 

Dealing with wildlife in your house can be extremely stressful. The best way to prevent this from happening is by taking precautions around your home to make sure these animals can’t get in. While the most successful form of wildlife and rodent control is exclusion work to ensure that your home is sealed safely to ward off potential pests, there are some additional steps you can take to prevent wildlife from entering your house. These include:

  • Making sure not to leave any food (pet or otherwise) around the perimeter of your house where wild animals can access it.
  • Having locking mechanisms on garbage cans. Places near easily accessible food are where animals want to nest.
  • Cutting all trees and tree branches near the roof and keeping them at least a few yards away.
  • Taking measures to protect your plumbing areas. The openings around your plumbing pipes should be sealed so there’s a barrier between your home and wildlife.
  • Sealing any gaps or holes in the walls and structure of your home. These points are where insects, snakes, and small mice could enter.

While some wildlife are seeking out shelter and food by making a nest in your home, others want to find their way out as badly as you want them out. Either way, it's important to respond to a rodent infestation quickly before they potentially give birth or die while living in your walls. If you suspect a rodent or wildlife infestation, don't wait to reach out to the professionals at Tony's Pest Control. Our rodent control is highly trained in removing animals while ensuring the safety of you and your family. Check out our rodent control in Punta Gorda, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, and the surrounding area.

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