Wildlife Proofing – Prevent Future Wildlife Conflict

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Much of Colorado wildlife start to prepare nesting sites for spring babies starting in January. That means there are things we can do to prevent wildlife conflict now before young animals are born. Check out our list of simple tricks around the house that help curb wildlife conflict.

1. Cap chimney stacks and air vents.

Wildlife at the Center; from the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in CO. Nov 29, 2017 ; © Ken Forman

We often hear stories of raccoon families that made their homes in chimneys! The good news is you can buy a chimney cap that will keep wildlife out. Find the caps you need here, at your local home improvement store, or on Amazon. Remember to select Greenwood as your Amazon Smile charity of choice!

2. Repair holes in or around your home’s exterior.

for the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in CO. Oct 13, 2018 ; © Ken Forman

Your home might have several points of entry where an animal could squeeze through. Walk the perimeter of your house and look for these vulnerable areas and check for holes or gaps in your roof. Pay close attention to crawl spaces, gutters, shingles, the deck and around the chimney. If you find a potentially susceptible spot, you should first confirm that no animals are already living there. To do this, loosely stuff the hole with paper or line the entrance with a ring of flour. Wait 72 hours before checking the hole again. If the crumpled paper or flour was disturbed, you know an animal is still residing there. Use a few humane strategies to evict the unwanted house guest before closing it off. Start by making the space noisy and inhospitable. You can play talk radio nearby or shine bright lights. Another easy yet effective trick is to place soaked rags with 1-part apple cider vinegar and 1-part water in the space. Continue the eviction process for several days, plug the hole again, and repeat until the animal has left the area. Call Greenwood if these methods aren’t doing the trick. 303-823-8455.

3. Seal or patch your deck.

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lyons, CO; Jul 12, 2020 ; © Ken Forman

The space underneath your deck is a prime spot for wildlife to call home. Beat them to the punch by covering up any access points with wire mesh panels or lattice. Make sure to inspect the area first to ensure animals aren’t living there already.

4. Trim trees and tall shrubs.

It’s much easier for a squirrel to access your roof if there are branches that hang over your house. Try trimming trees now, before mothers begin constructing nests for spring. When you cut branches well after fall squirrels are born but before spring babies (October – February), you can prevent them from becoming displaced. You’ll also want to cut back shrubbery that animals can use to scale the sides of your house.

5. Check RVs, boats, stationary cars, and sheds periodically.

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in CO. Jul 7, 2019 ; © Ken Forman

When you are no longer using your summer toys like RV’s and boats, animals might decide they look like a comfortable nesting place. An easy way to prevent critters from taking over is to check these spaces periodically throughout the winter season. Walk around, check doors, and look for trails of stuffing, scat, or food. By making a racket every once in a while, the animal will figure out that the place might not be suitable for nesting after all. If you do find an animal residing there, play talk radio or deploy the apple cider vinegar soaked rag strategy mentioned above.

6. Cover window wells.

Window well cover that can be bought on Amazon.

You might have heard the stories: a moose gets stuck or baby foxes are born in a window well. Animals often get trapped or injured when they fall into the pit, but you can prevent this! Purchase window well covers at a home improvement store near you. Or, buy one on Amazon like the picture above.


Preventing wildlife conflict is huge when it comes to wildlife rehabilitation. We receive animals every year that have become orphaned because trees were cut down during baby season. Many rabbits come to the center after falling down into a window well and getting injured. Thank you for doing your part to prevent these issues and keep our wildlife wild. Our community will be a better place to live because of it!

Give Greenwood a call if you have other questions or concerns when wildlife proofing. 303-823-8455

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