Garages are a great place for storing extra belongings, protecting your cars, and providing a workspace – not for sharing with critters. Frequently, animals make their way into garages in search of food and shelter, often causing costly damage in their wake. These animals can also cause safety and health hazards by bringing in diseases and chewing wires. Learn why animals enter your garage, how to identify if have a garage invader, and how you can prevent and rid your garage of wild animals.
Identifying Animals in Your Garage
Animals enter your garage because it’s the most accessible part of your house for them. In most cases, there are more access points to enter the garage than any other part of a house. It’s also generally a low traffic area. Garages often have spaces like boxes and corners in which animals can nest and hide, making it less likely that you’ll see them right away. Most people don’t clean their garages as often as other spaces in their homes, allowing animals to get away with hiding for a longer time.
If you’ve been noticing signs of damage, evidence of droppings, or hearing noises, there’s good reason to suspect you have a critter in your garage. Examining the damage can help you determine what kind of animal is taking up residence in your garage. For example, if there is significant damage or signs of a nest, the animal is larger than the typical rodent. If there marks and evidence of chewing, then it’s probably a smaller rodent. Also keep in mind when you’re noticing the signs. Animals like mice, rats, skunks, and are active at night, whereas squirrels and chipmunks are active during the day.
Here is an article that explores why animals may enter your garage during the colder months!
Preventing and Removing Animals
Live animal traps are a great way to remove unwanted visitors from your garage. When choosing a trap, it’s important to select the right size for the animal you are trying to catch. For instance, if there is a raccoon in your garage, you should use a large trap. If you’re dealing with a squirrel, you would get a small-sized trap. Havahart® makes it easy for you to shop by animal when selecting which trap to use.
To make sure the animal you want is going to enter the trap that you chose, use a good bait. Just like the trap itself, the best bait depends on the animal that you’re trying to catch. For more animal-specific recommendations check out our Animal How-To section. When placing your bait into the cage, use gloves so that your scent doesn’t transfer to the trap and deter the animal from entering. Finally, place the bait in a position that will draw the animal in and set off the trigger.
If you know where the animal has been hiding, try to place the baited trap nearby. Set it on a flat, level surface. If you can, place the cage alongside a wall, as animals often use walls to travel. You can also leave a bait trail to lure the animal into the trap quicker. Once trapped, release the animal away from your home (be sure check local regulations on how and where to release wild animals).
When the animal is gone, clean up the space to remove the things that may have attracted them in the first place. Did they enter looking for food, shelter, a place to nest? Whatever the reason, take time to address it. This may involve organizing cluttered areas, securing trash cans, keeping lights off, or storing certain items elsewhere. Also look around for any obvious openings they may have entered through and seal them off if possible. If you often leave your garage door open, it’s a good idea to start closing it when not in use. Seal gaps around doors and windows, and check for any uncovered vents.
Once you’ve taken these steps, repellents are an extra step you can take to prevent the animal from coming back while deterring new critters from coming in. Certain animals are deterred by certain repellents, so once you identify which animal is coming in, you can select the kind of repellent to use. There’s a variety of repellents, so take into consideration the place that you’re trying to prevent animals from coming into. In the garage, the best repellents are liquids or granules. Follow the repellent directions to make the repellent last and work successfully. Reapply the repellent periodically to maintain effectiveness.
Want to Learn More?
No one wants to share their home with a wild animal. Luckily, we have a variety of solutions and resources to help you have a pest-free home and yard. Have you experienced a garage invader? Tell us about it on your next visit to our Facebook page. Also, be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter so you can be the first to know about new products and promotions. Plus, you’ll get expert tips delivered right to your inbox.