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Expert warns: If it slithers or flies watch out for it in your home

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In the dog days of summer, animals are out and about — and possibly dropping into your house. David Crowe, a wildlife biologist and owner of Critter Control in Charlotte, said calls are up around this time of year for critters that have taken shelter inside homes.

What’s trying to get in? Watch for the winged and slithery in summer. Birds, bats and snakes are more likely to find a way inside your home this time of year.

In mid-summer birds are still laying eggs, and with that comes nesting. Attics are prime location for their nests, because birds don’t mind the heat.

Bats like the heated dwelling for their newborns, as well.

And snakes are looking for shelter, which could include small spaces under or inside your home.

How to handle critters: If you think you have an animal in your attic, use cardboard to block areas they may be using to enter. And check back later to see if the cardboard has been chewed or clawed.

If it has, you might have locked the animal inside, and it’s time to work on getting rid of the varmint.

There are stipulations when it comes to bats, however. If you have newborn bats, you’ll just have to wait until they’re old enough to remove, Crowe said. Otherwise, the babies will die.

What if they’re in your house? If you have an unwanted live animal in your home, begin by shutting interior doors to quarantine the creature in one space or room.

Open a window or door that leads to the outside. Then turn off all the lights so light is coming only from outside. Many times the animal will find its way out, Crowe said.

Bigger problems arise when they’ve made your home their own.

Animals inside dryer vents or other small spaces can also be problematic, Crowe says. That’s when you need to call professionals.

If possible, trap then release the critter at least 10 miles away. That way it won’t come immediately back.

But in North Carolina, Crowe said, you need a trapping license to capture most mammals, including raccoons, squirrels and even opossums.

The catch-and-release route is a safe way get rid of most mammals — except raccoons, which can carry rabies. Have professionals come out to properly handle and remove them. “If you just move animals around you’re statistically going to spread the rabies virus around,” he said.

Credits: By Lauren Baheri -

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