Fall and winter months are the safest for tree trimming, brush clearing, and home repairs with the least amount of impact on neighboring wildlife.
This is the time of year to inspect the perimeter of your home for signs of uninvited 'house guests'.
Look for broken vents, and holes that lead into attic areas or under a home's foundation. Look for dirty paw prints, or 'grease marks' indicating 'high-traffic'. Check for bat droppings on siding, or on the ground below overhangs. Bat feces resemble mouse droppings, but easily crumble to powder.
Even though it's not breeding season for animals like raccoons, you still want to take precautions so you don't entomb an animal inside your home!
Here's a trick. If you find a broken vent, don't just seal it. First, stuff the hole with wadded up newspaper - solid enough that it won't fall out, but loose enough an animal can easily dislodge it.
Scent the outside portion with citronella or peppermint oil.
The next morning, if you find the newspaper disturbed, pack it in again. Repeat the process until the newspaper remains in place, preferably for two nights in a row.
Then it's a good bet that whatever was in there is out, and the vent can be repaired.
If you'd like a wildlife professional to perform an inspection, or if you'd like their help in devising the safest, most humane, and non-lethal method of evicting wildlife, or discouraging their residency, please contact one of the following businesses.
A Wildlife Exclusion Service (Sonoma) 707-992-0276
Humane Pest Control (Monterey/San Jose) 855-5-HUMANE
WildCare Solutions (San Francisco) 415-456-7283
San Diego Wildlife Removal (San Diego) 619-446-7438
Urban Wildlife Rescue 303-40-4911
Wild Neighbors Solutions 954-495-3484
Humane Wildlife Choices 765-430-1582
The Skunk Whisperer 918-261-4444
HSUS Humane Wildlife Services 866-9-HUMANE