Rising temperatures mean animals are thinking about starting their families and they may look at your home as the perfect nest.

It's been a busy year already for the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. The organization has admitted almost 300 animals this year — last year at this time they had only admitted 200, said wildlife hospital coordinator Janelle Vanderbeek.

She encourages homeowners to be as tolerant as they can toward animals raising their young nearby. But if animals have caused problems for your house in the past, here are a few things to keep in mind when critter-proofing your home.

Shoo and shine

Ducks, geese and other birds often nest on rooftops, which causes problems when the chicks hatch because they can't fly when they are born.

Try hanging up old CDs, spoons, or wind chimes to deter birds from settling down on your roof, said Vanderbeek.

"The easiest way to prevent them from nesting in your area is to shoo them away as much as you can and hang shiny things."

Block off holes

The best temporary measure against animals making a den out of your porch or attic is putting chicken wire over any holes says Vanderbeek. But before blocking the entryway off, make sure there are no critters inside she said. She suggests taping a piece of paper over the hole and checking back in a few days to see if anything has broken through to get inside. 

Clear out leaves

Here's another excuse to clean out the leaves and debris from under your porch: the soft, insulating material is inviting for an expecting mother looking for a den, says Vanderbeek.

"It's a nice cozy little nest of leaves already in there for them. Why would they work harder than they have to?"

Check dryer vents

Many smaller birds, like starlings, lay their eggs in dryer vents, says Vanderbeek. Birds won't lay their eggs before March so it is a good idea to block off dryer vents with wire now to ensure you do not trap any chicks in the vent, she said.


To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: How to critter-proof your home before spring arrives.