Some folks have zero chill — literally — and migrate south to escape the long Louisville winter. Meanwhile, others opt to stay and savor the season’s splendor. Louisville’s more, shall we say, “feral” denizens, however, don’t have the luxury of winter getaways to escape the intense snowfalls and biting cold common to Kentuckiana.
Among the many Louisville critters that will be hanging around to face the Kentucky winter as best they can are bats, mice, skunks, and raccoons. To prevent these wildlife pests from dampening your holiday spirits, here’s what you need to know to maintain a pest-free winter in Louisville.
The Wrong Kind of Louisville Bats
Louisville Bats and Louisville bats are two very distinct species. One has 18 legs and catches flies, the other sometimes moves into your attic unannounced and tears the place up. Bats (of the lower-case “b” variety) are often misunderstood, especially post-Halloween, when they’re depicted as sinister, blood-thirsty creatures. In fact, bats are typically docile, with the primary human health risk being histoplasmosis, a fungal infection from their droppings, or guano. Most bats hibernate during winter, so if you spot them in your attic (assuming you lack a bell tower), they’ll likely be in deep slumber. Many bat species are endangered, so any bat issues should be addressed humanely by a qualified pest control expert.
Mice, Too, Want in From the Ice
Opinions about mice vary—some find them adorable, others disagree. Regardless, mice are carriers of diseases like hantavirus, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis, making them unwelcome winter guests in your Louisville home. To deter mice, keep up with yard maintenance—they find warmth in dead foliage and debris. Inspect your home for openings and ensure all doors, windows, chimneys, and vents are sealed. If mice persist, consider traps as a last resort, but typically, a pest control professional is the safer choice.
Skunks Problems Really Stink
Skunks typically spend winter sheltered in their dens, away from the cold. However, as early as February, with the onset of mating season, they emerge. Fortunately, skunks spray only when threatened, so if you spot them on your Louisville property, it’s best to leave them to their romantic quests.
Raccoons: Sweet (Looking), but Psycho
Don’t let their charming black masks and button noses fool you: Racoons can become aggressive if cornered, so caution is advised if you encounter any. During harsh Louisville winters, they often hunker down in hollow trees, burrows, deserted buildings, and rock crevices, seldom to be seen. However, whenever temperatures rise, raccoons will emerge, foraging feverishly for food. In the event of a raccoon intrusion in your Louisville home, it’s essential to call a pest control professional, as we are the only ones properly equipped to safely manage these masked bandits. If your winter woes include wildlife pests such as bats, mice, skunks, or raccoons — or any other Louisville pests you might encounter — Tell Us What’s Bugging You.