For animals, fall means only one thing: winter is on the way. As the temperature begins to drop, animals get into the busiest period of their lives, scrambling to make sure they have everything they need to make it through the cold winter.

During this period, it’s not uncommon to see squirrels scampering through trees or very active rats. Observing wildlife in the ‘wild’ is a fun, cute experience. But when you have them scurrying through your attic, basement, or even walls, they become scary little monsters that can wreak immense damage and even transmit several diseases.

This increased activity by wild animals during the fall is to prepare for the coming winter by:

  1. Looking for food that will sustain them.
  2. Building a warm and cozy shelter where they can reside.

However, there are nuances to how different animals prepare during the fall. This post aims to explore some of them.


Rats and mice usually look for shelter in homes during the fall because it provides them with warmth and easy access to food. That’s why you begin to hear more of their squeaks, hisses, and chattering sounds from walls or the attic.


As winter approaches, raccoons start to ‘fatten up’ by storing enough calories that will sustain them during the scarce months that lie ahead. Although they are primarily nocturnal, they tend to be more outgoing during this period and even creative in their food search. They will feed on leftovers in the trash can. As adept climbers, they will seek shelter in the attic or crawlspaces.


Skunks enter into a state of torpor as winter approaches. They hunt by digging for grubs and insect larvae, as well as small insects. They store up as much fat as they can. They will also burrow under crawlspaces like decks, porches, or sheds to make their shelter. When winter arrives, they reside in the burrow, waking up periodically depending on how much they managed to eat. They are typically sluggish, grumpy, and hungry during this period.


Squirrels also have to ‘fatten up’ during the fall to get ready for winter. They will often make their nest in the attic where they will store their food. However, this can become problematic because squirrels will chew on wood and wires and cause costly damage to your home.


In terms of feeding habits, chipmunks are similar to squirrels. The main difference is that chipmunks will burrow in your yard instead of nesting in your attic. They create complex underground networks where they store food like seeds, nuts, grubs, roots, and berries. These burrows will disfigure the landscape of your yard.


While some bat species migrate as winter approaches, other species hibernate. These species will typically look for a dark and quiet place where they can hibernate until spring comes. Roofs and chimneys of homes provide the perfect warmth and safety for these creatures to pass the winter. Unfortunately for homeowners, because bats are a protected species, they will have to leave them there until winter is over.


Wild animals are common during fall because they are preparing for the cold winter that is fast approaching. During this period, their interaction with humans increases as they try to gain access into homes for warmth and safety. That’s why you have to be proactive and put the necessary precautions in place to avoid a wildlife infestation problem during this period. For help dealing with a wildlife infestation visit

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