It’s springtime (apparently), and spring means change. Flowers are blooming, grass is growing, and the whole world is coming back to life. The primary agent of this change is rain. Before spring turns into summer, it’s going to rain a lot. Everything is going to have to adapt, especially the animals that are just waking up from their long winter sleep.
As you might expect, when animals have to adapt to something unexpected, you’ll have to adapt to them. As animals in your neighborhood scramble to get out of the rain, you may run across them in a variety of unusual places. Here’s where animals run off to when it rains, and why that might matter to you.
Rainfall causes miniature flooding all the time. Natural trenches, gutters, lowlands, burrows, and riverbanks collect rainfall and fill up in no time. It might not have a significant effect on our day-to-day, but it can be a serious problem for animals. Lots of animals, like snakes, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks, and more tend to live in areas that flood easily. Obviously, they can’t stick around when their home is under water, so they head for flood-resistant, elevated areas nearby.
What exactly “higher ground” refers to here differs depending on the animal in question. Squirrels, for instance, tend to run up trees and huddle under leaves for cover. Birds and bats roost on high tree branches close to the trunk, where they can stay dry. Animals who can’t access trees may simply wander away from flooded areas like riverbanks. When that happens, they may wander closer to human settlements. Keep a close eye out for refugee animals when it rains, especially if you live near water.
While some animals have to seek cover when it rains, others make their own cover. A wide variety of animals live in dug-out burrows all year round. When rain falls, burrowing animals may respond by simply building out their burrows. By digging at upward or curving angles, animals can prevent their burrows from completely flooding. Then, they simply wait out rain storms from the comfort of their homes, just like we do.
Raccoons, skunks, mice, rabbits, badgers, and moles are just a few of the many animals that may burrow in rain. This could affect you in a number of ways. First, burrowing animals may uproot or otherwise damage parts of your lawn by digging through them. Second, they could inadvertently damage structures or property by digging in close proximity. Finally, they might even accidentally dig their way under, near, or into your home!
A lot of animals aren’t lucky enough to be able to climb or dig their way out of trouble. Instead, these animals need to hunker down in whatever they can find. They’ll slide under logs or other debris, sidle under roots or rocks, or even creep under porches and decks. Once they’ve found cover, they’ll stick around until either it stops raining or they need to eat.
Obviously, animals who need to find cover become a concern when they decide to use cover around your home. Rodents, opossums, groundhogs, and other animals may sneak under siding, porches, decks, or other cover around your home. Once they’re nearby, some of these animals may seek out food sources near your home, too. Be especially mindful of animals around your trash cans during and shortly after rainy days. Animals may seek outdoor dumpsters especially, since they can use them for food and shelter at the same time.
Up until now we’ve discussed secondary reasons why rain might create pest problems for you. Unfortunately, however, secondary causes aren’t your only concern. Some animals (rightfully, to be fair) deduce that your home is a perfect place to wait out storms. It works for you, after all! Mice and rats, snakes, and even squirrels may try to sneak into your home during rain. While some of these pests may leave when the sun comes back out, some won’t!
Luckily, animals use the same tricks to get into your home when it’s raining as they always do. They usually look for openings around siding, foundation, baseboards, shingles, chimneys, and vents. Once they’re inside they’ll seek out dark, hidden, dry, and warm places where they can stay safe and unnoticed. Keeping them out means taking the same proactive measures you always take. A properly-defended home is a home that animals can’t use to get out of the rain.
Don’t feel too bad for animals stuck out in the rain. Remember: no matter how long it rains or how heavy that rain is, life finds a way to persevere. The animals around your neighborhood are going to be just fine, even if they can’t impose on you this spring.
If you find out you’ve accidentally been harboring some rain escapees this spring, give Varment Guard a call anytime. We’re always prepared to find your pests and kick them back out into the rain. Stay dry!BACK TO BLOG