Whether you live in an urban area or a rural one, you’re always going to have to deal with animals in and around your home to an extent. However, you can also certainly avoid damage if you know what to watch out for. Keep an eye out for these six animals that can really wreak havoc on your home, arranged from least-damaging to most-damaging.

  1. Groundhogs

    The bottom of the list belongs to groundhogs. If you’ve never seen a groundhog, you may assume that you don’t need to worry about them in the area. However, they tend to burrow, and can dig holes up to 45 feet long. Keep an eye out for them – holes under your home can cause severe foundation weakness and even foundation collapse.

    5. Vultures

    Though you probably think of vultures as relatively harmless to anything that’s still alive, a vulture can actually harm your home pretty significantly. That’s because they love vinyl and plastic. Vultures can rip vent seals, roof shingles, and pool covers off your home for good. This doesn’t even consider how vulture droppings can spread diseases.

    4. Skunks

    Though they might not be very aggressive, skunks are nothing if not easily startled. The wild skunk’s startle response is to release its well-known stench. If the skunk is near your HVAC unit when this happens, they can release that smell into your HVAC unit itself, resulting in a smell that circulates for months.

    3. Raccoons

    Because raccoons have opposable thumbs, they’re extremely good at causing problems in homes. If a raccoon is able to get into your basement or crawl space, they’ll tear out wiring, remove insulation, and destroy air ducts. Though unlikely, it’s also possible for raccoons to carry potentially dangerous diseases like rabies.

    2. Snakes

    The most obvious risk a snake poses is physical harm if the snake decides to bite someone in your home. However, this problem also runs deeper. Snakes can get into extremely small areas of the home, then attract larger predators looking to eat them. These larger predators tend to be more dangerous than the snakes themselves do.

    1. Squirrels and Chipmunks

    At the top of the list is squirrels and chipmunks. Both of these animals are actually rodents, even though you might not have expected them to be related to mice in any way. Chipmunks and squirrels can burrow into your home through just about any gap – it doesn’t have to be large for them to enter the home and start chewing up the wiring and insulation. Plus, they’re even more likely than these other animals to spread diseases.

    Conclusion

    Whether you’re actively dealing with an animal infestation or you’re just hoping to avoid one in the future, it’s always important to keep an eye on all the different ways animals can infiltrate and impact your home. When you know about them, you’ll be less likely to have problems with them in the future. Keep an eye out for these problems and call in an expert if you see them in the home.