Hurricane damage allowing animals to get inside people’s homes

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Hurricane Ian left behind plenty of damage and destruction, but now people are discovering pests too. Because of the damage, pests are finding new ways to get into homes and businesses.

Raccoons, rats, and other critters getting into attics is nothing new for Ned Bruha, better known as the wildlife whisperer, but after the hurricane, it’s become almost commonplace.

“I’ve been booked up at least two to four weeks at a time. There’s not a whole lot of rest right now,” said Bruha.

Bruha said the reason is many homes lack soffit material on their home, giving these animals easy access to move in.

“Without these soffits Hurricane Ian blew off your house, you’re going to end up with the possibility rats, bats, raccoons, snakes, and even burrowing owls up in your attic,” Bruha said.

Burrowing owl. (credit: Ned Bruha)

Burrowing owls are a new trend, according to Bruha. As the owl’s homes flooded out when the storm went through, the owls had no choice but to move higher.

“Everyone’s behavior has changed since the hurricane. That includes burrowing owls. For them to be up in the attic and not let people pass by underneath them, we’re all on edge, so having the burrowing owls in people’s attics totally understandable,” said Bruha.

WINK News asked Bruha what people should do when fixing soffits to prevent the animals from getting in.

“When your handyman shows up, make sure when he finishes the project, he just takes one piece of that soffit material out. All you have to do is take a piece of cardboard or plastic over that one little area. Wait three days. If nobody has pushed it out or chewed through it, then it’s safe to close up your house,” said Bruha.

That way, you won’t have any more unwelcome visitors.

Bruha expects we’ll see all kinds of animals entering attics because of storm damage for years to come. He said he’s still working on problems caused by Hurricane Irma.

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