After a bit of a break from sharing my experiences with Bodeck Home Inspectors, I’m back!

Here we are BH, and spring weather is upon us. The sun is shining, we have a spring in our step when we are outside, and the children are playing and biking. The joggers are out, The birds are singing… you get the picture!

About those birds though… We love spotting our feathered friends, especially the colorful ones. And they have the uncanny ability to know when we are wearing our very best outfit too- and have an undeniable ability to target that new outfit!

Besides birds, we have squirrels, possums, and racoons are also quite active this time of year. Some animals are so active that they seem to find their way into our homes! Why on earth would they be interested in coming inside, when the great outdoors has so much to offer? Well, possibly a food source, creating a nice environment for nesting, or even protection from other animals.

I left out one critter that plagues us worse than Tzefardah, did you guess? Yup, you guessed it, mice!  But that my dear readers, is a mouse of another color (where the heck did Jay get that from?), so let’s put that subject aside for another week.

The good news is that we can prevent some of HaShem’s creatures from entering our home. While I’m not necessarily an animal activist, we should be aware that when we build our homes it is in their environment, we have entered their living space. That being said, we all have to learn to live in each other’s environment. So, what can a homeowner do safeguard their home from creatures with no awareness of our personal space?

  1. Clean Up

The first thing you should do to protect your home is to clean up. Remove any clutter and debris that could make great hiding spots for unwelcomed guests. Pick up paper, packaging, and anything else that critters might use as nesting materials. When you clean up, you make your home less hospitable to unwanted pests, so they won’t be tempted to shack up there.

  1. Secure Your Trash

If you’ve ever had a raccoon topple over your garbage can, destroy the bag, and eat the contents, then you undoubtedly know that animals love trash. Make sure they cant get into it.  Food waste should be put in a separate compost bin. Put your garbage cans in your garage or shed so animals can’t get into it, or purchase can with secure lids. If this isn’t an option, secure your bins so they’re difficult to topple over—tie them with bungee cords to your fence. You can even use household deterrents—petroleum jelly on the lip of your trash bin can keep out insects, for example.

  1. Invest in a Chimney Cap

For as little as $100, you can buy a chimney cap that is not only designed to prevent rain and leaves from coming down your chimney, but also raccoons, birds, and other critters.

  1. Get a Dehumidifier

Many small animals (including rodents, and insects) like to live in a damp, humid, and warm environment. Using a dehumidifier in the most humid rooms of your home, like your crawl space, basement, or attic, can deter these creatures from coming in and making these places their new homes.

  1. Don’t Leave Food Out

Rodents and other unwanted pests can get through cardboard boxes and bags to get to your food. Make sure to clean up leftover food and place it in a sealed container or in the fridge. Wash food-encrusted dishes right away and clean up counters and stove tops of crumbs and food particles.

Consider your pet’s food, too. Feed them at specific times and then remove and clean their bowls. Keep their food in sealed containers so animals and bugs can’t get into it.

  1. Make Necessary Repairs

Perhaps most importantly, though, make sure to seal up any entry points. Inspect your home thoroughly to look for any small holes. Remember, a small animal (yup mice) can gain access to your house from a hole as small as a dime. All holes and cracks in your foundation, walls, or near basement openings should be repaired. The same goes for ensuring your chimney cap is intact and sealed and that there aren’t any holes surrounding exterior electrical lines or water lines. Finally, cover vents with metal-grill work or screening.

Well folks, that’s it for this week. I’m so glad to be back with my Queens Jewish Link family! For all your home inspection needs (consulting, targeted inspections, and pre-sale inspections), call us at Bodeck Home Inspections (see our weekly ad in the QJL), and remember at Bodeck Home Inspections, Your Safety is our top Priority!

Got a homeowner story to share? We’d love to hear it! Please feel free to share your homeowners’ stories! No story is ordinary and worth including in the QJL Homeowners Chronicles.  Just shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or send to QJL letters to the editors. Your stories/situations that are printed will give you additional discounts on home inspections and/or a easy to read book on the basics of home maintenance.

Jay Aron is a licensed NYS Home Inspector, and seasoned Electrical Engineer, and owner of Bodeck Home Inspections in Kew Gardens Hills. He is available for home inspections including houses, condos, and co-ops. For more information, call 516-417-6111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..