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Wildlife sometimes finds its way inside, and even our beloved pets can make a big mess in the house. Learn how to clean up the damage and prevent it from happening again with these four tips.

Carpet Pet Stains

If you have a pet, and have carpet, it’s inevitable that you will have a stain from said pet at some point. Liquid stains should be blotted up as soon as possible using paper towels or rags applied with gentle yet firm pressure. Depending on the size of the stain, use a carpet shampoo and scrub brush, a powered wet-spot vacuum, or a scrub brush and a cleaner such as Greased Lightning or OxiClean. Several cleanings may be required. 

Dog-Chewed Furniture

Your lab pup is adorable, but his cuteness waned when you discovered the splintered remains of his chewing on a table or chair leg. First, remove any wood that remains in his mouth to avoid an unpleasant trip to the vet later if he swallows it. Hold on to any large chunks and track down any pieces that could be scattered around the furniture (or any other part of the house). If saliva-soaked, clean and allow to dry. Now act like you’re working on a puzzle — see if any of these parts are intact enough to fit where they have been chewed off. Apply glue to these and press in place. Use painter’s or masking tape to hold them in place while the glue sets. Use wood filler to re-form and/or fill in any other areas, allow to set and then sand. Re-apply a matching finish. Try a deterrent spray and or obedience training to keep your pup from doing it again.

Pests in the Backyard

None of us like pesky bugs. Sprays and lawn chemicals are effective, but these bugs can still make their way into your backyard sanctuary. To reduce the occurrence of mosquitoes you need to remove as much standing water as possible. Clogged gutters are often a hidden culprit, so make sure to keep those clean. Ivy also is notorious for harboring mosquitoes, so you may want to rethink your use of the vine. For small backyard ponds, water features, birdbaths and rain barrels, you can insert mosquito tablets, also called dunks. These include bacteria that are harmful to mosquitoes, but non-toxic to fish or birds. For a natural approach, try spraying lemon ammonia on bushes, shrubs and vines — hit that ivy well!

Critters in the Attic or Walls

The telltale scratching and scurrying overhead or in the walls means you’ve got a furry friend living with you. First, you need to try to identify where they’re getting in and how they’re getting out. Look for signs such as chew and claw marks, droppings or debris that seems out of place. A musky odor can also provide a clue. Try flushing them out by putting some sort of bait at one entry point, then closing up another and creating a ruckus that would drive them to the baited area. Once they’re out, permanently seal up their access points.