The first of the bats likely moved in some previous fall — when bats,
birds, spiders, scorpions, mice, rats, raccoons, snakes and squirrels
tend to fly, gnaw or creep into suburban attics and basements.
You might call this time of year the critter season — when humans and
certain animals collide. Even large animals, such as mountain lions and
bears, have been known in rare cases to seek shelter for short stretches
under more secluded homes.
"When the temperatures change, this is when animals generally seek
refuge wherever, and houses often provide those refuges," said Peter
Weigl, a professor of biology at Wake Forest University in North
Carolina who studies animals, especially flying squirrels, taken from
Nocturnal flying squirrels are hard to spot in the wild, but often
not hard to hear in a house, scraping or rolling acorns overhead.
"This is the time of year that I frequently get calls from people
about flying squirrels that apparently have set up a bowling league in
the attic," Weigl joked.
Ants, cockroaches and termites remain the most common household
pests, but some observers believe greater numbers of medium-sized
animals may want into private homes these days. With
suburbs encroaching on the wild and thinning the ranks of large
predators, they theorize, animals like raccoons, opossums and skunks may
reproduce more quickly.
"Their numbers are exploding, so they're coming into our habitats,"
said Terry Root, a senior fellow at the Orlando critter pest control Center for Environmental Science
and Policy at Stanford University.