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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Amid heat wave, animals come out of hiding: warns organization

heat wave

By Olivia Wynkoop. Bay City News.

As the state faces a prolonged heat wave, residents may see rats, raccoons and other critters coming out of hiding places such as attics and under buildings, an animal control organization warned.

Human Wildlife Control said they responded to reports of a sick raccoon Saturday that was shaking and foaming at the mouth at someone's residence. 

Instead of being sick with distemper, she was actually a mother raccoon who was forced to leave her hiding place because of the extreme heat, said Rebecca Dmytryk, executive director of Human Wildlife Control.

"She had just come out of the person's attic, which was like an oven. We instructed her to give the animal some space so she could get her babies out safely," Dmytryk said in an email.

The animal control group recommends that residents give space to rats and other animals that share areas with humans while trying to find cooler locations, as the mere presence of humans or dogs can scare the animals back to extremely hot hiding places.

"If there is a way to cool an area, such as covering a hot ceiling with a white painter's cloth or cooling it with a sprayer, that can help," he said.

First, to prevent bugs from hiding in attics and homes, Dmytryk recommended that homeowners "wildlife-proof" their residence by, for example, closing holes and crawl spaces, or using one-way doors or repellent barriers.

You may be interested in: How to stay safe during extreme heat

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