9 Common Animals That Can Cause Damage to Homes

9 Common Animals That Can Cause Damage to Homes

Home damage is a huge problem for homeowners. There are many things that can cause damage, including home settlement, weather problems, and improper construction, but one element of home damage often goes overlooked: animal problems. If an animal gets into your home, it can cause a serious amount of damage. Here are nine of the most common animals that cause damage in homes.

Which Animals Cause the Most Damage to Your Home


Possibly one of the most common animal issues comes from skunks. Skunks are known for their ability to spray a foul-smelling compound when they’re scared or startled. If they do it near your home, especially near your HVAC unit, it can take months or even years for it to subside. While this isn’t necessarily damaging, it can be extremely frustrating.

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Rats and mice are another sources of frustration for many homeowners. They can easily create serious problems by bringing in diseases and insects. Additionally, they can create nests, often in your wiring, which can cause electrical problems. If a rat dies in your walls, it can create a putrid smell and become a health hazard.

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In more rural areas, bears are a very common problem to face. However, while it may sound very scary, bears actually tend to cause less damage. More often than not, bears that are courageous enough to come near a home will mess with your trash, but not do much else


A snake can get into extremely small openings, which means that even very small home openings can be enough to allow a dedicated snake inside. Snakes aren’t super likely to do a lot of damage to the home, but they can attract larger predators looking to eat them. Plus, some snakes are poisonous, which means it’s always a good idea to call animal control when you see one.


Deer that become comfortable with humans may be comfortable enough to stray into a town, but still easily startled. That means if they see their reflection in a window or door, they might charge the reflection, crashing through your window or door.


The opposable thumbs that raccoons have are great for them to cause chaos with. A raccoon lives to cause problems, and that will be incredibly obvious if a raccoon is able to get into your basement or attic. It can tear up insulation, rip off your siding, remove your wiring, and leave droppings everywhere. Plus, many diseases from raccoons can pass to humans.


It’s very common for squirrels to cause problems in homes, especially because squirrels are extremely common in urban areas anyway. They can chew through your siding and wires, damaging the electrical current in your home. They can also make a nest in your basement or crawl space and even spread diseases.


While groundhogs are unlikely to try and come up into the rest of your home, they are very likely to burrow underneath your home. Groundhogs can create tunnels five feet under the ground and 45 feet long, which can eventually weaken your home’s foundation if these tunnels go underneath your home’s basement or crawl space.


Because chipmunks are so small and very good at chewing through things, they’re extremely good at causing damage to homes. Even if you have a very small gap in your chimney, ductwork, or foundation, they can make their way inside, burrowing through your walls and spreading all sorts of diseases.


When it comes to avoiding home damage, ensuring that you don’t have animals in your home should be priority number one. Whether that’s small animals like ants or larger animals like raccoons, avoiding home damage from animals is crucial. You can talk to a basement or crawl space expert about how to make your home less interesting for animals.