CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Winter is coming and that means animals are preparing for the cooler days.

Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic says there are ways you can keep unwanted critters out of your home or shed, but still keep them safe.

Different animals stay warm throughout the winter in different ways. Some animals grow thicker fur/feather coats and/or put on extra weight leading up to the winter season. Others will den up or hibernate throughout the coldest months. While others will migrate to warmer climates.

Sheds, garages, and wood piles tend to be target places for wildlife. They recommend ensuring these are sealed off from access if you can. That way you’re not startled by an unwanted guest and they’re not startled by you.

Leaving leaf litter in your yard, especially around the edges, can help provide protection for insects and other animals in our ecosystem, which helps feed birds in the spring.

Many people want to put out traps if they get rodents inside their homes. Glue traps, snap traps, and rodent bait can cause more harm than intended. If these are used they recommend checking them at least daily & ensuring they cannot be accessed by unintended animals (dogs, cats, etc)