Types of Wildlife Removal Services
Below is a list of the types of services offered by nuisance wildlife control professionals. This line of work goes far beyond simple animal trapping. A true professional performs integrated pest management - we
identify the root of the problem, and provide a complete solution to the critter problem.
Wildlife Trapping and Removal
A professional wildlife control company does a lot more than just trap the animals, but still, this is an essential part of the nuisance animal solution process A lot of expertise, experience, and laws goes into wildlife
trapping - from licensing and legal issues, to trap type/size, baits and lures, placement and presentation, safety of both people and animal, care for the animal's comfort, etc. Wildlife trapping should not be attempted
by amateurs. One of the most common problems in this industry is the do-it-yourself people. They buy a trap, and then do everything wrong. For example, if they catch anything at all, it might be the wrong animal - a
non-target species, the neighbor's cat, who knows? Then once it's caught, everyone asks, "now what?" and often calls a pro at that time. Furthermore, there's a good chance that what you've done is illegal in your state,
or it's illegal to relocate the animal. And what if you get a skunk? I've gone to so many homes in which the homeowner has done the wrong thing. One customer kept catching squirrels and letting them go a block away.
The squirrels all came back of course, but the thing is, it wasn't even squirrels in the first place! It was raccoons in the attic. And what if the tenants HAD caught the raccoon, WERE able to legally relocate it (they
were not) and it didn't come back. Well guess what - that raccoon was a mother with a litter of five baby raccoons in the attic. The babies would have made a heck of a lot of noise for up to two weeks as they slowly
starved to death. Wildlife trapping is not for people who haven't had extensive training. Please don't try it yourself - call a pro. Below are several good articles I wrote:
How to get squirrels out of the attic
How to get raccoons out of the attic
How to get rid of raccoons in the attic
How to remove bats in the attic
How to remove opossums in the attic
How to remove rats in the attic
Wild Animal Damage Repairs
Most of the time, the animals that are causing a problem are causing damage of some sort. For example, the squirrels living in your attic are doing more than just making noise. They probably chewed part of your roof open
in order to gain access, and then once inside, chewed on woodwork or wires. Or if you've got raccoons in your attic, they might have torn several large holes in the roof, or torn up all the ductwork inside. A very important
part of the wildlife control profess involves identification of these damaged areas, and their repair. If you don't fix the hole that the raccoons have made, what's to keep future animals from entering the attic via that
same hole? And who else is going to notice that the rats in the attic have chewed a hole in the A/C duct, and now you're losing a lot of AC air and energy into your attic? The wildlife operator should find such areas and
patch them up. If some work, such as electrical work in the case of chewed wires, is beyond the scope of wildlife control repairs, the professional should at least inform the homeowner of the problem. Click here to read about
How to find animal entry holes
the problems with tile roofs and animals
Prevention is, of course, the best medicine. No wildlife control job is complete without it. This is particularly true when wild animals have entered your home or attic. If you've got rats or squirrels or raccoons or any
other critter in your attic, then your home has vulnerable areas - open vents? Loose soffits? Rotting fascia boards? It could be a whole number of areas. The only way to solve the problem permanently is to find these
openings and to seal them shut permanently. In fact, if you've got rodents in your attic, it might be impossible to solve the problem without finding all of these openings and sealing them shut. All repairs should be of
professional quality - all holes should be fixed with steel that future rodents can't chew through.
Aside from repairs to openings in a house, other preventative measures might apply. For example, if you've got groundhogs or skunks living under a shed or deck, you might want a steel screened exclusion barrier installed
around the perimeter of the architecture in order to keep critters permanently out. If you've got an elevated home or mobile home, you know that cats or other animals love to live under there and make a mess. Rats can
crawl under a home and find openings by pipes and by the walls, and climb up into the walls and attic. An exclusion barrier will keep them out. There's a million little things - if you've got a lot of snakes, then perhaps
some habitat modification is in order to make the property less attractive. If you've got raccoons stealing your ornamental goldfish, maybe you want netting installed around the pond or cover in the water for the goldfish
to hide in. Whatever the wildlife problem, there's something that can be done to prevent a similar problem in the future.
Attic Cleanup and Restoration
When animals live in an attic, they leave waste deposits behind. This can include urine, feces, fur, body oils, nesting material, food, and more. This can create an odor problem in your home, but worse, can be unsanitary
or even a biohazard. Many animal droppings can cause human diseases such as Leptospirosis, and Salmonellosis. The Rickettsia virus, or even roundworm infection are potential risks. In addition droppings can grow mold, and
this can lead to lung infections such as histoplasmosis. This is particularly true with large accumulations of droppings from birds or bats. Wild animals can also bring in parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, and more.
In addition, when an animal leaves its scent in an attic, it can actually attract other wildlife - big animals may try to break in if they smell the scent of mice or rats, and rodents often leave a pheromone scent behind
that will call in new rodents. For all of these reasons, it's a good idea to have your attic cleaned. This could be as simple as the removal of waste and a decontamination spray, to a full insulation removal and replacement
in the case of very heavy soilage. Ask your wildlife professional about attic cleanup if you've had animals living in the attic. For more information on attic cleanup, please see my full attic restoration
You can also read about attic insulation replacement
services, which are offered by several nuisance wildlife control operators.
Noises in Your Walls or Attic
The most common type of complaint in the field of wildlife control is that of animals living in the attic. People hear the scratching, chewing, scampering, and walking noises up in the attic, often at night, and
thus call a professional. If you do hear noises in the attic, it's probably one of these five species:
Mice are small, and oftentimes people don't hear them, but at night when everything is quiet, you may hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet above your ceiling. The House Mouse loves to live in a ...house,
and the walls and attic are safe places. At night, they may venture out into the kitchen in search of food, or go outside for food and water, then back into the house before dawn.
Rats are commensal with people - they live in urban areas, and often thrive on our food and shelter. They seek out the warmth and safety of houses and other buildings, and commonly take refuge in
walls or attics. If you hear scratching and running in the middle of the night, it's probably rats.
Squirrels are probably the most common animal in attics. These arboreal rodents usually live in trees, but many find that the attics of homes are drier, warmer, and safer than any tree - in particular,
female squirrels with young will give birth to and raise the litter in an attic. If you hear the scratching and running noises in the daytime, particularly morning and early evening, it's probably squirrels.
Raccoons frequently break into attics in search of safe shelter. As with the squirrels, it's often a female raccoon who is looking for a safe place in which to raise a litter of young. Raccoons are
very strong, and can rip open the roof or soffit in order to get in. If you hear heavy walking noises in your attic, it's probably raccoons. If you hear chattering or the squealing of young, it's probably a litter of
These opportunistic marsupials often live in human structures, under sheds and houses, and they also often live in attics. Just as with the other animals, a female with young is most likely to choose to live
in the attic. Possums, equipped with their opposable thumbs, are great climbers, and can easily get onto the roof to their entry point. Possums do not live in attics as frequently as these other animals, but it does
happen from time to time.
Stray cats will sometimes live in an attic as well. Bats are very common, but people don't often notice them until the colony becomes very large and vocal, or until the odor becomes overwhelming. Birds
also live in attics from time to time. Whatever the animal is, a wildlife professional can easily determine the species - if it's not spotted outright, there's plenty of evidence left behind! - Trails, footprints, droppings,
chewmarks, and more.
For more information on the subject, read my noises in the attic at night
Bat and Bird Control
Many wildlife control operators really specialize in bat control and bird control. This is specialty work, and often far more complicate than other types of wildlife removal projects. Oftentimes, this involves work
for large commercial or industrial buildings. For example, a large group of pigeons could infest a shopping mall or warehouse, or a large colony of bats could live in the roof of a ten-story condo or hotel. Some bat
removal and bird control projects can be very large and involved. True, there are plenty of smaller, residential cases. Bats commonly live in the attics of homes. However, many of these projects can be very
involved as well. Oftentimes bat or bird removal means accessing very difficult architecture, as these are flying animals. Pigeons can be very persistent, and bats can squeeze through gaps as small as 3/8 of an inch.
If you have a bird or bat problem that you need solved, it's best to call a wildlife professional with experience in the field. More guides I wrote here: bats in the chimney
- how to catch a bat
- bat in the house
- bat prevention
Property and Yard Services
Many homes and businesses take great care maintaining their property and landscaping, and sometimes wildlife can damage it. A common culprit is moles - they dig all through the yard, and can create many tunnels and
dirt mounds. Raccoons will often peel back fresh sod in search of grubs. Armadillos and skunks will dig the dirt for worms and grubs. Deer will eat bushes and other ornamental plants. Geese will litter a property
with droppings. The professionals listed here can take care of these problems. From mole trapping and control, to wildlife removal, deer discouragement and Canada Goose management programs, wildlife operators can
protect your yard and property.
Several wildlife scenarios are emergency situations, or at least are perceived as such by the homeowner. Most commonly, the scenario is an animal inside a home. A raccoon could enter through a pet door and get
stuck inside, or a squirrel could fall down a chimney and run loose in the house. Sometimes a snake will enter the house through a small opening, and the homeowner will see it in the kitchen and freak out. Or perhaps
a bat will get stuck inside a house and fly around in circles. Whatever the case, if you've got a wildlife emergency that requires immediate assistance, there's a good chance that a competent wildlife operator
will be able to help save the day. Availability is the big issue, of course - there's a chance that your emergency will happen at 3:00 AM or that the company you call will be busy working inside an attic on the
other side of town. However, most wildlife removal companies provide assistance in emergency situations, so stay calm and pick up the phone.
Dead Animal and Carcass Removal
While we mostly remove live animals, sometimes we remove dead animal carcasses. The most common type of dead animal removal is that of a dead rat or squirrel in an attic or wall. If you've got animals living in your
attic and you don't take care of it, one of the potential consequences is that the animal will die in the house. A dead rodent is even more likely if someone has employed the ill-advised tactic of using a rodenticide or
any other type of poison control. Once the animal dies, it starts to decompose. The odor starts about three days after death. The strength of the odor depends on several factors - the size of the animal, the location (down
a wall is worse than in a well-ventilated attic), the temperature, the humidity, and so on. The odor will last for a long time. If the animal is larger, it could be well over a month. In some cases, the odor has been
so bad that the homeowner has elected to move out of the house rather than live with the stench. Don't let it come to that: hire a wildlife specialist to remove the dead animal. If it's in the attic or down a wall, a
competent professional will be able to find it, remove it, and decontaminate the area. If you've simply got a case of a dead carcass outside somewhere, we can also come and remove that as well, and dispose of it in
the proper manner.
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