FAQs and Tips About Wildlife and Animal Removal
THE DANGERS OF NUISANCE WILDLIFE
A pest invasion of any type is not ideal. But the truth is that rodents pose a greater threat to your health than a line of ants marching down a windowsill. When rodents and other wild critters get into a house, they can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. They can chew through wiring and insulation, which poses a fire hazard. They can also leave behind urine, feces, fleas, and mites. These byproducts carry dangerous, sometimes fatal, diseases. These diseases can be passed on to humans through contaminated food or beverages.
If you find nuisance wildlife in or around your home, don’t try to trap or handle the animal on your own. Animal diseases like rabies and hantavirus can be transmitted directly from animal to human through bites. Wild animals don’t take kindly to being removed from a cozy hiding place and may bite or scratch out of fear. Wildlife removal specialists have training and special equipment. They can safely and humanely remove nuisance animals without putting themselves or others at risk.
COMMON HIDING PLACES
Rodents and other animals can get in your house through almost any opening, even those that seem too small. Wildlife infestations are common during the colder months of the year. This is because animals look for a warm space away from the harsh outdoor elements. Raccoons, opossums, and other rodents as well as birds and bats often make their way into chimneys, roof spaces, and vents. A wildlife removal professional will assess your house for possible critter entry points. Then, they’ll block off those spots to prevent reentry. This exclusion work often includes installing a chimney cap, sealing gaps at the fascia, and patching siding holes. Sealing or patching gaps around vents and pipes is also a common exclusion repair.
To finish up the exclusion work, trim any tree limbs overhanging your roof. Also prune shrubs that grow too close to the house. Some wildlife removal companies will do this work for you. To trim very large trees or have trees removed altogether, however, you’ll probably need to hire a tree services contractor.
COMMON NUISANCE WILDLIFE
Squirrels. Seeking warm, safe nesting locations, squirrels sometimes invade unprotected attics. They may enter through a small, existing hole or chew through wood to gain access. Solving the problem usually involves trapping and relocating the squirrel. Then, the pest control pro will sanitize the nest area and make exclusion repairs. These exclusion repairs are important because they keep the squirrel from returning. Address problems with squirrels and other animals as promptly as possible. Animals can get settled and cause significant damage in a relatively short period of time. It’s important to have them removed before the problems get worse.
Mice and rats. Mice and rats live in groups and multiply rapidly. If you see one of these rodents, it is likely that you have many more. They may look cute in photographs, but mice and rats can cause significant structural damage to your house. They also carry and spread germs, bacteria, and diseases that can be harmful to humans. Watch for signs that rodents have taken up residence. If you hear scratching sounds in the walls or see droppings, rub marks, or evidence of a nest anywhere around the house, call a professional. Getting rid of mice and rats usually involves baiting and trapping them, removing them, and then preventing their reentry. The exclusion method is the best way to prevent rodent access. This involves finding and sealing up all gaps larger than a dime.
Without exclusion repairs, the rodents will almost certainly return. As a bonus, you may even save money on power bills by sealing up these spots that were allowing warm air to escape. Try to get into the habit of inspecting your house periodically. Time, weather, and persistent pests can eventually create new holes and gaps. The quicker these spots are found and sealed up, the less likely you’ll be to have recurring rodent and pest problems.
Birds. Like other critters, birds look for protected, hidden areas to build their nests. Open chimneys and vent pipes make an ideal spot. If your roof’s fascia boards are deteriorating or already have gaps, you might find evidence of birds in your attic, too. Keep a careful eye on the eaves of your house. If you see bird droppings, feathers, or nesting materials in suspicious places, call a wildlife removal company to investigate. Keep in mind that many wild birds are protected by federal and state law. While they make terrible houseguests, wild birds are an important part of our ecosystem. Wildlife removal experts know how to legally and humanely remove the birds causing you trouble.
Birds can be quite persistent, so just like with other critters, it’s important to follow through with exclusion work once your wildlife removal professional has removed the nest. In most cases, bird exclusion work includes capping open chimneys and vent pipes. If the birds have occupied the area for a while and made a mess, your wildlife removal technician will also clean and sanitize the area. Be sure to do your part to discourage the birds from returning. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from your house. If you have bird feeders in your yard, move them as far away from your house as possible. Birds are beautiful and fun to watch, but avoid giving them reasons to get close to your house.
Reputable wildlife removal companies use humane methods of animal control. In most cases, nuisance wildlife is captured using humane live traps. Once the animal is captured, state regulations largely dictate the next steps. Different states have different laws and licensing requirements for wildlife removal. In some cases, the animal must be released in the same area in which it was captured. In others, the animal may be relocated a certain distance away.
Exclusion work and damage repair can only begin once the pest has been removed. Exclusion work is essential to ensuring that the problem doesn’t return. Before you hire a wildlife removal company, be sure that the representative has a plan for removing the critter, repairing the damage, and preventing re-infestation.