How Should You Deal With Nuisance Wildlife?

Curious raccoon on a wooden table.

What’s nuisance wildlife? It’s animals you don’t want on your property! Squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bats, moles, rats, mice, snakes and geese are just some examples. How should you deal with nuisance wildlife?

What Attracts Nuisance Wildlife?

Ideally, you can avoid attracting nuisance wildlife to your property if you do certain things. For instance, don’t give them a messy yard full of garbage or tall weeds to enjoy. Instead, keep your yard clean and free of debris– don’t give them hiding spots or areas where they can have dinner, such as compost piles. When you need to store your trash, make sure it’s in containers that don’t offer easy access– the lid should be on tight, with no holes in the bins or bags, etc.

Got pets? Don’t leave open pet food bags anywhere, especially outdoors. The same applies to bird seed. Meanwhile, walk around your house and see if there are any cracks or gaps in its foundation, walls or roof– if so, seal them up to prevent critters from getting in. And, if you need to, install fencing to keep animals out of your yard. 

Critters want a warm place to live and sleep, and they want to eat. So if you have fruits or nuts dropping on the ground near your house, they’re going to come have dinner there. They might like the food source so much that they decide to take up residence. After all, who wouldn’t like a nice restaurant-hotel setup? You might need to trim vegetation and consider moving or replacing certain plants, bushes or trees in order to avoid offering critters a food source next to your home. 

What if it seems like you’ve done all you can and you’re still noticing you have a problem with nuisance wildlife? It might be time to call Critter Capture at 251-680-5068 or email lea@critter-capture.com and express your concerns. Critter Capture offers professional and humane wildlife control. 

Summer is Rat Season

Rat eating off plateIt’s summertime, and the rats are taking over some places! Summer is rat season because it’s when their food and water sources are most readily and easily available. Think about all the outdoor picnics and get-togethers people have, where food crumbs end up on the ground. Rats will come get them.

Rats are active during the summer season and they’ll look for a new place to live if/when a storm drives them out of their current hole they’re hiding in… And when rats are looking for a new place to live, they could end up in your basement, wall(s) or attic.

How would you know if you’ve got a rat infestation in your home this summer?

Rats Will Make Distinct Noises In Your House

First, you’d probably hear their activity in your house. You’d hear them running through walls and attics– listen for noises and scratching sounds. Keep in mind they could be chewing up your electrical wires and/or insulation.

Rats Will Leave Droppings in House

Next, be on the lookout for fecal matter. If you notice poop in dark, hidden areas of the house, you might have rats. Their poop can bring with it disease, so you don’t want it to linger long. Rats, by the way, like to breed in warm and dry places.

Bite and Scratch Markets

Finally, if you notice what looks like bite and scratch marks on your furniture or floors, those might be coming from rats. They tend to show up around pantry and cabinet doors– since rats are trying to get to food sources.

If you are worried you might have a house that’s infested with rats, especially if you saw one running across a room, then it’s time to call Critter Capture of Mobile, Alabama, at 251-680-5068. A professional can come to your house, get rid of the rat problem and clean up any mess they left behind.

Rodent Control Tips

Rodent in house

Rodents include rats, mice, squirrels and other mammals known for strong and constantly growing incisors– and no canine teeth. That said, rodents love to gnaw at things and they also love to eat. Rats are especially known for this– they actually destroy or contaminate 20% of the world’s food supply every year. Those darn rats!

If you want to deter rodents from making your home their home, then there are some things to do… Store food and drink items in tightly-lidded containers made of thick plastic, glass or metal so they’re not easily accessible to rodents. If you’ve got pet food in the house, make sure it’s covered and stored in rodent-proof containers, too. Ideally, don’t leave excess pet food or water out overnight. When it comes to garbage, keep it in sealed containers. Dispose of it frequently and on a regular basis. Around the kitchen, wash your dishes, pans and utensils immediately after using them so they’re not out and covered with crumbs to attract rodents. Clean up leftover/spilled food from both your cooking and eating areas.

If you do use traps to try and catch rodents in the home, use spring-loaded traps to catch breeding adults. 

Outside your house, make sure your trash is covered and disposed of as soon as possible. Piles of wood should be stored a foot off the ground and far from the house. Eliminate potential rodent nesting sites, such as abandoned vehicles or discarded tires, from your property. Keep the grass cut short and remove brush/shrubs/trees that may provide rodent cover and protection. Trim trees so they can’t easily be used as a rodent bridge to get on to your home’s roof. 

If you are concerned about rodents on your property, call Critter Capture for some professional help to deal with them– and, hopefully, eliminate them. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Do I have Rats or Mice in My Home?

Rats in house climbing on homeowner's laptop

Thanks to Mickey Mouse, people may think mice are kind of cute. Rats, however, are almost always depicted as “bad” in cartoons, so people generally hate them. That said, if and when people have real, live mice or rats in their house– and they’re not pets– then they are not happy about that and want them gone.

Rats or Mice?

How would you know if you have mice or rats in your house? Signs to look for include poop droppings, gnawed holes, rub/gnaw marks, rodent nests, etc. Also, do you smell a strong urine odor? Do you hear “scampering” noises? Are your pets (dogs, cats, birds) acting unusual? You might have a rodent infestation in your house. 

Rats are physically bigger than mice so their droppings are bigger– mouse droppings are small (less than ¼ inch) and pointed on both ends, while rat droppings are ½ inch or larger. Norway rat droppings are blunt at both ends while roof rat droppings have pointed ends. If you notice droppings that are shiny and putty-like in texture, those are fresh. Old poop gets hard and crumbly. Place bait or traps near droppings. 

If you notice a gnawed clear-cut hole about the size of a dime, that’s a mouse hole. Rat holes are rough around the edges and about the size of a quarter. 

If you notice shredded paper, string or other materials, you might have a mouse nest somewhere.

Rodents are nocturnal, so you’d likely hear their scampering noises in the walls at night. Also, if your pet dog barks or paws at a certain area, such as the bottom of a fridge or stove, he or she might be trying to get at a rodent! Do you suspect you’ve got rodents in your house, and you want them gone? Call Critter Capture at 251-680-5068 to share your situation and ask about rodent removal services.

Why Do Bats Go Into Houses?

bat droppings scattered across attic floor

Bats in nature? Great. Bats in your house. Not great! If you’ve got bats in your house in certain parts of Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi, then call Critter Capture (251-680-5068) to come get them out.

Why Bats Go Into Your Home

Why do bats go into houses? Generally, they’re looking for a safe place to be away from weather and predators. Just like humans want to live in homes that are temperature-controlled and protected from the elements, bats also like the luxury of heated homes. For a bat, a house is a dry, dark place to sleep! They enter houses through any way they can find their way in.

Interestingly, did you know that bats, like bears, hibernate in the winter? So they look for a place to “roost” in during the winter, and a house’s undisturbed attic can be their ideal place from October through April. While hibernating, bats won’t enter or leave the house– they just stay put. Usually, they burrow behind insulation. Sometimes, however, they might wake up and move about throughout the house and you’d hear thumping and bumping sounds in your walls. You might also hear squeaky or screeching sounds. 

Will bats willingly leave their roost? No. Once they’re comfortable, they don’t want to leave. A professional will need to come remove them safely. 

One of the major issues people have with bats in their homes is all the poop they create. Someone has to remove it. Usually homeowners don’t want to touch it much less go near it, so that’s a job for professionals. Meanwhile, the thought of a bat flying through the house can cause much worry– they’re a nuisance and they scare people, too. 

If you suspect you have bats in your house, please call Critter Capture at 251-680-5068 and ask what can be done about them.

How to Gatekeep Your Home From Squirrels

Squirrel on tree branch

Squirrels seem to be everywhere these days. How can you prevent them from setting up shop in your home? You don’t want them to get into your home and chew up wiring or insulation. You don’t want them building nests and pooping everywhere.

The Find Small Creases

Have you looked around the outside of your house to see if there are any holes or cracks where critters could enter the house? Filling holes or cracks with things like fiber cement, sheet metal flashing or even auto body filler can help. It’s a good idea to look on the roof as well as around vents. Check things like gables, soffits and chimney caps. One missing part could mean you have a house full of squirrels! 

But Smells Can Keep Them Away

What’s a smell squirrels don’t like? Capsaicin, which is found in cayenne peppers, deters squirrels. So you can get repellents that contain capsaicin and use them around your house. Or lay out some cayenne peppers in spots where you think squirrels could be!

Want to lure squirrels away from your house? Put peanut butter and/or sunflower seeds out for them, away from the house– perhaps in a bird bath– that way they’ll go there instead of your house. 

Take Away “Bridges”

Trim tree branches so they don’t allow for a bridge between the tree and the house/roof. Do what you can to seal up doors and windows that have gaps. Entry points can be sealed with metal, ideally. Check your attic periodically to see if you hear any animals moving inside of it. If you do suspect you’ve got a squirrel or two living in your home and you want them gone, call Critter Capture at 251-680-5068. You can also email lea@critter-capture.com. Squirrels look for a warm space to live, and they make a mess inside people’s homes! They’re a nuisance. Have Critter Capture get rid of them.

Issues Caused By a Bat Infestation

Most people shudder at the thought of having just one bat in their house. Can you imagine how you’d feel if your house was home to a bat infestation? Yikes!

During the colder months, bats like to look for warm spots to call home… so they’re drawn to attics, chimneys and walls. If bats have a nest in your home, they’ll return to that same spot year after year. If and when they multiply, the colony can get out of hand.

What are some issues if you have a bat infestation?

Droppings

You’ll probably notice their droppings. Their poop is known as “guano” or “dung.” It looks like little black or brown pellets in a pile. Bats also leave a greasy film around the entry point to the house, so if you notice a “dirty spot” on your home’s exterior, it could be from bats.

Disease Carriers

Bat droppings aren’t good for people to be around because they can carry a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum. Long story short, if people inhale particles from dry bat poop, they could get a lung infection known as histoplasmosis, which could conceivably be fatal if it spreads to the whole body. Meanwhile, when bat poop breaks down, it releases airborne pathogens, encouraging bacteria to grow in your house. This can negatively affect your attic’s structure and your insulation. Oh, and it will smell bad, too. And bats could conceivably die in your walls leaving a terrible stench.

If a person or a pet gets bit by a bat, there’s the risk that they could get rabies. Nobody wants rabies.

Instead of removing droppings and bats yourself, it’s best to call a professional company like Critter Capture to come do the dirty work for you. In Mobile, Alabama, Critter Capture can be reached at 251-680-5068. You can also email lea@critter-capture.com.

Don’t Let Rodents Cause Significant Damage to Your Property

White rat on floor indoors

Some people love rodents like mice and rats (and even squirrels) and keep them as beloved pets. That said, most people hate rodents and want nothing to do with them. The mere sight of a mouse or rat scurrying across a floor or sidewalk can incite panic in a lot of people. So, whether you like or hate them, what are some problems rodents can cause properties?

Rodents Can Wreak Havoc on Homes and Businesses

Rodents are often on the hunt for food and water, like most animals. They’ll also look for someplace warm and protected from the elements, so they like to find their way into buildings, including homes. They can seemingly squeeze through the smallest cracks and then set up their “home” inside your home! Yikes!

Rodents love to chew, which means they might chew through wood, electrical wires, cardboard boxes of Christmas tree ornaments, etc. And then they poop and pee wherever they feel like it. Ugh! That stinks both literally and figuratively.

When rodents enter a home, they often chew through things along the way, causing structural damage. You could end up with a leaky roof, wall, window, door or other component thanks to rodents. They can even mess with your foundation. Besides chewing through things, they like to build nests, which means they’ll chew wood, furniture, books, insulation, cardboard and more– destroying things in your home such as heirloom furniture, expensive artworks and valuable keepsake books. What if they gnaw through insulation around your water heater or attic? What if they chew through electrical wires causing outages or even fires? Those little teeth can do lots of expensive damage.

Besides all that chewing and making a mess and causing damages to a home, rodents can also contaminate a home’s foods and surfaces with their poop and pee trails– and that stuff can transmit diseases to people and pets.

Do you want to get rid of rodents in or near your home? Critter Capture of Semmes, Alabama, can do the job– call 251-680-5068 or email lea@critter-capture.com for more info. Critter Capture offers timely and professional humane wildlife control services at an affordable price.

Those “Cute” Squirrels Could Be Doing Serious Damage to Your Home

Squirrel on Roof

Nestled between the trees, playing a perpetual game of tag, and known for their cheek-stuffing acrobatics, squirrels can be quite the spectacle to watch. But before you’re too charmed by their bushy tails, let’s dive deep into the lesser-known adventures of these nimble creatures and understand why they might not be the best houseguests.

The Hidden Mischief of Squirrels

First and foremost, squirrels are natural burrowers and diggers. They can dig up your beautifully manicured garden, burying their treasures (often nuts and seeds) in your flower beds, vegetable patches, or under your prized rose bushes. A dig here, a hole there, and before you know it, your garden might look like it hosted a squirrel-sized treasure hunt.

But the mischief doesn’t stop outdoors. These little acrobats are also expert climbers. When winter hits, they start looking for cozy spots, and attics seem to top the list. Once inside, they might chew through insulation, wires, and wooden beams, creating a host of problems from fire hazards due to exposed wires to compromising the structural integrity of your home.

Squirrels: The Uninvited Guests

Imagine hosting a dinner and hearing a tiny scratch-scratch above your dining room ceiling. Or perhaps, finding little droppings in the attic. Squirrels, being wild animals, can bring with them parasites, like fleas and ticks, and their droppings might pose a health risk if left unattended.

Moreover, if you’re keen on bird-watching and have feeders in your yard, you’ve probably witnessed the incredible agility and determination of squirrels when it comes to stealing seeds. Not only can they empty a bird feeder in record time, but their antics can also damage the feeder itself.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

While these cute critters are simply following their natural instincts, it’s essential to safeguard your home against their unintentional havoc. Regularly inspect your house for gaps or holes, ensure your garden is difficult for squirrels to access, and perhaps, consider squirrel-proofing your bird feeders.

When wildlife and home-life collide, it’s always a good idea to consult the professionals. If you need help getting rid of squirrels from your home, contact Critter Capture today.  

Here’s Why You Need to Remove Rodents Immediately From Your Home or Business

Family of raccoons in a homeowner's attic

Some people keep rodents as pets. Others have rodents in their house that shouldn’t be there, and they can’t wait to get them gone! So they call Critter Capture to remove them from their home. And what about business owners? They, too, generally do not want rodents in their building(s)!

Why are mice and rats unwanted? Well, they’re known to spoil food, chew wires, damage property, poop everywhere, carry diseases and spread illness– not exactly good things, right?

Removing Rodents From Your Home or Business is Critical

It’s critical to remove rodents from your home or business because they carry diseases, and can spread those diseases in numerous ways, including through their excrement, biting and contact with food and materials in your building. Did you know rodents are often known to carry salmonella? Rodents can also harbor parasites which can carry diseases into your building. What are some examples? Well, fleas, ticks, mites, lice, tapeworms and roundworms are just some of the parasites brought into people’s homes and businesses thanks to a rodent infestation.

Rodents have a way of sniffing out food left in open packages or containers. Then they eat that food and contaminate it with droppings and more.

Rodents love to chew things, including electrical wires. They can also gnaw on wooden beams, pipes, insulation and other parts of a building, causing all sorts of problems.

If you have a rodent problem, expect to smell their urine and/or feces. Obviously, that unpleasant odor is not good.

If you see one rodent, there are probably more around– they tend to create nests in walls or attics, and they multiply (reproduce) quickly.

Do you suspect you’ve got mice or rats in your building and want them gone? In Alabama, call Critter Capture at 251-680-5068 or email lea@critter-capture.com to schedule a visit.