Arizona Fleas Found to be Carrying the Plague

In at least two counties in Arizona, fleas have been found carrying the plague; the very same disease responsible for the ‘Black Death’ pandemic of the 1300’s in Europe.

Fleas infected with the disease have been found in Coconino County in fleas on local prairie dogs, and most recently in Navajo County. Locals have been warned to take extra precautions when hiking or spending time in areas where fleas or dead animals may be present.

The Navajo County Health Department has issued a statement to those in the area, and anywhere else for that matter, to take precautions against exposing themselves to the plague. In addition to the fleas that carry the disease, it can be transferred to rodents, rabbits, and the predators that feed on those animals. All it takes is the bite of a flea that is attached to an infected animal, or direct contact with the animal itself to contract the disease.

Symptoms of the Plague

The bubonic plague is the most common and most well-known form of the plague and is named after the swollen lymph nodes which typically develop days after being bitten by an infected flea. The swollen lymph nodes, also known as buboes may be:

  • In the groin, armpit, or neck
  • About the size of an average chicken egg
  • Tender and warm to the touch

Other symptoms of the plague include:

  • Quick onset fever and chills
  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue or vomiting
  • Aching muscles

Let Us Help

While the plague is not a widespread pandemic as it was hundreds of years ago, it is still worth taking the appropriate precautions to keep you and your loved ones protected. If you’ve noticed fleas or dead animals on your property, call the professionals here at Critter Control® of West Palm Beach today at 561-274-0224.

Is the Zika Virus Still a Threat in 2017?

As the top health story in 2016, it may seem a little odd that we haven’t zika virus west palm beachheard much about the Zika virus since the World Health Organization has no longer deemed the disease a “public health emergency of international concern.” Although Zika may seem to be dying down in the States, residents of Florida especially should still be wary.

Zika Facts

Since the WHO lifted the state of emergency in November, there have still been over 4,000 new cases reported in the US through January. While Zika cases have been reported in every state so far, the good news is that only Florida and Texas contain local mosquitos carrying the virus, which means the other states only see cases of the diseases in people who have recently traveled. Even still, Florida has now been taken off the active transmission zone list, and most of Texas remains Zika-free. Latin American countries are reporting less transmission now as well, meaning their mosquito-control efforts seem to be working well.

Stay on Watch

Although Zika appears to be dying down, we should not lose vigilance. To prevent the spread of this disease in the West Palm area and other parts of the United States, be sure to avoid traveling to infected areas. If you do plan on traveling, bring lots of mosquito repellent, and avoid hanging out for extended periods of time in areas where mosquitos frequent, like standing water. If you were bitten by a mosquito while vacationing, make sure to wear mosquito repellant when you return home for at least two weeks, as that is how long it will take the virus to circulate through your system. If a mosquito bites you while you are infected, the virus could be picked up by local mosquitos and spread to others in your area.

How We’ll Help

Being a beautiful city by the sea, West Palm sees its fair share of mosquitoes. While mosquito repellents on the market can do a good job of keeping pests away, you can get peace of mind when you hire the mosquito experts at Critter Control® West Palm to handle your bug problem. With over thirty years of experience keeping your home and family safe from pests like mosquitos, you can trust we’ll get the job done as quickly and safely as possible. Ensure the safety of your family and loved ones, call us for your free consultation today at 561-274-0224.

How to Get Rid of Rats

Being a coastal city, West Palm Beach residents aren’t strangers to finding rats cohabitating with them. When weather gets bad, rats will make their way into whatever warm and dry shelter they can squeeze into, so if your home has holes or cracks in the soffits of exterior structure, you’re prone to dangerous and expensive infestations. By sealing any holes or cracks in your home, you will lessen the chances of rats infiltrating. If rats have already made their way in your home, we at Critter Control® West Palm have put together a list of how you can get rid of them.

  • Locate Their Hideout. If you can find where the infestation spends most of its time, you can figure out a way to cut them off from food, water, and other resources. Isolate the population by sealing up any entrances or exits.
  • Most methods of removal are dangerous to those who aren’t trained to do it. However, here are a few ways it can be done:
    1. Live traps are used for smaller infestations, and with the intent to trap and relocate rats.
    2. Snap Traps can kill rats instantly, but will often be messy. A professional will need to remove the rat carcasses.
    3. Glue traps are the least humane of the three. Since the rats will die slowly, they may crawl around after caught in the trap and spread the glue everywhere.
    4. Poison should never be used. It is dangerous to humans and pets and can be fatal if used incorrectly. If poison is ever used to get rid of rats, it will only be utilized by a trained professional with the proper tools.
  • Enlist the Professionals. To make it easier on yourself, and keep you and your family safe from infectious diseases, call a professional with the proper tools and knowledge to remove the rats from your home. Even if you capture some in traps, you will still need to hire a professional to dispose of their bodies properly. Touching a rat, no matter dead or alive will put you at risk for diseases like leptospirosis and rat-bite fever.

The Critter Control Way

When you call on the help of Critter Control® West Palm, you’re getting over three decades of experience, personable and transparent technicians, and the highest quality of service in the field. Don’t put you, your family, or your home in danger any longer. Call us today at 561-274-0224 for your free consultation.

How Can I Tell What Animal is in My Attic?

If they can access it, your home can become a safe haven for all kinds of critters. They’ll try and access your home for the food they can smell, but they’ll want to stay for the shelter and warmth that places like your attic can offer them. The first step in trying to remove animals from your attic is being able to identify which ones are in there. Once you can do that, you can then properly assess how to best remove of the infestation.

Stop and Listen

With all the experience we have at CC West Palm, we were able to come up with your go-to guide for animal noises in your attic. Here are some of the most common critters we deal with, and what kinds of noises they’ll make when living in your attic.

  • Birds- There are a lot of things birds like about your home, but the main reason they stall is so they can build their nests in a warm and safe place. However, if they become disoriented and confused, they could venture too far into your home and get stuck in the attic. If this happens, you’ll hear loud chirps and wings flapping, or even scratching and wings beating against the floor and walls or your attic as it tries to find an exit point. Since birds typically eat in the morning, you’ll most likely hear these sounds when you wake up.
  • Raccoons- Since they’re so big, raccoons are some of the loudest critters that will invade your home, so detecting them should be easy. You’ll be able to hear them running around in your attic, playing with each other or rummaging through your stored belongings. They also tend to make lots of noises like whining and purring. They also may attempt to pull the insulation out of your walls.
  • Bats- These critters don’t normally invite themselves to stay in your home, but sometimes if they wander in, they can become trapped and disoriented. Listen for scratching and squeaking noises as they try to escape. You’ll also be able to hear the beating of their wings, especially if they become stressed with trying to escape. Since bats are nocturnal, you’ll hear these noises at night.
  • Rodents- When you can only go off the noises you hear, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between mice, rats, and squirrels in your attic. Rats and mice will both make scratching noises and they wander around and squeaks as they search for food at night. Since rats are bigger than mice, their scratches and squeaks may be a bit louder. Squirrels will also squeak, but it will sound more like ‘chatter’. They’ll also make much louder bumps as the play and search for food.

What We Can Do

It doesn’t matter what kind of critter you have living in your attic, the experts at Critter Control® West Palm have the tools and the knowledge to get them out quickly and safely. Your safety is our number one priority, so we’ll always work with you to come up with the best critter removal plan. If you have questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, call us today at 561-274-0224.

The Dangers of Rats in Your Attic

Is there a soft pitter patter above your head? Do you have unexplainable stains on your ceiling? You might have rats in your attic. Not only are these invasive critters detrimental for your home, but they can cause a lot of health problems in humans. You don’t have to come in direct contact with a rat to catch a disease it might be carrying, either. Most sicknesses are carried through their urine and droppings, which can seep through the attic floor and onto your ceiling below.

Health Issues from Rat Urine

At Critter Control® we urge our customers not to go anywhere near rats or their carcasses. However, even this isn’t enough sometimes. If rats are running rampant around your home, they are tracking their urine and feces wherever they go. Just because their infestation may be fixed in your attic doesn’t mean their germs will stay there. And since rats will always be looking for food, they will eventually make it to your kitchen, where you and your family are the most susceptible to germs.

Recently, multiple cases of leptospirosis, a disease transmitted by rats, broke out in a New York neighborhood and resulted a fatality. Even though the patients may not have come in contact with any rats, they may have been in an area where rats reside, and that is enough to catch the disease. Health officials recommend to always wash your hands after touching something that may have been in contact with a rat, and always wearing shoes when you deal with dirty things, especially garbage. To read more about this, you can check out the New York Times article.

Call the Experts

If you’ve got rats in your home, it could be a matter of life and death. Don’t out your family at risk. Call the experts at Critter Control® West Palm Beach to rid your home of dirt little critters. We’ll come up with the most humane and convenient way to drive the rats from you home, and clean up after any messes they may have left behind. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 954-271-1558.

What Is That Smell in My Attic?

Old attics always have funny smells, just like basements. However, really foul smells are not normal, regardless of where you live and what your house is made of. Not even wet or damp attics should smell foul, although they may smell musty like rotting wood. Let’s take a closer look at stinky smells in your attic that should alarm you, what they are, and what to do about it.

The Smell of a Deceased Animal

Death has a very distinct odor. If you smell:

  • Hot, rotting meat
  • sulphur, like rotten eggs, and/or
  • Powerful urine

You probably have a critter that has perished in your attic. Dead animals tend to decompose very quickly and leave a rotten meat smell. When these critters die, they often vacate both their bowels and bladders, which causes the overwhelming stench of waste. Death also attracts a host of flies and other scavenger insects, so watch for these as you enter the attic.

Just the Smell of Waste

If the stink you smell does not contain an overwhelming smell of rotten meat, but the other two smells are present, you have an animal inhabiting in your attic.

Keep in mind that:

  • Virtually all animal urine contains ammonia. It is just a little stronger in some animals than others (e.g., cats have some very powerful ammonia smells in their urine)
  • Animal feces can smell just as bad as human feces, and your attic will stink like an outhouse. This smell tends to spread out and leak through air ducts, vents and even the opening to the attic.

Pest control can usually clean up and capture any live animals that remain. A service such as Critter Control® of Palm Beach is the best solution for wildlife control. For any questions or to schedule a complimentary home consultation, call us today at 561-274-0224.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons

The simplicity of getting rid of raccoons is highly dependent on where youCaged-Raccoon-300x188 find them. Raccoons may look cute, but can cause extensive damage to your property and even threaten the health of you and your loved ones. If you frequently spot raccoons near your home, it may be time to bring in the professionals.

Your Yard

One location these critters like to overrun is your yard. They are normally found rummaging through your garbage and strewing trash all around. For such a situation, trapping is the best option. When you call a professional to help you rid of your nuisance, they will most likely use a wire mesh cage to trap. They will use bait to lure the raccoon into the cage, and then release it somewhere safe and far away from your home.

Your Attic

The second scenario is when you have raccoons in your attic. In most cases when there is a raccoon in the attic, it is a female that is rearing her young. Trying to trap such a raccoon is not the right move. Moreover, there are few deadlier animals than a female raccoon trying to protect her young. In this case, it is paramount that you seek professional help. Getting both the mother raccoon and the babies out is crucial, and should not be attempted without proper training.

Call Critter Control®

In either scenario, hiring a professional like the ones at Critter Control® West Palm Beach is the best options. Raccoons can carry deadly diseases like rabies, and should never be approached by a non-professional. By calling the professionals at Critter Control® you’ll ensure the safety of both your family and the raccoons. Our experts know the safest trapping methods and the best places to relocate the critters. If you’re experiencing raccoon problems, call us today at 561-274-0224 for your free consultation!

Rodent Infestation

Rodent Infestation in your home can’t only be annoying but can also lead Rodent Infestation West Palm Beachto various types of diseases such as rabies as well as devaluing your home through structural damages. The following is an overview of some of the most common home invasion rodents to help you determine what you are dealing with, then take the appropriate measures to eliminate the population.

The Perpetrators:

Here is a list of common rodents you could find in your home:

  • Mice- One of the more common rodents you’ll find in a home. They have a high breeding rate and can be very damaging to the structure of your house
  • Roof rats- Reproduces 4-6 times a year and can quickly spread disease. They will shack up in your home for the warmth and food, so make sure you keep your kitchen clean.
  • Norway rat- Smaller than the roof rat, but just as hazardous. They like your basement and will chew through anything in their way.
  • Squirrels- These tree-dwelling rodents are popular in Florida and will gnaw through entire walls to get to the warmth and safety of your home. They usually like to take up residence in your attic, since it’s full of great nesting material.

How to Detect Them

Since it’s difficult for you to observe a rodent in plain sight unless your home is under heavy infestation, here are some of the signs of rodent infestation:

  • Droppings near food packages, in cupboards or drawers
  • Nesting material, for instance, shredded paper or furniture stuffing
  • Holes in food packaging
  • Gnawed walls, floors or furniture
  • Stale smells in hidden spots
  • Squeaks and other noises in the attic
  • Footprints

The Rodent Removers

If you are experiencing a heavy rodent infestation, it is recommended that you seek a pest control professional for a consultation. Critter Control® West Palm Beach not only specializes in rodent removal and prevention but we also clean and repair damage caused by rodents. And we can help keep those pesky rodents out by sealing any entrance or exit points. Call us today at 561-274-0224 for a free consultation.

5 Tips for Keeping Ants Out of Your Home

ants West Palm Beach

5 Tips for Keeping Ants Out of Your Home

Don’t forsake ants completely, because they are a big help when it comes to aerating soil, eating lawn pests and pollinating flowers. But once they enter the threshold of your home or even the porch, it’s time to take action against the invasion. Here are five proven ways to keep ants out of your home.

#1: Boric Acid

Give ants their walking papers by sprinkling Boric acid along any cracks or crevices where you’ve spotted the intruders. Fill the tip of a turkey baster with the powder and then squeeze the air compressor to expel the Boric acid into corners, cracks, and crevices. Note: Remember that Boric acid is toxic and shouldn’t be used if young children or pets are present.

#2: Chalk Line

Draw a chalk line around home entry points to keep ants from getting too close. Ants don’t like the calcium carbonate in the chalk, so scattering powdered chalk around your garden is a plant-friendly way to keep ants and slugs at bay.

#3: The Flowerpot Method

Flush out persistent fire ants by turning a flowerpot upside down over their hill and pouring boiling water through the drain hole. It’s not the kindest way of giving ants the boot, but it may be necessary if the ants you are dealing with are harming you and your family.

#4 Citrus

Squirt lemon juice on thresholds, windowsills, holes or cracks where the ants are entering. They hate the smell and will hopefully find a new place to call home. Alternatively, blend oranges into a smooth puree, and add some warm water before pouring the mixture over the offending ant hill.

#5: A Vinegar Eviction

Use a spray bottle of vinegar to spot treat ant invasions. Indoors, or outdoors during camping trips, it makes for an inhospitable environment for ants because they hate the smell of vinegar.

The Ant Experts

If you’ve got a particularly stubborn group of ants inhabiting your home, don’t let them walk all over you! Contact the expert exterminators at Critter Control® West Palm Beach. We’ll work with you and your ant infestation to make sure they get out and stay out. For a free consultation, call us today at 561-274-0224.

Harmful Effects of Bats in Your Attic

Having bats in your attic can be worse than having them in the belfry. West Palm Beach BatsBats in an attic pose a number of potential dangers to everyone living in a home. Bats can gain entry to attics in numerous ways: through a chimney, open windows, gaps in the walls, etc. Once there, they can set up a roost and come back every night, bringing others with them.

Flying Health Hazards

Bats can harm humans in a few different ways. While they’re too small for their bites to cause serious pain, bats can spread disease. The worst illness carried by bats is rabies, which can cause a range of symptoms including:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Delirium

In some severe cases, rabies can lead to coma or death.

Bat droppings (guano) also cause health problems. Many bats are infected with the histoplasmosis fungus, which grows in their feces. If bats are allowed to roost in one area long enough for large piles of guano to develop, the spores of the histoplasmosis fungus can be spread through the air, infecting people. Histoplasmosis isn’t usually as dangerous as rabies, but it does become serious in some cases. Some of its symptoms include:

  • Chest pain.
  • Chills.
  • Cough.
  • Fever.
  • Joint pain and stiffness.
  • Muscle aches and stiffness.
  • Rash (usually small sores on the lower legs)
  • Shortness of breath.

Call the Experts

Because bats in an attic can be dangerous to humans, they should be removed by professionals. If you have a bat problem, have any questions about your bat problem, or would like a free consultation, call the experts at Critter Control® West Palm Beach today at 561.274.0224.