Should I Poison a Raccoon in My House?

The continued expansion of commercial and residential properties in the West Palm Beach area means animals like raccoons are forced to find new habitats as the forests and nature they call home are encroached on. Critters often try to take refuge in the very buildings that replaced their natural habitats, which can cause a variety of problems. As annoying as they may be, you should never poison a raccoon to get rid of them.

Why You Should Steer Clear of Poison

Poison is neither a humane or legal way to rid a property of raccoons, and contrary to popular belief, it isn’t effective either. Using poison in your home creates a hazard for children who may accidentally consume it. Poisons don’t take effect immediately either, so a raccoon has time to move to another part of your home or property before it dies, making it difficult to find before it starts to decompose and smell.

In nearly every situation, traps can be used to safely remove raccoons from a property, which is a much more humane option than killing them with poison. In fact, Florida Law bans the use of poison on a raccoon when it enters your home. For best results, always hire a professional who understands the ins and outs of nuisance wildlife regulations to ensure a job well done.

Professional Raccoon Control

Using poison to try and control raccoon populations on your property is not only illegal, it’s downright reckless and irresponsible. You should always defer to a professional animal removal service like Critter Control® of West Palm Beach. Over the years, we have developed methods of humane raccoon removal which are guaranteed to get the job done correctly.

Call us today at 561-274-0224 for your free consultation.

Why Animal Damage Repair is not a DIY Project

If you’ve been unlucky enough to deal with a nuisance animal problem in Why Animal Damage Repair is not a DIY project the past, you likely understand how extensive it can be, though it may not seem that way on the surface. It doesn’t seem like a raccoon, rodent, or bird could cause significant damage, but hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage is not uncommon, and we always recommend leaving the repair job up to a professional for best results.

Just some of the types of damage animals can do include:

  • Chewed or damaged wiring in walls or attics
  • Damaged or soiled attic insulation
  • Uprooted plants
  • Foundation damage
  • Holes in roofing components or fascia boards
  • Damaged ventilation ducting

Why Use a Professional?

While it may be tempting to tackle repairs on your own, there are some very good reasons to trust the professionals at Critter Control® of West Palm Beach instead.

  • We know what to look for. We have decades of experience in removing nuisance animals, and we know their habits well. Our technicians can quickly locate and assess any damages an animal has caused, so we can get your home back to top shape in no time.
  • Repairs are time-consuming. You may have the tools at your disposal, but the fact of the matter is that many types of repairs are more time consuming than the average homeowner can handle.
  • Quality work, every time. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work here at Critter Control®, and we can guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your repairs for years to come.

Let the Professionals Help

If your home is in need of repairs after a nuisance wildlife problem, let Critter Control® of West Palm Beach take care of you. Call us today to schedule a consultation and our team of expert technicians will work with you to create a solution that suits your needs. Contact us at 561-274-0224 for a free inspection.

Why Are Bats So Important?

If you’re not a fan of bats, chances are you dislike mosquitoes and other pests even more. According to data from Bat Conservation International, bats can eat more than 1,000 insects per hour. In fact, bats are one of the most effective natural forms of pest control and pollinators, which makes removing them from a house or property an especially delicate process and even illegal at times.

Here’s what makes protecting our bat population of utmost importance:

Controlling Insect Populations

On a typical feeding night, bats can eat their bodyweight in insects. This means each bat removes thousands of mosquitoes and other nuisance pests each time they feed. Additionally, bats love eating insects that commonly cause problems to food crops. This natural pest management allows for higher quality crops while reducing the amount of pesticide used.

Pollination

A lesser known fact about bats is that they pollinate flowering plants in a similar way to bees. Without bats, some plants would be unable to bear fruit and spread seeds. Bananas and chocolate are just two of the plants that depend on bats to thrive.

Spreading Seeds

Bats happen to be great natural farmers! They fly at night, often covering large distances. As all animals do, they eventually create waste, which usually contains seeds. When their guano reaches land, it has the potential to grow into a plant. Bats are one of the greatest reasons that forests that have been harvested are able to slowly recover with time.

Do You Have Bats in Your Home?

Bats commonly seek shelter inside attics when they need a place to nest and birth their young. It is illegal to remove bats while immature pups are present as they cannot fly, but we can work with you to create an exclusion plan that safely removes them as they mature. If you think bats have taken up residence in your home, call us today at 561-274-0224 to schedule a home consultation.

How to tell if a Snake is Venomous

There are a number of different venomous snake species throughout North America. Though you should never approach a snake regardless whether it’s venomous or not, it is still important to be able to tell the difference in case you or a loved one is bitten. If you have a snake problem on your property, contacting a professional animal removal service like Critter Control® of West Palm Beach is always the best course of action to help keep your family safe.

Here are three ways to tell venomous snakes apart from the rest:

  1. Know Which Species are in Your Area
    Rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, copperheads, and coral snakes are the four types of venomous snakes found in the United States. With the exception of the coral snake, all are classified as pit vipers, and a simple image search will help you get a feel for their appearance. If you spot one of these on your property, call a wildlife control professional right away.
  2. Physical Characteristics
    Thankfully, pit vipers have some traits that make them more recognizable. Their heads are shaped like arrowheads or shovels, which is why some say to steer clear if a snake has a triangular head. However, most snake heads are somewhat triangular, but a pit viper’s head is much thicker than non-venomous snakes. On another note, rattlesnakes will often sound off with their trademark rattling noise to let you know you’re getting too close.
  3. Coral Snakes
    These snakes are the exception to the rule as far as appearance goes. They are venomous but their heads are rounded and they have slender bodies. What gives them away is brightly colored bands. The issue is that their coloration is very similar to that of the harmless milk snake. When trying to identify them, there is a simple motto to keep in mind. “Red touches black, venom lack. Red touches yellow, kill a fellow.”

Let Us Help

Don’t take any chances when you find a snake in or around your home. Contact the professionals at Critter Control® of West Palm Beach at 561-274-0224 right away. Our experienced technicians can safely remove any type of snake from your property.

Common Myths about Raccoons

Though they are one of the most common urban dwelling critters in North America, there is much misinformation out there about raccoons. Critter Control® has been working with local communities for decades to safely and responsibly remove nuisance animals like raccoons from residences and commercial properties alike.

Our customers deserve to be informed, and we’re going to address some common misconceptions about those furry bandits we see dumpster-diving all too often.

Myth: Raccoons are Strictly Nocturnal

It is true that raccoons are most active at night and do have nocturnal tendencies, but they will also venture out during the day in some situations. The idea that raccoons seen during the day are suffering from rabies is another myth, as you will most often see female raccoons foraging for food during the day. Though this doesn’t mean they are rabid, do not approach a wild raccoon, as they are unsanitary and can transfer bacteria and disease to humans.

Myth: Raccoons Hibernate in the Winter

This is possibly the most widely accepted myth surrounding Raccoons. Scarce food sources and cold temperatures send many animals into hibernation, but raccoons remain active year-around thanks to some unique traits. They are omnivores so their food options are more diverse than many mammals. Raccoons can also enter a state called torpor. This is similar to hibernation in that the animal lowers their body temperature and will sleep for long periods of time, but the raccoons will still wake up on warm days to forage. Raccoons that live in warm climates may never need to enter torpor.

Myth: Raccoons Wash Their Food

Raccoons do dip their food in water and roll it around in their hands before eating it, but this has nothing to do with the cleanliness of their food. Raccoon front paws are very sensitive to touch and a large part of their brain is dedicated to the senses in those paws, so raccoons will wash their food and roll it in their hands to help them recognize potential food sources.

The Professionals Can Help

At the first sign of a raccoon problem, call the experts at Critter Control® of West Palm Beach. We’ll not only remove unwanted wildlife, but repair any damage they may have caused and exclude them from your home to make sure they do not return. To schedule a free consultation or simply to get answers for your raccoon extermination questions, call us today at 561-274-0224.

What Does Raccoon Birthing Season Mean For Me?

Due in part to continued urban development and deforestation, raccoons are being forced into populated areas in search of places to build nests and raise their young. More often than ever, raccoons are building nests in and around residences to conceal them from predators and protect them from the elements.

House attics just so happen to offer the right combination of protection, concealment, and access to food and water that raccoons need to thrive, making them popular targets.

When is Raccoon Birthing Season?

Raccoons begin giving birth to their young during the spring, as prime breeding time runs from January through June or July each year. Female raccoons give birth to a single litter of one to eight babies each breeding season following a short 65-day gestation period. In an effort to protect their babies from harm, the female raccoons will build their nests in well-hidden areas that are up off of the ground. Areas like attics, chimneys, sheds, or even garages are all prime locations.

Up until they’re about 6-weeks old, the babies will roam around the area surrounding the nest but will not wander away from their mother. After reaching 8-weeks old or so, they will begin to explore other areas of your property as they become more independent.

Let Us Help

At Critter Control® of West Palm Beach, we implement an exclusive four-step process to safely remove any nuisance wildlife from your attic or anywhere else on your property. We begin with a thorough inspection to pinpoint the infestation and to gather information, followed by removal using cutting-edge tools and techniques, then finally preventing their return in the future.

For more information about our residential and commercial services, or to schedule a consultation, call us today at 561-274-0224.

Signs That There is a Dead Animal in Your Home

It happens more often than you realize: an insect scurries across the ground and you find the nearest blunt object – oftentimes a shoe – and make quick work of it. We hardly notice tiny critters like that, and there is no need for professional dead animal removal under those circumstances. When the animal is bigger however, things are a little bit different.

Bigger critters like rats, mice, and raccoons call for more serious removal techniques. Fortunately, we can help you determine whether there is a dead animal in your home, and what to do about it.

Use Your Nose

The smell of something dead and decomposing is difficult to describe, but you will likely recognize it when you smell it. If you smell a scent you believe to be a dead animal, start by taking the trash out and checking the refrigerator for spoiled food. If the problem doesn’t go away, it’s time to call a professional.

Look for Visuals

Typically there will be at least some sort of visual cue that tells you something isn’t quite right. In the warmer months, flies are a telltale sign something has died and is decomposing. Sometimes the influx of flies is so severe that you can even use them to track down the location of the animal that needs to be removed.

Depending on the location of the critter that has perished, a wet spot may also appear on a wall or the ceiling. Eventually, all dead animals will begin to liquefy during the decomposition process, which can then soak through the underlying drywall. When this happens, you can rest assured knowing the experts at Critter Control® can replace any affected wall or ceiling material.

Call for Backup

We never recommend trying to remove a dead animal carcass on your own. Not only is it hard to stomach for some, it puts you at risk for coming into contact with some highly unsanitary things. Instead, call the animal removal specialists at Critter Control® of West Palm Beach. Our wealth of experience allows us to remove any dead animals from your home and repair any damage they may have caused, leaving your home as good as new.

Call us today at 561-274-0224 to schedule your home consultation.

Will Rats Ruin My Attic Insulation?

Unfortunately, when it comes to rats in the attic, there is usually some extensive cleanup and restoration involved. If you’re lucky, most of the damage will be isolated and require only a partial replacement or repair. However, because of the potential for contamination and how easily it is affected, we always urge our clients to, at the least, replace the insulation.

Damage

In addition to their incessant chewing on harder materials like wood and electrical wire, when rats take root in your attic, they begin to reproduce and need to create a nest. Your attic insulation provides them a material plush enough for their babies to be comfortable and safe, and soft enough they can rip it up and reshape it to meet their needs.

Cleaning Up

In addition to creating nests and beds, rats also use the attic space as a toilet. There may be a combination of both feces and urine in the attic depending on how quickly you caught the problem. Due to the potential for contamination, it’s always the best idea to go ahead and replace it than try to salvage potentially risky insulation pieces.

Using a Professional

To ensure you are getting a quality job done, give us a call today at 561-274-0224 and set up your in-home inspection. From there, we can assess what exactly you’ll need done and give you an accurate estimate for the work.

I Have Rats in the Walls, What Now?

If you’ve determined that you have rats in the walls but don’t know what your next step should be, we can help. When using a professional, the first thing they’ll do is conduct an inspection of the home and assess the severity of the infestation. From there, you can create a plan for removal, exclusion, and restoration.

How Are They Getting In?

Once you are sure you have rats, you’ll need to find out how they are getting in. Is it an easily fixed place? Are there multiple entry points? What materials do you need to seal the area? Something as simple as putting a mesh screen over a vent may be a lot easier than trying to fix a crack in the foundation. You may be surprised to find out that rats only need a half-inch opening to get into your home. Be careful not to overlook something because you think it’s too small to be relevant.

Cut Off Their Supply

Once the professional determine how they are getting in your home and seals it, you must draw them out to trap them. Cut off their supply to food and water by making sure to seal your food in thick plastic or glass containers; keeping pet food and water dishes clean and put away when not in use; fixing any plumbing issues or leaky pipes; and using sealable trash cans. Once you’ve done this, the rats will be desperate for nourishment and luring them to a baited trap will be more effective.

Cleaning Up

The clean up after rats have been in your walls can be the most difficult part of the process because of the potential for illness. If any rats have perished while in the walls you’re most likely dealing with a terrible odor and will need to cut into the walls to remove the carcasses. Be sure to wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves, disposable coveralls, shoe covers, goggles, and respiratory mask during any and all contact with the pests or contaminated areas. Once the cleanup is done, all these materials need to be decontaminated, double bagged and labeled as infectious before being disposed of in the property site. Because of how intricate the clean up process can be, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Get Professional Help

Knowing you have rodents crawling around your home can be one of the most unsettling feelings. We understand that a prompt, safe, and humane removal is your best option, so we offer to do just that. At Critter Control® of West Palm Beach, our expert animal removal experts will have your home rodent free, sealed up, cleaned, and back to its pristine condition. Give us a call at 561-274-0224 today to schedule your free consultation.

Do Mothballs Get Rid of Rodents?

Growing up, your grandparents probably swore by mothballs and their mothballseffectiveness at getting rid of pests. While this may be true for moths, silverfish, and other fabric-eating insects, it is not true of nuisance pests like rodents.

What is a Mothball?

Mothballs are made up of almost 100% active ingredients like naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. In other words, they are chunks of a chemical pesticide in its solid state. When the balls are exposed to air, the chemical begins to slowly release into a toxic gas that kills or deters insects. When the solid state is ingested, the chemicals make it hard for cells to absorb oxygen. Because of this, it has been rumored to have substantial effects on rodents such as rats and mice.

Illegal and Ineffective

Unfortunately, because mothballs are pesticides, they are regulated and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. On the label of any pesticide product like this, you’ll see the legal uses of the product. Any attempt to use them in a way that is not on the label is illegal and can harm those around them as well as the environment. Not to mention, there have been studies done on the ability of mothballs for rodents that have proven them unsuccessful.

If you pay attention to the label, mothballs also have a space limit. To use them correctly, they must be placed in sealed containers to allow for the fumes to build up. When they are not given this chance, the gas dissipates quickly, and they are rendered useless.

How to Deal With Rodents

If you’re looking for some help dealing with a rodent problem, your best option is to reach out to a professional. Rodents all have different behavior patterns and, as such, require different methods of removal. Calling the rodent removal professionals at Critter Control® of West Palm Beach means you’ll have a skilled rodent removal technician using effective and humane methods to get rid of your problem fast. Call us today at 561-274-0224 for a fast, free estimate and to schedule your initial consultation.