User login

Navigation

Bird and Rodent Control

Rats

  • An adult rat can squeeze into your home through a hole as small as the size of a quarter.
  • Rats can live for up to 18 months, but most die before they are one year old.
  • Rats have strong teeth that allow them to chew through glass, cinderblock, wire, aluminum and lead.
  • Smell, taste, touch and sound help direct them to their food sources.
  • Rats are also responsible for spreading Bubonic Plague, also known as the "Black Death". Although fleas are primarily responsible for infecting humans, they were originally infected with the plague by feeding on the blood of rats.

Norway rats eat a wide variety of foods but mostly prefer cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts, and some fruits.

HABITAT

When Norway rats invade buildings, they usually remain in the basement or ground floor. They also live in fields, farms, woodpiles and buildings. Their nests are usually lined with shredded paper or cloth.

IMPACT

These rats are known for the damage they cause by chewing on materials, urinating on food and eating stored foods. They have also been known to chew on wires, which can cause fires to start. They also carry disease and ectoparasites. Rats will also attack both animals and humans. Human babies and even adults have been killed in rat attacks.

PREVENTION

  • Rats will eat almost anything, so keep your homes clean and don’t leave food out.
  • Make sure that your home and storage areas are clean and dry.
  • Make sure that you clean your sheds, crawlspaces, and garbage cans often.
  • Close up any small holes and cracks they can come in through.

Roof Rats prefer eating fruits, berries, vegetables, cereal, pet food, nuts, grain, slugs, snails and rotten food.

HABITAT

Roof Rats are excellent climbers and they usually live in spaces on the tops of buildings, on roofs or in attics. They also live in sheds, garages, boxes, ceilings, under floors, in wood heaps and in thick grass.

IMPACT

Roof rats cause damage to structures by chewing, eating stored foods and carrying diseases, such as Hantavirus. They are most famous for spreading the highly contagious bubonic plague in the Middle Ages. Rats will also attack both animals and humans. Human babies and even adults have been killed in rat attacks.

PREVENTION

  • Rats like to eat, so keep your homes clean and do not leave food out.
  • Make sure that your home and storage areas are clean and dry.
  • Make sure that you clean your sheds, crawlspaces, and garbage cans often.
  • Close up any small holes and cracks they can come in through.

Pigeons

AVOID BIRD DISEASE:

Baby pigeons eat food that their parents eat and then regurgitate (throw up). Adult pigeons eat almost any organic food they can find.

HABITAT

Pigeons build nests around farms, warehouses, mills and grain storage. They also inhabit parks, buildings and bridges in cities.

IMPACT

Pigeons are very dirty because they do not really clean themselves and they will live almost anywhere, under almost any conditions. They can cause food poisoning and spread disease such as cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. Their droppings can destroy buildings and statues. Other pests like fleas, lice, mites and ticks that also spread disease may live on these birds.

PREVENTION

  • Make it hard for pigeons to build a nest.
  • Fill in any holes in your house and don’t leave a lot of open space on flat surfaces where they might be able to build a nest.
  • Keep all food and water out of their reach. Don’t leave garbage laying around, do not leave food out, keep birdbaths clean and do not litter.
  • Do not feed the pigeons!

*Contact a professional right away to remove properly.

Starlings

Starlings love seeds but in the spring and summer they look for baby insects (grubs). They will forage in open trash containers and will eat spilled food in parks and picnic sites.

HABITAT

Starlings can be found anywhere from farms to cities. They usually travel in flocks and graze in short grass. They also build nests in trees or in gutters.

IMPACT

Starlings will nest in trees and eat fruit, making them a big problem for fruit farmers. Their droppings may weaken steel and lead to structural damage. When their droppings get on the ground, fungus grows and can lead to diseases such as histoplasmosis. Starlings are also known for flying into airplanes, occasionally causing them to crash.

PREVENTION

Seal openings in your house so the Starlings cannot build their nests there.

Trim trees and keep gutters clean. Loud noises also make them go away.

*Contact us right away to help remove the problem properly.

Sparrows

You can find House Sparrows most places where there are houses (or other buildings), and few places where there aren’t. Along with two other introduced species, the European Starling and the Rock Pigeon, these are some of our most common birds. Their constant presence outside our doors makes them easy to overlook, and their tendency to displace native birds from nest boxes causes some people to resent them.

Most damage caused by sparrows results from their nesting and feeding habits. Sparrows nest on houses and buildings, in backyard or park trees and in shrubs. They can be a considerable nuisance, and often cause unsanitary or odorous conditions. Their droppings often kill ornamental vegetation and can also damage the finish on vehicles. In addition, sparrows can be a factor in the dissemination of several diseases such as chlamydiosis, salmonellosis, Newcastle disease, toxoplasmosis and transmissible gastroenteritis. Sparrows also can be a source of parasites and insect pests such as bedbugs, chiggers, fowl ticks, fleas and mites. Sparrows are very aggressive and social birds, and often drive away the more desirable songbirds. Not only will sparrows monopolize backyard bird feeders, they also will move into nesting boxes intended for purple martins, or other more desirable songbirds. When sparrows become a problem, several things can be done to discourage them.

Squirrels

A squirrel is a long-tailed rodent that lives in the trees during the warm months. We have plenty of squirrels running around our yard, and we love to watch their antics as they climb up and hop from tree to tree.

Unfortunately, these high-energy rodents move out of their tree-top homes when the cold winds of winter start to blow. They search for a warm, secure home to spend the winter in. For some reason, squirrels love the attics of houses. And once a squirrel has moved in, it's usually there to stay. Unless you eradicate it from your house, that is.

Squirrels don't need to be invited through your front door. They are flexible creatures that can fit their bodies through any opening they can get their head through. To enter into your attic, all they need to do is to find a small opening in or around the roof of your house. One of the squirrels at our house came in through the basement and made its way up to the attic via the walls and floors. Squirrels can scamper up a wall as quickly as they can scurry up a tree!
If a squirrel decides to take up residence in your house, you can often hear it clawing, chewing, and running around in the walls, ceilings, and floors. We not only heard our boarder, but we found remnants of nuts in our attic too.

This type of creature is fun to watch when it's on the outside, but, once inside your house, it will chew most anything it can find. Chewing is the best way a squirrel can wear down its ever-growing teeth. Squirrels will chew on electrical wiring, plastic pipes, lathe wood- anything they find inside the walls and floors of your home. Therefore, as soon as you realize you have a squirrel trying to spend the winter with you, it's time to bid it adieu!

Skunks

Skunks become a nuisance when their burrowing and feeding habits conflict with humans. They may burrow under porches or buildings by entering foundation openings. Garbage or refuse left outdoors may be disturbed by skunks. Skunks may damage beehives by attempting to feed on bees. Occasionally, they feed on corn, eating only the lower ears. If the cornstalk is knocked over, however, raccoons are more likely the cause of damage. Damage to the upper ears of corn is indicative of birds, deer, or squirrels. Skunks dig holes in lawns, golf courses, and gardens to search for insect grubs found in the soil. Digging normally appears as small, 3- to 4-inch (7- to 10-cm) cone-shaped holes or patches of upturned earth. Several other animals, including domestic dogs, also dig in lawns.

Skunks occasionally kill poultry and eat eggs. They normally do not climb fences to get to poultry. By contrast, rats, weasels, mink, and raccoons regularly climb fences. If skunks gain access, they will normally feed on the eggs and occasionally kill one or two fowl. Eggs usually are opened on one end with the edges crushed inward.

Odor is not always a reliable indicator of the presence or absence of skunks. Sometimes dogs, cats, or other animals that have been sprayed by skunks move under houses and make owners mistakenly think skunks are present.

Rabies may be carried by skunks on occasion. Skunks are the primary carriers of rabies in the Midwest. When rabies outbreaks occur, the ease with which rabid animals can be contacted increases. Therefore, rabid skunks are prime vectors for the spread of the virus. Avoid overly aggressive skunks that approach without hesitation. Any skunk showing abnormal behavior, such as daytime activity, may be rabid and should be treated with caution. Report suspicious behavior to local animal control authorities.

Possums

Opossums like to eat garbage, fruit, vegetables, green plants, snails, slugs, snakes, and insects, including cockroaches, crickets, and beetles. They catch and eat rats and mice. They also eat dead animals of all types.

HABITAT

Opossums move around a lot. They typically live in hollow logs, rock crevices, pipes, attics, and beneath buildings.

IMPACT

Opossums are non-aggressive and non-destructive. They do not dig into the soil or destroy property. They will not harm people or pets. However, they are wild animals and should not be handled. An opossum will use its 50 pointy teeth to defend itself if necessary.

PREVENTION

  • Do not leave pet food out at night.
  • Pick up fallen fruit.
  • Clear away bushes, woodpiles and other hiding places.

*Contact a professional to help with the proper removal.