The Effects of Wildlife Activity on Your Attic’s Insulation

The Effects of Wildlife Activity on Your Attic’s Insulation

Winter is nearing and that means it is time to make sure your attic doesn’t become a sanctuary for wildlife critters. The most common winter wildlife critters that you should keep an eye out for this winter are raccoons, squirrels, bats, and mice. They can all cause severe damage to your home and pose a significant threat to your health.

The most obvious way for wildlife to get into your attic is through vents and any gaps in your home’s exterior. Once inside, they can make their nest in your attic which results in ripped or destroyed insulation. They could also begin compromising the well-being of your attic from their urine or feces. This can make for a smelly home or become a hazard to your family’s health since animal waste can contain parasites or bacteria.

If you discover wildlife has taken over your attic, then it’s best to call in professional help to get them removed. If your insulation has been impacted, then it’s imperative to get it replaced as soon as possible. Insulation that has been removed or contaminated can lead to higher energy bills and no one wants that.

Reach out to your local wildlife control company to assist with the removal of these pests, so you can get back to enjoying your home this winter!

DIY Pest-Proofing for Fall Wildlife

DIY Pest-Proofing for Fall Wildlife

Fall is in full swing, and winter is just around the corner. We aren’t the only ones preparing to stay indoors longer than usual. Wildlife are also thinking about making their way inside. This typically means our homes could become refuge for the critters. There are a few wildlife creatures to look out for once it begins to get cooler – squirrels, raccoons, rodents, and more!

Most homeowners don’t think they have a wildlife problem, because they’ve probably never seen it with their own eyes. That isn’t the case. Most homeowners don’t notice the problem because most of the creatures are nocturnal and will only be active at night. The most common signs of a wildlife problem are:

  • Chew and gnaw marks around the attic, basement, or electrical wiring
  • Garbage cans and bags that have been broken into
  • Foul smells lingering around your home – could be urine or droppings
  • Scratching sounds coming from the attic or walls

DIY Wildlife Prevention Tips

Many homeowners don’t even realize the things they’re doing that attract wildlife into their homes. Here are some of the best ways you can prevent an infestation in your home this winter!

  • Close Access Points: Wildlife can enter your home through the smallest of openings. Make sure your home’s attics, vents, windows, chimney, and crawl space are secure. Seal any gaps and holes that can be considered entry points.
  • Secure Garbage Containers: Most of the wildlife mentioned above are known to eat just about anything. Outside garbage containers offer a multitude of food options and the best way to deter them is to secure trash can lids, avoid overfilling containers, and clean out the cans regularly.
  • Keep Trees and Shrubs Cut Short: When branches or shrubs are too close to your home, it gives squirrels, raccoons, and other critters easier access to your home. Keeping them cut short and away from your home will help cut the bridge of them getting inside.
  • Don’t Leave Food Near Home: This goes hand in hand with the garbage can, but another big invitation to wildlife is your pet’s food bowls. Avoid leaving them out overnight, especially outdoors. Another tip is to pick up any fallen fruit and protect gardens with a fence or netting to keep animals out.

If you begin to notice signs of wildlife in or around your home, be sure to reach out to your local wildlife control company and they can help determine the critter causing the issues and create a customized solution to get rid of them.

Types of Rodents Found in the South

Types of Rodents Found in the South

We never expect our homes to fall victim to rodent invaders, but it can happen to anyone! Getting rid of these critters can be difficult, but with the help of a wildlife control company, it can be made possible. Before reaching out to someone for assistance, be sure you’re identifying these rodents correctly. Here are some of the most common rodents found in the South.

Deer Mouse

Often referred to as field mice, these rodents are typically found in the woodlands and desert areas. They rarely invade residential properties but will sometimes seek shelter in our homes for winter since they don’t hibernate. When indoors, deer mice are typically found in basements or attics. The biggest threat about them is that they can transmit the dangerous hantavirus, so it’s vital to get them taken care of as soon as possible.

House Mouse

Just like the deer mouse, these mice also carry diseases and shouldn’t be kept in your home for long once discovered. The house mouse prefers to move along baseboards and countertops and can be seen eating anything they can find. They will contaminate your food and can transmit diseases like salmonella and even the bubonic plague. They are also known to cause structural damage such as creating tunnels in walls and chewing exposed wires.

Norway Rats

These stocky, heavy-bodied rats are larger and more aggressive than the roof rat. They rely heavily on human activity for survival and will eat anything like cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts, and some fruits. Norway rats are more active at night and can cause considerable damage to homes, gardens, and structures. The main concern is the diseases they are known to spread, which include jaundice, rat bite fever, and salmonella.

Roof Rats

Known as a serious pest problem, they are also dependent on humans for survival and will usually infest homes. They have padded feet that make it easier for them to climb, so they are usually found in attics, eaves, and roof lines. Roof rats are known for spreading multiple diseases, including salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat bite fever. They contaminate food when they are foraging, impacting not just humans, but also pets and livestock.

If you think you have a rodent problem, it’s important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Reach out to your local wildlife control company so they can create a customized plan to rid your home of rodents.

Common Wildlife Problems in Pompano Beach

Common Wildlife Problems in Pompano Beach

Pompano Beach Pest Control: Wildlife Exclusion

Wildlife creatures can be cute from afar, but once they’ve invaded our homes, they quickly become a nuisance! While wildlife typically invade homes in the winter, they are still highly active in the summer, as well, searching for food and water sources. Check out our list of common wildlife creatures in Pompano Beach and how you can prevent them.

Rats

Active year-round, rats are excellent climbers and will adapt to human environments. They often seek out undisturbed areas such as attics, basements, and crawlspaces. For survival, these rodents will need a food source and will look in your home for grains, nuts, fruits, seeds, and vegetables. Harmful to humans, rats are known to contaminate food, cause fire hazards by chewing wires, and leave their droppings that can lead to disease.

Opossums

During the summer, opossums are actively hunting for food for their young. During the day, these pests will hide in trees until the evening arrives. As nocturnal pests, opossums look for their food source primarily at night. Opossums will scour your trashcans for nuts, fruits, grains, and even insects.

Raccoons

Raccoons give birth to their young during the summer and, like opossums, they are actively looking for food for their babies. While raccoons prefer wooded areas to inhabit with trees, water, and vegetation, they can be found in human areas too. They often seek out shelter in our attics, barns, and sheds. Raccoons are also nocturnal, searching for food at night. These creatures eat fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, and even snakes. Raccoons can become a nuisance if they find their way onto our property, often knocking over garbage cans or destroying gardens.

Preventing wildlife starts with the preventative measures put in place around your home. Consider utilizing these do-it-yourself wildlife control tips:

  • Keep garbage stored in tightly sealed trash containers
  • Remove any food source outside, including your pet food bowls
  • Seal any open holes or gaps found in garages, windows, or exterior doors
  • Contact your local Pompano Beach pest control company to assess your wildlife issue, provide a treatment plan, and recommend wildlife exclusion options.

 

Request a Free Wildlife Control Analysis

Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall

Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall

August is here and as much as we don’t want to think about it, fall is right around the corner. As the days begin to get shorter and temperatures drop, wildlife creatures begin to prepare for the fall and winter seasons. Fall is the time when wildlife search for warm shelter and begin to stock up on food, sometimes leading them right to your home!

Here are some of the most common wildlife critters that can find refuge in your home for winter, along with some ways to prevent them from taking up residence in your home.

Squirrels

Squirrels like to “fatten” up in the fall as they get ready for the colder months. They often seek shelter in attics where they will make their nests and store their food. They are especially hazardous in homes because they have a tendency to chew through wires and wood, creating significant damage to your home.

Some ways to prevent squirrels:

  • Install chimney caps or screens
  • Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight
  • Take down bird feeders in the fall as squirrels love to scavenge these for seed
  • Trim back any limbs or branches that extend within 10 feet of your home

Raccoons

Like squirrels, raccoons also like to “fatten” up for the winter. Raccoons are nocturnal, which means they are more active at night. When the weather gets cooler, this causes raccoons to become more active and creative in their search for food. They will often find food in your trash cans and home and can often enter your house through the roof. They are known to seek shelter in either your attic or crawl space.

You can prevent raccoons by:

  • Keep trash in bins with secure, locking lids
  • Seal any entry points on the exterior of your home
  • Rinse out trash cans once a month to help eliminate odors
  • Install bright exterior lights to deter them from your yard at night

Rodents

Rodents, like mice and rats, will begin to be more active in the fall and you can usually hear them in your walls or attic. They seek shelter in your home because it supplies them with an available food supply throughout the winter.

Prevent rodents this fall by:

  • Storing food in plastic or metal containers with tight lids
  • Sealing up holes inside and outside the home
  • Cleaning up spilled food immediately and washing dishes soon after use
  • Keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible

Bats

Once the temperature dips below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, bats will begin their hibernation. While some species of bats do migrate south once the weather cools off, some will be in search of warm, dark spaces to roost that are hidden from predators. Unfortunately, they will often roost in the attic or chimney of your home.

You can prevent bats by:

  • Installing chimney screens
  • Using window screens and draft guards on doors and windows that go into the attic
  • Sealing any openings in shingles and weatherstripping
  • Making sure insulation isn’t worn down

Wildlife removal can be a difficult task to handle on your own, as there are some regulations for certain species. It is often best left to the professionals. If you suspect you have a wildlife problem, contact your local professional wildlife control company. These professionals will inspect your home to identify the animal problem. They will also provide you with the best plan of action to remove nuisance wildlife and prevent it in the future.

Why Snake Control Is Important In The Fall

Why Snake Control Is Important In The Fall

As the season shifts from summer to early fall, cooler weather is around the corner. Many pests begin the hustle and bustle of preparing for winter – scavenging and storing food, finding a place to hibernate, or making their way into your home to overwinter. This time of year sees an increase in one pest in particular – snakes! Fall is a time for high snake activity and encounters with humans become more common.

There are many reasons snake control is important in the fall. As the leaves begin to change colors to red, orange, and brown and fall to the ground, they provide the ideal camouflage for snakes. Fall is also the time snakes begin to prepare for brumation and/or hibernation. Most snake species breed in the spring and eggs are hatched by the time autumn rolls around. These juvenile snakes are curious and more likely to be seen by humans. There are 6 venomous snake species in the southeastern United States and each of them actually breed in the fall. This means this time of year males will be actively seeking females to breed with, increasing your chance of an encounter with them. Overdevelopment in many areas has also depleted the natural habitats of many snakes, also increasing their chances of encounters with humans.

Because we see such an increase in snake activity during the fall, snake control becomes much more important. Here are some of our favorite snake prevention tips you can utilize this snake season.

  1. Familiarize Yourself. Identifying snakes is critical to avoiding and preventing them. Do some research and find out which snakes are common in your area, what they look like, and where to find them. Identify any areas you spend time in outdoors that could potentially house snakes and try to avoid them.
  2. Be Aware. Be aware of your surrounding when spending time outdoors. Look down when walking and check overhead when in wooded areas. Try to spot snakes before you walk right up on them.
  3. Avoid Habitats. Snakes like to hide in areas that provide them protection and coverage from predators. They can often be found in tall grass, overgrowth, on or under large rocks, rock piles, and wood piles. If you have to walk through these areas, keep your feet and legs protected, keep your eyes open
  4. Walk With Confidence. Snakes don’t have ears so they can’t actually hear you coming but they do respond to vibrations in the ground and can feel you coming before they actually see you. When walking outdoors walk with strong, confident steps and make your presence known.
  5. Cover Up. If you choose to spend time outdoors, make sure to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants if possible. Try to avoid sandals and flip flops as they leave your feet and toes exposed to potential snakebites.
  6. Look Up. Some types of snakes can actually climb trees and will even use overlapping branches to move from tree to tree without ever touching the ground. When walking or boating through wooded areas make sure to look up and keep an eye out for overhead snakes.
  7. Clean Up. Making your home and yard less inviting to snakes will help keep them from coming in. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to keep snakes out in search of warmth and food. Remove any debris and clutter from your yard and garage. Keep woodpiles elevated and stored away from your home. Clear any overgrowth from your yard.
  8. Use snake repellent. There are many commercial snake repellent products on the market today. If you prefer a more green snake control option, there are also natural snake repellents you can make at home. Choose whichever option works best for you.
  9. Call the Pros. Snake control can be a daunting task. If you have a problem with snakes around your home, contact your local pest control company who can help identify what type of snake you are dealing with and help safely and humanely get them away from your property.

 

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Rat vs Mouse: What’s the Difference?

Rat vs Mouse: What’s the Difference?

South Florida Rodent Control

Seeing any wildlife creature in your South Florida home is always alarming! While both are harmful to our home and the health of our family. These creatures will contaminate homes, chew wires, and transmit diseases to humans and pets. It’s important to understand their key differences to help prevent both rodents.

House mice are smaller than rats, ranging from four to six inches in length, and can be light grey, white, or brown. While rats are double the length of the average house mice, Norway rats are around 10 inches long. A difference seen between the two rodents are their tails. Mouse tails are equal in length to their body and are thin, long, and hairy. Rat tails can be 7” to 9” in length and are long, thick, scaly, and hairless.

If you have rodent infestation, you’ve probably seen their droppings. The difference between rat and mice droppings is noticeably different. Mice have smaller droppings, only about an eighth to a quarter of an inch long. Rat droppings are larger, about a half to three-quarters of an inch long.

Both rats and mice will happily nest inside or around your property, but their difference is the location they choose to nest in. Mice are great at climbing, typically making their nests in wall voids, attics, sheds, cabinets, and barns. While rats, such as Norway rats, will choose to live in burrows underground like crawlspaces, attics, and basements. Other rats, such as roof rats, are also great climbers but prefer to habitat in upper parts of buildings, trees, or attics.

Whether you’re dealing with a mouse or rat, proper identification and treatment are essential to remove them. It’s best to contact your local South Floria pest control company who will identify the rodent, locate entry points, and provide a treatment and prevention plan.

 

Request a Free Rodent Control Quote

7 Natural Ways to Keep Snakes Away

7 Natural Ways to Keep Snakes Away

While most snakes you encounter are harmless, many of us still don’t want to come across one in our yard or home. While our first instinct may be to run, most snakes are actually beneficial to have around – they help keep other pest populations under control (rodents, frogs, etc.).

Snakes will come into your yard in search of 2 things: shelter and food. Snakes will seek out shelter to have a place to rest, breed, and hunt. Common places snakes are found include overgrown grass, dense brush or shrubs, leaf piles, rock piles, compost, or areas with moisture like underneath bird baths, around leaky faucets and hoses, or near ponds or swimming pools. Snakes will also come looking for food. Snakes love to eat rodents, moles, frogs, fish, snails/slugs, and other small insects.

If you prefer not to encounter snakes around your home, here are 7 natural ways you can keep snakes away.

Get Rid of Food Sources

Snakes will come around looking for food so if your home provides them with that, you’ll be more likely to encounter them. Getting rid of these food sources will encourage snakes to move along in search of something to eat. Make sure common pests that snakes like to eat are kept under control. Scheduling routine pest control can help with this.

Get Rid of Water

Snakes are also attracted to areas with a lot of moisture. Eliminate standing water in your yard where possible. Repair leaky faucets and replace leaky hoses. Keep pools, ponds, and other water features maintained. If using sprinklers, make sure they are running in the morning so the water has time to soak in or evaporate before it gets dark. This helps keep soil in your yard from being too wet.

Get Rid of Hiding Spots

Snakes will look for places around your home to hide so they can breed and rest. Get rid of coiled hoses or use hose boxes. Avoid using rock piles in your landscaping, if possible. Store firewood in boxes or elevate it when possible. Keep your grass mowed and dense brush cleared out. Seal off or add fencing to any open areas under sheds or other buildings. If you are using snake-proof fencing, make sure it is made of steel mesh or plastic sheeting, it is at least 3 feet high and 4 feet deep, it is flush with the ground, and it is angled outward.

Use Snake-Repelling Plants

Some plants are known to repel snakes. Try to incorporate these plants into your landscape design where possible. Common snake-repelling plants include marigolds, lemongrass, Mother-in-Law’s tongue, wormwood, onion, and garlic.

Fill In Burrows

Gophers, moles, and voles dig burrows across your yard. Once they’ve been eliminated, these old gopher holes and burrows can remain on your property. Snakes will commonly use them for shelter as they provide a great place for them to hide, rest, and breed. Fill in any of these holes and burrows with dirt or gravel. This will help deter snakes from using them.

Use Natural Predators

Snakes have a few natural predators that can help keep them away. Common snake predators include cats, raccoons, pigs, turkeys, guinea hens, and foxes. Keeping any of these animals around your home will help deter snakes from coming near. You can also buy fox urine and sprinkle it around your property to help deter snakes, as well.

Use Natural Repellents

There are several natural products that are known to repel snakes. These natural snake repellents can be used around the perimeter of your property, around pools, along the edges of ponds, and anywhere else you have noticed snake activity.

  • Ammonia. Ammonia is especially effective around pools and ponds. Soak rags in ammonia and put them in unsealed plastic bags. Place the bags around pools and ponds to help keep snakes out. For best results, change them out daily.
  • Naphthalene. Naphthalene is commonly found in many commercial snake repellent products. It can also be bought in pure form and used around your property.
  • Sulfur. Sulfur offers twofold irritation to snakes. It puts off an odor that snakes dislike; it also irritates their skin. You can use sulfur around the perimeter of your property or anywhere snakes have been spotted. It’s best to use gloves as it can also irritate human skin, as well.
  • Clove and cinnamon oil. These two natural ingredients work best when combined together to repel snakes. Mix them together in a spray bottle and spray anywhere snakes have been seen.
  • Garlic and onions. Garlic and onions not only work when planted in your yard, but they also work as a natural snake repellent product as they both contain sulfonic acid which is known to repel snakes. Chop up both garlic and onions and mix them with rock salt. Sprinkle the mixture around your yard to repel snakes.
  • Vinegar. Standard vinegar is an effective snake repellent around water sources. No dilution is necessary. Pour standard white vinegar around the edges of ponds and pools for snake deterrence.
  • Lime. Lime is effective when mixed with hot pepper or peppermint oil. Mix these together in a glass bottle and apply around the perimeter of your yard.

Despite our best efforts, snakes can still make their way into our yards and homes. If you have a problem with snakes, contact your local pest control company who specializes in snake removal who can help you properly identify the type of snake you have (venomous vs nonvenomous) and help safely and humanely remove it from your property.

 

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5 Signs You Need to Invest in Florida Pest Control

South Florida Pest Control Tips

Purchasing and owning a home is a serious investment for every homeowner. Ensuring that it’s aesthetically pleasing, in good repair, and healthy is at the top of our minds. The last thing we want to deal with is a pest infestation, though it’s likely to happen from time to time. While spotting one or two pests is not usually a big deal, if the problem becomes bigger than we can handle, it could be time to call an exterminator. Check out our top 5 signs that it’s time to contact your local South Florida pest control company.

Rodent Droppings

Finding rodent droppings is one of the first indications that a rat is inside your home. Rat droppings are found in dark, undisturbed places in the home, including basements, attics, or crawlspaces. If these creatures find their way inside, they can cause serious destruction, such as chewed electrical wires that can lead to house fires. They’re also known to carry diseases, putting your family’s health at risk.

Nests

Nests are usually found in basements, attics, or even old cabinets. Pests such as mice, birds, or rats will nest in your home to find a safe place to search for a food source, keep warm, and breed. Finding a nest usually means that the pest population inhabiting your home is getting larger.

Noises & Smells

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to scratches, tapping, or squeaking coming from the walls or attic? No, you are not in a horror movie, it’s an indication of a rat, rodent, bird, or termite infestation. These sounds can follow with strange, alarming smells such as the pest’s droppings or urine.

Property Damage

If you start to notice your home or the items in your home are damaged, it’s a sign that pests have snuck in. Spotting chewing or gnawing marks on our furniture, clothes, or walls indicates that rodents such as rats or mice are inside. Ants and termites are likely to destroy wood throughout the home, affecting your home’s structural integrity. Other pests, such as bed bugs, will often eat our bedsheets and mattresses.

Recurring Pest Problems

Many pests can be easily removed or controlled through some do-it-yourself pest control. But, sometimes, as much as we try to remove these pests ourselves, it might be time to call in the professionals for routine pest control service. Pest Control includes a thorough inspection of your home, pest identification, locating pest entry points, and ongoing treatment and pest prevention. Request a free pest control estimate now to get started.

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