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Category: raccoons

Wildlife Woes

Summer is a great time to watch the wildlife around your home. Each creature has its place in the ecosystem and plays its part in adding to it. Unfortunately, some wildlife can get too close or cause damage when they enter your property. From dumping garbage barrels to digging up gardens, wildlife can be a real problem when they stray too close to human habitats. Here are a few tips to keep the wildlife at bay this summer while still allowing the ecosystem to flourish.

  • Bunnies or deer in your garden? Fencing can be a real help when it comes to keeping out these wildlife. Make your garden and yard less attractive to wildlife by making smart planting choices and talking to your lawn professionals about good landscape design.
  • Bird feeders can attract squirrels, bears, and raccoons. Hang bird feeders where only birds can reach them. Store bird seed inside your home or in a locking metal bin that can not be opened by even the most clever of raccoons.
  • Trash barrels can be tempting to all sorts of wildlife including skunks, raccoons, and squirrels. Keep your garbage in a can with a tight-fitting lid that cannot be opened by animals.
  • Treat your yard for grubs and other pests that attract animals such as skunks and raccoons. The digging and lawn damage can be extensive if they find an infestation of grubs. You can identify skunk damage as small holes the size of a quarter to a half dollar. Raccoon damage can be recognized as large chunks of turf torn apart and strewn about.
  • Moles can damage underground piping and irrigation systems. Be on the lookout for tunnels and holes with mounds of dirt at the opening.
  • Groundhogs (aka woodchucks) like to eat flowers, shrubs, and yard and garden vegetation. They also dig large tunnels under decks, sheds, and hillsides.  The burrow entrances are usually soccer ball to basketball size.

 

Do you have a wildlife woe at your home? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321, or visit our website for information about these pests.

Bats and other Attic Pests

Last week we examined pests that like to make a home in your garage. This week we will examine another popular nesting and hiding place for pests such as bats, raccoons, mice and rats – the common attic pests. Your attic is probably a great storage spot for your family’s items such as decorations, bins of clothing, and old furniture. For the critters that want to find a home in your attic, this area can be a place to nest that is warm, safe from predators, and has fairly easy access to food and water. Let’s take a closer look at signs that there may be critters taking up residence in your attic and what you can do about it.

There are several main giveaways that there may be a pest or pests taking up safe haven in your attic including:

  • Droppings such as small pellets indicative of a mouse or rat; larger, oily droppings common with raccoons; and bat guano that can be seen and smelled!
  • Actually seeing activity of pests such as spotting a bat in flight, a mouse scurry by, or the scratchings of a raccoon.
  • If you do not see activity you may hear activity either day or night depending upon the critter. Sounds may include scratching, gnawing, or even light footsteps.

Once you suspect that you may have a bat or other critter in your attic, you will want to take steps to protect your storage items and eliminate the creature from your home. We recommend not trying to do this yourself as raccoons can become aggressive when cornered and other pests can make the area unsafe to venture into without the proper equipment. Call Pest-End to first inspect the area and then remove or eliminate the pest. Once removed you should be sure to assess how the pests got into the area and seal up/repair the entry point.

If you suspect that you have pests in your attic, call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.

Garage Pests

For homeowners, garages are often convenient spaces to store excess “stuff” such as holiday decorations, bikes, lawn equipment, bins of old clothing and, of course, trash. For pests however, garages are a cornucopia of treasures such as: discarded food in the garbage barrels, a warm place to nest in the bins of old clothes and, of course, garages provide shelter from the elements. What critters do you have in your garage? Here are some of the most common garage pests to be aware of and how you can protect your “stuff” from unwanted visitors.

Common Garage Pests –

  • Raccoons
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Skunks
  • Ants
  • Termites

In order to avoid this line up of critters from making their home in your garage, here are a few tips on how to protect the area.

  • Keep your door down when you are not in the need of using the interior of the garage. This may mean maintaining the mechanisms or just remembering to shut the door each time. Keeping the pests out is the first step in making sure they do not take up residence in your garage.
  • Clean up the clutter. The less clutter there is for pests to find a home inside of, the better. Clutter is attractive to many pests because of the the hiding places it can offer, so do your best to keep clutter in your garage to a minimum.
  • Reduce the attraction. Keep lights off and garbage barrels covered. These two things can be like a beacon to pests such as wild animals and bugs to enter the area. The smells from your trash and the light from the garage may cause some pests just to check out what is in there.
  • Have a pest management team inspect your garage. If you suspect that some critter is living or at least visiting your garage regularly, call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321 for an inspection and a solution to your garage pest problem.

Who’s in the Attic?

Ever had a quiet moment in your home and heard rustling, scratching, or squeaking of some kind? Wondering if you are losing your mind or, if possibly, there are creatures hiding out in your home, specifically in the attic? This is the time of year when wildlife begin to search for warmth, and access to food and water. Unfortunately, your home may be an attractive alternative to the cold, wind, and precipitation of the outdoors. So once you realize that something is up there, you’ll need to find out “Who’s in the attic?”

 

Attics make particularly good hiding places for several reasons including: many homeowners do not frequent the area, there are ample places to build a nest, and the heat of the home will keep wildlife safe and warm all winter. Ok, so it is not what you want to hear, but we have solutions for removing and preventing future invasions. First, we need to determine which creature or creatures are taking refuge in your attic. Here is a quick list of possible culprits.

 

  • Raccoons – If you are hearing noises during nighttime hours such as rustling and scratching, you most likely have a raccoon or flying squirrel living in your attic.  Raccoons and flying squirrels are nocturnal animals, meaning they are usually only active at night. If a raccoon is living in your attic, you may see areas called ”latrines” which are where a raccoon urinates and defecates in the same spot regularly. Raccoons generally do all their evacuations outside, to avoid attracting predators due to any scents. However, sometimes they do create latrines inside, so this is something to watch for. An oily stain on a ceiling may be your first clue that there’s a latrine above.
  • Squirrels –  If you are hearing noises during daylight hours you most likely have a squirrel living in your attic.  Squirrels are typically only active during the day, and their activity patterns cease as soon as it has become dark outside. If a squirrel is living in your attic, you may see leaves and debris such as nuts stashed around the attic. You may also see squirrel droppings left behind, which are usually smooth and oval in shape.
  • Rats and Mice – Rodents can find their way into your home using openings as small as a dime. That means if you have any gaps in your foundation or near windows, doors, or vents, you may have left your home open to rodent infestation. If you hear light footsteps at night or in the walls, or see small droppings around your home, or even if you see chewed items when you investigated the attic, you may have a mouse or rat problem.
  • Bats – Bats tend to be less noticeable in sound but are often discovered because they make their way into the living areas of the home or the smell of their guano (droppings) alert you to their presence.

 

If you have unwanted guests staying in your attic, call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321

 

Raccoon Reminders

Ricky Raccoon and other cartoon raccoons make it seem like these creatures are adorable and friendly animals. The reality is that raccoons are not cuddly, masked animals making a mess of your trash. They are dextrous, smart and desperate for food this spring. That combination makes them creatures to be wary of and to be on guard for especially after a whole winter of hibernating. Here are a few reminders of how to prevent and deal with these pests when they find there way onto your property.

 

  • Keep garbage in tied off bags and secured in trash barrels. Some homeowners find that even this is not enough to keep these intelligent creatures out of your barrels. A locking mechanism may help but they have been known to get through many layers of locks. They are extremely dexterous and can quickly solve any locking trick.
  • Raccoons will eat just about anything from garbage to gardens. That means keep all food related items contained including pet food.
  • Raccoons have extremely long and sharp claws so do not approach them to scare them off.  They may feel trapped and use those claws.
  • Raccoons are nocturnal meaning they sleep all day and come out at night. If you see one during the day it could be confused, sick or rabid. Please keep your distance.
  • If raccoons have made their way into your crawl space or attic do not try to remove them on your own. Experienced professionals should be called to remove them and exclude them from your property.
  • Know the signs that raccoons are making themselves at home on your property. These include: tipped trash cans, raided bird feeders, pilfered gardens, damaged crops (ex. chewed sweet corn, hollowed out watermelons), uncapped chimneys, torn shingles and raccoon tracks: five long toes and fingers resembling human hands.

 

As always if you suspect a raccoon problem call Pest-End Exterminators to eliminate and exclude the problem.

 

Wildlife Wake Up – Spring Yard and Home Issues

With a yawn and a stretch, the spring wildlife is beginning to wake up. The warmer weather is just around the corner and nature is slowly coming back to life. According to the World Wildlife Federation, waking up from winter hibernation is hard work. Drowsy mammals have to shiver for hours to get their chilly bodies moving again. By the time they do warm up, they are ready for a good meal! That means birds, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, deer, and skunks are beginning to look for food and sustenance around your home.

 

Here are a few suggestions on preventing and dealing with wildlife wake up season.

 

  • Always keep a cover on your trash, preferably one with a locking mechanism to prevent raccoons and skunks from seeing your trash barrels as a buffet line.
  • Check attics and siding before starting any spring projects in those areas. You do not want to surprise any mommas and her young. Safety first!
  • Keep bird feeders in areas where wildlife can not access other than your birdy friends.
  • Check for nests and families of birds and squirrels before you start your spring trimming of trees and bushes.
  • Inspect chimneys and vents to be sure no wildlife has used your home as their hibernation location.
  • Keep pet food indoors and inspect the yard before you let Fido out for the day.
  • Spring is traditionally mating season so stay away from wildlife that may wander onto your property.

 

If you have deer, skunks, raccoons or other wildlife that you need to prevent from entering your property give us a call at Pest-End Exterminators and we can evaluate the situation and help you take the proper measures to keep you and your loved ones safe.

 

Common Winter Pests

Think that just because the weather has turned cold and the snow has arrived that pests are no longer a problem? Unfortunately, this is not true. It is true that summer is the prime pests season but winter has its share of pests to be aware of. Some pests do go into a form of hibernation but others enter homes seeking warmth and food sources. The National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to be aware of and take precautions against common winter pests like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches and spiders.

Mice and Rats – Out of all the pests, mice and rats are one of the most common in the winter months and most hated. They can cause a number of problems. Not only are they unhygienic and carry diseases, but they can also cause a lot of damage chewing on wood or wires. Wood or field mice are common in the colder months and they will easily find their way inside the house. Rats on the other hand are more likely to live in outbuildings or your garden. Since mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime, and rats in a hole the size of a quarter, be sure to seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool.

Raccoons – Raccoons are commonly found in the wooded eastern portions of the country. You may notice that they find their way into your garbage cans and compost piles at night and can make a huge mess. They also occasionally enter homes through attics or chimneys in search of a denning site. Raccoons are a major host of rabies in the United States so keeping them away from your property should be a top priority.

The German Cockroach is the most common species of cockroach found throughout the world. German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture. This type of cockroach often hitchhikes indoors via grocery bags, boxes and secondhand appliances, and is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. Cleanliness in the kitchen and bathrooms will help prevent a cockroach invasion.

Spiders – While spiders are generally beneficial creatures they can become a nuisance once inside your home. Spiders are difficult to control in that they can squeeze through tiny cracks and tend to enter homes in large numbers during the winters.

If you find that your home has become a haven for any of these common winter pests call Pest-End Exterminators for an evaluation and treatment options.

Masked Bandit Strikes Yet Again

Sneaking around your property at night, rifling through your property, and making a mess are trademark signs that these bandits have been near your home. They may even break in and steal your stuff! No, I am not talking about thieves, I am talking about those tricky little masked bandits called raccoons.

These nocturnal creatures can live just about anywhere since they are so adaptable and smart. They will eat just about anything which could include your garbage, harvests from your garden or rodents living around your property. In the natural world, raccoons snare a lot of their meals in the water. These nocturnal foragers use lightning-quick paws to grab crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. These nimble paws can also be used in urban settings to unlock your trash cans, climb to your unscreened chimney or squeeze their way into your siding.

If you see any tell-tale signs that a raccoon or raccoon family is invading your property be aware that they may also find your house to be a comfy, warm place to nest and ride out the winter. Look specifically for garbage cans that are knocked over and rifled through. Listen for scratching in your attic, crawl spaces or walls. And keep a keen eye out for these nighttime scavengers around your yard especially if you have a pet that goes out before bed.

If you do suspect a masked invasion call Pest-End Exterminators. Our professional technicians can not only handle the extermination of the raccoon(s) but can also determine the means of access and recommend a plan to keep them from returning to your home. Take action so that the masked bandits do not strike yet again.

Keeping Wildlife Out in the Wild

The wildlife in New England really is something to behold. From jumpy squirrels to masked raccoons, they are so interesting to watch as they bound around the woods looking for their next meal. This adoration comes to a screeching halt, however, as soon as those critters become an unwanted visitor on your property, or worse, in your home! Wildlife that has found its way into your home can become a nightmare by causing major damage to your property in the form of chewed up wires, ruined clothing in storage, holes in the siding of your home but also these animals often carry diseases. If you have a wildlife infestation call us for a solution today whether it is a rodent, raccoon, squirrel, skunk or groundhog. We can get rid of your wildlife problem.

If you are hoping to deter wildlife from becoming a problem, here are a few tips to follow in order to keep wildlife in the wild.

  1. Eliminate entry to your home. Seal holes, crack and spaces under doors. For smaller animals it really doesn’t take much to gain entry to your home.
  2. Secure Garbage outside your home. If you do not store your garbage cans in a shed or garage, be sure to invest in a garbage container that has a lid that can lock.  Raccoons are incredibly intelligent and can figure out a way to get into your garbage and make a huge mess.
  3. Clean your grill and patio. Grills can have a smorgasbord of grease, fat and leftover meat that serve as a great buffet for wildlife. This is just an open invitation to your property and eventually your home.
  4. Keep pet food and birdseed out of reach. Do not leave your cat or dog’s food bowl outside. This is yet another invitation for wildlife to come onto your property. Birdfeeders should be kept out of reach of squirrels who can climb and jump with the best of them.
  5. Store wood away from your home so that there is not a welcome haven for nesting that stays dry and warm.
  6. In your basement keep storage off the floor and keep the area neat so wildlife can not hideout down there going unnoticed.

Raccoon Removal

Bandit-masked raccoons are a fairly common sight around New England.  These nocturnal animals will eat just about anything they can find and have the paw dexterity to open trash barrels even if they are securely locked, rip open garbage bags and find their way into pet food or bird seed stored outdoors.  They loved to feast on just about anything to build up fat for the long winter.  During winter in cold northern climates, raccoons sleep for extended periods, although they don’t actually hibernate so you may still see them foraging around your home.  But what if they find their way into your attic, chimney, basement, shed or garage?  Let’s look at the problem of raccoon removal if one such bandit finds its way into your home.

Raccoons are an extremely common problem across our area since they need to find a safe place to find food, water and shelter in order to survive our harsh winters. With their nimble hands and excellent climbing ability, raccoons can get into tight places easily and sometimes without being discovered for some time. Once you have identified that there may be a critter problem either due to the presence of feces, debris or noises the racoons may be making, you will want to be aware of the dangers.  Some of the dangers include:

  • Raccoons are a common carrier of rabies, a potentially fatal disease.
  • They also carry canine distemper, which can kill your dog.
  • Their feces may contain raccoon roundworm, the spores of which humans can breath in and become seriously infected by, so it is important to capture raccoons using human habitat.

Getting rid of raccoons whether it is one or an entire group can be tricky.  It is our strong suggestion to contact a professional company to trap and release the animals in a way that does not put your family at risk.  Contact Pest-End for more information.  It is also our strong suggestion that a professional cleanup team be hired to remove waste from these critters as they will still contain spores that could lead to disease for you or your family members.