Blog | Critter Control Tampa

Why Do Rodents Chew on Wires?

If rodents like rats, mice, and squirrels enter your home in search of food, water, and shelter, why do theyrodent chewing wire seem to spend so much time chewing on wires once they get inside? Wires aren’t a source of nourishment or a common material used for nesting, but they do serve another important purpose for these unwanted critters.

Why Rodents Enter Your Home

The cause of an infestation has little to do with the hygiene of your home and more to do with a rodent’s natural instinct to nest in a warm, quiet place. Some of the other reasons these creatures seek shelter in homes are to:

? Be near an abundance of food and water

? Hide from natural predators

? Create a safe nesting site for their young

? Avoid harsh weather conditions

However, once rodents find what they need inside your home, they can start to cause trouble by chewing on boxes, wood columns, and even wires. When rodents gnaw through cords and cables, it can create a wide range of problems for you, your budget, and your way of life.

Dangers of Rodents Chewing

Mice, rats, and squirrels have to chew to prevent the overgrowth of their teeth. That’s why you’ll often find them gnawing on tough materials as a way to file them. Not only can the chewing done by rodents cost your family in repair and replacement fees, but it can also pose serious health and safety risks. Some examples include:

? A shutdown of household electrical systems

? Setting off fire or security alarms

? Electrical sparks

? House fires due to electrical shortages

The best way to protect your home is to prevent a rodent infestation altogether — or, if you have an existing pest problem, to take care of it as soon as possible. But instead of trying to remove rodents on your own, turn to local professionals that will secure your home the safest ways possible.

Let Us Restore Your Peace of Mind

At Critter Control® of Tampa, we work endlessly to give you and your family the reassurance of a safe, rodent-free home. If there is evidence of rodent infestation, such as chewed wires, water leaks, or droppings, you can rely on our licensed technicians to clear out these guests, remove the mess, and take preventative measures to keep an infestation from occurring again. To schedule a free inspection in your home, please call us today at 813.948.0870.

Common Signs of a Rat Infestation

The more time you spend at home, the more you’ll pick up on suspicious sounds, strong smells, and other rat in trapstrange signs. But that still might not make it easy to tell when the unusual happenings around your home are the usual signs of a rat infestation. Here’s how to tell if you have rats in the attic, walls, or anywhere else in your household.

The Clues These Critters Leave Behind

There are a variety of different clues that rats unintentionally leave around your home, including:

· Gnaw marks – Found on food packaging, insulation, wires, or wooden beams, gnaw marks are a strong sign that you have rats or a similar rodent.

· Noise – Because rats are nocturnal, you may hear scratching sounds as they run around during the nighttime.

· Odor – Rat infestations typically create a musky or stale smell, which grows stronger as an infestation grows larger.

· Droppings – Rat droppings tend to pile up near food sources or in hidden areas in your kitchen and dining room.

· Nests – Perhaps the most obvious sign of rats, nests are built from paper, cardboard, or a similar material.

Extra Places You’ll Find These Pests

Rats, like most other rodents, are attracted to trash. These scavengers will seize any opportunity to dig through easily accessible garbage, which is why your garage could quickly become a hotspot. Check the areas where you most frequently store waste and keep a close eye out for any of the warning signs mentioned above. If you have piles of trash in your driveway or unsealed trashcans in your garage, you may want to think about a more secure waste system that will keep rats from coming back.

Scaling the Size of Your Infestation

When gauging how serious a rat problem is, you’ll need to try and gauge the size of the rat problem as well. Below are some likely signs that your infestation could be bigger than it seems:

· Rats running around in the daytime

· Urine puddles and droppings throughout your house

· Strange, stressed behavior coming from your pets

These indications might give you a better idea of just how major your infestation is, but the only way to know for sure is to have your home professionally inspected.

Remove Rats Right Now

A rat infestation is another problem to add to your already full plate. That’s why the team at Critter Control® of Tampa offers a range of residential services to help you through every step of the pest control process. We’ll inspect your home for rats, remove any unwanted animals, protect your home from reentry, and even repair areas affected by rat damage. To schedule a free inspection, call us at 813.948.0870.

What Kind of Wild Animals Can Get Into My Attic?

Attics are the perfect hideout for wildlife — especially wild animals trying to escape the Florida heat and animals in atticrain. Hearing whimpers, growls, and scurrying sounds in your attic can not only be concerning, but also alarming if you don’t know exactly which critter you’re dealing with. Luckily, if you know the types of wild animals in your area and the warning signs of an infestation, you can better solve the problem before it gets out of hand.

Have Rats or Mice Infested Your Attic?

Rats and mice need water, food, and shelter — which often leads them to nearby attics. Along with these bare necessities, your attic provides a sense of safety that creates a perfect nesting location. Signs of rats or mice in the attic include:

· Tiny, black droppings

· Nests made of paper, cardboard, and insulation

· Chewing marks on wires and boxes

Could Squirrels Be Nesting in Your Attic?

Your attic can make a great nesting location for squirrels. More often than not, these critters will leave chewing marks on your vents, shingles, and wiring — causing costly damage. You might have squirrels in your attic if you hear or see:

· Scurrying and shuffling noises in the daytime

· Scratching, squeaking, or barking sounds

· Missing, torn, or scratched insulation

Are Bats Roosting in Your Attic?

Bats are known to hide and colonize in dark, quiet places — which is probably how you would describe your attic. Unfortunately, bats can easily get stuck once they find a way inside. It’s important to note that bats are seasonally protected in Florida, so you need professional help in order to get them out. Some of the most common warning signs of a bat infestation in the attic include:

· Dark, greasy stains on the walls or ceiling

· Foul odor from bat droppings, or guano

· Screeching noises

Do You Have a Raccoon in Your Attic?

Raccoons will enter your attic for protection, nesting, and easy access to food. They are one of the largest animals known to infest attics and can cause major damage. The following warning signs could mean you have a raccoon in your attic:

· Heavy footsteps during the nighttime

· Torn shingles or roof vents

· Holes, dents, or other damage to the walls

We Are Here to Help

If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, avoid your attic and any at-home methods of extermination. It is common for these invasive species to carry diseases that can be harmful to you and your family, which is why any pest situation is best handled by the wildlife professionals at Critter Control® of Tampa. Our team of trained experts can efficiently determine the cause of your infestation and humanely remove any unwanted animals from your home. To schedule a complimentary inspection, call us today at 813.948.0870.

Are Bats in the Attic Dangerous?

You hear them rustling from above, smell their waste piling up, and maybe even spot them flying around bats in atticyour home. But more than just being a nuisance, you need to know if bats in the attic are a serious threat. Let’s take a look at the legal, medical, and residential risks involved with an infestation so you can get a better picture of the problem.

Major Medical Concerns

They aren’t looking for trouble, trying to cause a mess, or attempting to bring any harm to your household, but bats still pose a handful of health concerns to anyone living in close proximity. Even if you feel safe from direct contact, bites, or scratches, you aren’t safe from the medical threats caused by contamination. For example, bat guano, or waste, that piles up in your attic can dry out and produce toxic spores that quickly and rapidly spread throughout the air.

Serious Structural Danger

Droppings left behind from bats are even bigger than a concern to your health. When guano and urine seep into the walls and floorboards of your home, you can experience serious damage from mold growth. Furthermore, excess dampness can weaken the structure of wood and ruin the quality of your interior paint –– which costs a lot to repair and replace once you manage to get them out. Over time, you’re bound to spot even more damage inside your insulation, walls, and ceilings, which means your infestation is bound to cost more the longer it goes unsolved.

Potential Legal Liability

If your home hosts a bat infestation during certain times of the year, you could face legal trouble for trying to get rid of them. In fact, from April 15 to August 15 in Florida, it’s against the law to exclude, relocate, or kill bats that you find in your attic. To protect yourself from the legal dangers of a bat infestation, find yourself a local, trusted wildlife management partner that can keep bats at bay and keep your home safe around the calendar.

Don’t Take the Risk(s)

At Critter Control® of Tampa, we understand that any unwelcome critter has got to go. But we also know that wildlife still has a place in the environment and a purpose in the community. That’s why we use non-lethal methods of removal and other humane tactics under our CritterSafe® program. To learn more about our services or to get a free inspection to check for bats, please call us today at 813.948.0870.

What to Do When You See Rodents in Your Home

Big or small, a rodent infestation can cause you and your home significant problems. Not only can a rodent infestation damage the infrastructure of your property, but it can also endanger the safety of you, your loved one, and your pets. The following guide details how you should prioritize your first steps after noticing suspicious signs of rodent activity in your home.rodent removal tampa

  1. Take Immediate Action

You must act quickly to curb the spread of a rodent infestation. Not only will such a situation make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe in your own home, but one small rodent infestation can soon turn into a large-scale and long-term problem if not treated right away. Therefore, addressing the complaint as soon as possible will also help in protecting your property and ridding it of any unwanted animals.

  1. Identify the Animal Type and Location

Common types of invasive rodents include rats, mice, and squirrels. Even if you think you know what kind of animal is infesting your home, it’s important to concretely identify the culprit. Otherwise, you may run the risk of using an improperly sized trap or attempting an illegal wildlife practice.

Determining the location of the rodent is as equally important as determining the species. You’ll not only need to understand where the rodent is nesting, but also how they got inside. Identifying entry and nesting points will help you choose the correct removal method that is both safe and effective for the animal. If you are unable to identify and/or locate the rodent you saw, then enlist the help of a professional pest control provider.

  1. Keep a Detailed Record

Part of these steps is to ensure that such an infestation won’t occur again. Keeping a record of the wildlife activity in your home can help a professional rodent removal expert identify patterns and understand which areas need extra attention.

  1. Contact Wildlife Professionals

At Critter Control® of Tampa, we understand the burden that rodents can put on your property, which is why we work to quickly and carefully solve any wildlife issue you might have. If you suspect you have a rodent infestation, our expert technicians are committed to using humane measures to permanently solve the situation. To schedule a complimentary inspection of your apartment building, please call us today at 813-948-0870.

What Do Rats in the Attic Sound Like?

If you have rats in the attic, you’re sure to see a lot of warning signs –– scratches, gnaw marks, droppings, and grease stains. However, you might also hear a few warning signs as well. Listen up for the most common noises that rats make in the attic.rats in attic tampa

When to Listen Up

Sure, rats are quick and tiny creatures, but they can create a ton of noise. From squeaking and hissing to rustling and scratching, you’ll most definitely hear them if they’re in your attic. Because rats are fairly nocturnal, you’ll mostly hear these noises at night. However, rats can also get active in the daytime to search for food.

What to Listen For

Do you think you might have rats in the attic? If you hear any of the following noises, it’s time to call a professional to have your home inspected.

  • Scratching – Whether climbing, crawling, or digging throughout the walls of your home, rats are sure to make this sound.
  • Scurrying – When rats run around in your attic, you might hear some shuffling noises coming from above.
  • Gnawing – Rats are almost constantly chewing to file down their teeth, find food, and access new areas of your home.
  • Squeaking – High-pitched chirping noises are how rats communicate with each other, and it’s how you’ll be able to tell they’re in your home.

How to Stop the Noise

Once you know that rats are the cause of commotion, take the necessary steps to get them out of your home and keep them from coming back, including:

  • Seal Entry Points – It’s crucial to seal off all access points for any rodent to use. This includes roof tile gaps, small holes in doors, and other areas that fit small critters.
  • Trim Branches – A solid way of blocking rats from the attic is cutting down their bridge towards your roof. If you have overhanging limbs, trim them regularly.
  • Conceal Your Garage – Since rats are always on the hunt for food, it’s important to make sure your garbage has tight-fitting lids that won’t let any smells that attract rats escape.

Let Us Take Care of the Critters

Rats only know one thing: survival. Because of this, our team at Critter Control® of Tampa only uses humane, CritterSafe® products and services to remove and relocate rats from your home. And once we clear your property of critters, we’ll seal up entry points, sanitize the area, and restore damage done to your attic. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 813-948-0870.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Rid of Rats in the Attic?

Living in a material world means racking up expenses. But saving money can help your wallet and provide a cushion for unexpected purchases –– like taking care of a rat infestation. Rats are known to cause a lot of chaos in homes and, more specifically, attics. Luckily, the cost of immediate rat removal is far less than the cost of rat damage. Being aware of the signs and costs of this problem will make it worth it in the end.

The Reasons Rats Choose Your Attic

Rats may quickly be drawn to your attic because of the shelter it provides. They can use an attic to form a nest and raise their young, which is a better alternative for them than staying out in the wild. Rats may also use your attic as a form of safety away from predators.rat exterminator tampa

Your home can also offer a steady source of food for rats. Because rats are always teething, they want to bite or chew on anything –– which includes the food in your kitchen. That’s why it is important to place food in airtight, sealed containers and take out the trash often.

The Financial Cost of a Rat Infestation

These tiny rodents can cause severe damage to the structure of your home, and they can introduce all sorts of health risks to your space. By staying in your attic, rats may make a nest from insulation. Additionally, they will chew and destroy wiring, causing electrical problems and potential fire hazards. These problems will become costly and may dig deep into your savings.

Another large financial problem to consider is medical bills. Rat diseases can spread to humans and cause health problems that must be treated properly and immediately. Rat bites and rabies are just two common health concerns from an infestation. Overall, the cost of rat removal is nominal when compared to the many other expenses you’ll be hit with if you don’t take care of the issue. Being proactive and careful about these situations will save you time and money in the long run.

The Right Rat Removal Partner

If you aren’t prepared for the repair fees and medical expenses of a rat infestation, partner with the wildlife management team at Critter Control® of Tampa. Our trained staff of wildlife experts can create a rat removal and prevention plan that doesn’t push your budget. To schedule a complimentary inspection of your home, call us today at 813-948-0870.

Protecting Your Property Before Bat Maternity Season

If you choose to leave a wildlife inspection off of your in-home to-do list this spring, then you may accidentally be opening your home to unwelcome guests, like bats.

Bats on your property can cause a host of problems, and if you don’t have them removed before the start of bat maternity season, you won’t have any means of keeping them out until summer’s end.

What Is Bat Maternity Season?

Bat maternity season, April 15 to August 15, is the time of year when female bats roost and raise their young — and it’s also the time when bat exclusion is temporarily prohibited. During the season, roughly 40 bats at a time will gather in a warm, safe shelter to feed and protect their bat pups. This shelter, which typically consists of caves or hollow trees, can easily end up being your rental property’s attic or chimney.

Prevention Tactics for the Season

To protect your property, there are several preventative measures you can implement to keep bats away. The first and probably the most important step is closing any openings that lead inside, including those around:

  • Plumbing pipes
  • Gas pipes
  • Cable wiring
  • Heating and cooling units
  • Washer and dryer units

Keep in mind that bats will roost in the spaces between the interior and exterior of a building, so these points of interest should always be on your inspection list. They may seem tiny and insignificant, but these holes and gaps are often just large enough for bats to fit through. Of course, closing interior and exterior openings can help protect your property, but they alone aren’t the right way to deal with any existing infestations.

Getting Your Property Ready

Before maternity season starts, you have the opportunity to implement legal and humane bat removal methods to rid your home of any nesting bats. However, beware of the countless ineffective methods of bat removal that exist online, such as:

  • Pesticides, which are harmful to the environment
  • Mothballs, which contain naphthalene: a solution toxic to humans in large amounts
  • Ultrasonic devices, which simply deter bats without removing their source of interest

Instead of wasting time and money on DIY bat removal, get the job done right by contacting professional pest removal experts who know the proper and effective bat exclusion methods and removal processes such as one-way exits, entry point restoration, and exclusion tubes. These methods have been proven to keep bats from entering your property without causing harm.

Get Started Before the Season Does

Bat maternity season is quickly approaching, which is why your property needs not only an inspection but also a thorough bat prevention strategy. The highly trained and certified technicians at Critter Control® of Tampa will quickly and safely remove bats from your attic and keep future ones from visiting with a series of humane wildlife prevention techniques. To schedule your free consultation before the start of the season, call us at 813-948-0870 today.

Can an Exterminator Get Rid of Bats?

An animal infestation is always a headache to deal with –– whether it be a small, furry bat or a large, dark-eyed raccoon. In fact, bats can frequent your home with ease due to their small size and stature. Although an exterminator can get rid of bats, there are several other solutions that can safely and effectively remove these critters from your home for a long period of time.

Don’t Take Chances With Bats

It is important to be aware of a bat infestation in your home. Bats typically stay in an attic, as it offers a dark and secluded place away from predators. Some signs of a bat infestation are:

  • Scratching noises
  • A foul odor
  • Dark stains on the walls
  • Fluttering or screeching noises

While they don’t mean to make trouble, bats can cause health issues that may harm you and your pets. For example, bat bites transmit rabies, bat guano creates fungus, and bat contamination transfers histoplasmosis. There are plenty of ways to remove bats from your home, but keep in mind that some are more humane than others. Being aware of the signs and dangers of bat infestations can help you choose an effective, safe removal method.bat exterminator tampa

Don’t Settle for Short-Term Fixes

Bat extermination offers short-term removal, meaning that bats may only be gone for a short time. They may come back to your home if you don’t get to the root cause of the infestation. Extermination may also mean ineffective removal, in which not all the bats are actually removed. And if any bats are left behind, they can leave behind a foul odor once they get stuck in your home with no food or water.

In addition, bat exterminators may also use inhumane tactics for removal. For example, they may use traps that hurt the bats or separate mothers from their young. The key is to turn to wildlife management instead. This practice uses humane tactics through safe and effective methods, which include:

  • Inspection – Identifying entry points
  • Removal – Removing bats with care
  • Exclusion – Sealing entry points to prevent further bat infestations
  • Restoration – Cleaning up the area and creating long-term solutions

Safe, Effective, Complete Wildlife Management

At Critter Control® of Tampa, we work each and every day to safely exclude wild animals from the places they don’t belong. If you suspect you have a bat infestation in your home, you can count on our licensed technicians to remove the critters, clean up the mess, and prevent another infestation from happening. To get a free inspection of your home, please call us today at 813-948-0870.

Can Wild Animals and Domestic Pets Carry Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The unprecedented international crisis that is COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has forced many Americans to withdraw into their homes to assist in “flattening the curve.” Indeed, with confirmed cases in the Tampa Bay area, the CDC and the White House have recommended the practice of social distancing from large crowds in order to slow and reduce the spread of the infectious disease.

With so many home and pet owners locked up inside, Tampa residents and their furry friends may begin to experience cabin fever — especially if they are joined by invasive wild animals such as raccoons, bats, or rodents looking for a place of their own to hunker down.covid-19

If this extra time indoors leads you to discover the presence of unwelcome wildlife on your premises, such as bats, then you may have some alarming questions that we can help answer during these uncertain times.

Can Bats Spread Coronavirus?

While the animal-to-person infection is rare, coronaviruses commonly originate in different species of animals, including bats, camels, cattle, and cats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that, just like the SARS and MERS coronaviruses, the novel, or new, coronavirus outbreak did originate from bats — the source of which has been linked to an open-air, live animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, where a patient zero likely consumed a diseased animal.

Now, the novel coronavirus is a global pandemic that is present in 150 locations, including the United States. Since the initial transmission, however, the virus has spread strictly person-to-person with no risk of diseased bats outside of the virus’ epicenter.

Are Wild Animals or Pets Hosts for Coronavirus?

Thankfully, there have been no documented or recorded cases of any animals, domesticated or otherwise, becoming sick with COVID-19 to date. However, out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those who are infected or are at a higher risk of infection from the COVID-19 virus limit direct contact with other humans as well as pets until more information about the virus is known. Healthy, uninfected pet owners, however, should increase their sanitization practices but are free to interact with their pets as they normally would.

Furthermore, officials and infectious disease experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC have agreed that there is no evidence to support the notion that pets or wild animals can catch, carry, or spread the coronavirus to other animals or humans. But unfortunately, there are other serious diseases that wild animals can carry and spread — such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, rabies, and salmonella — which can make both people and pets extremely sick.

Safeguard Your Home from Diseased Wildlife

If wild animals are present on your property or in your home, do not attempt to remove them on your own. Doing so may be illegal and could put your safety and the safety of your loved ones at risk. Instead, contact the wild animal removal professionals at Critter Control® of Tampa. Our expert technicians will quickly remove any nuisance wildlife from your property so you can focus on the continued well-being of your family and pets during this difficult time. For more information or to schedule a free and sanitary property inspection, contact us today at 813-328-5629.

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