How Do You Stop a Rat Infestation?

Because rats are nocturnal and like to stay hidden, you may not even know you have a problem until it’s already way out of control. Due to the amount of damage rats cause and the health risks they pose, it’s imperative you call a trained technician from Critter Control® of Tampa right away. We know how to get rid of rat infestations quickly and efficiently and keep them from coming back.

Warning Signs

If you think you may have rats invading your home or business, look for these common signs:

  • Rat droppings and urine near food packages, inside drawers or cupboards, and underneath the sink
  • Materials used for nesting, including shredded paper, fabric, moss, attic insulation
  • Chew marks on food packaging
  • Entry holes through walls and floors
  • Unpleasant odors coming from hidden areas
  • Torn attic insulation
  • Damaged electrical wiring

Prevention Tips

To help discourage rats from being attracted to your property, there are steps you can take such as:

  • Eliminating possible food and water sources as well as anything that provides rats with shelter
  • Removing bird feeders from the yard or garden area
  • Sealing all possible entry holes leading from the outside of the building to the inside
  • Keeping food in airtight containers
  • Removing potential nesting sites around your property such as leaf and compost piles
  • Making sure your garbage cans are tightly sealed
  • Keeping up with needed building repairs and maintenance
  • Trimming back tree branches and removing anything rats can use to climb onto your roof

Following these tips will help you to address any future rat problems, but first, you’ll need to make sure you completely get rid of your current rat infestation. Hiring the professionals from Critter Control® of Tampa will ensure that the rats are removed humanely, and your property is taken care of correctly to keep them from coming back. While we do our best to relocate the animals we remove, it is illegal to relocate rodents and is simply not feasible. If you have any questions regarding our rat removal practices, please call us today at 813.948.0870 to set up a free animal entry home inspection.

Can I Use Poison to Get Mice out of My Attic?

For many people who have discovered they have rats living in their attic, their first instinct is to get them out of there as quickly as possible. And while poisoning the rodents may seem like an inexpensive and easily accessible solution, it’s one we never recommend.

Reasons Not to Use Poison

Poisoning mice is a bad idea for many reasons including being a safety risk and bringing on additional issues as a result. Some other reasons you should never use poison to kill mice include:

Dangers to children and pets – An accidental ingestion by curious children or unaware pets can cause them to become extremely ill and can be life-threatening

Kills other unintended wildlife – Other types of wildlife can become sick from eating poison they find on the property or by feeding on mice who have already ingested the harmful substance.

Mice can end up dying behind your walls – A poisoned mouse will most likely look for a secluded spot to recover and may end up dying inside of your walls. The decomposing rodent will eventually leave an unbearable smell throughout your entire home. And, not only will you have to worry about the smell, but the carcass could attract insects, causing an even bigger infestation.

Poisons are inhumane – Since poisons do not work instantly, mice who eat it will slowly die, suffering the entire time.

You won’t be addressing the root of the problem – Even if you are able to kill the mice in your attic successfully; unless you fix how and why they are getting in, the cycle of having rodents in your home will continue.

To ensure all of the mice are removed from your attic and to avoid dealing with the horrible smell of dead rodents, the best way to get rid of them is with a proper animal exclusion.

At Critter Control® of Tampa, we are a full-service wildlife removal company. We’ll start with a free animal entry home inspection to assess the mice problem. From there, we will quickly remove the rodents in the most humane way possible. Afterward, we’ll seal off the entrance points, so the mice can’t get back in. And, if you have a dead animal odor lingering or need to fix damages caused by the mice such as ruined attic insulation, we provide those services as well. For more information or to get your free estimate, call us today at 813.948.0870.

Will Using Mothballs Fix My Mice Problem?

When mice find their way inside of your home, it can be difficult to get them to leave. With an endless supply of food and water in addition to the protection your home provides, a mouse won’t dare to leave a place they deem safe. Mice are also very smart creatures, and if they suspect danger or become bothered by smells, they will just go to a different area of your residence. While it may seem like an easy, inexpensive fix to spread some mothballs around to rid your home of mice, it’s actually a waste of time and here’s why.

The amount of naphthalene (the active ingredient inside of mothballs) is not enough to keep mice from living in your attic or behind your walls. Mothballs were created as a pesticide to keep the common clothes moth, the Tineola bisselliella, from feeding on different materials in the home including clothing, carpets, and rugs, but were not made to work on rodents. In fact, because mothballs are pesticides, the Environmental Protection Agency considers it a violation of Federal law to use the product in any manner that is not in accordance with the product’s label.

We Can Help!

Mice can tolerate mothballs the same way humans can, which means you would need a massive amount of mothballs to even slightly affect the rodents. But, by doing that you are also exposing you and your family to the toxic chemicals. The only way to effectively fix your mice problem is by trapping and removing the rodents.

At Critter Control® of Tampa, our trained technicians will ensure all of the mice are removed. We will then repair any entry holes and clean up any messes left behind. We also offer attic insulation and restoration services to get your attic back to its previous condition before the invasion. For more information, or to receive a free estimate today, please call us at 813.948.0870.

A Raccoon Had Babies In My Attic, Now What?

Raccoons are exceedingly adaptable animals that have no problem living amongst manmade habitats. As a way to avoid potential predators, raccoons prefer to build their homes above ground. Fantastic climbers, raccoons easily get onto roofs using trees, downspouts, and have even been known to climb straight up a wall.

Once the raccoons get on your roof, they will use their strength, intelligence, and hand-like paws to rip open holes and gain access to your attic. Inside, the raccoon will quickly realize that the protection, warmth, and darkness your attic provides is a perfect den site.

When is Mating Season?

Mating typically begins in January and can last through July. Female raccoons will give birth nine weeks after mating to a litter of one to eight babies, with most litters containing three to five offspring. A female raccoon only gives birth once a year and raises her young on her own, without any help from the male raccoon. To keep her babies safe, the female raccoon secures her den site in places such as attics, chimneys, sheds, decks, and porches.

When the baby raccoons are six weeks old, they will begin moving around the attic, which can be a real nuisance for homeowners. It’s not until they are eight to twelve weeks old that the babies have matured enough to leave with their mother and explore the neighborhood.

We’ve Got You Covered

At Critter Control® of Tampa, we’ve designed a four-step process that’s proven to safely and efficiently remove all wildlife from your attic. We will begin by inspecting your home to identify all entry points and come up with a plan on how to remove the animals. Next, we’ll remove the animals from your home and repair any damages that were made. Lastly, we’ll seal any cracks or holes, making sure to address any potential problems so that the critters can’t get back in. To set up your free consultation with one of our trained technicians, please call us today at 813.948.0870.

Are Bats as Dangerous as We Think?

There are many different reasons why people assume that bats are Bat in Handdangerous. Unfortunately, many of those reasons are mainly due to the myths they’ve heard about them in the past. So, what is it exactly that gives bats their scary reputation? Let’s look at some of the misconceptions – and then we’ll explain how bats really benefit our well-being, and why you shouldn’t be afraid of them.

Common Myths

Some of the most common misunderstandings about bats is that they:

  • Build nests in your hair – Bats don’t actually build nests. Instead, they hang upside down at their roost, where they rest or sleep.
  • Attack people for no reason – When bats are flying above us, they are not planning their attack. They are merely hunting the insects close to our heads that have been attracted to us because of our body heat.
  • Are vampires – Unlike how the movies portray them, not all bats feed on blood. There are three species of “vampire bats” living in Mexico, Central, and South America, that feed solely on blood for survival. And, while bats have bitten humans for blood, it is uncommon, as vampire bats mainly drink the blood of other animals.
  • All carry rabies – Disease transmission from bats to humans is extremely rare and wasn’t even thought of as a possibility until the first rabid bat was found in 1953.
  • Are blind – Bats are not blind and can actually see just as well as humans. However, their large ears help them echolocate (use the sound waves that bounce of objects, resembling a natural sonar).

Important Benefits

Now that we’ve covered some of the myths regarding bats, let’s see why they are considered to be such helpful creatures.

  • Natural pest control – Bats eat a ton of bugs, so much so, that they can eat up to their full body weight in insects every night, that’s nearly 3,000 insects! Not only do bats eat the insects in our backyards, but they also eat crop pests that damage farmer’s crops, reducing the needs for pesticides, which are unhealthy and costly.
  • Key seed dispensersWhen fruit bats eat, the seeds are spread through their guano. By being able to disperse seeds for hundreds of kilometers, the bats are helping to regenerate a healthy rainforest.
  • Pollination – if you enjoy eating foods such as bananas, avocados, guavas, and agave, you can thank a bat. Like bees, bats are also pollinators and what many people don’t realize is that there are over 500 plant species that rely on bats to pollinate their

While bats play a vital role in our ecosystem, they can be seen as a nuisance pest when building their roost site in an attic, shed, or barn.

If bats have taken over your home, it’s essential to seek expert advice. There are many laws and regulations regarding the removal of bats which need to be followed. At Critter Control® of Tampa, we offer a wide range of wildlife removal services to ensure your critter problem is taken care of effectively and humanely from start to finish.

Our team has the necessary knowledge needed to safely exclude the bats from your home, locate and repair any entry points, and clean up the mess they left behind. For a free estimate, call us today at 813.948.0870.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove an Animal from My Attic?

Animals have a habit of sneaking into attics in search of food and shelter. How Much Does It Cost to Remove an Animal from My AtticThis puts your health and the wellbeing of your property at risk, as they can do some serious damage if left unaddressed. When nuisance critters find their way inside, cost of removal is what comes up most often when considering professional removal. The truth is, every situation is different, and there are many considerations to make when calculating the cost of removing animals from an attic.

Cost Factors

When determining the cost for removal, there are multiple variables that need to be considered. We need to first determine what sort of animal is in your attic, as different animals require different techniques and equipment which can affect the overall cost. This is why doing an inspection first is important. Until then, your Critter Control® technician cannot properly assess your situation.

Other factors include how severe the infestation is and how much damage the animals have done. The more animals hiding in the attic, the higher the chance of serious damage, and the higher the potential cost. Luckily, here at Critter Control® we offer restoration services to help bring your attic to its former condition from before the infestation.

Expert Removal

Though there are many factors that contribute to the overall cost of animal removal, we strive to offer the best in safe and effective animal removal anywhere in Tampa. If critters have invaded your attic, don’t waste time and allow more damage to occur. Call Critter Control® of Tampa today at 813.948.0870 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

How to Get Rid of Rats

Rat infestation is bad news for home or business owners, as they not only Tampa Ratcause physical damage while they search for food and build nests, but they bring bacteria and unsanitary conditions into your home or office which can cause illness. Debris like scraps of paper or cardboard, fresh droppings, a foul or musty smell, or scratching noises are all telltale signs of a possible rat problem.

Professional removal is always the best way to resolve an animal problem, but there are home remedies you can use to help keep rats at bay.

Home Remedies

Getting rid of rats is something than many people in the Tampa area are familiar with. You can easily buy different types of traps that promise big results, but these methods can pose their own problems, and often leave you with messy and unsanitary carcass cleanup duty. There is a variety of different natural and non-toxic remedies to keep rats away that you can try, including applying peppermint oil, ammonia, or black pepper in areas of high rat traffic which may drive them away temporarily.

Getting rid of a rat infestation is a complex problem that often requires professional assistance, but ensuring that they cannot return should also be a priority. Areas that rats can use to enter your home need to be identified and sealed off, but these may not always be obvious, as rats can squeeze through tiny openings that you may not even be able to see. Entrances and exits for rats can be hidden in walls or foundations as well, so for best results, always call a professional removal service like Critter Control® of Tampa.

Let Us Help

If you think you have rats invading your home or office, you can try store-bought or home-brew remedies, or you can enlist the help of professionals with over three decades worth of experience. The technicians here at Critter Control® of Tampa will remove the nuisance rats, seal off entry and exit points, and clean up any messes left behind. Call us today at 813.948.0870 with any questions, or to schedule a consultation

When Do Squirrels Hibernate?

Unlike many other animals, squirrel species like the eastern gray squirrel, tampa squirrelred squirrel, and fox squirrel do not hibernate during the colder months of the year. In fact, they are one of the smallest mammals that do not hibernate. Instead, they use a number of other techniques to help them survive the cold.

As temperatures begin to drop in the fall, squirrels will start making winter preparations by collecting nuts and seeds to store in safe areas like hollowed out tree trunks or inside your home. Instead of fattening themselves up at the start of winter, they have to ensure a steady supply of food beforehand so they don’t starve.

Something else that sets squirrels apart from other small critters is that they not able to build and maintain high body fat levels, meaning that if food were to become unavailable for an extended period, they would not be able to sustain themselves like other hibernating animals.

Though squirrels are primarily vegetarians, they have been known to eat small birds or steal eggs when food sources become difficult to find.

Squirrel Hibernation Misconception

Many people are under the assumption that squirrels hibernate during winter. This is due to squirrels being rarely seen out and about in the cold weather because they would rather be out of the elements just like we would. When the weather is clear you may see them occasionally, but when the temperatures drop they stay in their nests most of the time.

Squirrel Problems? Let Us Help

For reliable help with squirrels and other wildlife, contact the experts at Critter Control® of Tampa. We possess the means to not just remove the squirrels from a premise in a reliable manner, but also to eliminate potential entrances preventing future recurrences. Call us today at 813.948.0870 to learn more or to schedule a home consultation.

What Animals Seek Shelter in Tampa Homes?

Have you begun to notice things going bump in the night, mysterious bites squirrel on rooftaken out of vegetables in your garden, or a foul smell emanating from anywhere on your property? Wildlife problems in residential and commercial areas are becoming increasingly common in the Tampa area, and are caused by a variety of different types of animals. Squirrels, raccoons, rats, mice, opossums, and even bats are commonly found seeking shelter in Tampa homes.

Here are some of the signs to watch for when identifying exactly what has entered your home.

Types of Noises

If you’re hearing noises during the day, especially in the early hours of the morning around sunrise, a squirrel may be the culprit. They are one of the only non-nocturnal animals we find invading attics, and they are characterized by a light tapping noise as they scamper about, or even the occasional sound of an acorn cracking.

A slow, loud, heavy thumping noise is often a raccoon that has found its way into your attic, and light, fast pitter-pattering and light squeaking at night is likely a mouse or rat.

Entry Points and Damage

The area of your home that animals use to gain entry as well as the type of damage caused can give you an idea of the type of critter you’re dealing with. A hole larger than an inch or two in diameter is often the work of a squirrel or raccoon, whereas a tiny hole chewed in a roofing soffit or screen enclosure is typically the work of a rat or mouse, as they can squeeze through openings as small as ¼”.

If you do suspect animal activity in your home, look for chewed up wood, wiring, cabinets, or even food containers, as these are signs of rodent activity.

Let Us Help

If animals are seeking shelter in your Tampa home, let the experts at Critter Control® of Tampa help. Our knowledgeable staff is standing by to remove the animals that have taken up residence in your home, and to repair any damage they may have caused. Call us today at 813.948.0870 with any questions or to schedule a consultation.

DIY Tricks for Getting Rid of Rats

They may go largely unseen by humans, but rats pose a serious problem for Tampa Ratbuildings, homes, and people if they are not addressed promptly. Not only is their waste an unsanitary breeding ground for bacteria, but rats will chew on anything in sight to keep their teeth trimmed to an appropriate length. They often tear up electrical wiring and attic insulation in an effort to collect nest-building materials.

What can you do to get rid of rats in your home or office?

Find the Infestation

A rat’s priorities are finding a location to build a nest and having easy access to food. A rat’s nesting location will often smell strongly of urine and feces, so follow your nose to discover where they’re holed up. If there are holes in your roof soffits or gaps in your home’s siding, the area within could be inhabited by rats.

Put Out Traps in High-Traffic Areas

After you have an idea of where the majority of your rat infestation is located, you can start placing your traps. By laying traps in the areas surrounding the infestation, you greatly increase your chances of trapping the offending rodents.

Seal Off Potential Entrances and Exits

The best way to get rid of rats is to make sure they can’t enter in the first place. By sealing up potential entry points around your home or office, you’ll help discourage rat activity while simultaneously saving money on:

  • Costs associated with repairing rat-related damage
  • Having to replace your home’s insulation due to rats using it as nesting material
  • Heating and cooling costs in your home
  • Replacing attic floors and walls due to damage from rat waste
  • Possible medical costs associated with the unsanitary conditions rats can introduce into a home or office

Allow Critter Control to Help

Though setting up rat traps seems like a simple enough process, it takes a trained professional to get the most out of them. Hiring the services of the expert technicians at Critter Control® of Tampa is the most effective way to get rats out of your home or office. To learn more about our professional rat removal services, or to schedule a consultation, call us today at 813.948.0870.