Are Brick Houses Wildlife-Proof?

Are Brick Houses Wildlife-Proof? Living in a brick home definitely has its benefits. Brick houses are great for retaining heat during winter, guarding your home against harsh storms, and resisting damage from fire. While their structure is stronger and sturdier than most others, brick houses aren’t impenetrable. In fact, if wild animals come across even one hole, gap, or crack around your property, they’ll do whatever it takes to find a way inside. 

Entering Through the Roof

Rodents can scurry up your brick walls and enter your attic through various parts of the roof. Depending on the age and overall condition, your roof may have damaged, worn, or weak problem areas that animals can chew or easily fit through. The most common rooftop spots to check for issue include: 

  • Chimney caps
  • Soffits
  • Roof vents
  • Gutters
  • Fascia
  • Shingles 

Instead of being a point of entry, your roof should be a barrier that guards your home from the elements and the wildlife that live in them. Fortunately, you can restore damaged parts of your roof and help maintain top condition by simply keeping up with your annual inspections.    

Squeezing Through a Hole

Brick is incredibly sturdy, but it can still fall victim to damage. Mortar, the workable paste used to bind bricks together, deteriorates over time due to elemental exposure or improper installation. This damage can create gaps or cracks all around the perimeter of your home. If you spot any warning signs that your home’s mortar is damaged, like a crumbling surface or white powdery substance on the outer walls, call your nearby wildlife provider to have your home immediately inspected.  

Chewing Through Softened Mortar

Once wild animals detect any weakness in the structure of your home, they will certainly take advantage of them. Of course, wild animals can’t chew or scratch their way through a brick wall, but they can fit through one if there’s an opening just big enough. And if the mortar around your home starts to soften, animals can chip at the material until they’ve made a big enough entrance. 

Wildlife-Proof Your Home Today 

No matter what type of house you have, wildlife is determined to find a way in. From raccoons and squirrels to mice and rats, wild animals are frustrating creatures that will cause major damage if not dealt with promptly. At Critter Control© of Dallas, we can quickly inspect your home, remove any invading animals, and restore the openings they used for entry. Call us for a free estimate today at 817-222-1101.

How to Start the New Year With No Pest Problems

How to Start the New Year With No Pest ProblemsNo matter how determined you are to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions, it’s nearly impossible to when you start the year with a wildlife issue. To successfully tackle the rest of your 2020 plans, clear any distractions that could affect your health, drain your funds, or get in the way of your goals. When you’re ready to take control of your pest problem, follow these simple tips. 

Trim Those Trees

Trimming your trees will not only provide an appealing landscape, but it will also eliminate pest “bridges” to your house. The closer branches or shrubs are to the walls of your home, the more likely squirrels, rats, and raccoons are to give you a visit. Therefore, it’s best to keep plants between three and six inches away from your home. You can also invest in groundcover like rocks to make it harder for critters to lounge in your landscape. 

Discover Any Dampness

Wet areas are an ideal place for animals to cool down. While the bathroom is an obvious target, there are other areas of your home that can also harbor moisture — like your kitchen and attic. Get in a habit of washing dishes as soon as possible, draining your sink, and checking the pipes underneath to make sure there are no signs of leakage. Furthermore, scheduling an annual checkup for your attic or basement can help you stay on top of any dampness before it leads to wildlife damage.  

Keep It Clean 

Keeping your home tidy is the most natural way to keep wildlife away. The kitchen might be your least favorite place to clean, but leftover food in the sink or crumbs on the counter can be an open invitation for lurking animals. Likewise, taking time to remove trash from each bedroom can make a huge difference in keeping critters at bay. To repel wildlife from the outside of your home, however, you’ll need to keep your yard free of litter, clean fallen produce from your garden, and regularly remove debris from your trashcans.

Seal the Deal

Wild animals hunt and gather by crawling into any space available to them — especially tiny crevices that you didn’t even know existed in your home. That’s why you should seek out both large and small gaps around your property that could tempt intruders to come in. Common areas where you’ll find entry points include:

 

  • The roof 
  • The attic
  • The garage
  • Doors
  • Sliding glass doors
  • Gutters
  • Windows

 

Once you find openings, consider hiring a licensed technician to professionally seal them with copper mesh, coarse steel wool, or industrial caulk. 

Celebrate the New Year With No Pests 

Wild critters like rats, raccoons, and opossums are frustrating to deal with. Get rid of them this New Year by calling Critter Control© of Dallas. With our eco-friendly pest control techniques, we will return your home to a safe environment and prevent future infestation. Call us for a free estimate today at 817-222-1101.

Common Rodents in Dallas to Protect Your Property From

Common Rodents in Dallas to Protect Your Property FromThanks to its hilly landscape and diverse terrain, Dallas is the ideal home for beautiful and exotic animals. Unfortunately, there are also pesky rodents that roam the area and damage nearby property. Rodents are the guiltiest culprits, because they are notorious for scurrying into homes and businesses without welcome. Do you want to know the common rodents you should protect your property from? We’ve got the list right here for you. 

The House Mouse

These little guys are smaller on the rodent spectrum but still cause large amounts of damage. How can you tell the difference between a rat and a mouse? A house mouse will be smaller in size but have larger ears. They are about five to seven inches in length with grayish-brown fur. You’ll usually find them tucked under cabinets, furniture, kitchen appliances, and other small spaces. Because of their great hearing and vision, house mice quickly get comfortable lounging in your home and even in your business. What’s worse is their ability to squirm through a ¼-inch hole — which means they don’t need much space to enter yours. 

The Norway Rat

The Norway rat is the largest and most aggressive Texas rodent. Ranging from a whopping seven to nine inches in size, you can usually identify Norway rats by their thick tail and small ears. They also have bristly, brown fur sprinkled with black hairs and are more likely to enter your home or business in the middle of the night. What draws them in? Savory proteins and carbs left out in the open, like chicken, fish, and grains. Because they are expert diggers, you can find Norway rats underneath your building or burrowing through your garbage.

The Roof Rat

Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats — roughly six to eight inches — with dark brown fur. You can identify a roof rat by its pointy nose. The name “roof rat” came from their cunning efforts to find shelter in the highest points of each building. These critters spend most of their lives elevated at least four feet off the ground. Unlike Norway rats, you’ll often find roof rats climbing trees, garbage cans, or even walls to access your roof. Once inside your building, they will tear your insulation, create a nest, and stick around until told otherwise.

Keep Your Property Protected

It only takes one hole, gap, or crack for one of these rodents to infiltrate your home. Protect your property from these common rodents by partnering with the wildlife professionals at Critter Control® of Dallas. With over three decades of experience, our technicians will identify entry points and remove all wildlife from your home with humane rodent services. For more information, call us today at 817-222-1101 for a free inspection.

How to Recover From Rodent Insulation Damage

How to Recover from Rodent Insulation DamageIf there’s one place that rodents love hanging out, it’s your attic. Not only is it one of the easiest places to access from the outdoors, but it’s also the quietest part of your home. When rodents stay in your attic for too long, they leave a buildup of waste, create a huge mess, and bring about a lot of damage. If you’ve experienced any insulation issues from a rodent invasion, these steps will take you on the road to recovery.

Exclude Rodents From Your Attic 

Nests (usually made of fibrous material), or burrows (one-inch holes leading down into the insulation) are likely signs that rodents are still in the attic. To attempt rodent removal, you’ll need to purchase countless traps, find time to frequently check them, and invest in protective materials to help you safely clean up afterwards. 

If you manage to capture an intruding rodent with a live trap, transport the rodents at least two miles from your home to prevent it from returning. Then, thoroughly wash your gloves and hands with soapy, warm water to minimize the chance of contamination. 

Seal Entry and Exit Points 

Before you start to recover from the damage, ensure that no more rodents can enter. Examine your home to identify any rodent entry points, because they can notoriously find their way through areas such as:

  • Openings around drainage pipes 
  • Holes in the roofline
  • Spots of loose siding 
  • Gaps in windows, doors, or ceilings
  • Cracks in the foundation or pillars 

Once you’ve identified entryways, begin sealing every single one. Repair smaller gaps with caulk, and use wood or steel for to safely secure larger openings. 

Remove Damaged Insulation and Contaminants

Whether you find urine stains, droppings, or signs of chewing, it’s best to remove any damaged insulation. Leaving it behind can lead to severe health concerns, including respiratory issues (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome—HPS) and intense fevers (Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome—HFRS). However, removing the insulation requires a HEPA-filer–rated, high-powered, and high-capacity vacuum. The vacuum can pick up smaller droppings, but larger droppings should be removed by hand. To transfer feces from the vacuum, use a sealable and heavy-duty trash bag. Finally, contact a certified recycling or waste management facility to dispose of the waste.  

Call a Professional

After rodents have infiltrated your attic, recovery can be time consuming and costly. Rather than purchasing all the expensive tools and putting yourself in danger, pass the task on to a professional. At Critter Control® of Dallas, we offer safe removal, cleanup, and restoration services from licensed technicians. To schedule a free home inspection and learn more about our attic and repair services, call today at 817-222-1101.

How to Identify Rodent Entry Points Around Your Home

Identify Rodent Entry PointsRodents might not cover their tracks once they enter your home, but they might not leave a trail of droppings for you to follow either. To identify potential rodent entry points around your property, here are all of the places to check from top to bottom.

Roof and Attic

You don’t necessarily have to climb on top of your roof to know if there are holes, gaps, or cracks that rodents can fit through. Visit your attic and check for any signs of openings, including cracks of light shining through or holes with leaking rainwater. While you’re up there, inspect your attic vents to make sure there are no dented or damaged areas that rodents could pry open for entry.

Outside Walls

If you live in a brick home, check in between the bricks of your foundation to search for any gaps that mice or rats could squeeze into. Look for decaying materials around the foundation of your home that rodents could chew open. And, if you have a screened porch, check the screening around the area to see if squirrels, raccoons, or other rodents have tried or managed to scratch their way through.

Doors and Windows

Even if you don’t leave them propped open to bring in fresh air, doors and windows can be a major entryway for rodents. When they aren’t properly fit or sealed into their frame, doors and windows leave gaps that wildlife can widen over time. The same concept applies for the window and door frames inside your garage, as these can easily warp from rain, exposure, and attempted rodent entry.

Cables, Lines, and Pipes

Anything that flows from the interior to the exterior of your home can create a potential entry point. Follow the utility lines and plumbing pipes outside to check for additional space between the pipe or cable and exterior wall. And, if you’ve switched cable, internet, or home phone providers more than once, you probably have a few extra holes around your home’s perimeter that need inspection as well.

Wildlife Partner in Dallas

It only takes one hole, gap, or crack for a rodent to open up your home to the world of wildlife. And even if you’re thorough in your inspection, you could still easily end up missing a handful of potential entry points—putting your property at risk. If you want to make sure that every entry point is sealed and secured, team up with the wildlife professionals at Critter Control® of Dallas. We can start a full-scale investigation to locate and screen, fill, or cap any space that rodents could use to invade your home. For more information, call us today at 817-222-1101.

The Best Ways to Keep Snakes Away from Your Home

The Best Ways to Keep Snakes Away from Your HomeWhen you want to keep strangers from wading around your yard, you install signals that make intruders feel unwelcome. However, no matter how many “No Trespassing” signs you decorate your yard with, there are some visitors that just don’t get the message, including nearby snakes. So, if you want to protect your property from passerby snakes, take a look at the strategies that will send them slithering.

Regularly Clean Your Yard

You can still have an active garden and a bounty of fresh produce growing in your yard; you just need to make sure that your growth doesn’t get out of hand. If you have excess growth in your flowerbeds or ripe fruits spread across your lawn, snakes will see those signs as an open invitation to explore what else your property has to offer. Regularly trimming overgrowth and cleaning up fallen fruits removes a lot of interest for nearby snakes. Similarly, if you like to decorate your outdoor atmosphere with bird feeders, clean up the spilled feed from your grass to keep snakes from slithering inside.

Treat Your Other Pest Problem

Snakes can become a pest when they sense the presence of other pests nesting on your property. Reptiles primarily feed on other creatures, including:

If you have an existing pest problem that you’ve neglected to prioritize, you might be creating an entirely separate issue without even realizing. So, if you come across another pest on your property, contact professional services to remove the wildlife and seal any remaining entryways.

Create Snake Repellent

You shouldn’t try to DIY your way out of a snake infestation; however, you can easily prevent a problem from starting with some simple, at-home solutions. Likewise, you should never try to confront a snake with any tools or traps, but you can spray your perimeter to keep them from visiting. Ammonia is a strong repellent for slithering snakes, which makes it an important ingredient for snake spray. Simply spraying an ammonia solution around your home, yard, and outdoor additions can send any wandering snakes in the other direction.

Partner with Your Local Pest Professionals

At Critter Control® of Dallas, our mission is to protect the citizens and wildlife of our city. That’s why we specialize in a range of residential pest control and prevention services. If you find one of these reptiles anywhere near your residence, contact our pest professionals for a safe and effective solution. For more information on our series of snake services, call 817-222-1101 today.

3 Reasons Rodents Love Your Home

Reasons Rodents Love Your HomeFrom helping spread disease to chewing up belongings, rodents have been plaguing humanity since the dawn of time. The last thing a homeowner wants is one of these pests infesting their home. That’s why it is important to know what these vermin seek so that you can reduce the desirability of your property and limit their access into your living quarters. Here are the top three things rodents love about your home.

  1. Shelter

Like many creatures, rodents want a place to live that is protected from the weather and elements. Usually, they prefer small warm places where they can feel secure and cozy. This leads rodents to often reside in attics as it is nice and warm compared to the outdoors. A routine check of your attic and other vulnerable areas can help make sure that rats are not getting too comfortable in your home.

  1. Food

Your home contains an unending supply of food that rodents love to consume. However, their appetite is not limited to the food that you like to eat. Since their teeth constantly grow, rodents are apt to chew on anything within their line of sight. That means your drywall, wood, wires, and other home materials can be munched on—resulting in significant damage. To keep rodents away from your home, ensure that all food and trash is properly sealed so that the smells do not entice any furry visitors.

  1. Water

Rodents need water to live, and your home’s indoor plumbing provides them with a constant source of available water. Be it from pet bowls, plumbing faucets, or leaks in a basement, these creatures love to find spots where they can quench their thirst. Solving any leaks in your home can go a long way towards preventing vermin from intruding your home to get a drink.

Pest Protection in Dallas

Rats and other types of rodents are frustrating creatures to deal with, as they are very sneaky and can cause major damage if not dealt with promptly. At Critter Control© of Dallas, we can help you with any pest problems you may have and keep your home rodent free. Call us for a free estimate today at 817-222-1101.

Can I Use Bait to Trap a Wild Animal?

Can I Use Bait to Trap a Wild Animal?If you’re experiencing a pest problem, you may consider bait trapping as a quick, convenient, and simple solution to rid your property of wild animals, but you should never take shortcuts when it comes to animal control. Even if you manage to safely capture and release your property’s pest with bait trapping, you won’t be prepared to keep them from returning.

Although wild animals can be a nuisance to both homes and businesses in the surrounding Dallas/Fort Worth area, thorough removal and proactive prevention are the only ways to ensure that your property becomes and stays free from pests.

What Is Bait Trapping?

To successfully trap a pest, you must strategically place one or more cages in locations you’ve previously spotted the animal or think it may be living. Keep in mind the size of the critter when selecting a cage, because insufficient room could be harmful to the trapped animal.

Baiting each cage attracts animals to the trap; however, the type of bait to use depends on the type of critter you are dealing with. Listed below are a few examples of common household pests and the right lures to attract them.

  1. Raccoons

    peanut butter (chunky or smooth), dry pet food, and marshmallows

  2. Rats/Mice

    peanut butter, cheese, marshmallows, sausage, and pet food

  3. Opossums

    fish, apples, and canned pet food

  4. Armadillos

    insects and grubs (earthworms, meal worms, and maggots)

  5. Squirrels

    cereal, grains, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and oranges

Is Bait Trapping Effective?

Bait trapping can be an effective way to lure and catch wild animals, but it’s only a short-term solution to your pest problem. Wild animals often revisit the places that provide food, water, and shelter. So, although bait trapping may temporarily rid your home of pests, it won’t protect your property if they return.

When considering bait trapping, it’s important to understand the dangers of handling your own pest problem. Bait trapping isn’t completely safe unless handled by a professional, because, when you trap a wild animal inside a cage, it can become afraid and likely to defend itself. This puts both you and the animal at risk of injury.

Call the Experts

Although there is a variety of store-bought traps and baits that may seem like a convenient option, expert pest control is the safest long-term solution. At Critter Control® of Dallas, our number one priority is the security and comfortability of local property owners, which is why our experts study the safest and most effective methods of removal.

Once we’ve cleared your home of pests, we can seal the points of entry they came through and guard your home with preventative tools to deter them from visiting again. If you have any questions about removing wildlife or would like to schedule your free consultation, please call our Critter Control® of Dallas professionals at 817-222-1101 today.

How Do Mouse Traps Work?

How Do Mouse Traps Work?Gnaw marks against a wall, little droppings left around your home, and the sound of tiny feet scurrying across the floor are just a few tell-tale signs that you have a mouse problem. Mice are sneaky little critters. To effectively take care of such nuisances, you may decide to use a mousetrap. However, with so many different types of traps on the market, you may experience some confusion when deciding which trap is best to use. Listed below are three of the most common types of devices available on the market and how they each work.

Snap Traps

A traditional snap-trap uses a powerful, touch sensitive spring — usually triggered by the rodent’s feet — to release a metal bar with just enough force to kill the mouse. In order to lure the mouse onto the trap, a bait must be set. Peanut butter or cheese are the more popular choices of bait, as mice tend to enjoy high-calorie sweets. These traps need to be placed in the locations you have seen the droppings and/or gnaw marks, which indicates high levels of mouse traffic. Mice are incredibly quick and highly skilled at avoiding danger, so setting multiple traps throughout your home will guarantee the best results.

Glue Traps

Glue traps are placed in the exact same locations as the snap traps, that is, wherever you have noticed indications of a mouse infestation. Bait also needs to be set directly on the glue trap in order to lure the mouse. Upon contact with the trap, an adhesive material immobilizes the mouse. Once immobilized, the lack of body movement and rapid reduction of body temperature will cause the mouse to perish of hypothermia.

Live-Catch Traps

For homeowners who don’t wish to kill the mice, a live-catch trap would be the best option. These traps use the same method of attracting mice via bait. Once the mouse is inside of the cage investigating the bait, a trap door will be triggered and close behind the mouse — safely securing the animal inside. The mouse can then be released in a safe area away from your home. Although live-catch traps are the more peaceful option, they do not guarantee permanent mouse removal. Caught mice tend to return to the homes they have been released from.

Mouse Removal Experts

At Critter Control of Dallas, our specialists know the most effective techniques for mouse removal. Our number one priority is ensuring that you and your family have a safe and comfortable living environment. Not only will we permanently solve your mouse infestation, but we will keep the pest from returning and clean up any mess that is left behind. Contact us today at 817-222-1101 to schedule your free inspection.

5 Things That Attract Rats to Your Kitchen

5 Things That Attract Rats to Your KitchenWhether you find yourself screaming at the sight of a rat or you feel indifferent about rodents, everyone can agree that having rats in your kitchen is a major health concern. Their bites can cause fevers and renal failure in humans and pets while their feces carry many diseases. To keep yourself and your family safe from the effects rats can have on your health, the first step is to eliminate the things that attract them to your kitchen in the first place.

Food

As with all creatures, food is a primary attractant for rats. The problem with rats is that they are omnivorous, which means they will eat almost anything. Some of the most common foods that attract rats include nuts and fruit, rotten meat, pet food, and even animal byproducts like old leather. But they aren’t too picky and will scavenge for whatever they can get. To keep the rats away, store food securely in bins.

Water sources

More important than food for survival is water. Things like leaky faucets and pipes are an oasis for rats. They provide a steady source of hydration and therefore attract rats like a magnet. Tightening up loose faucets and repairing old pipes will minimize the likelihood of rats taking up residence in your kitchen.

Open Trash Cans

An open trashcan is another source of unprotected food. While you might keep your pantry food in plastic containers, open trashcans are an easy access to leftovers that rats will see as a feast.

Warmth

The insulation, wood, and wires found inside your home are prime construction materials for rats. Rats have the ability to gnaw through some surprisingly dense materials, which means they can use these things to build themselves cozy nests inside of your walls.

Fruit-bearing Plants

Plants, especially nut and fruit-bearing ones, offer a huge incentive for rats. They provide a permanently replenishing source of food, and some rats like to use them as cover. If these plants are near your home, they will likely be attracted by the additional food sources they can get at inside your house.

To further help prevent rats from settling into your kitchen, contact Critter Control® of Dallas for our prevention services. If you suspect rats have already invaded, we can help! We offer free inspections and thorough, humane removal services. To book your initial inspection, call us at 469-805-6267.

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