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How to Fight a Rat Infestation

It’s one of those things you think will never happen to you. You keep your home too clean, your house is too new, no rat would ever be able to get in and infest your property, right? Rat infestations are more common that you might think, and when it happens, it is not something to be taken lightly.

Here is what you need to know about identifying and fighting a rat infestation.

Identify the Signs

Because of their elusive nature, you may never see a rat until the infestation is severe. Instead, look for signs of that infestation, including:

  • Small, dark, round rodent droppings in or around food packages, in drawers, cupboards, or under the sink
  • Nesting material like shreds of paper, cardboard, fabric, mulch, or plant matter present throughout the house
  • Signs of biting or chewing on food packaging
  • Holes chewed through walls or floors that create small entry points into your house
  • Foul, musty, or stale smells coming from hidden areas

Preventing an Infestation

The best way to fight a rat infestation is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Discourage rat activity by removing food and water sources, and items that can shelter them:

  • Seal holes around the inside and outside of your home to keep rats out. This can be as simple as plugging small holes with steel wool (one of the few things rats cannot chew through) or patching interior and exterior walls
  • Remove potential nesting sites from your property, including piles of leaves, deep mulch, or stacks of firewood
  • Keep food and water sources in and around your house to a minimum
    • Make sure garbage cans are tightly sealed and kept in your garage if possible
    • Turn over compost piles when adding new food scraps
    • Do not feed outdoor birds or squirrels when you are fighting an infestation, as this food can be taken advantage of by rats and other rodents

Hire a professional to remove rats for you

At Critter Control® of Dallas, we understand that having wild animals inside your home and on your property can be stressful. Because mice can reproduce at alarming rates, you want to call us as soon as possible to avoid having to deal with a more extensive infestation. For more information or to schedule a free home inspection, call us today at 817-222-1101.

The first sign of a possible squirrel problem is hearing sounds of scampering overhead early in the morning or as you’re sitting down to eat dinner. Once you head to the attic to investigate, you may be welcomed by a distinctive animal smell. You look over and catch sight of a bushy tail and confirm you have a squirrel living in your attic.

What Dangers Does a Squirrel Infestation Cause?

While looking for entry points into your attic, squirrels may cause damage to soffits, siding, chimney flashing, fascia boards, and various types of exhaust fans. Once a squirrel has gained access into your attic, they will build nests with outside materials they have brought in such as sticks and moss. Since animals do not have a designated bathroom area, they will leave urine and droppings throughout the attic.

Although rare through transmission, squirrels can carry pathogens like salmonella and rabies. They can also damage property from gnawing on wood to chewing through wires, causing potential fire hazards.

Why Do Squirrels Like Living in Attics?

Squirrels favor building their nests near openings like loose or rotten trim boards and unscreened vents. It’s not uncommon to find adult female squirrels nesting in your attic as they are easily able to store food and raise their young. Attics also allow squirrels to build their nests in a warm and safe environment without fear from outside elements or predators.

How Can I Prevent Squirrels from Making My Attic Their Home?

There are laws in many states that do not allow the trapping and relocation of squirrels without a permit, making squirrel removal a much more complicated process to achieve both humanely and legally.

Making sure tree branches are cut will lessen a squirrel’s access to the roof, while chimney caps help keep squirrels out of the chimney as well as any other wildlife such as birds, bats, and raccoons.

If you have bird feeders in your yard that squirrels eat from, try buying ones that don’t drop seeds on the ground. You can also try putting cayenne pepper on the bird feed. Birds won’t notice the difference, but the squirrels will. Making an effort to deter squirrels from being in your yard, can help prevent them from making your attic their home. Contact us on the web or call us at 817-222-1101 to schedule a free consultation.

From tapping to scratching to squealing and thumping, noises inside your walls can be normal. However, if the noises you are hearing aren’t mechanical, they could be from animal activity and should be addressed right away.

Here is a guide to help you determine what type of animal is making the noises in your wall:

Squirrels are erratic, often scurrying, but are somewhat easy to identify because they like schedules. You will usually hear them in the morning when you are rising for breakfast and during evening times when you’re getting ready for dinner because squirrels venture outside during the day to look for food and then come back in the evening to find warmth and shelter. If you bang on the wall, squirrels will get frightened, and you will hear them scurrying as they run off.

Bats will be easier to see than to hear. Listen for a scratching sound from the tiny claws on the elbow of their wings, if you think you have bats. In addition to scratching sounds, squeaking in the walls may also be a sign of bats as they try to climb up the interior of the walls.

Mice often make noises right before homeowners go to bed. You will hear tiny scratches isolated in one area of the wall, as well as chewing noises. If you go up to the wall and bang on it, generally mice will stop what they are doing for a minute or so, then you may hear the mice run down the wall or up to the ceiling.

Rats will be more active at night since they are nocturnal. You will hear some squeaking, but you will mostly hear chewing and the fast pitter-patter sounds of their feet as they move through the walls.

Raccoons will be heard at night as they are nocturnal animals as well. If raccoons are in your walls, you will hear heavy scratching, loud thumping, crying sounds, and hissing. If you hear a chirping sound very similar to high-pitched sounds that birds make, there could also be raccoon babies living in your home.

Birds will nest inside walls and can be identified by listening for light pecking noises or beak tapping. If adult birds are constantly going and coming from the nest, the activity can be quite noisy. You may also hear chirping and flapping if a bird gets trapped inside the walls and is trying to escape.

If you hear noises inside your wall, contact Critter Control® of Dallas to perform a free animal entry home inspection. Our certified wildlife management technicians will identify the cause of the noises, and locate and remove the animals from your home. After we remove the animals, we’ll help keep them out by sealing all the entry ways in to your walls or attic. We can even repair the damage caused by the pests while they were making your home their own. Call Critter Control® of Dallas at 817-222-1101, and let us show you why we’re the best choice in animal removal.

Squirrels can be some of the most troublesome rodents found in human-populated areas, and despite Squirrel Dallastheir small stature, they’re capable of causing serious damage. Almost any homeowner has some kind of story about a squirrel pillaging a birdfeeder or creating mischief of some sort on his or her property. Critter Control in Dallas has years of experience dealing with squirrel damage. Beware the damage squirrels can cause, and address any squirrel-related issues quickly.

Squirrels can absolutely upend a carefully tended vegetable patch or manicured garden. Unlike rabbits, they generally can’t be deterred from a property by fences since they’re such skillful climbers. Squirrels have been known to crawl along pipes and wires completely upside-down as if they were furry little secret agents! Keeping them out of a yard or garden can be extremely difficult.

Squirrels can cause huge problems for farms and orchards, too. They’ll steal nuts and fruit from trees prematurely or before they can be harvested, and they’ll destroy apples, grapes, corn, cherry blossoms, and melons. Ground-dwelling squirrels can also annihilate fields when they build burrows and search for food.

These furry creatures will sometimes invade homes in search of warmth or to build nests. They’ve been known to infiltrate attics and crawlspaces and may even end up crawling through walls and ripping open insulation and air ducts. Their size, agility, and climbing skills also afford them access to hard-to-reach parts of a home, making trapping and nest removal remarkably difficult for homeowners and property managers.

Critter Control in Dallas has years of experience with every type of invasive or troublesome wildlife, and squirrels are no exception. It’s important to recognize the signs of squirrel damage and address them quickly before they lead to bigger issues. If you think you may have a problem with squirrels or want to set up service, Contact Us or give us a call today.

Any wild animal has the potential to cause damage to human property, but the ones that live in Dallas Raccoondensely-populated areas can be particularly troublesome. Raccoons are highly intelligent compared to most other types of pesky varmints that homeowners encounter, which makes handling them more difficult.

Raccoons are omnivores and will eat just about anything. One of the most common issues with raccoons occurs when they break into trash bins and garbage cans, leaving huge messes when they dig for food. Raccoons will also invade human properties if they smell domestic pet food. Homeowners that feed their dogs and cats outdoors are more likely to see an unfamiliar, masked face looking up from the food bowl!

Their intelligence isn’t limited to stealing food from human dwellings. Raccoons are smart enough to open discarded food jars, and unlatch sheds and doors. They sometimes grow bold and break into houses they think may contain food. Raccoons are agile climbers and can scale a house or building with ease.

They have strong limbs, and some will rip holes directly into roofs, ceilings, walls, and air ducts. Raccoons can cause enormous problems for air flow in homes, as they tear up air ducts and can squash them to the point of restricting air flow, tear out insulation, and destroy pipes. Raccoons may also damage wiring and other fixtures, such as clothing lines, birdfeeders, screen doors, and pet enclosures.

Critter Control in Dallas has a team of expertly-trained technicians that have experience in trapping and relocating raccoons as well as handling raccoon damage. We can provide assistance in assessing any damage they caused, and if they managed to infiltrate your home or attic, we can get them out and discover where they gained access. If you’re having issues with raccoons, Contact Us or give Critter Control in Dallas a call to start solving your problem.

Raccoons are intelligent survivors who thrive in urban and densely-populated areas. They’re pure Dallas Raccooonomnivores and will eat just about anything. Garbage is a common staple for raccoons and can cause headaches for business owners, property managers, and homeowners. Critter Control in Dallas has extensive experience in dealing with common raccoon problems.

It’s essential to understand these creatures and the damage they can do. For example, home or property invasion is one of the common raccoon issues. They’re resourceful, agile creatures and have been known to break into homes or businesses they think contain food. The most common entry point is through attics, where they can wreak havoc on your insulation, wiring, and air ducts. They may also tear open vent coverings or walls to make their way inside a home.

If your raccoon troubles only extend to the yard, repellants aren’t usually enough to discourage them from entering a place they suspect has food. Fences are also ineffective, since raccoons are nimble climbers. They may also dig up a yard to search for insects to eat.

One of the biggest issues with raccoon-human relations is the animals’ love of garbage. People throw out lots of uneaten food, which will attract raccoons in the area. These animals will tip over or dig through trash bins and garbage cans at homes or businesses. One of the most common methods for resolving this is applying bungee cords over trash can lids, but they’re clever enough that even this may not keep them out of the trash.

No matter what sort of raccoon issue you’re facing, Critter Control in Dallas can handle it with safe, effective, and humane methods to trap and relocate these troublesome little bandits before they tear your house apart. Contact us for more resources related to common raccoon problems.

With spring upon us, the number of baby raccoons being found in and around homes is on the rise. These little creatures are even more cute and cuddly looking than their fully grown parents, but they are still dangerous and shouldn’t be approached. Baby raccoons are able to carry the same infectious diseases as their adult counterparts, and if their mother is around she will be very protective of her babies and much more aggressive than usual.raccoon-in-chimney

Because of this aggression, if you discover baby raccoons on your property we urge you to call the trained experts here at Critter Control of Dallas right away. Our highly trained technicians are equipped with the proper knowledge and equipment to handle a raccoon infestation safely while keeping you and your family out of harm’s way. Our services don’t stop at removing the baby raccoons, we remove food and water sources to deter them from coming back in the future, and can repair any damage caused during their stay.

Critter Control of Dallas not only looks out for your safety, but the wellbeing of the critters as well. Our trapping and relocating methods are the most humane available anywhere and we only relocate the offending critters to a hospitable area where they will live a full and happy life. Give the professionals at Critter Control of Dallas a call today at 817-222-1101 or fill out a Contact Us form for your free estimate.

Rats are an all-too common problem for many homeowners throughout the Dallas area. In addition to being carriers of disease, they also tend to leave a trail of damage wherever they go which can spell trouble for your home. Rats are generally quiet and nest themselves in a safe, quiet place in your home to breed; because of this, it’s easy for a rat infestation to get out of hand before you know it.rat damage in attic | rat droppings

Removing the offending rats is only part of the issue, however. Because rats tend to cause damage wherever they nest, it’s imperative to repair anything left behind after the rats are gone. Fortunately, Critter Control of Dallas is your total solution when it comes to rat damage repair. Once we humanely remove all the rats from your home, we repair any damage and seal off any entrance points to ensure there are no repeat incidents.

Rat Damage

While rats are small in size, the damage they can cause is anything but. Some of the commonly damaged areas include:

  • Food Sources – Rats are not picky when it comes to what they eat. Any food containers that show signs of contact with a rat should be disposed of, as rats carry a variety of transmittable diseases.
  • Electrical Wiring – Rat’s teeth are constantly growing which means they are always looking for a way to wear them down. Wiring is especially attractive to them, and can create a fire hazard once chewed through.
  • Rat Waste – Wherever rats decide to take up residence in your home will likely be contaminated by urine and feces which is not only incredibly unsanitary, but also smells awful.
  • Soiled Insulation – If rats make their nest in your attic, the fiberglass insulation up there makes great nesting material. This often results in urine soaked, torn up insulation which can cause your power bills to rise significantly.

Don’t underestimate what these small creatures can do. Allow the trained experts at Critter Control of Dallas handle any rat damage problems you may be facing. When we’re finished, it’ll be like nothing ever happened. Give us a call today for your free estimate at 817-222-1101or fill out a Contact Us form.

Rats in Dallas are mainly comprised of two different species: brown rats and black rats. Brown rats, house-ratswhich are sometimes referred to as Norwegian rats, are generally found digging under homes or in garbage cans. Black rats are most often found building nests in the attics or walls of homes, which has earned them the nickname of roof rats.

Rats pose a significant risk to your home and family, regardless of the species. Both species of rats commonly damage attic insulation, electrical wiring, and even structural parts of your home. Additionally, they are able to transmit diseases and illnesses, such as:

  • Salmonella from rat feces
  • Leptospirosis from rat urine
  • Rat-bite fever from bites or scratches

Why do rats love your home?

Homes are perfect for rats because of the shelter, darkness, food, and water they provide. A home also provides protection from a rat’s natural predators, allowing them to build nests and reproduce unhindered. Rats are more likely to move into your home during the chilly Dallas fall and winter, as the temperature drops low enough to be life-threatening to them.

Getting Rid of Rats

Rats shouldn’t be underestimated. They’re intelligent enough to avoid most traps and obvious poisons. Additionally, they can become surprisingly aggressive if threatened – especially Norwegian rats. It’s because of this behavior that we recommend seeking help if posed with a rat problem.

The rat removal experts have over three decades of experience, and are standing by to help. Call Critter Control® of Dallas today at 817-222-1101 with any questions, or to set up your free home estimate.

Rats are an all-too-common problem for many folks around the Dallas area, especially as the increasing temperatures drive the rodents to find shelter in homes and offices. A rat infestation can bring damage and destruction to your home and serious health issues to your family. The following simple techniques will help you get the rats out, and keep them out for good.

  • Find their Nesting Area – To prevent an infestation from growing and spreading throughout your home or office, you need to find where they are nesting and isolate it. From there you can cut off food and water supplies, seal entry points, and set traps to start eliminating the rodents.
  • Removal – While professional removal is always the most effective option, there are methods you can use to try and eliminate the rats from your home or business. Some techniques include:
    • Snap Traps – These traps often kill rats instantly, but can be quite messy. A professional will have to remove the rat carcasses to avoid the spread of infectious disease.
    • Glue Traps – Known to kill rats slowly and inhumanely, you should avoid glue traps if possible. The rats may crawl around for a short time if they escape the trap, leaving glue residue everywhere.
    • Live Traps – Useful for smaller infestations, live traps allow you or a professional to relocate the critters safely, leaving them unharmed.

Poison should never be used under any circumstance. It is dangerous to both humans and pets and can be fatal if used incorrectly.

  • Call a Professional – Once the rats have been isolated and trapped, the next step is to call a professional to remove them from your building. Touching a rat whether it be dead or alive, puts you at serious risk for contracting diseases like leptospirosis, Hantavirus, and rat-bite fever.

Hire the Professionals

The safest and most effective option for rat removal will always be using a professional service like Critter Control® of Dallas. Dealing with a rat infestation is not only frustrating, but it is also potentially risky as well. The longer they are allowed to live in your home or business, the more costly the damage will be. Call us today at 817-222-1101 to schedule your consultation.