Signs You Have a Dead Animal in Your House

Nobody likes the thought of wild animals in their home. The idea that there are critters lurking somewhere in the house gives people chills. They leave frustrating messes behind and are difficult to track down. But sometimes they can pose even more irritating problems when they die in your house.

The following are obvious signs that a dead animal is decomposing somewhere inside your home. If you’ve noticed any of these, call the professionals at Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale as soon as possible.

  • Smell – This is an undeniable, unavoidable consequence of a dead animal in your house. The odor will be so pungent and putrid that it’ll be impossible not to detect after a certain amount of time. As the body first begins to decompose, the smell may be localized and not as strong, but after a couple of days it will become overpowering.
  • Wet Spots – As disgusting as it sounds, the decomposing body will begin to liquify. Over time, this wetness will begin to seep into the walls or ceiling, depending on where the body is located. This can obviously cause damage to the structure of the home.
  • Flies – You’ve probably seen how flies flock to rotting things out in nature, whether its an old orange on the ground or roadkill. They get easy nutrients from stuff that is decomposing, and actually like to lay their eggs in rotting animals as well, since it provides plenty of food for larvae when they hatch. If you notice a sharp uptick in flies inside, there might be a dead animal somewhere.

Call the Professionals

It’s not like you need to be Sherlock Holmes to detect these signs – they’ll be so obvious that it’d be incredible not to notice them. Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale doesn’t only remove living pests; we can help your home get back to its normal, odor-free condition by locating and removing any decaying carcasses and cleaning the mess. For a free initial consultation, call us today at 954-467-6067.

The Importance of Early Rat Removal

Though they are small, rats are not to be trifled with. They can create a myriad of problems for homeowners if they manage to get inside houses. Contaminating food, chewing on wires and walls, and soiling surfaces with excrement are just a few of the bothersome things rats can do. The worst thing you can do in this situation is nothing – the longer the rats live in your house, the worse your situation will get. Call Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale as soon as you believe you have unwanted rodent houseguests to minimize the damage they can do.

The Snowball Effect

Rat infestations have a sort of snowball effect at play due to the rodent’s rapid breeding abilities. The brown rat, one of the most common species, can breed up to 5 times a year with litters of up to 14 young. Though by these numbers an individual rat can have dozens of babies, what really causes the population numbers to explode is the fact that the brown rat reaches sexual maturity at 5 weeks old.

This is why it is so critical to remove the rodents as early as possible. Left unchecked for just a couple months, the number of rats in your home will have multiplied. However, it is far harder to detect just a couple rats in your home than dozens. Don’t ignore your intuition if you think there could be animals in your home – call the experts at Critter Control to come assess the situation for you for free.

Rat Infestation Experts

If you try to deal with an infestation by yourself, you run the risk of giving the rats more time to breed. In addition, your traps may capture many adult rats and you could be lured to a false sense of security. If they have been living in your walls and breeding, then there could be a new batch of young too small to move around and be taken by your traps. Without any adults providing them food, they will die in the walls, emitting a foul odor which could take weeks to fully go away.

Your best chance of completely solving your rat problem is to hire the professionals at Critter Control. Rat infestations require experience, knowledge, skill, and patience. Countless rat removal jobs have equipped us to deal with infestations of any magnitude successfully. We are experts at inspecting houses, removing critters, sanitizing and repairing damaged areas, and preventing future issues. Take advantage of our free initial consultation offer by calling 954-467-6067.

Common DIY Animal Control Mistakes

With a wealth of information readily available to anyone with internet access, it is no surprise that the DIY craze has exploded recently. From learning how to make the dish at your favorite restaurant to fixing a car, the internet offers “how to” videos for almost everything. But, just because there’s a video teaching you how to do something doesn’t mean the information is accurate and helpful. One thing you can’t afford to get wrong is nuisance animal control – a poorly executed job can end up costing you money and putting you or the animal in harm’s way.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes that DIYers make when trying to get nuisance pests out of their homes.

Sealing Off the Home Before the Animal is Gone

You may have seen raccoon scurrying around in your attic, and, furious that the animal got in your house, you go on a hunt to discover how it got in. In your frustration, you close off all the gaps you can find on the exterior of your home.

But, this mistake can prove costly. Without the ability to get out of your house, the animal will likely starve to death and die in your attic. When this happens, the body will decay and give off horrible smells, in addition to becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. You never want to seal up your home until you are positive all the nuisance animals are gone.

Using Poison

While it may seem like the best option for solving your pest problem, poison is a terrible idea. Though it seems like a relatively hands-off, easy-fix solution, poison can quickly backfire on you. It is also illegal to use on many nuisance wildlife in Florida.

A pet or child might find the poison and ingest it, leaving you with a dangerous situation. Or, the animal might take the poisoned bait, only for it to scurry away back to its den in the walls and die there hours later. Then, you will be subject to a horrible stench for weeks without being able to find or reach the body of the animal. DIY poison placement is never a responsible or effective solution.

Forgetting to Deal with the Main Issue

The vast majority of DIYers and even some pest control services don’t completely grasp the whole issue. They will catch and remove nuisance animals from your home, and think the job is complete.

But, this is like dumping the water out of a sinking boat without plugging the hole in the bottom. The conditions which first drew the pest to your house remain the same. An exemplary professional animal removal service will not only help you take care of the pests in your house right now, but will also help you guard against future invaders as well. Removing the animal is only part of the solution – you also need to get rid of any attractants and re-fortify the exterior of the house to prevent them from easily regaining access.

The Best Animal Control Service in the Business

The difference between nuisance animal control experts and DIYers is vast. At Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale, we use our years of experience to see what others don’t. We not only know the most effective and humane methods to remove pests, but we can also identify better than anyone else how the critters got into your house. But we don’t stop there – we can fix these structural weaknesses along with any damage and messes the animals left behind. See the Critter Control difference for yourself and call 954-467-6067 for a free consultation.

Rodent-Proofing Your Home

For many, the idea of rodents in their home is the stuff of nightmares. rodent proofing homeRodents like rats and mice are notorious home invaders, living alongside humans all over the world. They are especially problematic because they chew on housing structures and wires, contaminate food in the kitchen, leave excrement wherever they go, and make scuttling and squeaking noises at night. Though rodents can make their way into virtually any structure when motivated, there are things everyone can do to rodent-proof their home.

The key to rodent-proofing is simple: while you can’t necessarily make your home impenetrable, you can remove the desire of rodents for getting inside, which is the most effective prevention method possible.

Eliminate Food Sources

The number one attractant for rodents is food, so if you can eliminate alluring smells and easy meals, the critters won’t be drawn to your home. Here are the most common sources of food that attract rodents:

  • Bird feeders
  • Dog food kept outside or in the garage
  • Pungent garbage
  • Fruit trees

Even if all of these food sources are well-sealed, if they give off strong smells, rodents will be drawn to them. Getting rid of enticing smells of food is the first step to deterring potential rodent pests.

Removing Shelter Spaces

The other thing which could persuade rodents to stick around is an abundance of perfect rodent dens or shelters. Make sure none of the following spaces are available for curious rodents:

  • Open garages
  • Outdoor clutter/trash
  • Branch piles
  • Firewood piles
  • Overgrown trees/shrubs overhanging the house

Any cover rodents can find on the ground will entice them to make your house their home. They especially love big piles of clutter because these afford them plenty of space, protection, and concealment from natural predators and the weather. If they manage to find these spaces, they may get the idea to try to make it inside the house.

Sealing Up Gaps

Finally, don’t make it easy for a rat or mouse to stroll into your house. Shockingly, rodents can fit through any crack or gap in the house only a ¼” big, so your house may not be as secure as you think. Some of the most common spots rodents use to get inside homes include:

  • Gaps in garage door/side doors
  • Cracks in windows and frequently-used doors
  • Chimneys
  • Areas around pipes and air vents
  • Soffits and eaves
  • Attic vents

If there are any cracks or crevices in your home, you’ll want to seal those immediately. A rodent would much rather squeeze into your house than spend time gnawing its way in.

Even if you take all of these steps to make your home as least appealing as possible to potential rodent invaders, they could still chew their way in if they are motivated. When this happens, and you discover rodents in your home, don’t panic – call Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale immediately. With decades of experience in nuisance animal control, we are the industry leaders in thorough, humane, professional rodent control. Time is of the essence in a rodent invasion, so call us today for your free consultation at 954-467-6067.

Did You Know Bat Extermination is Illegal?

Many people seek bat extermination once they identify a problem in their homes. However, killing bats or even forcefully removing them is illegal. Due to the importance of bats on the environment, they are a protected species. If you believe you may have a bat problem, it’s critical you reach out to professionals who know how to ethically and legally handle your issue.

Bat Risk Factors

Having a bat in your home can be incredibly stressful and dangerous for both your family and your home’s structure. The bats may use your attic or chimney as shelter and cause some damage in the process. The damage they leave in homes typically stems from their living habits, as they don’t normally chew holes or rip things apart.

Bat guano, or droppings, carry fungus spores for Histoplasmosis. If dry droppings are agitated, they can crumble and the spores release into the air.

In addition to the droppings, bat urine seeps through the insulation, particle board and ceilings in your home. It can cause some damage to the insulation, but also leave an awful smell. You’ll know urine is an issue if you smell a strong ammonia-like odor coming from your walls or ceiling.

Using a Professional

Because there are such hefty legal implications on bat treatment, we urge you to use a professional. After your free  consultation, we will develop a plan that works for your needs and repair any damage done due to the infestation. Give Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale a call at 954-467-6067 or contact us online for a fast, free estimate today.

How to Get Rid of Mice in the Walls

You may be thinking, “Did I just here a noise coming from inside my living room wall?” In all likelihood, there could be some mice making a nest there. Your house provides the best possible shelter for mice, and they can thrive with the safety, climate control, and nutrition it offers. Although inside walls may seem like a strange place for mice to live, it is actually perfect for them. Mice like dark, tight spaces to hunker down in the daytime because it makes them harder to find. It also makes them hard to remove, but it is not impossible to get rid of mice in your walls.

Know the Signs

First, it is important to identify that the critters living in your walls are in fact mice. Here are some clues which can help you nail down the culprit.

  • Sounds: small squeaking noises, tiny paws scuttling, faint scratching
  • Feces: small, oblong brown pellets
  • Tracks: front feet have 4 toes, and back feet have 5; will likely appear near entry point of the wall
  • Chew Marks: signs of gnawing on baseboards, drywall, or furniture
  • Smells: urine/feces odor near the walls, perhaps also the smell of dead mice trapped in the wall

By noticing one or more of these signs, you can determine if indeed the creatures living in your walls are mice, or maybe something larger.

Forming a Plan

Now that you’ve positively identified the mystery animals in your walls as mice, you must form a plan for getting the pests out of your home. Normally, this means betting that the mice come out of the walls at night in search of food. Many people will place traps along the wall where the mice reside, or in other places where they have noticed signs of mice activity. But, things can get complicated if it turns out that mice have died inside the walls – they need to be removed quickly to avoid horrible smelling odors, the spread of bacteria, and damage to the structure of your house.

The Total Mice Control Solution

If you have mice living in your walls, eradicating the pests, cleaning the mess, and repairing damage can be a gargantuan task. Let the experts at Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale take care of the problem for you. We know that each situation calls for a unique solution, and we are well-equipped to handle any mice infestation, no matter how severe. Call us today for a free consultation at 855-501-7119.

Raccoon Babies in the Attic

The first thing to understand about raccoons is that despite their cute, fuzzy appearance, they are among the most cunning and resourceful nuisance animals. They are known in suburban areas as ransackers of trashcans, thieves of outdoor pet food, and intruders of attics. While garbage and pet food problems are mainly just a nuisance, having raccoons in your attic is a much bigger issue. If left undisturbed for too long, they could cause some serious damage to your home, especially when giving birth to babies.

Raccoon Mothers

Often raccoon mothers will attempt to invade attics in the late winter or spring after they have mated in order to find a safe place to give birth and raise cubs. Because the gestation period of raccoons is a little over two months, many raccoon invasions from April-June will involve mothers giving birth in your attic.

Raccoon kits (or cubs) are helpless for the first few weeks of their life. They are born incapable of seeing and hearing, and will remain that way for about 3-4 weeks. The mother will stick by them to raise them until they are fully weaned about 16 weeks later.

Removal Issues

The tricky part about removing a mother raccoon and her kits from your attic is that trapping is only half the solution. Unless you are willing to wait a couple months for the time when the raccoon cubs can move around on their own, setting a trap in the attic won’t get the job done.

If you do set a trap in the attic and catch the mother raccoon, it is extremely important to check for any kits as well, since they cannot survive without the mother early in their lives. A thorough raccoon control job involves getting all the raccoons out of your attic, and safely relocating the family.

Animal Control Professionals

The Critter Control® experts in Ft. Lauderdale are happy to help you get the raccoons out of your attic. We understand how much damage raccoons can do to homes and the seriousness of the situation.  Furthermore, we promise to always use the most efficient tactics to solve the problem as quickly as possible, while still adhering to legal regulations and keeping your family safe. Give us a call today for a free consultation at 954-467-6067.

How Did a Squirrel Get in My Attic?

Because people find squirrels to be cute with their bushy tails and disarming personality, the critters can become emboldened to interact more and more with humans. Often, this can result in squirrels hanging near certain houses where they are sure to find food, whether it is in exposed trash cans or bird feeders. Sometimes they even move in with you and carve out a space in your home for themselves, oftentimes the attic.

Squirrel in the Attic

It is completely obvious why squirrels would want to move into your attic, with the great protection and seclusion it offers, but how in the world do they get in?

Squirrels are relentless creatures, and when they set their mind to something, they will try their best to get it. That means they will go to great lengths sometimes to make it inside your attic. They frequently target gaps in the roof as an easy way in, but they can also create holes for themselves in soffits, chimneys, and vents. Chewing through wood is no problem for a squirrel, and they can use their little paws to pull apart other, weaker materials like insulation.

What They Do Up There

Once inside, squirrels will quickly aim to build nests. A common motivation for a squirrel to gain access to your attic is that it wants to give birth in a controlled environment. Squirrels most often will give birth in the fall and spring months, so watch out for any squirrel pups if you go to investigate during these times.

To make their nests, they will gather materials like insulation on which to rest their young. Squirrels will also use insulation away from their nest as a toilet, which can cause significant damage to the attic and insulation. In addition, they will chew on just about anything to take care of their teeth, which could damage many of your possessions, and even the structure of the attic itself.

Squirrel Control Professionals

If you have a squirrel turning your attic into a nest, don’t try to handle the animal on your own. Squirrel pups cannot survive on their own without their mother, so it is important for the health of the animals to leave removal to the pros, like those at Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale. Humane treatment of animals is one of our top priorities, so you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality of wildlife control service when you hire us. If you have any questions about squirrels in your attic, or if you want us to come check out your situation, call us today at 954-467-6067.

How to Stop a Rat Infestation

If humans live somewhere, rats will be soon to follow. Even though the average lifespan of a rat isn’t that long, they can create an infestation in your home in the blink of an eye because of their rapid breeding habits. The key to fighting a rat infestation is stopping it before it gets out of control.

Rat-Proof Your Home

Make your home as unattractive and inaccessible to rats as possible to prevent them from coming in the first place by following these steps:

  1. Keep Your Home in Good Shape – if your home is older and cracks and seams are beginning to show, you will want to do some repairs. Otherwise, rats and other small critters can gain access.
  2. Maintain Your Yard – Keep tree branches trimmed away from your house to make sure rats cannot use them to access your roof. In addition, keep bushes and landscaping neat and maintained so that you’ll be able to easily detect if a rat has been snooping around.
  3. Eliminate Food and Water Sources – Most often this means don’t leave out any food easily accessible to rats, like in open trash cans. Also make sure there are no plumbing issues which could easily supply rats with water.
  4. Careful Vigilance – If you have a sneaking suspicion that rats could be moving into your house, you will want to keep your eye out for telltale signs such as the following: rat tracks, droppings, grease marks, scuttering noises, and chewed furniture, wires, or pipes.

By taking this advice, you will be well-suited to prevent a rat infestation from snowballing out of control.

Professional Help

Should you find a rat infestation in your attic or walls, know that there are professionals out there who can deal with this problem. Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale has been a leading provider of nuisance wildlife control for 30 years. We know that rat infestations are not to be taken lightly and require both the necessary tools and experience to be handled properly. Call us today at 954-467-6067 for a free consultation, or simply to ask any questions about our rat control services.

Do Mothballs Get Rid of Rodents?

Who still uses mothballs? You may have seen them on an old TV show or mothballssmelled their strange odor at your grandma’s house, since they were used much more commonly decades ago. Though they may seem outdated to many, some try to repurpose them as rodent repellent, albeit unsuccessfully.

Original Function of Mothballs

Mothballs, per the name, are little chemical balls that you put in a closet or wardrobe to keep moths from eating holes in your clothing. Typically, they are used for out-of-season clothing that you store for long periods of time.

They are able to repel and kill both moths and other clothes-eating insects because they are made of pesticides. At room temperature, the balls slowly transform into noxious fumes which kill insects in the fabric. Eventually, the ball would be totally used up as it turns into gas and need to be replaced.

Why Mothballs Don’t Work as Rodent Repellent

Because of their strong toxic odor, it is no wonder that some think they could repel rodents as well as insects. The truth is, mothballs just don’t work as a rodent repellent. They are meant to be used in confined spaces like wardrobes or trunks, so that the fumes can build up. A room is too big for the mothballs to do their job; you would be lucky to kill a moth by putting the balls in a corner of a room, much less a rat.

Get Professional Rodent Control

The best way to end your rodent infestation is to trap and remove the pests. The professional technicians at Critter Control® Ft. Lauderdale have decades of experience in animal removal, and have all the tools and technologies to assess and solve your rodent problem. Call us today for a free consultation at 954-467-6067.