Rat Droppings in Attic Insulation

Maybe you’ve seen a rat scurrying along in your house, and maybe you Rat Droppingshaven’t. But those rat droppings in the attic didn’t come out of thin air. Whether or not you still have rodents in your house, what the rat or rats leave behind needs to be dealt with.

Rat Droppings – The Facts

You may think it is no big deal to leave the rat pellets in your attic insulation. After all, you can’t even smell them. Before you choose to ignore the feces, consider a few potential problems that rat droppings can cause:

  • Leakage into nearby walls and ceiling, causing disgusting smells and damage
  • Insulation damage
  • Attraction of more rodents to your house

Of course, a larger rat infestation can do more damage than a single rat. They could tear up insulation to make nests and leave behind more feces and urine. In some cases, you will need to replace all of your attic’s insulation and do a thorough clean-up job to sanitize the area.

What We Can Do for You

Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone; Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale is here to help. We believe in offering comprehensive wildlife management, which not only includes removing any nuisance critters from your house, but also ensuring that they don’t come back and restoring your house to its pre-critter condition.

In the case of rat droppings in attic insulation, cleaning the mess immediately is not the best option. To be most efficient, we will extricate all rats from your house and rat-proof it to make sure they can’t find a way in. Then, depending on the severity of your rat invasion, we will determine whether you can just get rid of the soiled portions of the insulation or if it is better to replace it entirely.

You do not have to go to another company to fix your insulation- we are fully qualified to do that as well. We have all the equipment to clean up rat droppings in existing insulation, as well as the necessary materials to replace insulation when needed.

Call us today at 954-467-6067 if you think you may have rats in your attic and receive a free consultation and inspection!

 

Squirrel Gave Birth in My Attic… Now What?

You may have heard scurrying noises or faint squeaks up in your attic but chose to ignore it for a while. After recognizing this several times, you decide to go check out the situation to find that not only is there a squirrel living up there, but it has recently had a litter of kits.

Squirrel Breeding

This scenario is not as farfetched as it first may seem. The most common squirrel in Florida, the Eastern Gray squirrel, has a gestation period of 44 days and can have anywhere from 1-8 kits in a litter. That is a relatively short period of time for reproduction, and you may not realize that a squirrel is living in your house for a couple weeks or more.

Furthermore, your house is the perfect place for a squirrel to give birth and raise its young. It is much safer and more secure than any nest they could make in the wild. Larger predators can’t hunt them if they are hiding in your attic. Food is readily available around your house, especially if you live in a suburban or wooded area. It makes sense why a squirrel would seek out the fortress that is your attic to protect their litter and themselves.

Getting Rid of Them

Clearly, these animals should not be in your house, but what do you do with them? Squirrel kits should not be separated from their mother because they can’t survive on their own. The best way to make sure they get out of your house is to trap them and seal up any access points they could have made it into your attic. Because there are babies involved, it makes the process a little bit trickier. Calling a professional like those at Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale is your best bet for humane removal.

Expert Assistance

The professionals at Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale are the industry leaders in pest control and animal removal services with over 130 locations across North America. We care about treating all wildlife as humanely as possible, so we have developed CritterSafe solutions to protect your home and the animals throughout the removal process. Call us today for a fast and free estimate at 954-467-6067.

Signs of a Raccoon in Your Attic

What are those strange noises coming from the ceiling? Something smells a Raccoon in Your Atticlittle strange… What happened to these walls?

If any of the above thoughts have crossed your mind, it is possible that you could have an unwanted house guest such as a squirrel, opossum, rat, or even a raccoon. This article will outline what makes a raccoon a potential culprit and will help you determine if, in fact, you do have a raccoon roommate.

Raccoons: Intelligent and Agile

Many of the aforementioned pests pose comparable threats to your home, but the raccoon is unique in its craftiness and abilities. It has an unusual sensitivity to things it touches and is adept at handling objects. Research has shown that raccoons can remember how to do complex tasks like opening locks after a few attempts. They are a highly intelligent species, with long memories and quick learning capabilities. This makes them well-equipped for finding ways into your home, whether it is climbing a nearby tree and dropping onto the roof or loosening a soffit gap to squeeze inside.

The Common Signs

You will often notice the following signs for nearly any pest invasion:

  • Scratching, scampering, or squeaking noises from the attic
  • Odor from feces
  • Damaged infrastructure including beams, walls, floor
  • Pets acting unusual

But a careful observer can figure out if the pest is a raccoon by paying attention to the quality of these signs. Since a raccoon is the largest animal home invader, the sounds of movement will be stronger and seem heavier like walking as opposed to scurrying. Also, noises are more likely to be heard at night, since raccoons are nocturnal. They will also make more ominous sounds, like growling or grunting instead of squeaking like a smaller invader. If you go up to the attic, you will see larger, almost dog-sized feces. Also, be sure to check the exterior of the house to look for any entry points. If it seems like a cat could fit through it, it was likely made by a raccoon.

Critter Control Professionals

No matter what the attic pest is, it will cause similar problems for you if it remains in your house too long. While some homeowners will feel confident to handle the problem on their own, save yourself the time and worry by calling the experts at Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale. Especially in the case of an elusive raccoon, trapping can be a headache and relocating may be illegal, so let us take care of the critter for you. Call us today at 954-467-6067 for a free consultation.

Why Aren’t My Rat Traps Working?

Rats can be a terrible nuisance in your home as they often cause damage to rat trapyour home when nesting.  A common way homeowners seek to get rid of their rat problem is through rat traps, but they are often misused. Here are a few items to consider if your rat traps are not working:

  • Wrong Sized Trap – People often make the mistake of confusing mouse traps for rat traps due to their similar design. Rat traps, however, are significantly larger and more powerful to compensate for the size difference between rats and mice. If a mousetrap is used on a rat, you run the risk of it escaping or being pinned down but still live and potentially hostile when you go to release it.
  • Ineffective Placement – An important consideration about rats is that they will typically stick to scurrying along the edges of rooms near walls where they feel safe. Placing a trap in the middle of the room will most likely not catch much. If you put the trap along the edge of the room and place the end with the trigger plate facing the wall, you will have a better chance at coaxing rats into the trap.
  • Traps Set Too Early – Rats are very aware of their surroundings, and the moment a new element is introduced, they can become weary of it. Place the traps in the room, but do not set them. This way, the rats will not perceive them as a threat yet and will be more inclined to approach your traps a few nights later.
  • Not Enough Traps – In addition to acclimating the rats to the traps early, you need to keep in mind that once the traps are shown to be deadly, the rats will stay away. That is why you should always set multiple traps. Statistically, you always trap the most rats on the first night, so by setting many overnight you increase your odds substantially.

Professional Rat Removal

Rats in your home are no laughing matter as they can be dangerous and destructive. While over the counter do-it-yourself options such as traps can be helpful, they are no substitute for professional assistance. At Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale, we have the tools and experience to provide you with expert rat removal through safe and efficient means. Contact us today for your free consultation at 954-467-6067.

What to Do if You’ve Been Bitten by a Potentially Rabid Wild Animal

Recent cases of rabies in South Florida are bringing to light there severityrabies shot of the disease that can, unfortunately, be passed on to humans. The threat of rabies is one of the main reasons why wild animals should never be approached. While the disease isn’t common, you should still take precautionary measures to avoid infection if you are bitten by a wild animal.

People often envision a feral animal like a raccoon when it comes to rabies transmission, but in actuality, it can be just as easily spread by feeding stray cats and other unassuming animals, which is why we cannot urge you enough to avoid contact with wild animals.

After the Bite

In the unfortunate circumstance that an animal bites you, there are some important steps to take to stay safe:

  • Wash the bitten area for 5 to 10 minutes using soap and water
  • Use a clean bandage to cover the bite area
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Have your local animal control authorities track down the wild animal so it can be confined and prevent further spread

Symptoms

When left untreated, rabies is almost always fatal which is why you should be aware of the symptoms so you can seek professional medical assistance before the infection becomes too severe. Many of the symptoms are like that of the flu such as pain, headaches, fatigue, fever, and weakness. There are also others which become much more extreme:

  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Bizarre thoughts
  • Hallucinations

When left unchecked, the infection spreads further throughout the body to impact other parts of the nervous system. This can result in the infected party experiencing double vision, difficulty in moving facial muscles, trouble controlling the diaphragm affecting breathing, and increased saliva production which is the cause of the famous ‘foaming at the mouth.’

Staying Safe

If you are bitten and diagnosed with rabies, you will need to be treated with a series of shots called the rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). You should always express caution when exploring the outdoors and take precaution to keep yourself, as well as your family members and pets safe from rabid animals.

If an animal were to find their way into your home, Critter Control® of Ft. Lauderdale can assist you with our safe and effective removal methods. We also offer guaranteed exclusion techniques to prevent additional infestations from occurring. Call us today at 954-467-6067 to schedule your free inspection today.

The Dangers of Fleas and Other Pests

Pests Are a Serious Threat

Pests can pose a serious threat to human well being in numerous ways. For example, some pests such as snakes and bees have venom they deliver through a bite or sting. While other pests such as opossums or raccoons can inflict serious injuries on people, who choose to corner them instead of calling professional wildlife control. However, one of the most underestimated risk factors of pests is their potential to spread a wide range of infectious diseases.

What Are Some of the Diseases That Pests Can Bring Into Your Home?

Rats are infamous for being carriers of infectious diseases. When someone is either bitten or scratched by a rat, there is a chance of them contracting rat bite fever. This can cause chills, fatigue, fever, inflammation of the skin, inflammation of the lymph nodes, and other unpleasant symptoms that can last for months. Even worse, both the urine and the feces of rats can spread infectious diseases such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), which in some cases has been known to cause paralysis.

However, it should be remembered that some pests are much less noticeable but still pose extreme health risks. Fleas are the pests that brought the bubonic plague, which killed a third of the population of Europe in the 1300s. Furthermore, it should be noted that the bubonic plague can still be found in some rodent species that serve as reservoirs, which is why occasional outbreaks still happen such the cases reported in Arizona this year according to Fortune.

Contact Us

Call Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale at 954-467-6067 to have a free home inspection done to make sure your home does not pose any potential risks for these pests to enter. We will send an eco-wise specialist to assess any problems you may be having and then advise you on the treatment necessary as well as how to prevent future pests infestations. We place a huge emphasis on pest prevention. Contact us today!

Rat Proofing Your Home

rat

Rat-proofing your home in Ft. Lauderdale can be a time-intensive undertaking, but it’s necessary to ensure your health and safety. Rat-proofing your home protects your property from damage and protects you, your family members, and pets from the diseases rats often carry. At Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale, we are dedicated to helping each of our customers with this task using individualized plans.

How to Rat-Proof Your Home

If you live in an area where rat infestations are common, you have probably already picked up a few rat-proofing tips. Whether our tips are new or review for you, let us share a few of the things that have worked best for us over the years.

Quick Guide to Rat-Proofing Your Home:

  • Seal all entry points, particularly foundational cracks and floorboard holes. Rats will use these as initial entry points, and will also come back to them with a larger colony. Furthermore, rats create many entry points by gnawing on your floor, insulation, or fixtures. Mesh wire, wooden boards, and other sealants are common.
  • Never leave food in the open, or in unsecured containers. Rats feed on both human and pet food, and can chew through most standard food bags quickly. They also use human garbage as a food source. Because they spend so much time in filthy areas like dumpsters, their natural diseases such as rat bite and Q fevers are exaggerated.
  • Do not use poison or other rat-exterminating sprays. They will kill one or two rats, but eventually others will learn not to go into the area where the poisons are sprayed. Additionally, killing the rats you see will not guarantee others will not invade your home. Ask Critter Control about our exclusion methods, instead.
  • Do not attempt to trap or remove a rat on your own; they will bite if cornered or provoked. Additionally, do not let your cat or rat-catching dog deal with an infestation alone. Your pet could easily become contaminated.

To learn more about rat-proofing your home, contact Critter Control of Ft. Lauderdale or call 954-467-6067 today.

How to Rodent-Proof Your Attic

One of the most popular places in your home for rodents to live is in your attic. It can be hard to detect a rodent infestation in your attic if you don’t frequent there often. And since rodents can be quite small, the noises they make will be minimal and hard to detect. One of the best ways to keep rodents from invading your attic is to be proactive in keeping them out.

Steps to Take

There are a few ways to rodent-proof you attic, and most of them start before the rodents actually reach the attic. First, you should check your roof and soffits for any small holes. Rodents like rats and mice can fit through holes a lot smaller than their bodies, and any rodent can take a pre-existing hole and gnaw it to make it bigger. Sealing up any kind of hole will cut the chances of a rodent invasion down.

Another way rodents can get into your home is through your vents. There are a few ways you can keep rodents out of your vents:

  1. Place traps near the entrances of vents. This can work well if rodents have already gained access to your vents.
  2. Protect your vent with stainless steel mesh. This will prevent the rodents from getting into your vents. Cloth works well with bugs, but rodents can chew through it.
  3. Install a vent guard on your roof. Caging the area around the vents on your roof will keep any curious critters away from your outside vents.

Get Help from the Experts

Sometimes, rodents can be particularly persistent. Even if you take precautionary measures like the ones above, rodents can still find a way into your home. When you have come to your last straw and no longer know how else to deal with them, that’s when the experts at Critter Control® Ft. Lauderdale can step in. With our state of the art tools and techniques, we can remove rodents from your house in no time, and keep them out for good. Don’t let the stress of dealing with rodents in your home weigh down on you any longer. Call us today at 954-467-6067 for your free consultation.

Health Threats Caused by Rats

Rats are seen as unsanitary, but mostly harmless since they often like to take refuge in sewers, dumpsters, and junk yards. However, if they make their way into your home, there is cause for alarm. Apart from damaging the interior of your home with their sharp front teeth, rats can spread some nasty, and potentially fatal, diseases.

Recently 3 cases of leptospirosis have been reported in the Bronx, one of which became fatal. This rare disease is transmitted through rat urine and can cause acute kidney and liver failure. Health officials recommend that if you are in an area where rats may be present, that you thoroughly wash your hands and always wear shoes. You can read more about it in this New York Times article.

In Your Home

If rats have infiltrated your home, the situation requires immediate attention. Rats wandering around your home could leave urine virtually anywhere, tracking it all around your home with their little paws. To prevent the spread of diseases, it is important that you call a professional trained in handling and removing rodents from populated areas. When you allow rats or other rodents to stay in your home for extended periods of time, you are exposing you, your family, and your pets to other diseases like:

  • Rat-bite fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Hantavirus
  • Plague
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

What to Do

As soon as you see signs of rats in your home like scurrying sounds in the walls or ceiling, oily marks on your baseboard, droppings or urine, or chewed wires or wood, call the professionals at Critter Control® Fort Lauderdale immediately. Our professionals are trained in swiftly and effectively removing all rodents from your home, and keeping them out by sealing all of their entry points. Don’t put you and your family at risk, call us today at 954-467-6067 for your free consultation.

What Animal is Making Noises in My Wall?

Do you hear strange noises in your walls? Do you wonder what kind of critter you might be providing a home for? Check out these sounds, and see which ones you recognize to determine what kind of animal has become your new roommate.

Mice and Rats

If you hear scurrying sounds inside your walls or ceilings, especially at night, you’re probably harboring either mice or rats. The only way to get rid of them is to trap them and seal off all entry points.

Squirrels and Raccoons

Do you hear ripping or thumping noises? Squirrels like to sneak into your attic to use your insulation to make a warm nest for their babies. Louder sounds could be from raccoons trying to get out of the cold in the middle of the night. It’s easy for these critters to get caught between the roof and ceiling of your home.

Birds and Bats

If you hear chirping inside your walls, you don’t need us to tell you a bird has gotten inside, probably trying to build a nest. It may even wake you up early in the morning. Scratching sounds accompanied by squeaking may belong to a winged creature, but in this case, it might be a bat, especially if the sounds only show up at night. Bats can cause a lot of damage if they set up a colony in your attic.

How We Can Help

Are any of these sounds too familiar? Critter Control® Ft. Lauderdale can get rid of the pests that are infiltrating your home, sealing off their entry points so they can’t get back in. Remember that attempting to trap these animals on your own can be very dangerous and result in transmitting diseases to you and your family. Keep everyone in your home safe by calling on us to help remove these critters from your home. For a free consultation, contact us at 954-467-6067.