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Animal Control DIY Pest Control

Bug Lady posted this on Oct 18, 2016

Raccoons

 

Raccoons are nocturnal mammals common throughout North America. There are seven different  species of raccoon, and most of them live in tropical areas.  These little guys have nimble hands and are pretty intelligent rodents, as most people who have encountered racoons can attest. They are very good climbers, swim and run, can open latches and even turn a doorknob.

 

These guys prefer sweet food and fatty meats, just like us humans, so it’d be best to bait with something along those lines to attract them towards the trap.  Traditionally, racoons would live in wooded areas in order to have easy access to the trees. Because they are such adaptable creatures, nowadays they can be found in suburban landscapes and like to make their homes in our homes and man-made structures.

 

Mating season usually starts in late winter. And the females usually give birth to 1-6 babies in April or May.  They will stay with their mother for a full year.



Squirrels



Squirrels can be classified into three groups:  Tree, ground and flying.  Squirrels are a destructive pest that can attach your lawn and home.  Ground squirrels become a problem for homeowners when they create burrows under lawns, causing unsightly lumps. Squirrels are also known to dig under pump houses, storage sheds, barns, and anything else they have an ability to get under.

 

Tree squirrels have knack for gaining entry to homes and commercial buildings where they seek shelter and food. Entering through vents, cracks in trim, knotholes, and other access points, Tree squirrels have been known to get in between wall and floor joists which makes them difficult to remove.

 

Identifying the difference between a ground squirrel and tree squirrel is as simple as observing their behavior when startled. Does the squirrel scurry for a tree, or enter a burrow into the ground?

Seeing their behavioral reaction is key to identifying the types of squirrels in your area.  Most ground squirrels are 12-15 inches in length and have brownish gray fur with small white speckles on their back and shoulders.  Active mostly during the day, especially from mid-morning through late afternoon, Squirrels hibernate twice a year: around winter and then during the hotter summer months.

 

It is recommended to use a bait station for ground squirrels. Place the station where the squirrel can easily get to it, such as close to their burrows, and separate the stations about 20 to 100 ft apart.  Keep baiting for at least 15 days, or until you stop seeing any signs of feeding on the Squirrel Bait.



Skunks

Found throughout the United States and are known for their wonderful acrid, pungent color and their distinctive black and white coloration.  They are nocturnal and omnivorous, they  eat many different food, such as small insects, amphibian, rodents and garbage.  Eliminate attractants to keep your area from being a little less attractive to skunks.  THey will only enter your area in search of food and water.

 

You will need to use a large cage, trap that is specific for a raccoon or skunk.  Set The trap in the area that you have seen the skunk, use the correct lure, marshmallows, cat food.  You may want to place a heavy rock on top of the trap to make sure it can not be knocked over Make sure to cover the trap so you and the skunk will feel protected.

 

Once the skunk has been trap you will need to relocate the skunk, you may need to call your local SPCA or humane league to know what the laws and regulations are for trapping and relocating the skunk you trap.




Birds

 

Birds not only can cause unsightly property issues, but also leave behind health issues and risk.  They can cause millions of dollars in damage in each year to buildings.  Eliminating and preventing roosting areas, tailoring your control and efforts to effective bird control is important.  Feed on insects, rodents, worms, fish and many other animals.  Easy to use humane methods help change the nuisance birds habits and behavior by changing the area.  

Nuisance birds, are dirty, make noise and can cause unsightly destructive issues with property and structures.  They can even cause health issues that can be dangerous.

 

Offering a variety of control products such as bird spikes, bird repellent gels, bird audio devices and other highly effective devices.




Moles

 

There tunneling habits mar yards, gardens, and farms.  Moles have a head and body about 5-6 inches long, with a very short tail of about 1 ½ inch, and a face that seems to all but lack eyes and ears. They are very small mammals and are about 6-9 inches in length.  With their tiny ears that are almost invisible and short, powerful front legs with their large clawed paws that make them very good diggers.

 

They have broad front feet that allow them to dig, and the naked nose that points upward and it is very characteristic of the mole. We do not see them often, because they will rarely come above ground. Remaining in an extensive network of underground tunnels, that are typically about 2 inches in diameter, and are about 1 foot under the surface.

 

A mole will prefer lots of moist areas, and sandy loam soil.  

 

You can recognize the mole is in your lawn with their volcano-shaped hills that are made up of clods of dirt.  These are extensive underground passages that will be use throughout the seasons.  They will nest underground and will connect to their tunnels.  You will usually notice activity that looks like ridges of upheaved soil.

 

They will eat worms, grubs, and insects.  You will want to treat the active burrow systems, so locate main runways by probing.  They have large appetites and  can easily eat their weight everyday.  Breeding occurs in late winter or spring and have a gestation period of four to six weeks, the female mole will have a single litter of 2 to 5 young moles in March, April or May.    

 

It is common to confuse pocket gopher mounds with a mole mound, you can tell the difference when you see that the pocket gopher mounds can be large but have less soil.  Mole tunnel will be a much larger hill of soil.



Bats

 

Bats vary in size from roughly 4” in length, and up. They are nocturnal and mainly eat insects flying around at night, frequently going after the insects that are flying around the exterior lights.   Most people can see them easily right at dusk, circling around the open areas.  They have a very impressive, well-developed ultrasonic detection system, similar to very sensitive radar that helps them locate prey.

Most species of bats will migrate from the colder climate areas, but some species will hibernate or become slow and sluggish in the colder temperatures. It is not uncommon to find bats inside your home, attic, or garage during colder weather, as they seek refuge wherever possible. Empty attics can prove to be the perfect temporary location, and many never even know that bats were there until closer inspection of telltale signs that are left behind.



For bats you will want to walk the perimeter of the building looking for droppings. Bat droppings are about the same size as mouse droppings — bat droppings will turn to powder when you squeeze them.

 

When you find an entrance or exit, keep looking to see if there is any more evidence of other entrances on a structure. An inspection around dusk many times will give you a good idea of how many bats there are and can help you locate where they are entering the structure from  getting into the structure. The reason why bats are moving into a structure to breed, so from late May to the third week of August it’s best to leave the bats alone until the young bats are big enough to fly.

This will prevent sealing them up in the structure.




Voles

 

These little guys are usually mistaken for mice, and ears are pinned back against their head and tail is shorter.  These guys will eat the roots of grass, plants,vegetables and other ornamental plantings.  These guys are very fast reproducers and the female can have over a hundred young in one year.  This becomes a huge issue very quickly, so you can see why it would be so important get them under control quickly.

Bait should be placed near their burrows or the noticeable damage and kept maintained for 15 days.

Voles reproduce at fast rates, with a single female potentially birthing over a hundred young in one year's time, quickly becoming a problem if they gain access to a home, barn or other structure.

 

Possums

The opossum is native to the U.S. and are often found in and around buildings. They have been known to create dens under porches, garages, decks and slabs and can also take up residence in the attics, basements, garages and in outbuildings. Possums have been known to raid uncovered garbage cans and tear into trash bags left out during the evening, and will look for fruit, pet food and apples, among other items.

 

Possum control can be a challenge, because unless properly completed possums with find their way back and continue residing in unwanted space.  Know how many you are trying to trap, mom juveniles?  Buy a large steel trap cage and it should be 32x10x12 at least.  

 

It is important to set the trap in the correct location, make sure the trap in on a flat ground, better to place the trap in a shady area, to make sure the animal does not get overheated after being trapped.

 

You will need to bait the trap, and because they prefer meat based product this is what you should try first.  You may end up catching  your cat a couple of times, so might have to change to something less attractive to cats, marshmallows will work.



Norway Rat

 

The Norway rat is usually brown or black with a yellow or gray belly. Average weight can be well over a pound, and the Norway rat can be 7” to 10” long with a broad set body. A Norway rat’s head is long, with a blunt nose and small ears that lay close to the head.  

Removal can be difficult, but first you need to find out how they are getting into the building.  Small holes in the awning, window gaps, plumbing holes and the likes, really any opening that is large enough to stick your thumb in, they can enter.  They need to be sealed up, and use copper mesh to plug up the hole then seal it up.  

Ok now it is time to start trapping, and baiting for rats.  You can set large rat size traps, they can be set on the level rafter, along any evidence of runs, etc.  Inspect the entire attic and make sure that you place your traps in the best location, the area when you have seen activity, droppings, nesting material and their rub marks.  Check your traps often, at least every 48 hours.  Remove any dead rats you may have trap and keep setting them till you stop catching them and or stop hearing the rats.

More is better when it comes to trapping, at least a dozen in the attic, they are not expensive and it will make you much more successful.

Norway rats can also be identified by their tails, which are never as long as their bodies. Common foods for Norway rats are vegetables, fruits, meats and fish - essentially any human consumed food. Norway Rat droppings are blunt and about ¾ of an inch, and anywhere from 30-180 droppings are produced a day.

The Norway rat prefers to nest in a basement or other lower dwellings. Known to burrow into soil, creating extensive runs, the Norway rat is typically active at night. Life expectancy of a Norway Rat is 18 months, and reproduction rates are typically 6-18 rats in a litter, and 3-7 litters in a year.




House Mouse

A mouse has a body length of 5-9 inches with a tail of 2-4 inches, and weighing only a few ounces. Typically a grayish-brown color, mice will have large ears and a long, hairless tail. The house mouse is sometimes confused with juvenile rats, but you can tell the difference because a young rat’s head and feet will look very large and out of proportion compared to those on a mouse. But, one commonality between rats and mice is that they both contain diseases, which you definitely don’t want in your home.

 

They are about 2-5 inches in length and grey and brown with light colored fur on the belly.  Eyes are small, black and will be protruding.  They are nocturnal and you usually notice you have one when you discover their dropping or damage specifically to your food.



SEAL THE GAPS. Here is where it gets challenging. As a pest professional, you are uniquely qualified to find openings that permit pest entry. And while experts agree that exclusion is the future of pest management, expertise in the field remains somewhat limited. Specifically, the selection and use of appropriate materials is critical for effective pest exclusion, but few published resources are available that provide recommendations and instructions. Further, recommendations may not be based on scientific evidence, putting into question their validity.

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