How to Fight a Rat Infestation

The idea of rats in your home is not something that should be taken lightly. ratRodents are unsanitary, and can cause expensive damage to your home in a short period of time. Here are some things you need to know if you suspect that your home has been invaded by rats.

Know the warning signs

Common indicators of a rat issue include finding droppings in or around your house, evidence of gnawing around baseboards or anything wooden, hearing the light noise of their footsteps in your attics or walls, or smelling a musky odor throughout the house.

Stay up-to-date on repairs and maintenance

Resolving a rat problem is just as much about preventing it as treating is. Sealing up holes, cracks, or other access points in exterior and interior walls can limit access to your home. Rats can squeeze their bodies through any gap that their heads will fit through, which is often less than an inch in diameter. Keeping your garbage cans tightly closed and eliminating sources of outdoor water will help make your property seem less attractive to rats, as well.

Eliminate roof access

The two most common rat species that cause problems are the roof rat and the Norway rat. Both of these critters are excellent climbers, and will use that skill to try and find a way into your home. The best way to keep that from happening is to make sure there are no tree branches touching your roof or extending over the top of your house.

Store food appropriately

Using airtight containers to store leftovers and other foods in your kitchen, as well as using heavy-duty trash receptacles will keep rats from using your home as an easy food source. Storing foods in rooms that are not easy for rats to access will further help prevent your home from becoming their all-you-can-eat buffet.

Hire a professional to remove rats for you

At Critter Control® of Miami, 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 305-258-3587 or fill out a form online.

Are Mothballs an Effective Rodent Repellent?

Dealing with rodent infestations is an age-old problem with a seemingly mothballsendless number of different “solutions.” Some of which include poisons, glue traps, and traditional snap-traps. Perhaps the most popular DIY method for rodent and reptile repellent however is the use of good old fashioned mothballs. But, is this actually an effective solution?

Mothballs are both cheap and readily available, which helps make them a popular choice – you can even buy them at most department stores. Then you simply spread them around the infested area, adding more as needed. Seems perfect right? Well, there are a few problems.

  • They can pose a danger to small children or pets, as they are curious. Mothballs are small, white items that can attract attention – often resulting in them ingesting the ball, which can lead to serious health issues.
  • If your rodent problem is outside, mothballs will dissolve in the rain or can be blown away by gusty winds.
  • Mothballs are not a proven way to get rid of rodents. They find the smell of mothballs to be off-putting, but they will often just avoid the affected area but not leave your property.

The repelling ingredient in mothballs is a chemical called naphthalene, which is a strong smelling, white substance. When ingested it can prevent blood cells from carrying oxygen, which should theoretically make it an effective repellent. The problem, is that mothballs contain very little of the chemical, and as a result, some rodents have been documented ignoring mothballs all together.

Even if the rodents are put off by the mothballs, they are cunning creatures and will find another way to access their nest, or will build a new nest all together.

Prevention is the best form of rodent defense, but if you already have rodents on your property, the professionals at Critter Control® of Miami can help. With decades of experience and cutting-edge tools, we can help rid your property of rodents for good. Call us today at 305-258-3587 with any questions about our rodent removal and prevention services, or to schedule a consultation.

Is Poison the Answer to My Rodent Problem?

Poison is often the first idea that comes to people’s minds when they are rat poisonfacing a mice or rodent infestation on their property. Though it is possible to see some success with this method around a house, barn, shed, or other affected area, it is not the preferred method – for many reasons.

Problems with Poison

One of the biggest dangers of using rodent poison is that it is also harmful to humans and other animals. If your household has children, pets, farm animals, or other wildlife nearby, you should avoid using poison all together. Even a responsible adult who is unaware of the poison’s presence can accidentally come into contact with it.

Though rodent poison does kill the offending mice or rats, it does not actually get rid of them. Instead of being rodent-free, your property will be littered with remains that have to be disposed of. If any of those rodents die inside a wall or inside your attic, they can be extremely difficult to extricate and will leave your property with a horribly foul smell.

If that isn’t enough, rodents are known to carry a number of diseases which can be transferred to humans if proper care is not taken when disposing of their carcasses. Even if you take precautions, you are still at risk of exposure.

What Should I do Instead?

It can be tempting to try and handle an animal infestation on your own, especially if you’re used to tackling projects around the house, but the best way to handle the situation is always to call a professional for assistance. Wildlife management companies like Critter Control® of Miami are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to rid your property of nuisance rodents, while keeping you and your property safe from harm.

For questions about our rodent control services, or to schedule a consultation, call Critter Control® of Miami today at 305-258-3587.

Signs of a Raccoon in Your Attic

What are those sounds coming from your attic and ceiling? You’re sure it’s raccoonnot a burglar, but what could it be?

It is possible that an unwanted house guest such as a rodent, opossum or even a raccoon has taken up residence in your home. This article will help outline the signs of a raccoon infestation, and will help determine whether or not you’re living with an unwanted raccoon roommate.

What Sets Raccoons Apart

Aside from other invasive critters like mice or rats, raccoons set themselves apart with their high intelligence and impressive dexterity. They can use their paws in a similar way that we use our hands, which allows them to open doors, pick up objects, and overturn garbage cans with ease. These characteristics make them well-equipped for making their way into a house, whether it be by climbing a tree and using the roof, or opening up a soffit or fascia with their paws to squeeze inside.

Common Signs of Raccoon Activity

The following signs are common amongst most any type of nuisance animal invasion:

  • Scratching, squeaking, or thumping noises coming from the walls or attic
  • Foul odor caused by urine or feces
  • Damage to structural areas of the home including wooden joists, beams, walls, and flooring
  • Unusually alert behavior from pets

By paying attention to the severity of these signs, you can determine if your unwelcome guest is a raccoon. They are the largest commonly invasive critter around, and as such, the sounds associated with their movement will be louder and heavier-sounding than other animals. They also make some different noises than other critters, like growling, grunting, or even purring. Be on the lookout for potential entry points around the outside of your home as well. If it looks like something that a cat could fit through, there is a good chance that it was made by a raccoon.

Let Us Help

No matter the sort of pest that is in your attic, it will eventually cause problems if left alone for too long. While some homeowners are used to tackling problems on their own, you should save yourself the effort by calling the experts at Critter Control® of Miami. Especially in the case of raccoons, which can be unsanitary and even transmit disease, letting us take care of the critter is in your best interests. Call us at 305-258-3587 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

How to Keep Raccoons Out of your Trash

Most of us have had it happen or know somebody whose fallen victim to it – Raccoon in trashraccoons knocking over trash cans in search of food and dragging the contents all over your property. Raccoons are intelligent, determined, and very capable animals that can use their front paws like hands to tip over and open garbage cans for a quick meal.

If this is a regular occurrence for you, or if trash day has become a source of stress and frustration because of raccoon activity, the following tips may help.

Change how you do trash day

Many folks like to put out their garbage cans the night before trash collection, but this gives mischievous raccoons plenty of time to do their dirty work. Instead, take a couple minutes in the morning to roll your cans out to the curb. Raccoons are most active at night, so they’re less likely to cause trouble if you take out the cans in the morning.

Proper garbage can storage

Not all homes have room to store garbage cans inside of a garage or shed, but keeping them outside safely requires some smart placement. Keep the cans in a secured area, or anchor the cans to the ground to avoid them being tipped over. If you have motion-activated spotlights on your property, try placing your garbage cans in their line of sight, as light will startle off unwanted critters.

Keep your cans clean

Raccoons are attracted to the scent your garbage cans give off, so keeping them clean is crucial – especially if they’re stored outside. It not only makes your property more pleasant smelling, but it makes your trash less appetizing for scavenging raccoons. If you want to take things a step further, ammonia is highly offensive to raccoons, and putting a small amount in or around your garbage cans is a great deterrent.

We can help

Raccoons can be a huge nuisance, and if addressed improperly, they can even be dangerous. It is helpful to discourage their activity with the above tips, but if you have a recurring problem, there is no substitute for professional assistance. Call Critter Control® of Miami today at 305-258-3587 to schedule a free home consultation.

Why Bat Extermination Is Illegal

You should never attempt to poison or exterminate bats. Not only is this Miami Batmethod unsuccessful and harmful to the animal, but it’s also illegal in the State of Florida because bats are critical to plant pollination and insect control. Bats are protected under Florida wildlife laws, so it’s important to let a professional legally and humanely remove the bats from your property.

If bats become a nuisance for your home or business, the only way to permanently remove them is by performing a proper bat exclusion. An exclusion is administered by positioning one-way devices in the areas where the bats are emerging from the roost. The one-way devices allow the bats to safely exit and keeps them from re-entering the structure.

Critter Control® of Miami will conduct a bat exclusion using techniques that will successfully remove the animals by:

  • Finding all entry points
  • Bat-proofing all openings
  • Installing exclusion devices
  • Allowing time for the bats to leave naturally
  • Checking to ensure all bats are completely gone
  • Permanently sealing all openings
  • Cleaning up any messes left such as odor and bat guano
  • Repairing and restoring damages caused by the bats

Let our certified wildlife experts create a personalized plan to remove the bats from your Miami home or business. At Critter Control® of Miami, we are committed to performing superior work, which is backed by our quality guarantee.

Call us today at 305-964-8683 for more information and to schedule your free home inspection.

7 DIY Tips to Keep Pests out This Winter

As the weather begins to cool down, many animals and bugs will begin to Pest Controlseek shelter and warmth in your home or business. Common household pests such as mice, rats, squirrels, bats, cockroaches, and ants find their way in from openings you may not even realize are there. Follow these DIY tips to help keep your home protected from any possible animal infestations.

  1. Rodents such as mice and rats love setting up their new home in places like your attic. Check for any damaged roof tiles or cracks, making sure to regularly inspect the roof space for any pest activity. To prevent rodent nesting, switch cardboard boxes to plastic and keep the attic clean and clutter free.
  2. Animals that can easily gain access to your roof such as birds, bats, and squirrels will commonly get inside your home through your chimney. Install a chimney cap which will not only keep animals out but will also help prevent secondary pest infestations.
  3. Just like humans, pests need food to survive. Things like dirty dishes in the sink, food debris on the counters and floors, or contents in the trash can appeal to pests looking for an easy meal. Help keep them away by storing open food in air-tight containers and regularly cleaning your kitchen.
  4. Pipes and drains. Insects like roaches love moisture and excess water. Check downpipes for leaks and that no obstructions such as fallen leaves are blocking water from free flowing through drains. Clear any necessary areas and repair any damage you discover.
  5. Windows and doors. Not only will sealing the cracks around windows and doors help keep the cold air from coming in, which lowers your energy costs, but it also helps to keep rodents and bugs from getting in. Seal any gaps you notice and install bristle strips under doors as well as replace worn weather stripping around windows.
  6. Personal items in your garage such as trash and recycling bins attract pests like mice, rats, roaches, and ants. Make sure your garage is clutter free, and your trash and recycling bins are regularly sprayed down. Also, placing a galvanized mesh over air vents will help prevent animals from gaining access to your garage.
  7. Keep grass, shrubs, and tree branches cut to prevent hiding places for animals such as snakes as well as to help keep critters from climbing onto your roof. If you’re using compost, make sure it’s placed at a reasonable distance away from your home and be mindful to keep firewood off of the ground and away from the fence in your yard. If you leave your garbage bins outside, make sure the lids are tightly sealed, and the garbage bags are not left out in the open. Bringing pet food dishes inside at night will also help keep pests from being attracted to your property.

If you’ve noticed signs of critters around your home, accurately identifying what they could be will help you figure out the proper course of action to get rid of them. Be careful choosing products because you could not only waste your money by purchasing the wrong product, but you can force the pests to hide within the walls only to reappear later on.

Call the Professionals

If you have done what you can to eliminate a pest’s access to the food, water, and shelter your home provides and over the counter products are not cutting it, call Critter Control® of Miami. Our experts have the proper tools and knowledge to help protect your home all year round. We will safely remove any wildlife from your home or property and seal any entry points they may be using. We will also guide you on the things you can do to deter critters from being attracted to your home. Call us today at 305-258-3587 or contact us online to set up your free home inspection.

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

Rabies is a painful and deadly disease which occurs in more than 150 Miami Rabiescountries and territories. Each year, more than 55,000 people around the world die from rabies, mostly in Asia and Africa. Fortunately for those living in the United States, deaths from rabies are rare due to the vast availability of vaccines and rabies immune globulin (a blood product containing antibodies to the rabies virus).

What is the Rabies Virus and how is it Contracted?

Rabies is caused by a virus that invades the central nervous system and interrupts its functioning. The rabies virus is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. People can become infected by being bitten as well as through an opening in their skin, or if saliva gets into their eyes, nose, or mouth. It is not possible to contract rabies through an infected animals blood, urine, or feces, or by touching or petting it.

What are the Symptoms of Rabies?

In the very beginning, you will feel flu-like symptoms including a headache, fever, and general discomfort. In just a few days, your symptoms will begin including anxiety, confusion, delirium, hallucinations, agitation, and abnormal behavior. If you are ever bitten, scratched, or exposed to a rabid animal’s saliva, you should see a physician immediately for post exposure treatment, as the rabies disease is almost always fatal.

What Animals Commonly Get Infected with Rabies?

Wild animals made up 92% of the rabies cases reported in 2015 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bats were the most commonly reported rabid wildlife species, followed by raccoons, skunks, and foxes. While not frequently found in rodents, squirrels, and rabbits, it is possible for any mammal to become infected with rabies.

What Should You Do If You Become Bitten by a Wild Animal?

There are three things you should do if a wild animal bites you:

  1. Clean the area immediately for at least 5 minutes using soap and water.
  2. See a physician as soon as possible, ideally within 24-48 hours.
  3. Notify your state or local health department reporting what happened.

Prevention is Key

Never touch an unfamiliar animal whether domestic or wild as either can be infected. To keep potentially rabid animals out of your home, seal openings such as your attic, basement, porch, and chimney to help prevent wild animals from entering. To learn how we can help keep infected animals out of your home, contact Critter Control of Miami at 305-258-3587 and maintain you and your family’s safety.

Fleas Carrying Plague Have Been Found in Arizona

Health officials in the Navajo and Coconino counties have confirmed that fleas have tested positive for the Yersinia pestis bacteria, the biological agent which causes three forms of the plague; bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic.

How You Can Contract the Plague

Three ways of becoming infected by the bacteria are:

  • An infected flea bites you. Fleas carrying the Yersinia pestis bacteria will bite and infect rabbits and rodents. If another flea bites the same animal, the bacteria can be spread. The infected fleas will also jump on to your pets, and although they prefer to bite rodents, they will still bite other animals and humans if given the opportunity.
  • You come in contact with an infected animal. If you come in contact with an animal’s tissue or bodily fluids, whether dead or alive, you can become infected.
  • You come in contact with a human that has the pneumonic This form of plague can be spread from person to person by infectious droplets such as sneezing or coughing.

With one to seventeen reported plague cases a year since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all ages seem to be at risk, primarily in the rural West. If left untreated, the plague can kill you 30% to 60% of the time. Luckily, sanitation and pest control have become much better as well as the antibiotics that are now used to treat plague.

Early Detection of Plague is Important

Depending on how a person becomes exposed to the plague bacteria, it can take on different clinical forms such as:

  • Bubonic plague: symptoms include chills, headaches, fever, weakness, buboes (tender, painful lymph nodes). This form will usually result from being bitten by an infected flea.
  • Septicemic plague: symptoms include chills, fever, headaches, weakness, shock, abdominal pain, and possible bleeding in to the skin and other organs. Tissues and skin may turn black and die especially on the nose, fingers, and toes. This form will result from being bitten by an infected flea or handling an infected animal.
  • Pneumonic plague: symptoms include headaches, weakness, fever, and a rapidly developing pneumonia that causes shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, and sometimes watery or bloody mucous. Pneumonic is the most serious of the plagues and can be spread from person to person by infectious droplets.

Plague Prevention

Plague is a serious disease, so you want to try and prevent it as best as possible. Some ways you can do that include:

  • Reduce rodent activity. Make sure your home, work place, and recreational areas are clear of any brush, cluttered firewood, excessive litter, rock piles, and animal food. Have your home inspected by a professional like Critter Control of Miami to make sure your home and surrounding buildings are rodent-proof.
  • Wear gloves. To help prevent contact between your skin and the plague bacteria, wear protection when handling or skinning possibly infected animals.
  • Use repellent. If you could become exposed to rodent fleas from outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or working outdoors, try using a product that contains DEET which can be applied to the skin as well as your clothing. You can also try using an insect repellent product that contains permethrin on your clothing as well.
  • Protect your pets. Apply flea medicine regularly to help keep fleas off of your pets. Do not allow animals that may roam free in possibly infected areas to sleep on your bed.

Let Us Help Protect Your Family

The best thing you can do to help keep your family stay safe is early prevention. Critter Control of Miami can perform a free inspection to make sure you are not susceptible to any outside rodents getting in to your home that could be infected with plague-carrying fleas. Call us at 305-258-3587 or contact us on the web to perform a thorough walk through of your attic, crawlspace, or basement, eaves, pantry, walls, and all other surrounding areas. Once we identify any possible problems, we will seal up any potential entry points to make sure no unwanted critters make their way inside, where not only are they not wanted, but don’t belong.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons

As time goes on, raccoon sightings in urban and residential areas are miami raccoonbecoming increasingly common, thanks in large part to urban sprawl and a diminished natural habitat for these creatures. Seeing raccoons on your property is never a good sign, and you should take the following steps to discourage their activity before they attempt to invade your home.

  1. Eliminate their food and water source – Things like pet food bowls or uncovered garbage cans are an open invitation for raccoon trouble. Additionally, be sure to put away your bird feeders each night, especially if they hang near your home. Food is the number one reason raccoons invade properties, and cutting that off is a huge step in the right direction.
  2. Create a hostile environment – Installing a fence can be effective, but determined raccoons will eventually make their way over. For especially persistent raccoon problems, an electrified fence that operates during nighttime hours can be an extremely effective deterrent. Additionally, you should clear your yard of any debris they could hide behind, or branches they may lead them to your roof.
  3. Scare them off – Since raccoons operate mostly at night, there are plenty of tools available to help ward them off using light and sound. Motion-activated sensors, flood lights, ultrasonic noisemakers, and sprinklers all have been proven to scare off night critters. The downside, however, is that you will periodically have to change your tactics as raccoons are very adaptable creatures.

Let Us Help

If raccoons have encroached on your property and nothing is getting them to leave, the experts at Critter Control® of Miami can help. Our wealth of experience and attention to detail mean you can trust us to get the raccoons away and to keep them away for a long time to come. To learn more about our raccoon removal services, call us today at 305-258-3587.