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.

Rat Proofing Your Home

Rat-proofing your home in Miami 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 Miami, 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 notaa 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 Miami or call 305-258-3587 today.

3 DIY repellants to Keep Squirrels Off Your Lawn

If you’re experiencing a squirrel problem around your property that is particularly stubborn, there are certain steps you can take to deter them from your home. DIY squirrel repellent is a cheap and easy way to keep the area around your home free from pesky squirrels who may be eyeing the comfort of your home. If you’re at your wit’s end keeping squirrels away, give these DIY squirrel repellents a try.

Types of Repellent

Based on where the squirrels around your property like to frequent, there are a few different types of repellents you can try.

  • Soil Repellent- If squirrels are especially a nuisance in your garden, digging up roots or burying nuts, you can mix laundry detergent and cayenne pepper into the soil.
  • Spray Repellent- A great way to make a repellent that will keep squirrels away from specific areas around your home is by bringing a mixture of water, cayenne pepper, onions, and jalapeno to a boil and putting it in a spray bottle. Spray it near your porch, pool deck, or near your doors or garage. But be careful not to get it in your eyes!
  • Spices Repellent- If you want squirrels to stay out of places like your garden, yard, or bird feed, you can make a mixture of paprika, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes and add them to your bird seeds or around your garden. The mix will be too spicy for the squirrels, but your birds will enjoy the extra flavor added to their seeds.

These suggestions are merely temporary solutions to your problem. Repellent may keep squirrels away from your home for a brief period of time, but very persistent squirrels can make their way into your home, attic, or garage with just a little determination.

Trust the Experts

When your DIY repellents become less potent, there’s nothing separating you and your home from the squirrels. Trust the expert squirrel control services of Critter Control® Miami to keep your home safe from furry invaders. As soon as squirrels enter your home, you are at risk to developing harmful diseases like leptospirosis and rabies, The longer squirrels stay in your home, the more expensive the damages the cause will be. Stop them before you put your home and family in danger. For questions, or to schedule a free consultation, call us today at 305-258-3587.

How to Get Rid of Rats

If you have small holes anywhere on the exterior of your home, or weak points in your home, rats can easily gain access to places like your walls, attic and basement. The best way to control rats in your home, is to keep them out in the first place. However, once they have entered it can be a challenge to remove them.

Your Options

At Critter Control® Miami, we’ve been dealing with rats for over two decades. Our trained technicians know exactly how to quickly and safely remove all the rats from your home. So, we have compiled a list of proven techniques to get rid of the rats that have infested your home.   

  • Locate all the entry points. Scan your home for holes that the rats used to enter your house and seal them up so you won’t have more come in while you’re getting rid of the others.
  • Find the Infestation. If you know where most of the rats are, you can start laying traps in high traffic areas, giving the traps a better chance at succeeding.
  • Bait the Traps- Once your traps are set in high traffic areas, you can bait them. Cheese is a common type of bait, but rats will typically eat anything, so the type of bait doesn’t matter as much.
  • Try multiple traps. Rats are smart, and very aware of their surroundings. So one day a certain type of trap may work well, and the next it won’t work at all. You can change the type of traps you use to capture rats to keep them on their toes. Rat poison is also an option, but should never be used around young children or pets.

Call the professionals

It is important to remember that if your traps are successful, you should never handle rodents, living or dead. Always request the assistance of your local pest control experts to remove any dead rats from your home, as you could spread diseases from handling living or dead rats. For assistance with dead rat removal, rat trapping, or rat extermination, call the professionals at Critter Control® Miami. For your free consultation, call us today at 305-258-3587.

The Dangers of Rats in Your Attic

Do you hear faint scratching or pitter-patters above your head? What about an unexplainable stench coming from your walls or ceiling? If so, you might have rats in your attic. As soon as you suspect you have rats in your home, it is imperative to do what it takes to get them out. The longer the stay, the more costly the damages and potential health threats.

Health Issues with Rat Urine

It is advised to avoid contact with wild rats in your home. Avoiding contact can keep you and your family safe from the diseases they spread through feces and urine, as well as in their fur. Because rats typically scurry about your home, not remaining in one location, the threat of contracting diseases from rodents grows the longer they remain, which is why we recommend you call experts as soon as you hear noises in your attic.

Recently, a breakout of a rat-borne illness occurred in a New York neighborhood resulting in three individuals contracting leptospirosis. Health officials recommend anyone working in an area potentially harboring rats should always wear shoes and wash their hands frequently. If your home is inhabited with these unwanted critters, it’s important you and your family take similar precautions to prevent illness. To learn more about the recent outbreak, check out this New York Times article.

Call the Experts.

At Critter Control® Miami, our technicians are trained to handle rats properly, both living and dead. We’ll inspect your home and work with you to come up with a plan on how to best eradicate the infestation. We also clean and repair any damages the houseguests may have left, and seal entry points to ensure they can’t come back. Keep your family safe and schedule your free consultation by calling 305-258-3587.

How Do Rodents Get in My Attic?

Do you hear a scurrying sound in your ceiling? If so, you may have rodents in your attic. Rodents are very creative when it comes to entering your home, and it’s crucial you have them removed in any case.

How Do They Get In?

Even if you think your home is completely sealed, rodents may still find a way in through:

  • Chewing gable vents, ridge caps, and soffit vents
  • Squeezing through holes near pipes
  • Crawling through open chimney or roof vents

Rodent Removal

Removing rodents from your attic is a delicate process. Rodents are very smart and good at hiding, so they can be difficult to catch if you don’t know what you’re doing. A rodent removal professional will use proven techniques to locate rodents in your attic and devise a plan for getting them out. This includes eliminating their nesting areas and food sources.

Prevention

Once your attic is free of rodents, it’s time to focus on prevention. The first step in rodent prevention is inspecting the home for any potential weak spots. We will fill the small holes in your attic, replace damaged insulation, and sanitize your attic. These necessary steps will ensure your home stays rodent free.

Get Help

If you have a rodent infestation in your attic, don’t try to handle it yourself — call the experts at Critter Control® Miami. Our team of rodent removal experts are trained to locate and identify rodents in your attic, remove them, and prevent future infestations. To schedule a free inspection, call (305) 258-3587 today.

How to Keep Animals from Moving in This Winter

Picture yourself coming face to face with a bat hanging loosely on your garage roof structure. Imagine running into a skunk in your front lobby or trampling a mouse underfoot as you prepare dinner. All these scenarios are not only undesirable but also horrifying. With the arrival of winter weather, winter pests such as rats, mice, cockroaches, skunks and raccoons will most likely infest your home in search of shelter and warmth.

Below are expert tips on how to keep these unwanted guests from moving into your house this winter.

  • Never Leave Food Exposed
    Animals have a very strong sense of smell that naturally prompts them to explore the source. Keep your food tightly packed in metal, glass, or plastic containers. They may not stay if there’s nothing to munch on.
  • Use Animal Repellents
    Even with all the necessary precautions in place, some stubborn animals would still come into your home. An all-natural animal repellent is suitable for deterring them from staying for too long, especially in hidden places such as the basement or attic.
  • Clear the Clutter
    Allowing heaps of clutter and trash around the house gives animals a perfect cover before they finally move in through the nearest opening.
  • Fix Any Unwanted Holes
    Take a walk around the house and patch up any unwanted holes on window frames, split shingles and other openings. Mice are notorious for creeping and squeezing through any opening in the house.
  • Trim nearby Bushes and Branches
    While working on the surrounding, never overlook the nearby overgrowth. Overhanging branches and thickets make it convenient for squirrels and chipmunks to access the upper part of your house and possibly enter your attic.
  • Employ Simple Deterrents
    Without a territorial canine, simple deterrents such as installing motion sensitive lighting systems or soaking a rag in ammonia to imitate the smell of predator urine may prove beneficial.

Choose the Experts

As temperatures drop significantly, critters and other pests will certainly come knocking. Before they end up in basements, chimneys, and attics, implement a few of these tips. Wildlife control specialists such as Critter Control® of Miami will help you rid, safely and efficiently, any wildlife that makes your home their winter residence.

You may also want to ask about our preventative services and free home inspections to ensure critters aren’t invading your home. Contact us today at 305-258-3587 to learn more about our prevention, removal and repair services to keep your home critter-free this winter.

Controlling Mice

Since these little rodents are so small, it can be easier for mice to invade your home than you think. Their little bodies allow them to slip through Miami micecracks and holes you might have in your home that you didn’t even realize existed. As soon as you find evidence that a mouse could be living in your house, you should contact the experts at Critter Control® Miami to remove the mice as quickly as possible. If you leave an infestation alone, it could double in size in no time due to the rate at which mice can reproduce. If you have a mice infestation, here are some tips to remember:

  • Put all your food in airtight containers
  • If you’re in an apartment or townhome, make a plan with you neighbors to watch out for mice and their travel patterns
  • Avoid mouse droppings because they carry many diseases that are easily transmitted
  • Clean up any nesting materials mice could use such as scraps of paper, insulation, or cardboard

The Mice Experts Can Help

Here at Critter Control® Miami, we’ve perfected the mice removal and exclusion process in just four easy steps.

  1. Inspect –With a free home inspection, we’ll assess the location and complexity of your mouse problem. Together, we’ll then tailor a plan to fit your specific needs.
  2. Remove –We have a broad range of ways to safely and more efficiently eliminate the mice from your home, ensuring relocation whenever the situation allows it.
  3. Repair –We’re able to clean up and repair any messes or damage your mice infestation may have left behind. It will be as if you never had any pesky house guests at all.
  4. Exclusion – Last, we’ll go through your home and seal any entry points that the mice may have used, to ensure that you’ll never have an infestation problem again.

If not dealt with in a quick fashion, even a small mouse infestation can become a homeowner’s nightmare. You can trust the ex[perts at Critter Control® Miami to rid of all the mice in your home safely and humanely. For questions about your mouse problem, or to schedule a free consultation, call us today at 305-258-3587.

Trapping Mice

Mouse infestations are a bigger problem than most homeowners in Miami think. These critters are drawn to your home because it’s safe and gives them easy access to food and water. A mouse infestation can double in size very quickly due to the rate at which mice can reproduce, and the fact Miami Rat Trappingthat your home provides them a safe and dry place to do that in, it only speeds up the process. While there are ways to trap mice yourself, it is best to let professionals like the ones at Critter Control® Miami deal with your mouse infestation. It can get to be overwhelming when dealing with a massive infestation, and our professionals are trained to deal with just that.

However, if you can catch an infestation before it grows out of control, here are some ways you can nip it in the butt.

Trapping Tips

  • Scent- Since mice have such a great sense of smell, it’s important your hands are clean and free of any pet odor, so the mice don’t smell other animals on the traps you set.
  • Placement- Look for evidence as to where your mice could be nesting and place traps around that area. If there’s a place in your home with lots of droppings, bite marks, or chewed wiring, chances are that’s where the mice are living.
  • Bait- Bait that is high in protein like peanut butter or cheese works best with mice. Remember, a little bit goes a long way.
  • Number of Traps- Generally, placing more traps than you think there are mice is a good rule to follow. It is better to have more traps than less, and if you overestimated, more traps mean a higher chance of catching a mouse.

If your traps do work, do not handle the dead mouse. It’s dangerous for both you and your family to treat dead mice, as they carry many different diseases. If your infestation is out of hand, you have dead mice in your home, or you would like to schedule a free consultation with Critter Control® Miami, please call us at 305-258-3587