5 Things That Attract Wild Animals to Your Yard

While birds and butterflies can be enjoyable to watch in your yard and that occasional squirrel can be adorable, you don’t want to have wild (and perhaps diseased) wild animals like raccoons, opossums, bats and an overabundance of squirrels set up residence in your yard. However, some of the things you put in your yard can be inadvertently encouraging wild animals to frequent your property.

Things that attract wild animals to your yard

  1. Bowls of pet food. Putting dry food out for stray cats can be an open invitation to wild animals, like skunks, raccoons and opossums. Better to just feed such cats when you see them and take the food back in when the cats leave.
  2. Water features. Water is another big draw for wild animals. Birdbaths, fountains and ponds could also be attracting unwanted wildlife.
  3. Fruit trees. It’s a rare homeowner that can keep up with the fruit from pear, apple or peach trees when that fruit starts to ripen. Fruit on the ground and on low branches can be another big enticement for wild animals.
  4. That compost pile. While compost can be beneficial to your garden, rotting produce and other composting elements can seem like a banquet to wild animals. Better to use a tumbler or other closed container for your compost.
  5. Bird feeders. Bird seed is also enticing to wild life, especially those like squirrels that can climb the posts and easily get to the food.

Ridding your Fort Worth property of unwanted wild animals

If you find that you have wild animals living in your yard, you don’t want to try to get try of them on your own. This is a job best left to the professionals. Critter Control® of Fort Worth, Texas has been helping homeowners just like you get rid of unwanted animals that can threaten pets and tear up your yard for more than 30 years. Call us at 469-805-6267 to schedule a free consultation.

Getting Rid of Rats Without Killing Them

The presence of an unwelcome pest in your home can elicit a range of emotional responses anywhere from mildly annoyed to terrified. And while wild animals such as rats scurrying across your attic can indeed be a nuisance, you may just want them out and not necessarily dead. Fortunately, there are humane rat removal methods that can give you the best of both worlds.

Harmful Rat Removal Methods

Occasionally, a rat infestation is so severe that extermination efforts are attempted. Not only are these rat control methods inhumane but they can also be dangerous to humans. Harmful methods include:

  • Physical removal– Rats should not be handled without the proper equipment or experience. Personally attempting to remove rats can result in serious harm to you and the animal.
  • Rat traps– Rats are cautious and intelligent creatures that can quickly learn how to avoid and navigate around traps.
  • Rat poison– Store-bought chemicals and poisons are often overkill for a rat infestation. They can also be powerfully toxic and harmful to pets and children.

Safe Rat Removal Methods

There are a few humane methods on the market that claim to repel rats. However, alternative methods such as ultrasonic devices and non-toxic sprays that contain a mixture of natural oils and scents only offer temporary relief and are ultimately ineffective at providing a permanent solution to a rat infestation.

CritterSafe Solutions

At Critter Control® of Fort Worth, we are determined to limit damage to all parties involved: you, the animal, and your property. That’s why we endorse CritterSafe removal practices — the most humane, safe, and eco-friendly rat removal methods possible.

Our CritterSafe program minimizes danger to wildlife by using:

  • Non-lethal techniques
  • Live catch traps and
  • On-site release
  • Eco-friendly sprays with non-toxic ingredients that are not harmful to pets and children

Once all the rats are removed from your property, our experienced technicians will repair any damage they caused and seal off access points with one-way doors to keep them from returning.

At Critter Control® of Fort Worth, extermination is our last resort. If you suspect you have a rat infestation in your home or around your property, our expert technicians will use humane measures to solve your rat problem permanently. To get a free estimate, or for more information regarding our pest control services, please call us today at 469-805-6267.

5 Ways Bees are Beneficial to the Environment

Thanks to the strong work ethics of bees, we get to enjoy lots of things that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for them. Honeybees and other pollinators like certain birds, bats, and insects play a vital role in flowering plant reproduction as well as the production of many fruits and vegetables.

So, while your first instinct may be to knock a hive down you see on your property, we recommend calling us to remove it. Bee populations are in steady decline, and should we lose bees, we will also lose some of our favorite foods such as apples, blueberries, cherries, squash, almonds, chocolate, and coffee.

Keep reading to learn about why bees are such amazing creatures.

Pollination – Bees intentionally collect and move the pollen from one species of flower to another species. The transfer of pollen is especially crucial for flowers that rely solely on animals or insects to move the pollen from the male part of the flower (anther) to the female part (stigma). Without plant reproduction, we would lose nearly one-third of our staples we’ve depended on for so long.

Wildlife – Not only do farm-grown fruits and vegetables rely on pollination, but so do many wild plant species. Bees are also responsible for the nuts, seeds, berries, and fruits that grow in the wild, which are a significant food source for a lot of different wildlife.

Food Source – Humans aren’t the only ones who love the sweet taste of honey. During the cold winter months, bees feed on it when they are unable to forage. Other species like birds, raccoons, opossums, and insects also ransack beehives to eat both the honey and bee larvae. Bees themselves also make a tasty treat for some birds, spiders, and insects like dragonflies and praying mantises.

Habitat – Because bees pollinate plants, forests and woodlands are able to thrive, giving homes and providing food to many wild animals from birds and squirrels to raccoons and insects. If specific plants were to disappear, then eventually so would the wildlife that depends on them for nourishment and shelter.

Biodiversity – Bees contribute to every aspect of our planet’s complex ecosystem, allowing many plant and animal species to co-exist.

As you can see, without the help of bees, our world would be a much different place. And, while we recognize the importance of these buzzing insects, we also understand our customer’s concerns when having to deal with bees near their home or on their property. If you have issues with bees, rely on the professional removal services provided by Critter Control® of Fort Worth. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, call us today at 469-805-6267.

Are You Inviting Snakes into Your Yard?

There are 68 species of snakes in Texas. However, that doesn’t have to mean that you and your family have to share your home with these slithering copperheads, rattlers and common garden snakes. While the majority of Texas snakes are harmless, it still can be startling to come across one under a rock or curled up in your bathroom.

How to prevent snakes from living on your property

While few homeowners welcome snakes on their property, many do things that inadvertently invite these critters to make a nest near or in your home. Just a few of these include:

  • Cluttering up your yard. Snakes love to live underneath things. If your yard looks more like a scrap yard than a park, you’re providing a welcoming haven for snakes.
  • Planting a lot of low-growing shrubs and plants. Again, snakes like to hide and stay cool during the mid-day Texas heat. Low-growing plants provide welcome shelter.
  • Forgetting to patch those holes. Holes in your home or garage’s foundation makes it easy for snakes to come and go easily.
  • Watering your lawn too often. Snakes also like water and how cool the grass feels when it’s been freshly watered. Watering your lawn frequently is an invitation to snakes.

Signs snakes have moved into your home

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, snakes will invade your property. Below are just a few signs of such an invasion:

  • Snakeskins. If you see snake skins, this is a sign that you have at least one snake that has just left hibernation. It’s time to call a pest control company.
  • Curly-looking trails in the dirt outside your home. Another sure sign that snakes are living on your property is seeing winding trails in the dirt around your home.
  • You spot a nest. Snakes generally make a nest during the late summer or early fall. It’s not a good idea to remove the nest yourself. This is best left to a professional.

Getting rid of snakes in your home

Getting rid of the snakes in your home and property is not a good DIY project and requires special training and equipment. To best tackle your snake problem, contact Critter Control of Fort Worth. We’ve been helping Texas homeowners like you with their animal and insect problems for more than 30 years.

The Benefits of Chimney Caps

Fireplaces are fantastic assets to have in your home, especially here in the Fort Worth area where the winters can get pretty chilly. One of the major downsides though is that it gives nuisance animals like birds, squirrels, or raccoons easy access to your home. When an animal enters your home, the damage that can result is often expensive and can even pose health risks to you and your loved ones.

There’s no need to get rid of your fireplace if nuisance animals threaten to enter. Instead, a metal chimney cap custom made to fit your chimney can help keep the critters out, while allowing you to enjoy a warm fire during those cold winter months.

What Are Chimney Caps?

A chimney cap is a specially made cover for the outside opening of a chimney that prevents animals from gaining access to your home by crawling down your chimney and into your fireplace. The cover uses a wire mesh that allows smoke and heat from a fire to escape while keeping out animals and moisture at the same time. Our chimney caps are always custom fitted to your chimney to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Additional Benefits of Chimney Caps

Though their main use is for keeping animals out of your home, chimney caps offer other benefits as well. They include:

  • Reducing Debris: With an uncovered opening, your chimney is susceptible to falling leaves or branches. A metal covering helps reduce the amount of debris entering your chimney, reducing fire risks as well.
  • Reducing Moisture Intrusion: Without a cap, rain or snow can easily enter your chimney, potentially damaging the inner lining or creating mold and mildew problems.
  • Blocking Downdrafts: With no chimney cap, wind can blow down through the top of the chimney and potentially blow smoke into your home.

If animal or weather intrusion into your chimney is a worry for your home, the wildlife control specialists at Critter Control® of Fort Worth can help. Our custom chimney caps will protect your home from nuisance animal activity and weather damage. Call us today at 469.805.6267 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Pet-Safe Pest Deterrents

Preventive methods are some of the best ways of keeping animals and bugs out of your home and off of your property. Historically, many of these deterrents, especially those aimed at repelling rodents, have been harmful to pets. When you have pets in your household and are considering pest deterrent options, it’s important to find ones that won’t harm your four-legged friends. Here are some good options:

Animal-Specific Traps

The logical first step when looking for safer animal deterrents is to replace chemical-based options like poisons with traps. This is a step in the right direction, but a trap can be just as dangerous to a pet as it is to what you are trying to catch. To reduce that risk, look for traps that are designed to catch only specific types of animals.

For example, a traditional spring trap is great for mice, but it can also be dangerous for cats or small dogs. A vault trap is a safer alternative.

Hide the Deterrents

Another way to prevent pets from messing with the pest deterrents is to put them somewhere out of reach or hidden away. While it doesn’t completely guarantee a curious pet won’t stumble across it, it helps significantly. You can even place a box over the trap with a hole cut out for the nuisance animal to get through. This is especially useful for traps kept outside.

Use the Right Bait

A common bait for rodent traps is peanut butter. While this does a great job at attracting the mice and rats, pets also love it. Do some research to find out what the animal you are trying to trap is attracted to and what your pets are attracted to, and choose something that won’t pique your pet’s interest but will draw in the nuisance animal.

Let Us Help

The most common question we get about pest deterrents is whether or not they are safe to use around pets. When you’re unsure, the best option is to enlist the help of an animal control professional to remove any nuisance animals from your property for you.

For questions about our residential and commercial animal removal services, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today at 469.805.6267.

How to Deal with Rat Droppings in Your Attic Insulation

So, you’ve found rat droppings in your attic. What do you do now? The first thing to remember is not to panic. We know it can be easy to freak out when you know there might be rodents running around your home. However, keeping calm will put you in the right mindset to take care of the pests in a safe and logical way.

Remember, if you see droppings, this doesn’t necessarily mean you currently have rats. It’s possible they’ve moved on to another location or just use your home as a winter timeshare to stay warm. To get a better idea of what you’re working with, you’ll want to do an inspection. Fortunately, Critter Control® of Fort Worth offers free professional home inspections, after which we can tell you if your home is currently being invaded and create an effective action plan.

Health Risks

Regardless of the presence of animals, their droppings are known to host bacterial and viral diseases like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, so we always urge you to use a professional for removal and cleanup. Any insulation that has been in contact with droppings or urine will need to be removed in order to ensure home safety.

In addition to taking care of removal and cleanup, you’ll likely need to seal any access points the rats may have used. As unlikely as it may seem to many homeowners, any openings bigger than half of an inch leaves you susceptible to another intrusion. So, be sure not to overlook small details simply because they seem unlikely to pose a potential problem.

Partnering with a Professional

At Critter Control® of Ft Worth, our technicians are skillfully trained in dealing with rat droppings in your attic as well as any removal needed. Call us today at 469-805-6267 to set up your free consultation and get started restoring your attic to its pre-pest condition.

How do I Get Rid of Rats in my Walls?

If you’ve been noticing the tell-tale signs of rats in your walls, it’s important to act mouse in wallquickly. Due to their strong rodent incisors tearing up insulation, wiring, and beams you might find they have already created costly and potentially dangerous damage. While not imminent, shortages in wiring can cause power outages, sparks, and fires that start inside your walls and electrical units, and rats left to die of natural causes can release a terrible odor into your home.

Things to Look out For

Your first sign of a potential intrusion may be the evening and nighttime scratching sounds coming from the walls or ceilings. If you suspect rats, check for these potential problems:

  • Feces in attic, basement or along walls
  • Urine smells or stains on ceiling, floors, or walls
  • Nests in attic
  • Chewed or gnawed on electric wires

What to do Next

Two effective ways to get rid of rats include poison and traps. In the case of rats in the walls, poison might not be your best option. Because it is not immediately effective, a poison gives rats the chance to retreat before dying. Then, you’ll either be left to endure the stench of dead rats in the walls or be forced to cut into the walls and remove them. Furthermore, you would also be endangering any children or pets in the home. On the other hand, baiting and trapping is a great way to get rats out of the walls. Using treats the rats would enjoy such as peanut butter or other foods, you can lure the rats to a trap. There are both live-capture and lethal trap options. While both are effective, the one you choose would depend upon your specific situation.

In addition to removing the rats from the walls, you must also seal up any access or entry points to your home. There are many different potential issues with the exterior of your home that could be letting them in including roof shingles, broken eaves, cracks in the foundation, vents, etc. Most rodents can squeeze through holes smaller than you think, so it’s important to be vigilant in your inspection.

Don’t know where to start?

At Critter Control® of Fort Worth, we offer free professional animal entry home inspections! Give us a call at 469-805-6267 and we’ll help you get started on the right track. As always, it’s better to leave removal, extermination, and animal waste clean up to the professionals, so we’d be happy to give you an estimate over the phone as well!

Why is My Rat Trap Not Working?

Rats are never welcome in the home, but unfortunately, they have no problem Rat trap not workingsneaking in with ease. When rat infestation occurs, there are many problems associated with their presence in your home, from damages to your property, to the spreading of certain illnesses. A great way to combat rats in your home is through the use of traps. However, there are many ways that traps can fail you when used incorrectly, so keep an eye out for these potential problems when using them.

  • Poor Placement – Rats like enclosed spaces and will rarely venture out in the open if they don’t have good reason to. If you have placed your trap in the middle of the room, it is highly unlikely that it will catch anything.
  • Setting the Trap too Soon – Rats are very aware of their surroundings and will not investigate new additions without proper acclimation. Bait your trap, but do not set it for a few days. This will make them trust the trap and be more inclined to approach it again later when you actually set it.
  • Wrong Trap – Because of their similar looks people often confuse mouse traps for rat traps. While they serve the same function, a mouse trap simply is not large enough to adequately trap a rat. Rat traps are significantly larger and therefore strong enough to get the job done.
  • Not Enough Traps – Once the traps start working the rats will catch on. Statistically, the most rats are caught on the first day, so it is best to set many traps over a short amount of time for the greatest yield.

Expert Rat Removal

Do-it-yourself traps are great, but they are no substitute for help from the professionals at Critter Control of Fort Worth. You should not have to deal with unwanted rats in your home, so allow our technicians to come and assess the situation and provide you with the best removal techniques. If you are facing rats in your home, contact us today at 469-805-6267 for your free consultation today.

How Do Squirrels Get in My Attic

Squirrels: cute little creatures or ugly rodents that cause headaches? It all depends on your view. We’re all used to squirrels running around in our yard or climbing on the roof, but if they’re lucky enough to enter your attic, it can become a nightmare.

How Do Squirrels Get in My Attic?

Squirrels are excellent climbers, who can chew through various building materials, thus enabling them to create their openings into attics, if an entry hole is not already there. With their agility and determination, it’s no wonder squirrels can certainly make their homes inside of Ft. Worth attics as well as attics throughout the world.

What Are the Signs of Squirrels in My Attic?

Signs squirrels could be nesting in your attic include:

  • Sounds such as scratching or scurrying as they run around the drywall in the attic, above the ceiling, or in the walls.
  • Nesting materials such as leaves and sticks.
  • Droppings
  • Evidence of chewed wood or wires or torn insulation.

If you think you may have a squirrel problem, it’s best to contact a wildlife management team so they can get started on removing these unwanted critters and proofing your home from a potential repeat in the future.

Call the Professionals

Need fast and reliable wildlife management services? Contact Critter Control of Ft. Worth at 469.805.6267 to learn more about how we can help you with your current squirrel problems as well ay other pest or wildlife issues you may be having.