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.

Squirrel Damage

Most people enjoy watching squirrels frolic in their yards and through their trees. Squirrels, like other wildlife, are pleasant to watch and should be enjoyed. However, too many squirrels in one place can lead to an infestation and squirrel damage. If your home has been the victim of squirrel damage or you’d like to know how to prevent it, Critter Control of Ft. Worth is here to help. Our staff members are familiar with all the types of squirrels in the United States, many of which are found in our service areas.

Why Squirrels Invade HomesHole in Ft.Worth home

Many squirrels prefer living in trees or underground in burrows. However, they will invade your home for several reasons. For example, squirrels often get into homes during fall and winter when temperatures drop. They usually enter through unsecured chimneys or window screens and make their nests in eaves or attics. Warm air rises, so squirrels are more likely to be comfortable in high places.

Squirrels also invade homes in the search for food sources. Most squirrels feed on nuts, insects, and occasionally fruit, but if these foods are scarce, they will turn to human garbage and leftovers. If they are bold enough, some squirrels will approach humans to beg for food. That’s why it is crucial never to feed the squirrels you find in your yard. Attracting one or two can lead to hosting an entire den in your attic.

Types of Squirrel Damage

Squirrels are member of the rodent family. Like their cousins, mice and rats, they damage property through gnawing and chewing. Squirrel damage often involves electrical wires, insulation, and building materials. Squirrels can also run across power lines and chew transformers, causing power outages.

Squirrels also damage property, and potentially homeowners, with their waste. Squirrels carry diseases and parasites, such as rabies, fleas, and ticks, among others. Cornered or threatened squirrels may bite, transmitting these illnesses. Humans come into contact with the diseases when they try to clean squirrel waste themselves. If you notice squirrel waste or other signs in your home, call or contact Critter Control for a thorough removal and cleaning.

Raccoon Damage

Raccoons look innocent, even cute. Their distinctive black mask-like coloring is not found on any other mammal, so homeowners are sometimes tempted to leave them alone. Although you should never try to trap or kill a raccoon on your own, you should not allow them to roam freely in your yard. Raccoon damage is a serious matter for homeowners as well as business owners, as Critter Control staff Critter Control Ft. Worth employee capturing Raccoon in homemembers can attest.

Common Types of Raccoon Damage

Raccoons, especially males, often enter human yards or homes because they are hungry. If food sources are scarce, raccoon damage can include foraging in dumpsters and trashcans. In fact, some raccoons have learned to live exclusively on human garbage because it’s the most common food source in their area.

Raccoon feces, urine, and fur can easily contaminate dumpsters, as well as human and pet food supplies left in the open. Like all wild animals, raccoons carry parasites and diseases, including rabies. If provoked, a raccoon will bite a domesticated animal or human. If the raccoon is rabid and transmits the disease, treatment can be long, painful, and sometimes unsuccessful. Do not try to trap or corner raccoons on your property. Make sure all pets have rabies vaccinations.

Pregnant raccoons are more likely to enter the home and cause raccoon damage than a male. Female raccoons will usually seek shelter in chimneys and crawlspaces. Both the mother and her litter can be trapped easily in these areas and die, leaving behind diseased corpses and animal odors. The raccoons may also gnaw on attic insulation, wiring, or chimney caps, leaving your home unsecured and soiled.

Raccoon damage can extend to your yard and garden, as well. Raccoons dig and forage for food, compromising crops, flowers, and the structural integrity of your yard. This can also cause problems for your home’s foundation. If you suspect a raccoon problem, call or contact Critter Control of Ft. Worth for removal and exclusion.

Rats in The Walls

The constant noise and scratching of having rats in your walls is enough to drive almost anybody crazy. rats in the wallsAny rats trapped inside your walls can wreak havoc and cause costly damage to your home if not removed quickly. Luckily, Critter Control® of Fort Worth has you covered with over three decades of experience in animal removal.

How do rats infiltrate my home?

Because of their small size, rats are able to enter the home through even the smallest hole or opening in a wall or roof structure. Rats have even been known to enter through ventilation and air conditioning ducts on occasion. Once rats are inside your home, they immediately begin looking for a suitable place to nest, and your walls provide a dark, safe area to begin breeding.

The Dangers of Rats

While rats play an important part in the balance of our ecosystem, having them in your home is never a good thing. Some of the dangers that rats pose to your home and family include:

  • Rats love chewing on everything they can sink their teeth into, including the wooden roof structures and wiring components inside your walls. Rats and other rodents have large front teeth that are always growing, and their constant chewing helps keep the length of their teeth under control.
  • The droppings and urine that the rats leave behind can permeate the wood and sheetrock in your walls and leave behind a foul odor that can be difficult to get rid of.
  • Insulation damage. Attic insulation is a favorite building material for rats, which causes them to tear it apart for their nests. The damage to your insulation hurts its efficiency, causing your energy costs to increase.

The Critter Control® Difference

The animal removal professionals at Critter Control® of Fort Worth are trained to identify entrance points around your home, remove the offending critters using the most advanced techniques available, and repair any damage they may have caused during their time inside your walls. If you have any questions or want to set up your free home estimate, give us a call today at 469.805.6267.

How to Get Rid of Mice

Mice have become an all-too-common for people throughout the Fort Worth area, due in large part to the huge variation in weather throughout the year. The temperature and weather fluctuations send mice seeking shelter into homes and businesses all over the city. An infestation of mice can take a serious toll on your home and pose a very real health risk to your family. The following techniques will help you address your mouse problem, and keep them away for good.

  • Find their Hideout – The first step in addressing a mouse problem is to find where the critters are hiding out. From there, you can cut off their food and water sources, seal off entry points, and set traps to begin thinning out the infestation.
  • Removal – Professional removal will always be the most effective, safest means of animal removal, but there are a variety of store-bought options you can try, including:
    • Snap Traps – These are the traditional ‘mouse trap’ that most people think of first. While effective, they often kill the mice instantly and can leave quite a mess. A professional will need to remove any carcasses to avoid the risk of infection.
    • Glue Traps – Many people have mixed feelings on this method, as it is effective, but can lead to a slow and inhumane death for the affected mice.
    • Live Traps – The preferred method for professional mouse trappers, live traps allow you to safely relocate the critters once caught.

Poison should be used under no circumstance as it is dangerous to both humans and pets if handled incorrectly or consumed.

  • Call a Professional – Once any mice have been isolated and trapped, they will need to be removed from your home or business. Handling them on your own puts you at risk of contracting dangerous infectious diseases, so it’s best to leave that up to a professional.

Let Us Help

The safest and most effective option for mouse removal will always be using a professional service like Critter Control® of Fort Worth. Dealing with a rat infestation is not only frustrating, but it is also potentially risky as well. The longer they are allowed to live in your home or business, the more costly the damage will be. Call us today at 469-805-6267 to schedule your consultation.