Blog | Critter Control Fort Worth

The Real Risks of a Bat Infestation

The Real Risks of a Bat InfestationThe small, furry creatures flying through the night may be fascinating to watch when the sun starts to set; however, bats can cause great damage if they decide to invade your home and form nests in places like your attic. Because bats are nocturnal animals, they primarily sleep during the day and spend their time searching for food when you are asleep at night. Therefore, it may be difficult to locate and remove them without the help of expert animal control specialists.

Signs of a Bat Infestation

There are several signs that can point to an infestation of bats occurring in your home. 

  • Disturbing sounds – Scratching noises, the flapping of wings, or rustling bumps may indicate the presence of bats. The flying mammals also emit high-pitched squeaks that allow them to communicate with other bats and navigate throughout the night.
  • Messy dark stains and droppings – The appearance of bat guano is an evident sign of a bat infestation. You may see these droppings outside your home or near entry points. Grease marks on walls can also signal a growing bat problem. Bats have a dirty and greasy film on their coats that can rub off as they enter and exit your home. After repeatedly coming and going, bats will build up a layer of grease near their entry points that will be hard to miss.
  • Toxic smells – Another sign of a bat infestation is the strong ammonia scent released by their waste. Bat urine smells similar to a cat’s litter box, which can create a less-than-pleasant odor in your home. Other smells can come from a bat dying in your home, which may also attract insects.

Dangers of a Bat Infestation

A bat infestation in your home can also be a health risk to you and your loved ones. Humans can get diseases such as Histoplasmosis or rabies from bats. Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease caused by the inhalation of bat guano, while rabies is a viral disease caused by a bat bite or contact with bat fur.

Another danger of a bat infestation includes bacterial growth in the attic. When bat guano breaks down into a powder, it releases airborne pathogens that can cause strong smells and respiratory issues. 

Bats can also cause structural damage to your home. Guano can contaminate the roof or insulation of your home and add excessive weight which can weaken the structure or cause it to sag or collapse.

Effective and Safe Removal

Turn to the animal control specialists at Critter Control® of Fort Worth to effectively and humanely remove bats from your home. After all, bat infestations and the damage that comes with it are frustrating to deal with. With our eco-friendly pest control techniques, we will return your home to a safe environment and prevent future infestations. Call us for a free estimate today at 817-222-1101.

Does Clutter Attract Raccoons?

Does Clutter Attract Raccoons?When you think of raccoons, you probably picture torn garbage and tipped trashcans. It’s common to assume that food is the main draw for these wild animals, but there are actually a lot of other factors that could contribute to your raccoon problem. To keep your property raccoon-free and your family safe, take a closer look at the clutter that raccoons typically cling to.

Why Are Raccoons Dangerous?

As common carriers of rabies, raccoons are a significant threat to everyone on your property. Although they are naturally shy critters, raccoons will quickly become comfortable with your home if there is easy access to food, water, and shelter. As soon as they feel threatened, however, they’ll turn to scratching or biting in self-defense. And while inside your home, raccoons may cause even more trouble by damaging insulation, ventilation, and even the electrical wiring that runs through your attic. 

What Type of Clutter Attracts Raccoons?

Unfortunately, clutter both inside and outside your home can attract raccoons. Around your yard, debris can build up if you fall behind on weekly lawn care. Piles of leaves, fallen fruits from your garden, and branches hanging over the top of your roof all serve a purpose to raccoons looking for food and shelter. However, when it comes to the inside of your home, raccoons are typically attracted to food-specific clutter, such as pet food, grains, fruits, and anything else left out on the counter or hastily stored in the pantry.   

How Can You Keep Raccoons Away? 

Essentially, the best way to prevent a raccoon infestation is by keeping your home clean and clear of clutter. Here are some tips to help you tidy up your property — inside and out. 

Outdoors

  • Mow your yard at least every other week to maintain grass and remove fallen debris.
  • Secure trashcans with bungee cords and empty them out weekly.
  • Store your woodpiles far away from your home.

Indoors

  • Seal pet food in airtight containers and keep them off the ground.
  • Annually inspect your attic and clear out empty boxes and newspapers as necessary.
  • Store any of your leftovers in the fridge or durable, airtight containers. 

Ft. Worth’s Raccoon Experts

If you’re not sure what is attracting raccoons to your home or property, trust the licensed animal experts at Critter Control® of Ft. Worth to figure it out. Our dedicated wildlife prevention team provides complete animal control, wildlife removal, and property repair solutions for your home or business. Call us today at 817-222-1101 for a free inspection.

Reasons to Have Your Attic Inspected

Reasons to Have Your Attic InspectedSince you rarely pay a visit to your attic, it tends to stay out of sight — and out of mind. However, having an annual attic inspection is a necessary routine for sustaining the longevity of your home. If you haven’t crossed this year’s inspection off your checklist, here are the reasons to examine your attic sooner rather than later.

Checking for Signs of Leakage

Your attic is a usual suspect when it comes to water damage in your home. Fortunately, having an attic inspection allows professionals to spot signs of mold or leaks before they become an issue. Common signs of water damage include: 

  • Stained wood
  • Condensation around pipes
  • Furnace rust

When left unattended, moisture can seep into your home’s walls and eventually develop mold — potentially causing severe health problems. Therefore, you must have a professional immediately treat mold if you find it inside your attic.   

Checking for Structural Issues

Just because your roof looks stable on top, it doesn’t mean the attic is actually stable underneath. An attic inspection is a perfect opportunity to check for sagging beams, broken rafters, or even stress cracks. Because the attic framing is an overall part of a home’s roof system, it’s vital that this structure is firm and up to building codes. Any structural deficiency that can impair the stability of your roof is worth checking for and promptly repairing, because they can open up holes, gaps, and cracks that wildlife could use for entry. 

Checking for Insulation Efficiency

It’s always important to know that your insulation will keep your home cool, and it’s especially important during the scorching seasons. If your recent energy bill is higher than normal, however, it could be the result of damaged insulation. Furthermore, if your AC and furnace are constantly running even after you turn your unit off, your insulation might be to blame.

Checking for Wildlife Damage

Have you recently heard scratching, clawing, or scurrying from above your home? If so, it’s likely that rodents are wreaking havoc in your attic. Rodents like squirrels, rats, and mice are drawn to your attic because it’s a dark and quiet place to make a home. If these critters aren’t quickly removed, they will damage your insulation, chew up wiring, and even cause an infestation.    

Need an Attic Inspection? 

If you are suspicious that a rodent is causing any damage to your attic, calling for professional help is always the most effective option. Our Critter Control® of Fort Worth technicians will thoroughly inspect your attic, humanely remove any animals, and restore damaged insulation. Most importantly, they’ll seal entry points to keep rodent issues from happening again. For more information on attic insulation and restoration, call 469-805-6267. 

How Do Rats Get on the Roof?

How Do Rats Get on the Roof?Despite their small size, rats can pose a significant risk to your home or business when they access your roof or attic. They are prone to damaging insulation, leaving behind feces, and transmitting disease. But how do rats get on the roof in the first place? Rats are actually expert climbers that can dig their claws into almost any textured surface. These rodents can even fall from heights of up to 50 feet with little to no injury. Since they are climbers by trade, rats will scamper up areas near your home in multiple ways. 

Climbing Trees

Because they like to nest above ground, you’ll often find rats nuzzled up in the comfort of a tree. This means rats can just as easily scurry up branches and onto your rooftop. But, they’re more likely to make the journey when a tree is overlooking a building or when branches are hanging over the roof. The best way to stop this in advance is to regularly trim your branches. However, there is no simple formula for how often to trim them, because trees grow differently depending on their age and species. Once a tree touches your property, however, it’s definitely a good time to take action.  

Climbing Powerlines

Unless your neighborhood has no power lines, it can be hard to keep rats from climbing on them. Rats spend most of their life at least four feet above the ground, which means their favorite kind of travel is also above ground. Power lines give rats an easy (and elevated) mode of transportation from one roof to the next. Therefore, one of the most effective forms of protection against a rat invasion is entry point sealant. 

Climbing Surfaces of Your Home

As previously mentioned, rats can climb almost any textured surface. This includes brick, stone, and even concrete. If rats are scurrying up your walls, confront them with their weakness: smooth surfaces. Do this by installing a single-sheet plastic surface or a single-sheet laminate to the base of the walls. This tactic only works indoors, however, which means you’ll have to stop rats entering from the outside by patching up the holes and entry points around your entire property.  

Climbing Garbage Cans 

Rats will use any means necessary to get above ground — including garbage cans. This makes it even easier for them to hop onto a building’s surface and scurry up to the roof, and it’s the main reason many people consider roof rats to be nature’s acrobats. Keep garbage cans away from the walls by storing them in the garage, instead. This goes for anything that can aid a climbing rat such as woodpiles, rafters, or even debris. 

Are Rats Getting on Your Roof? 

Rats are a common nuisance that, without proper action, can cause serious damage to your roof. Here at Critter Control® of Fort Worth, we can remove rodents from your roof and keep your home or business safe. For a free estimate of our services, schedule a personal consultation or call us at 817-222-1101. With years of experience, our wildlife technicians can safely rid your home of all its pests.

6 Wildlife Prevention Tips for the Winter Season

Wildlife Prevention Tips for the WinterWith winter approaching, many Fort Worth critters are preparing for hibernation. Unfortunately, there are some that would rather find warmth in the comfort of your home than try to sift through scarce space in the wild. To keep wildlife from entering your residence this winter, follow these pest prevention tips. 

Inspect Your Attic

It’s easier to find entryways in your walls than entryways in your attic. However, certain spots on the roof, like shingles, soffits, and vents, are some of the most common ones that critters use. Before the cold weather hits, inspect your attic to discover any damage. If you find holes made by an animal, it’s best to hire a professional to remove the critter before sealing them up. 

Keep Hedges Away From Your Home

Do you wonder how animals keep sneaking into your attic? It most likely happens when trees or large hedges are too close to the house. This gives squirrels and other critters a direct bridge to the top of your home. Once the temperature drops, animals will be looking for any way to escape the cold. Therefore, it’s best to trim your hedges 12 inches away from your roof and make sure no branches are hanging over the edge.  

Secure Trash Containers

The holiday season is notorious for one thing: really good food. Your home will be hosting some holiday favorites like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and glazed ham. Unfortunately, the wildlife in your backyard has the same appetite for hearty helpings. Because most wild animals are omnivores, they’ll eat just about anything you don’t finish. To keep nearby wildlife from cleaning up your scraps, avoid overfilling your trashcans. Instead, tightly secure the lids and wash your bins to prevent waste from piling up.  

Clear Your Gutters

Cleaning out your gutters does much more than drain your roof. By regularly checking them, you can keep a close eye on wildlife nests forming inside. The gutter tends to be a common area for animals to builds nests, which can cause your gutters to leak and even break over time. This is especially true for bird nests. If they are established, you won’t be able to move them until the babies are fully-grown. 

Patch Any Holes in the Wall

Never underestimate the spaces a critter can fit through. Even small cracks and holes should be patched up to safely protect your building from persistent wildlife. Common areas that usually have holes are baseboards, window frames, and front doors. Smaller openings can be sealed with caulking material, while larger openings can typically be handled with caps, screens, or vents.

Prevent Wildlife This Winter Season

Don’t let unwanted company join you for the holidays. The experienced wildlife removal technicians at Critter Control® of Ft. Worth will quickly and safely remove pests, so you can get back to winter festivities. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-222-1101 today.

7 Food Storage Tips to Keep Rodents Out

Food Storage Tips to Keep Rodents OutHosting guests for dinner is a commonplace tradition in many households, but there are some guests that will try to take advantage of your hospitality without an invitation. If you’re tired of unwanted rats, mice, raccoons, or squirrels making themselves comfortable in your pantry, here are seven food storage tips to keep them out.

Keep Things Clean

To truly keep pests out of your pantry, stay on top of keeping it clean. Regular maintenance and spot treatments are essential, but you should also deep clean your pantry every few months using the following steps.

  1. Remove all food from the pantry.
  2. Vacuum the pantry floor, shelves, and ceiling.
  3. Remove and clean or replace any shelf liners.
  4. Clean shelves with a soap and water solution.
  5. Reload food once the shelves are dry.

Buy a Bread Box

If you want to keep your bread fresh and all to yourself, start storing your loaves in a breadbox. These containers are designed to keep in enough air and moisture to preserve your bread while keeping local wildlife out. And, you can choose from a range of colors, materials, and styles to match your kitchen.

Clean Your Trashcan

To reduce odors that attract wildlife, you should always keep a tight lid over the garbage inside and outside of your home. However, you can maximize your trashcan routine by giving them an occasional cleaning as well. If you notice any spills, stains, or slick marks down the side of your trashcan, clean it up with a sanitized paper towel or a soap and water solution.

Ditch Old Tupperware

Durable plastic containers are great for storing dry ingredients like rice, beans, and pastas, but they can also hold stains and smells that attract rodents. Switch to airtight metal or glass containers to protect your food from rodents and keep every ingredient fresh; just don’t forget to record the expiration date.

Tuck Produce Away

Leaving fresh fruits and vegetables on the counter can attract wildlife and cause your food to spoil quickly. If you want to preserve your produce and keep rodents at bay, store your fruits and vegetables in the fridge. And, if you have any fruits or vegetables that you don’t think you’ll be able to finish in time, you can still safely store them for even longer in the freezer.

Add a Bay Leaf

You can also prevent rodents from shortening the shelf life of your food by adding bay leaves to your storage containers. This ingredient will naturally repel rodents without tampering with the quality or taste of your dried goods. Simply slip a leaf into the container of your choice, close the lid, and remove it before cooking or eating any ingredients.

Call Critter Control®

If you’re ready to stop rodents from sneaking into your pantry, partner with the wildlife professionals at Critter Control® of Fort Worth. Our team of technicians can inspect your home to understand how pests enter your kitchen and create a plan to professionally keep them out. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 817-222-1101.

Common Pest Control Mistakes People Make

Common Pest Control MistakesGetting a pest problem under control can take a toll on anyone. Hastily buying pest sprays to quickly solve the problem might seem like the only solution, but these types of tactics can easily end up making the situation worse. If you’re struggling to remove pests and effectively prevent them from returning, then you may be guilty of these common pest control mistakes.

Flooding Homes with Chemicals

Although bombarding your home with pest sprays and chemical solutions can seem like a fast way to contain the issue, it can quickly put your entire family at risk as well. Because, the chemicals designed to fatally injure invasive pests contain chemicals that can also fatally injure humans.

And, if you have any children or pets living in the house, they can be even more sensitive to the compounds in pest sprays. These chemicals can even leech into your food, seep into the fabrics of your clothes, and leave residue on your everyday furniture, which is why you should always get expert advice before pursuing a pest problem on your own.

Ignoring State Wildlife Laws

There are certain times of the year when states issue seasonal wildlife laws to protect endangered species and preserve newborn wildlife. For example, if you find a bat nesting in your home during the months of bat maternity season, you cannot legally exclude the pest until the season passes.

If you ignore wildlife laws and attempt to exclude endangered species or federally protected pests, you can face a series of fines or potential legal sentences. To avoid legal issues and protect yourself from harm, contact pest professionals that can guide you to a safe solution.

Hesitating to Fully Commit

Pest control is a process, not a quick fix. Unless you’re ready to fully commit and take charge of your surroundings, you won’t be able to completely solve your underlying issue. By simply spot treating the issue and neglecting to clean up your home and yard, you end up perpetuating the problem and spending more money in the long run.

If you want to truly solve your situation, you need to seriously dedicate some time to understanding the source of your issue and making the right adjustments. For example, if you’ve discovered that ants are entering your pantry and getting into your supply, you need to reconsider your food storage methods, find the source of the entry, and sanitize your surroundings.

Partnering with the Wrong Provider

Perhaps the most detrimental mistake you can make in the pest control process is partnering with the wrong provider. Inexperienced pest technicians provide inaccurate advice and subpar services, which can end up costing you more money and leaving you with unsolved issues.

If you want both expert advice and exceptional service, contact the pest professionals at Critter Control® of FT Worth. Our team of wildlife technicians can put a stop to any pest problem and help you understand how to prevent it from happening again. For more information or to schedule your free consultation, call us today at 817-222-1101

Tips for Removing a Dead Animal on Your Property

Removing Dead Animal on your PropertyDiscovering a pest scurrying around your property is not a situation you want to be in. When that pest dies on your land, things get undoubtedly worse. Not only is the stench unbearable and abhorrent, but a dead animal can also bring serious health concerns that can transform your home into a hazardous environment. Professional help is often the best route to go, but here is some good information to know in the event that a rodent dies on your property.

Find the Carcass

The first step if you think an animal has died is to locate the body. Since the body will produce strong odors, this is the best way to find the creature. Sniff around your home and determine where the pest is. Common places you will find them are in the attic, underneath your house, or inside your walls. Once you have found the body, it is imperative that you do not touch it. Diseases and other health concerns are prevalent, so using heavy-duty gloves and even a facemask are good ideas.

Remove the Body

Once you have found the rodent, you will have to get rid of it. Smaller animals can be placed in a normal outdoor garbage can and put out on the street, while larger creatures might need to be buried or even burned. Be wary of the consequences of your decision, as your neighbors might not appreciate the resulting smell.

Health Concerns

If you have a dead animal on your property, the impending health issues require that you take action as soon as possible. The odor that comes off of the carcass will be revolting and can also cause nausea and sickness. Another concern is contamination. Depending on its location, the dead animal can contaminate your water or air supply, resulting in serious illness.

Pest Removal in Ft. Worth

A dead animal in your house is a nightmare for many homeowners. While you might think that removing the pest might be a simple operation, the health hazards and tricky locations make this a task best suited to professionals. At Critter Control© of Ft. Worth, we have highly trained experts who can quickly and efficiently remove any pests on your property, dead or alive. We have the equipment and knowledge to make this situation smooth and painless for you. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you at 817-222-1101.

Do Attic Fan Guards Keep Rats Away?

Do Attic Fan Guards Keep Rats Away?If you were a rat, what better home could you find than an attic? Attics provide enough shelter, darkness, water, and food to help rats survive. What’s more, people only go up in their attics but a couple times a year, which means that rats can live a long time in them before being discovered.

Our experts at Critter Control® of Fort Worth receive many calls complaining of rat invaders in attics. These people frequently ask us whether attic fan guards are an effective option to help keep rats away from their homes. Here’s what you need to know about attic fan guards and pest control.

What Are Attic Fan Guards?

An attic fan guard is a metallic cage that surrounds and protects your attic fan. The attic fan is typically found on the roof of the home or business, designed for ventilating the attic space. They mostly help protect the attic fan and the attic itself from significant weather damage, but many also use them as a pest prevention measure. The opening between the wires is too small for even tiny critters like mice to squeeze through, so you no longer have to worry about rodents getting in through the attic fan with a fan guard.

Can Rats Still Get Inside?

The attic fan guard does secure the opening around the attic fan, but that doesn’t mean rats couldn’t find an alternate way inside. Rats are very persistent. They can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, and have no reservations about wedging their bodies through even the smallest of holes to reach your attic. Other areas rats might get into your attic include gaps in the corner of the roof, soffits, vents, and piping. Securing your attic with a fan guard is a great first step, but you must protect your entire home if you want a total pest prevention solution.

Rely on Expert Removal

If you think you have a rat problem in your home or business, leave it to our experts here at Critter Control® of Fort Worth to remove your unwelcome guests. With over three decades of experience, our technicians know the most effective rat removal methods. Our number one priority is the safety and comfortability of you and your family/co-workers. If you have any questions, or if you need more information about rat removal, please call us at 817-222-1101.

Signs of Rats in the Attic

Signs of Rats in the AtticNo one wants to find out that rats have infested their house and taken residence under their roof. Unfortunately, this is a common reality that can plague any family, and it can go unnoticed for weeks and months on end causing incredible amounts of damage. While one might begin rooting through their attic looking to find the rodents themselves, rats are primarily nocturnal creatures and will often evade the grasp of humans without professional help. To confirm that you do indeed have a rat infestation, check for these telltale signs.

Rodent Waste

Rats, like all other living animals, will leave plenty of waste in the places they inhabit. If you suspect that there are rodents residing in your attic, check for droppings or dried urine spots around the space especially towards sides and dark corners, where rats are most likely to be living and hiding. Avoid touching any of the excrement or contaminated areas, as they may have different viruses and bacteria that are not desirable to contract.

Nocturnal Noises

Since rats are nocturnal creatures, there will often be little to no activity occurring during the daylight hours, leading homeowners to think that their attic is safe from the rodents. However, rats will be far more active at night, so if you hear any sort of scurrying or clawing sounds once the night has come, there is a good chance that you might have some rats.

Chew Marks

Rats also have a tendency to chew through various types of materials and substances, often leaving quite a mess after their sharp teeth have gone to work. If you find any insulation, wood, cardboard, or any other type of material that has been eaten through and gnawed on, this is another clue that could inform you of the presence of rats.

Fort Worth Rat Removal Experts

Rats are a common nuisance that, without proper attention and action taken, can cause some serious damage to your house. Here at Critter Control® of Fort Worth, we can help you rid your attic of these pests and keep your home safe. For a free estimate on our services, schedule a personal consultation or call us at 817-222-1101, and with our professionally-trained staff and workers we can rid your home of all of its pests.

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