Blog | Critter Control Fort Worth

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.

How to Keep Critters from Living Under Your Porch

 

Keeping critters from invading the inside of your home is simple, but what about the outer parts of your house? While there is a lot of discussion on steps you can take to prevent animals from getting inside and infesting your home, there isn’t quite as much about outdoor spaces like porches and decks. The truth is, they are just as much at risk as your walls and attics. Here are a couple of different tips to keep critters from taking up residence under your porch.

Create a Barrier

The first option is to create a barrier. If your porch contains openings, holes, or cracks, it might be time to do some repairs and close it off. Chicken wire and mesh fencing can go a long way when installed properly. Using bricks and digging a trench is also an effective barrier. Before taking this step, however, it is important to make certain an animal has not already taken to living under your porch. Accidentally trapping an animal under your porch or deck is counterproductive, as it will likely die down there and will need to be removed.

Air it Out

If creating a barrier isn’t quite what you’re looking to do, the exact opposite method can also prove effective. Letting in more sunlight and air is a deterrent for most animals. It will make the underside of your porch feel airier and more exposed, which will offer any prospective critters less protection. Animals tend to look for places that are dark, cozy, and quiet. Creating an environment that does not offer any of those things will keep critters from scoping it out in the first place.

Install Floodlights

Much like the previous tip, installing floodlights that shine under your porch will make the space beneath it unpleasant for critters. Animals that look to nest under porches like the protection that comes with dark spaces. Adding light thus acts as an effective deterrent.

For more help preventing animals from living under your porch, or if a critter has already moved in, contact Critter Control® of Ft. Worth. Our animal control experts offer reliable and friendly service and can assist with all critter-related issues. Call 817-222-1101 to schedule your appointment today.

Types of Armadillos in Texas

Types of Armadillos found in TexasThe most commonly found species of armadillo in Texas is the North American nine-banded armadillo. While the other 20 species of this particular mammal are secluded to South and Central America, the nine-banded armadillo has migrated far beyond the Rio Grande and can now be found living as far east as Florida.

Nine-Banded Armadillo Facts

Growing to the size of a small dog, the nine-banded armadillo have large claws that help them dig and borough into the ground to nest and find grubs, their main food source. In spring, these armadillos give birth to four identical pups in each litter. Largely nocturnal, the nine-banded armadillo has weaker vision during the day. They can also be susceptible to drought and cold and therefore cannot live full-time in any northern states because of the freezing temperatures.

History of Armadillos in Texas

Armadillos have become very popular in Texas for more than a century now.

  • Late 1800s – From baskets to lamps and various other souvenir trinkets that were made from their shells, armadillos became quite favorable to hunt in Texas.
  • 1970s – Although armadillo racing events became popular in San Angelo, Texas, the state legislature voted against petitions to make armadillos the official state mammal.
  • 1981 – The armadillo was declared the official state mascot by executive decree.

Dangers of Texas Armadillos

Despite their popularity and docile nature, armadillos should not be played with in the wild. Armadillos are known for carrying Hansen’s Disease — more commonly known as leprosy — and have transmitted it to people in Texas and Florida. Armadillos can also carry rabies, salmonella, and tapeworms. Because of these diseases, it’s best to let professionals remove them from your property.

Professional Armadillo Removal

If you have an armadillo problem, the pest and wildlife professionals at Critter Control® of Ft. Worth are knowledgeable and experienced in armadillo control and can create a plan for removal that will work for you. Give us a call today for a fast estimate and consultation at 469-805-6267.

The Differences Between Rats and Mice

Difference Between Rats and MiceRats and mice are one in the same for many people. And though the two types of rodents share some similar characteristics, they each have their own unique features that set them apart from each other. While having either rodent in your home is never something you’d welcome, it helps to know exactly the type of critter you’ve got on your hands.

These are some of the primary differences between rats and mice.

Characteristics of Rats

Rats are larger than mice, and can grow up to nine inches long. They typically have thicker coats than mice and are black, gray, or brown in color. Rats are more closely associated with disease and filth than mice, partially because of their greasy look, larger size, and unsightly tails. They breed less often, but their litters are twice the size of mice litters. Rats tend to be more cautious than mice, lending to their ability to avoid traps.

Characteristics of Mice

As opposed to rats, mice are on the smaller end of the spectrum, with large ears and long, thin tails. Mice are gentler in nature than rats, and some people even keep them as pets because of their social nature. They may seem adorable, but they can still be very destructive to your home. They often contaminate food, chew on nearly anything in sight, and can birth up to eight litters of babies annually.

Similarities Between Rats and Mice

In addition to reproducing alarmingly quickly, rats and mice are both nocturnal and have a propensity for chewing on things. Rats and mice both have constantly-growing teeth that need to be dulled, so they chew on anything they can to keep them in check.

Let Us Help

If you suspect rats or mice have taken up residence in your home, the team of professionals here at Critter Control® of Fort Worth can help. Our licensed experts have the tools and training necessary to resolve your rat or mice issues quickly and permanently. Call us today at 817-222-1101 for more information, or to schedule a consultation and free estimate.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Attic Rodent Damage?

Attic Rodent damageYour home is your safe place — where you’re supposed to be able to go at the end of the day to rest and recharge your batteries; which is the last place you want to run into wild rodents or the damage they can cause.

There are few things more unnerving than seeing or hearing rodents in your home — especially as they scurry around the attic above your head. Once an infestation becomes apparent, it can be hard to focus on anything else until it’s taken care of.

Aside from being an annoyance, rodents can cause all sorts of issues in the attic of a house, from smells and damage caused by piles of droppings, to structural damage, and even damage to electrical systems.

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover rodent damage or removal. Infestations and the resulting damage are typically categorized as home maintenance issues, leaving the homeowner responsible for any expenses associated with removal or repair.

If any damage caused by a rodent infestation leads to other damage — such as chewed-up wiring short-circuiting and leading to a fire — your homeowners insurance may kick-in to pay for those damages.

There are always exceptions, so be sure to speak with your homeowners insurance provider about the specific types of coverage your policy provides.

When you have rodents in your attic, calling for professional help is always the most effective option. The team of technicians here at Critter Control® of Fort Worth is equipped to handle any rodent infestation. This allows us to keep you and your family from being exposed to any potential health hazards, and our experienced staff can have your home looking and feeling like new in no time.

For more information about our rodent removal services, contact us today at 469-805-6267.

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