Along with the coming of our region's rainy weather, here at Critter Control of Seattle we have realized that this time of year especially, critters are starting to look for warm places to stay as it gets colder. This makes it a great time to do a complete preventative inspection of the home. This includes looking for weakened foundation, soffit, and louvre screens, compromised fan vent covers, or fresh evidence such as droppings, rub marks, or chewing marks in attics or crawlspaces. You can not put a dollar amount on "piece of mind". 206.317.5048 Wildlife in the Crawlspace or Attic So if you are not hearing the rattling of chains but instead chewing, scratching, or scurrying in the middle of the night, you most likely are dealing with a nocturnal animal. In most cases this means rats or mice in your attic or crawlspace. It is best for these areas to be sealed before it becomes a severe issue. Rats and mice multiply quickly; approximately 19-23 days after conception is when their babies are born and the cycle repeats itself. When rodents are in close proximity to food, shelter, and water, they can breed all year long. It is best to have the situation taken care of quickly and properly to prevent hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars worth of damage occurs. Roof rats are similar to mice, however their droppings are about the size of rice, and mice droppings are pencil lead sized. A combination of trapping, baiting, and exclusion work to seal off as many access points as possible, are the best methods to rid your home of these critters. As well as the trapping, and exclusion work, we typically recommend at least 3 months of rodenticide bait-stations to protect the structure and ensure the rodent population is declining. 206.317.5048 Another popular animal to find in your attic during this season, are squirrels. The eastern gray squirrel, has two breeding seasons in a year. One during the spring time, and the other in autumn. During this time, they are looking for cozy, sheltered areas where they can have their young and raise them. Squirrels have been known to damage electrical wiring, chew holes in siding, beams and roofing, as well as bringing in nesting materials which can make a mess of your attic. For these situations, we offer nest removals, live trapping, and clean up services afterwards. Exclusion and repair services will also be recommended to prevent the problem from reoccuring. Many times, if your attic has been sealed off, you have little to worry about. However, they can be very persistent and gain access by chewing a new way in starting with small holes and making them bigger until they fit through. A full home inspection is necessary to confirm there are no potential entry points at that time. 206.317.5048 Northern Flickers & Other Woodpeckers Sometimes the noises you are hearing sound like a jack hammer on the side of your home. This often indicates the presence of a woodpecker. Typically the drumming you hear is a territorial display from male woodpeckers, to announce his being in the area, almost like the woodpeckers are trying to get their last word in before migrating to southern regions for winter. More times than not a woodpecker issue on a house, or other building, is not a sign that you may have an insect problem. It is usually that the woodpecker has decided that your property is now their territory and is making it known. Woodpeckers are a protected species, so once a home is affected it can be tricky to deter them from the area. Here at Critter Control of Seattle, we recommend repellents, deterrents, and exclusions to keep the woodpeckers away. 206.317.5048 Raccoons and Opossums If you are seeing divets, small holes, or dig marks in the ground, or sod being rolled back, you are most likely dealing with a raccoon or opossum problem. As food sources that were once readily available begin to dwindle with the cold weather coming in, urban wildlife has to search harder for food, and will often become bolder. They are attracted to the grubs and similar creepy-crawlies underneath the grass. Once a critter decided your yard is a good place to find food, it can be difficult to get them out. Live trapping is the most effective way to get the critters gone but repellents or hotwire fences are often utilized to minimize damage caused by them as well. These critters don't just stay outside, however. They are very good at gaining entry into a crawlspace or attic sapce as well. For these instances, it is best to trap and remove the animal and then repair the affected areas as soon as possible to prevent further instances and damage from occuring. Exclusion and prevention work is often times also recommended to help you stay critter free. We also offer cleaning and restoration services for those situations where the critters have made a mess of things while they were enjoying their stay! 206.317.5048 Solutions for Fall/Winter Wildlife Problems Critter Control of Seattle has your solutions for your fall/winter wildlife problems. We offer solutions that work, including: Repairs Exclusion Bait Stations Attic Restoration Crawlspace Restoration Repellents Wildlife Trapping/Removal Wildlife Problems and Homeowner Insurance Claims Once the animals have been trapped and removed, and the point(s) of entry identified, the next step is the exclusion and repair work. Soemtimes it's even a good idea to contact your insurance company or start reading the fine print of your policy because most major insurance companies may help with the repair or restoration costs. Coverages vary from insurance company to insurance company, however it never hurts to inquire. Most repair services come with a 1-year guarantee against re-entry at the sites we have already sealed up. 206.317.5048 If you are facing a wildlife control problem around or inside your home, call Critter Control of Seattle. We are here to help!