Just like clockwork, every work day our managers here at Animal Control Experts chit chat about their daily interactions with technicians, customers and clients. Just recently, I listened in on a conference call and I was immediately reminded of a recurring theme that seems to pop up every year around cool weather holidays. The theme of stories that homeowners tell our technicians are those of their families and friends coming to visit them for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas or Kwanzaa holidays.  Stories that wildlife specialists in the industry know all too well.

Generally these stories begin with the hosting family methodically preparing their abode assuring that their guest will feel right at home. Upon their arrival, guests often occupy rooms and sections of the home that are normally vacant. After just one night’s rest in these areas, their house guests have a very descriptive story to tell the following morning at the breakfast table. Last night after everyone settled down and the house became quiet, strange noises were heard throughout the night and early morning. There were sounds of scratching and scurrying, small and large footsteps, attic noises and wall noises; sounds that make one ask; could this house be haunted? “Well what do you think it was?” asks the host.  “Don’t know, but it sure wasn’t Santa!” replies the guest.

Does this story sound familiar? It’s the story of countless homeowners falling victim to Mother Nature and her little ones’ misbehavior.  It’s that time of year when wildlife gets smart and figures out that, sections of homes are much cozier than a hollow tree or a hole in the ground!  Who could blame them, right?  One thing our wildlife specialists like to remind their customers is that they are not being singled out.  This story is played several times a week during the cooler time of year.  No matter if it’s rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons or opossums, most urban wildlife have the uncanny knack for finding and making entry points into areas such as vents, chimneys, crawlspaces and attics. It usually takes a while to hear pesky intruders because the noises are muffled by insulation or the active areas are inhabited sections of the home. Once inside these spaces, all havoc breaks loose. Animals may gnaw and chew, leave urine, fecal matter and ectoparasites such as fleas, ticks and mites in their nesting sites as well as areas that they frequent. This action inevitably degrades the integrity of the home’s wood structure, wires, insulation and stored items.

There’s no doubt that many do-it-yourselfers have the competency to trap and remove most of the wildlife that enters their home.  However, requesting the aid of a professional nuisance wildlife specialist provides answers to the what, why, where and the how.  What species of animals are in getting in, why did they choose your home, where are their entry points and how do we remove them and the mess they’ve left behind. So, if you are super inquisitive homeowner requesting professional service or a daring do-it-yourselfer, it is wise to take a little time to have the non-living space of your home inspected for signs of unwanted vermin.  Believe me; your guest will appreciate it.

Have a Happy and Quiet Holiday!

Robert Hood
General Manager
Animal Control Experts