Skunks invading Chicago and Suburbs in Record Numbers

Skunks Invading Chicago and Suburbs in Record Numbers

Have you been noticing that unmistakable skunk smell more often lately?

It’s not your imagination. Wildlife experts and animal control workers are all saying the same thing: they’re seeing more skunks than ever in the suburbs and even in Chicago.

The skunk populations in the Chicagoland region are growing because of many factors.

One reason is that there have been a couple of very mild winters. More skunks have been able to survive the winter and have been having litters of skunks earlier in the year, giving the offspring a better chance at survival.

Related: How to get rid of skunk smell

Walking Skunk Wildlife Portrait Striped Black

Wet, buggy summers have given skunks a steady supply of insects to feed on and support a growing population. There has been a decrease in the number of great horned owls, the primary predator of skunks. This has been attributed to the use of rodenticides, which poison not just rodents but the animals that feed on them.

An economic recovery and increasing home values has also meant that people are spending more on their lawns. Healthy lawns can mean more lawn grubs in the soil, a favorite meal for skunks as they prepare for winter.

Another reason is that diseases that held skunk populations in check over the past decades have decreased. Both distemper and rabies in skunks have reduced in the past few years.

Skunks also seem to be growing more adapted to the urban environment. They’ve been spotted more and more right in the city. They’ve been captured in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, in the very urban heart of Chicago.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources keeps track of the skunk population by measuring the number of skunks captured by licensed skunk removal companies and the number picked up by city and state workers as roadkill. Licensed animal control companies captured 6,700 striped skunks in the Chicago area in 2010. Just six years later, the total doubled to nearly 13,000 in 2016.

That’s a lot of skunks wandering around through the Chicago area. It means more holes in lawns from skunks hunting grubs. It means more encounters with skunks and dogs, which can be a really stinky and challenging situation to deal with. It also can mean more human and skunk encounters, and skunks searching for homes under people’s patios and porches.

Related post: What to do when your dog gets skunked

Is there anything that can be done about the skunk population? Homeowners can make sure they don’t make their homes and properties attractive to skunks. By implementing a grub control program on your lawn, you can remove one of their favorite food sources.

Related Post: Repel skunks

Other than that, at some point nature will probably take over. Animal populations move through cycles of lower and increased numbers. At some point weather, disease or predators will bring the skunk population back down.

For now, though, watch out for these stinky neighbors.


For professional skunk removal services in the Chicago suburban area, contact Attic Solutions for humane removal of skunks and other pests.

Contact us online or call 847-464-1861 


Related news stories:

Experts Warn of Skunks Migrating to Chicago

Tips for dealing with growing number of skunks in Chicago

Meet Your New Neighbors, Chicago — Skunks

Increase in skunks raising a stink in Fox Valley

Skunks – and their stench – on the rise in suburban Chicago

Raccoon behavior FAQ

Raccoon Behavior FAQ – What Can Raccoons Do?

In this post, we answer some frequently asked questions about raccoon behavior. People want to know what raccoons can do. Can they dig through walls? Here are the answers.

Beware of raccoon feces in atticWill a raccoon have babies in my attic?

Yes, definitely. Finding a safe warm den to have babies is the most likely reason a raccoon will move into your attic in the first place.

Can raccoons scratch through walls?

It is very unlikely if you hear raccoons in the wall that they will dig their way through the walls. A panicked raccoon that is trapped would certainly try to get out through a wall but it’s unlikely they would be able to dig through. A raccoon is unlikely to get stuck in a wall unless you’ve sealed it in with no other way to get out.

Can raccoons break through the ceiling?

It is rare but yes, it has happened. A raccoon that has lived in one place for long enough may be able to damage the ceiling with urine, making it softer and weaker over time. That is not a pleasant situation! If you think you have a raccoon in your attic, don’t wait to call a professional raccoon removal specialist.

Raccoons carrying disease into your homeCan a raccoon climb a wall?

Raccoons are very good climbers. Raccoons can climb nearly any surface with the exception of glass and un-weathered sheet metal. They are known to climb wood, stone, brick, masonite siding and downspouts.

Can raccoons get on the roof?

Raccoons can get on the roof of a home. The preferred method to do this would be to climb a nearby tree with overhanging tree branches. Trimming branches close to your home can help keep them away. However, they still may be able to climb a downspout and a determined raccoon may climb up brick or siding.

Related: How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Home

raccoon family on propertyCan raccoons climb trees?

Raccoons are excellent at climbing trees. In the wild, raccoons will climb up trees to build a den in a hollow nook of a tree. Trees near your home should be trimmed to not be too close to your house. You can also wrap a two-foot wide sheet metal beginning two feet above the ground to keep them out of your trees. This may also work for squirrels.

Can a raccoon climb a downspout?

Raccoons are excellent climbers and most adults can easily climb downspouts.

Can raccoons climb brick walls?

Raccoons are excellent climbers. In nature, they will climb and live in trees. A brick wall can be climbed by most raccoons. Their preferred way to get onto a roof or into an attic would be by climbing a tree, but a determined raccoon can climb bricks.

Can raccoons swim?

Raccoons can swim. They can stay in the water for several hours at a time if necessary and can swim at up to 3 mph.

What do raccoons eat?

Raccoons are opportunistic and will eat almost anything. In the wild, they will eat fruit, nuts, berries, snails, earthworms, snakes, clams, birds, eggs, fishes, frogs, and small mammals. They will eat corn from fields and vegetables from gardens. In urban areas, they will eat almost anything they can find in a trash can. They are also fond of eating pet food that is left outside.

How do you get a raccoon out of your attic?

If you have raccoons in your attic, you should hire a professional animal removal specialist. If you have a raccoon living in your attic, it is very likely that the raccoon is a female with a den and baby raccoons. Their instinct is to remain quiet, so you may not even be aware they are in the attic. The mother will need to be trapped and the babies will need to be removed by hand. All of them should be released into nature together. Your attic should also be professionally cleaned because of the diseases carried in raccoon feces.

Attic restorationDo you need help removing a raccoon from your home?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane raccoon removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861


 

Illinois Rabid Bats and Animals Warning 2017

Rabid animals in Illinois warning 2017

Watch Out For Rabid Bats & Animals

In this post, we discuss Rabid animals in Illinois and the methods for treatment of bites and removal of bats.

A bat and his fangs - Does it have rabies?

More than a dozen rabid bats found in Illinois so far this year


The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has sent out a public announcement stating that people need to be aware of rabid animals, including bats because they have become more active than normal at this time of year.


IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. says “Most cases of rabies in Illinois are almost always found in bats, you can’t tell just by looking at a bat if it has rabies so it’s important to avoid handling bats and to make sure your home has no openings where bats can come in.”

Rabies - How it spreads, symptoms and common carriers

People can get rabies after being bitten by an infected animal. The nervous system is affected by the rabies virus. You can also contract the virus when saliva from the rabid animal gets directly in your eyes, mouth, nose or an open wound.

Because of the size of a bats mouth, people may have difficulty finding the actual bite mark. If you are not sure if you were exposed, but were within close proximity, and wake up to find one in your room, don’t kill it, or release it before calling a doctor, or local Department of Health to make sure you haven’t been exposed to rabies and needing immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of Rabies

Similar to other illnesses, rabies will produce a fever, headache, and general discomfort and weakness. With the progression of the virus, specific symptoms will show up: Such as anxiety, confusion, insomnia, partial paralysis, hallucinations, and excitation. Within days of the onset, death usually occurs.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have been bitten by any animal!

A bat that is active during the day, on the ground, or unable to fly is more likely to have Rabies. An animal doesn’t have to be aggressive or exhibit symptoms to have Rabies. Changes such as these can be early signs of Rabies. Even though these creatures are approached with ease, you should never handle them.


To prevent the spread of Rabies, follow these tips:

  • All vaccinations should be kept up-to-date on all cats, dogs, ferrets, and any other animals you may own. Contact your veterinarian if your pet is exposed to a rabid animal.
  • Do not unintentionally attract wild animals by touching, feeding, or leaving garbage cans or litter exposed.
  • Never bring them into your home, or adopt them. Do not nurse sick, or wild animals to health. Call Animal Control or an animal rescue agency to handle them.
  • Children should be taught to never handle unfamiliar animals, (wild or domestic), even when they seem to be friendly. A good way to explain this is “Love your own, leave other animals alone”
  • To prevent bats from getting inside your home, maintain homes and buildings.
  • Do not release the bat outside if you find one in your home until after speaking with animal control or public health officials.

You may need to capture the bat after consulting with animal control or public health officials, for Rabies testing to determine if preventative treatment is necessary.

Related: Identification of Rabies and How to Protect Yourself and Your Pets

Steps to take to capture the bat:

 

  • While wearing gloves, place a box or coffee can over it when it lands.
  • Trap the bat inside by using a piece of cardboard underneath the container.
  • Secure by taping the cardboard to the container and make small holes in the cardboard to allow the bat to breathe.

Related: How to Get Bats Out of the House

 

To have a professional remove bats or any unwanted animal from your home or business, call tel:847-464-1861 

Related resources:

IMAGE SOURCE: http://www.wikihow.com/Catch-a-Bat-in-Your-House

IMAGE SOURCE: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/125608277079347665/

SOURCE: http://www.dph.illinois.gov

All About Bat Houses

All About Bat Houses

In this post, we discuss bat houses: What they are, why you would want one, how to build one and where to install a bat house. Learn more here.

Bats are not something you want in you home, which is why we offer bat removal services in the Chicago area.

That doesn’t mean bats are bad though. Bats are amazing insect predators and the average bat will consume 6,000-8,000 insects every night. It’s one of the reasons that bats are protected species in Illinois.

Because of these reasons, it has become popular in recent years to build bat houses on your property. When you build a bat house, not only do you help protect an endangered species and encourage bats to eat insects in your neighborhood, you also give bats a place to live so they don’t need to move into your attic or garage.

What are bat houses?Bat house mounted on telephone pole

Bat houses provide a safe place for bats to roost during the day and to raise their young. Many bat species tend to roost under the bark of dead trees but due to habitat loss that resource is becoming more and more scarce.

Related: Illinois Bat Species

Why build a bat house?

Bats are helpful animals and are a great source for organic pest-control. A single bat can eat more than 1000 insects in just one night. They are great hunters of mosquitoes and other annoying insects.

Bat populations are declining due to pesticide use and habitat loss. By making your yard bat-friendly you are not only getting rid of insects you are creating a habitat for many bat species.

Bats are not dangerous animals. Less than 1% of bats have rabies as they are not carriers of the disease, it is fatal to bats. Also they are not as likely to catch the disease as other animals, and even if they do, you’re less likely to come into contact with them.

Related: How to Get Bats Out of the House

Brown bats in attic during winterHow to build a bat house

Bat houses are a great way to provide a habitat for bats. It is best to use rough, nontoxic woods such as plywood or cedar to make your box. Keep the roughest side of the wood to the inside of the house. The rough surface will make it easier for bats to climb in and out of the house. Bat houses work best if they’re at least 2 feet tall, 1 foot wide, and 3 inches deep. Use appropriate mounting materials to attach the bat house.

Best place to install a bat box

It is important to consider the location of your bat box when it comes to to install it. The ideal location is 15′-20′ off of the ground. Either mount it to a pole, stand-alone tree or on the side of a building. Try to mount the box in a place that gets plenty of sunlight so it can absorb plenty of heat. If you decide to install a bat box on the side of a building, be sure there is ground beneath for the droppings to collect as opposed to allowing them to sit on a roof.

How to attract bats to your bat housedangerous bats, are bats dangerous

Bats like places with plenty of insects such as ponds and water features. Having plenty of night blooming flowers will also help attract bats. A few great plants include datura, moonflower, four-o’clock, yucca, evening primrose, night-blooming water lily, night-blooming jessamine, cleome, and nicotiana.

How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard

How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard

Want to know how to get rid of moles for good? We can help you solve the frustrating problem in your yard caused by moles.

Moles digging in your yard

Do you have holes appearing in your grass and suspect it is the work of a destructive mole in your yard?

You know moles are tunneling below the ground if you see a series of 3-5 inch rounded, raised ridges breaking the surface of your lawn, accompanied by small dirt piles.

Extensive damage may be caused, unless you trap or kill the invasive pests before they have the chance.

At first, little damage is caused. In fact, they eliminate the larvae of destructive insects, and naturally aerate the soil, so they’re not entirely useless. When they invade lawns and gardens, over time they will tear up large areas of your beautiful green grass and uproot your plants. Ridges will brown quickly because the tunneling uproots your grass roots.

Related: What animal is digging in my garden?

 

What Are Moles?

Moles are burrowing insectivores, not rodents as commonly believed. They grow from 6-8 inches long and have gray to black velvety fur, with slender hairless snouts, and small eyes and ears.

Their large front feet have long claws that dig much like a hoe. They tend to live alone, except during their breeding season during early spring, so the multi-tunneled pattern of their tunnels is likely to be home to only one mole.

You need to learn how they live, in order to understand how to get rid of them. Moles will build new feeding tunnels constantly, and may not use the same way twice.  Exit and entry mounds are usually round and symmetrical, with pushed up volcano like piles. The hole usually has dirt in it but remains visible. Runways are connections to 12-18 inched under the ground, not usually visible, and used repeatedly by moles.

Being most active during warmer, wet months, moles live underground year-round. They prefer moist, sandy loam soils over dry, heavy clay soils. Feeding on insects and insect larvae, their preferred dinner includes earthworms and white grubs.

 

Similar looking to Pocket Gophers

Another small rodent that tunnels underground is a pocket gopher. Homeowners sometimes confuse the two. Gophers do not create lawn ridges. They do eat the roots of grass and other plants. Their flattened tunnels have fan-shaped or semi-circular mounds. Eliminating pocket gophers with mesh barriers, traps and poison baits without strychnine. Predators that eat the poisoned gopher may also die.

Mesh barriers, traps, and poison baits can be used to eliminate pocket gophers. NOTE: Avoid baits that contain strychnine because predators that eat the poisoned gopher may also die.

NOTE: Avoid baits that contain strychnine because predators that eat the poisoned gopher may also die.

Attic Solutions offers humane removal of moles in your yard.

 

How to Get Rid of Moles

Mole repellant, poisons, fumigants and home remedies are not very effective in getting rid of moles. The best way is to use a mole-specific trap.

Move the tunnel traps daily if you do not get rid of the mole, following the package directions for correct placement. There are above, and below ground traps, for getting rid of moles. Spring and fall, when the ground is moist but not frozen, are the best times of year for getting rid of moles because the animal pests are most active then.

In most cases, removing just one or two moles can solve the problem, because moles don’t live in communities.

NOTE: You can trap moles without a permit in Illinois.

Related: Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Nuisance Animal in Illinois?

 

Organic Controls to Get Rid of Moles

Moles live less than three years, so if the problem is not severe, you can simply wait it out.

Improving soil drainage can discourage them as well, as they tend to like moist soil.

One of the key ways of learning how to get rid of moles is mastering the barrier method. Bury a 24-inch metal or hardware cloth barrier at least 1 foot below the surface and bend the bottom out at a 90-degree angle.

Although moles like to eat grubs, using a chemical control against grubs won’t work for mole control because the pest’s diet also includes earthworms (which are good for your soil) and other insects. Avoid using insecticides on lawns, as it may kill beneficial insects.

Related: Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Rat Poison or Mouse Poisons

For professional mole removal from your yard in the Chicago area call (847) 464-1861


SOURCE:  http://www.bhg.com/gardening/pests/animal/get-rid-of-moles/
IMAGE SOURCE: http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/gopher.jpg
IMAGE SOURCE:  http://www.avalosgophertrapping.com/images/sliders/gopher-control-santa-clara-sl3.jpg

 

 

 

 

What Animal Is Digging in My Garden?

striped skunk

Are you having a problem with animals digging in your garden?

It’s an ongoing problem that all gardeners have to deal with. To a wild animal, your garden could be like a supermarket is to us; rows of food lined up to enjoy and take home.

I doubt you planted a garden so that you could feed all the neighborhood critters. You would prefer they stop pulling veggies off the vine right before they are perfectly ripe.

How to identify who is digging holes in garden

If you want to stop those critters from digging in your garden, it helps to know who the guilty animals are so you can take the right steps to prevent it.

Is it kids or pets?

Most of the time you’ll know the answer to this already, especially if you don’t have any kids or pets. You do want to eliminate suspects though so it’s good to make sure. Young kids love to dig in the dirt and your kid could have done it without you noticing. A stray dog could also be responsible for digging holes too.

Is it happening at night?

skunk hole in yardIf the holes keep occurring at night, then you know it’s a nocturnal animal. If it’s only happening at night, that will eliminate birds and squirrels as suspects. In that case, it’s more likely to be a raccoon or skunk.

Raccoons and skunks are often the most likely suspects because they love to eat insects in the ground just below the surface, particularly grubs, which could be in your garden or lawn turf.

Animals that dig holes in gardens

We’ll review some of the animals that may dig holes in your garden. Most of the time though, it will end up being a raccoon or a skunk.

Birds

Some birds will dig holes in your garden but they generally won’t be too noticeable. Blue Jays and crows will both dig holes in order to hide nuts for the winter. Because they are stashing food for cold months, they will cover up the hole. In winter you may notice them trying to dig up items they’ve buried. Their memory is not as good as squirrels so they may dig a few more holes.

Because they are stashing food for cold months, they will cover up the hole. In winter you may notice them trying to dig up items they’ve buried. Their memory is not as good as squirrels so they may dig a few more holes.

During the spring, summer and fall though, any noticeable damage from birds digging in your garden should be minor.

Ground Squirrels (Chipmunks), Gophers, and Rabbits

All three of these animals will dig holes as entrances to their dens.  Rabbits will usually dig a single entrance/exit hole. Ground squirrels and gophers will dig separate entrance and exit holes to their homes.

The roots and vegetables found on the surface will be eaten by these animals.

If the hole goes is deep enough that you cannot see the end, then you probably have a ground squirrel or gopher.

Gopher holes will have noticeable piles of dirt surrounding the hole. Rabbits and ground squirrels will have slightly neater holes.

Raccoons and Skunks

Raccoons and skunks are both active after dark and will dig holes in your garden while searching for bugs and food.

When you see digging and holes which appear scattered about and the hole is more irregularly shaped, then you likely have raccoons or skunks digging in your garden.

If have a lot of earthworms, grubs or bugs in your garden, then you could very well be attracting skunks.

Related: How to keep raccoons away from your home

Squirrels (Tree Squirrels)

As you are aware, squirrels will dig holes so they can stash food for winter months. But just like birds, unless it is the winter, they are usually going to conceal the hole they dig in your garden or yard.

Related: How to get rid of squirrels

Yellow Jacket Removal - Identification and Nest Removal

Yellow Jacket Removal – Identification and Nest Removal

When the weather warms up in Chicagoland, you may find some uninvited guests in your home or on your property.

One guest that people can find particularly threatening is yellow jackets and wasps. When they find these stinging pest on their property, they want them removed immediately. And with good reason! Nobody likes stinging insects and yellow jackets can be aggressive and their stings painful.

In this post, we’ll talk about yellow jackets, their identification, nesting habits and how to get rid of them.


If you are looking for immediate yellow jacket or wasp removal services in the Chicago area, please contact us online or call us (847) 464-1861.


Yellow Jacket Identification

Southern Yellowjacket

The Southern Yellowjacket wasp

Yellowjackets are sometimes referred to as “bees” but they are in fact a type of wasp.

Yellowjackets will have alternating yellow, (sometimes white) and black markings.

Yellowjackets have lance-like stingers with small barbs and are able to sting targets repeatedly, although the stinger may become lodged and pull free of the wasp’s body. Its sting is generally only dangerous to people with bee sting allergies.

Honey bee – NOT a wasp

Yellowjackets are insect predators and are not pollen collectors.

Since they are not pollen collectors, yellowjackets are not covered with the distinctive tiny dense hairs on their bodies, or the flattened hairy hind legs that bees have to collect pollen.

Honey bees are a protected species in Illinois and many other states. They are not to be removed without a special nuisance permit and must be relocated to a safe area.

Related: The differences between bees and wasps

What Do Yellow Jackets Eat?

Yellow jackets feed their young insects, most commonly caterpillars, flies, and spiders. This makes up the bulk of their diet during most of the summer.

In late summer, yellow jackets will start searching for flower nectar and other sources of sugar, which they require as food sources for next years queens. This is the time of summer when you might start seeing them turn up at your picnics and outdoor cookouts. They can become a real nuisance this time of year.

Because Yellowjackets are insect hunters, they can actually do a great job of helping control other nuisance insects on your property. However, they can also be aggressive if they feel their nest is threatened, so a nest too close to your door or you kids play areas can be a potential danger.

Related: How to Identify the Pest, Nest, and Threat

How to find a yellowjacket nest

Yellowjackets nests are most commonly built underground, but some species prefer to build nests in openings and spaces they find in homes, such as cracks in foundations or openings in vinyl siding or soffits. The European Paper Wasp is commonly confused with yellowjackets, but the Paper Wasp builds paper nests, commonly hanging in trees.

Finding a yellowjacket nest is not always easy. It may be hundreds of feet away from where they are bothering you. It may be well hidden in the ground with only a small, hard-to-see entrance hole, or located deep inside a building without an obvious entrance.

The best way to find out where the yellowjacket nest is located is to follow their flight path. They almost always move along the same path as they enter and leave the nest. Usually, there is only one entrance or exit, so if you can follow the path back to the general area they all fly to, you should be able to find the entrance.

Take caution approaching it for the first time as you wouldn’t want to accidentally step into it. You also don’t want to appear like a threat and cause them to become aggressive.

Removing a yellow jacket nest

Yellow Jacket Nest in GroundMost people choose to treat the nest with insecticide to kill the yellowjackets rather than removing the nest, which can be both dangerous and often very difficult.

Some people end up deciding that going after the nest isn’t worth the trouble and leave it alone. Wasp colonies will die off every winter, so if it’s not in an inconvenient location, you can leave it alone and they won’t return in the spring.

Related: How to prevent bee and wasp nests

If you are going to try and attack and treat the yellowjacket nest, it is always best to do this in the evening after sunset. This is when most of the yellowjacket workers will be back in the nest for the evening. If you treat it during the day, a majority of the Yellowjackets may not be there.

Depending on where the nest is found, it might be a better option to hire a professional to treat it. If it is hard to get to, you could be putting yourself in a dangerous position trying to get to it from a ladder or in an area overgrown with vegetation. You certainly don’t want to be up on a ladder when yellowjackets decide you’re a threat and begin attacking in large numbers.

If you plan on spraying a nest, make sure you have your escape route planned ahead of time! You want to spray the nest quickly and carefully and then leave immediately.

Wait until the next day to check on it again. Sometimes more than one treatment is needed.


If you are looking for professional yellow jacket or wasp removal services in the Chicago region, please contact us online or call us (847) 464-1861.


We deal with many types of animal removal in Chicago area including wasps and bees, as well as raccoons and bats, but also squirrels, birds and many more.


Image credit: Three YellowjacketsHoneybee
Related Yellowjacket Resources
How to fight back against yellow jackets – Coloradoan
Yellowjackets – Wikipedia
Getting Rid of Wasp Nests – Michigan State University Extension
About Yellow Jackets and the Benefits of Wasps in the Garden – Mother Earth News
All About Yellow Jackets, Bees and Their Kin – Gardeners Supply

 

How to Find a Dead Animal in Air Duct

Find dead animal in air duct

Ugh…. what’s that smell?

The smell of a dead animal is pretty hard to tolerate. When you smell it, you find it won’t take long to figure out that something dead is around.

The hard part can be finding that dead animal though. You might want to call a dead animal removal service, or you might want to try to find the animal yourself.

So if you want to try to figure out how to find a dead animal in an air duct on your own, what do you do?

Do you need professional animal removal?
Contact us today!

 

How to find a dead animal in an air duct

An important note: The dead animal may not actually be in the air duct.

Dead animal in air ductAnimals dying in air ducts is rarer than most people would think. It’s not actually very common. We hear calls from people all the time because they think there is a dead animal in an air duct.

What is often the case is that an animal has died somewhere in the walls, but it wasn’t noticed until the heating or air conditioning turns on and circulates the air.

Related: What’s that Noise? Animals could be in Your Home

Step one – Turn off your heating and cooling system. 

Whether the dead animal is in an air duct, or in a wall, it’s going to be easier to find if you stop the air in your home from circulating. Turn off the air, open the windows and let the house air out a little.

Step two – Search the home or building for the smell.

Walk around your home or building and Beware of raccoon feces in atticsearch for the room or areas where the dead animal smell is the strongest.

Step three – Examine the air vents

In the room with the strongest odor, place a stepladder in front of each air vent register and smell to confirm if that is where the dead animal smell is coming from. The vent with the strongest odor may be where the dead animal is.

Related: Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Rat Poison or Mouse Poisons

Step four – Remove the air vent cover

Use a screwdriver to remove the cover of the suspected air duct.

Step five – Examine the air duct

raccoon in chimneyUse a flashlight to look inside the duct and see if you can find the dead animal. If the distance to the dead animal is beyond a turn in the air duct, you will need a tool such as a telescoping inspection camera to find it.

Step six – Removal

After you have located the dead animal, remove it by using a vacuum with an extension to draw the carcass closer to the duct opening where you can reach it. This will may or may not work depending on the equipment you have, the size of the animal or where it is located. If you can not reach the dead animal this way, you may need to access the ductwork the attic area or maybe even cut the drywall to get to it.

Professional removal services will have specialized equipment for removing the carcasses of dead animals. If you cannot reach it easily by the process above, you may need to call a professional.

Related: Preventing Wildlife From Entering Your Home

 


Dead animal removal or humane live animal trapping

Call 847-464-1861 anytime. We can typically begin local service the same day.

NEW! For a limited time, get a 10% discount when you mention coupon code WEB10%


Photo credit – Air duct

 

Baby Raccoons Found Alone – Leave Them Alone!

 

Raccoon babies - Leave them alone

In this post, we’ll discuss why you should leave baby raccoons alone if you have found them without their mother around.

You may have found some baby raccoons alone without their mother. In spring and early summer, this can be a common occurrence in suburban or even urban areas.

We’ll admit, baby raccoons can be cute. When many people see some cute little baby raccoons alone without their mother, the reaction will often be “Awwww! They’re so cute! And all alone. The poor things. I should help them.”.

Don’t touch them! Baby raccoons should be left alone. 

It is actually very normal for baby raccoons to be left alone by their mother while she goes searching for food, or maybe even to go take a nap in a quiet place.

Though “helicopter parenting” may be all the rage with human parents, animals in the wild often need to leave their young babies alone while they search for food. It’s easier to hunt without babies and it’s safer for them as well.

When you see baby robins alone in a bird’s nest, you don’t worry, because you know their mom will be back soon with food for them. They get left alone constantly while mom goes hunting. It’s really not very different with raccoons.

Wildlife biologist Dianne Robinson of the Department of Natural Resources “Keep Wildlife Wild” campaign says:

“….mother raccoons will leave their kits alone while they are searching for food. It’s normal for kits to be frolicking or vocalizing near their den without mom. Well-meaning people may find raccoon kits in the day time and mistakenly think those kits are in trouble. Provided the kit looks healthy and are not sick or healthy, the best action is to leave the kits alone….”

The DNR receives many calls every spring about abandoned baby raccoons. It’s very likely that their mother will be back for them shortly. She might even be hiding nearby waiting for you to leave.

You should leave the area and leave the babies alone. If you are worried about them, check back again on them in a couple hours. It’s likely that they’ve left for the den with their mother.

If you find a raccoon baby and it appears to be sick or injured, you should contact the Illinois DNR or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

No matter how cute they may be, baby raccoons are wild animals, and wild animals are best left alone for both their health and safety and yours too.

Raccoons can carry dangerous diseases and their droppings can carry disease as well. They should not be handled by people.

Except in very rare instances – leave those baby raccoons alone!


We provide humane, live animal trapping of raccoons and other nuisance animals

If you are anywhere in the greater Chicagoland area, we can help!

Phone (847) 464-1861


Sources:

Raccoon Kits Are Around, DNR Says Best Thing To Do Is Let Them Be

Leave Baby Raccoons Alone

What to do with a baby raccoon I found?


Image credit: Baby Raccoon

 

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Rat Poison or Mouse Poisons

Rat Poison - Why not to use it.In this post, we will list the reasons why we would never recommend you use rat poison in your home and how it can create even bigger problems.

So you have some rats or mice in the house?

Obviously, you want to get rid of them, and as soon as possible.

Although you could call a professional rat removal service, a cheap and easy solution that will occur to many people would be using rat poison or rodent poison. It’s not hard to find in a store, it’s not especially expensive and it can sometimes be effective.

But we would never recommend you use rat poison. It’s a bad idea for several reasons, from safety to the unintended consequences that can result.

Reasons not to use rat poison

Dangers to children

The biggest reason not to use rat poison is potential dangers to children. An accidental ingestion of rat poison by a crawling child or curious toddler could be life threatening.

According to poison control centers, over half of their poison emergency phone calls are for children under five. Over 90% of child poisoning incidents occur in that child’s own home. No matter what precautions you take, it is safer to keep all poisons out of your home.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers advises that if you think someone has been poisoned, call 1-800-222-1222 right away. Serious poisonings don’t always have early signs. The call is free, private, 24/7/365, and expert help is available in more than 150 languages.

Related: Reducing the risks of rats and mice in your home

Dangers to pets

Rat poisons are powerful and they don’t discriminate. If you don’t have children to worry about, you will still be putting your pets at risk. Dogs and cats can both be poisoned by accidentally coming in contact with rat poison.

Dogs are well known to eat almost anything and those little poison pellets just look like food to them. Pets also come in contact with dead poisoned rodents and may be exposed that way.

Related: Identification of Rabies and How to Protect Yourself and Your Pets

Dangers to wildlife

Rat poison kills many wild animals each year beyond just their intended rodent victims.

The most common unintended victims of rat poison are other mammals and birds such as bobcats, coyotes, foxes, hawks and owls. They can become poisoned either by directly feeding on poisons, or indirectly by feeding on rats and mice who have already ingested them.

Many of these animals are protected or even endangered species. You could be unintentionally killing wild animals and hurting our animal ecosystems.

Related: Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Nuisance Animal in Illinois?

Rats and mice can die in your walls

Another great reason not to use rat or mice poison is that these poisoned animals will now be at risk for dying in your home.

A poisoned and sick animal may look for a safe spot to recover and then end up dying in your walls. We don’t know if you’ve ever smelled a dead rodent, but if you have, you’ll remember it. It’s terrible.

Imagine that dead rodent rotting away in your walls for weeks, leaving an almost unbearable smell floating through your entire home.

Besides the smell, that carcass may end up being the perfect habitat for flys. Imagine having a fly nursery in the walls of your home with hundreds or even thousands of flys in your home and no way for you to stop them all. It’s a horror story you don’t want to have in your home.

When it’s time to remove that dead animal from the wall and you realize there may be no other way to get to it other than cutting a hole in your wall, you’ll realize that maybe you should have used another method to get rid of rats.

Want to have a professional safely remove those rats or mice for you?

Contact Attic Solutions online or call (847) 464-1861