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


 

Can I Keep a Squirrel for a Pet in Illinois?

In this post, we’ll discuss whether you can or should keep a squirrel as a pet in the state of Illinois.

This is a funny question for us because we’re not necessarily the biggest fans of squirrels around here.

Sure, they give us plenty of business. We have to remove squirrels from attics, patch holes in siding and soffit, and clean up the messes they leave behind. They sure can keep us busy!

Then there’s the worst thing about squirrels, which is that thousands of home fires a year are caused by squirrels chewing wires. We consider that reason alone to not invite a squirrel into your home.

For other people though, they see the squirrel as having a cute little face, a delightful fluffy tail and tiny little hands they use to pick up and gnaw on food.

So even though we are most frequently asked how to get rid of a squirrel and how to squirrel proof your home, there are still people who want to know… 

Can you keep a squirrel as a pet?

The short and easy answer is NO. 

Thank you squirrelSquirrels are wild animals, and in the state of Illinois, nearly all wildlife is protected under the Wildlife Code (Section 2.2) and cannot be held in captivity. The only exception is if are if you are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

In Illinois, it is not even legal to kill or trap a squirrel without a hunting license or a nuisance animal removal permit.

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

To be clear, keeping a squirrel as a pet is illegal in Illinois.

Squirrels were once kept as pets in the 18th and 19th centuries by humans, but they didn’t make very good pets and the wildlife laws have changed since then to reflect our modern standards.

There are many animals which are not only legal to keep as pets, but much safer, predictable and ultimately more rewarding than a squirrel.

Reasons not to keep a squirrel as a pet

Squirrels are wild animals – They are not domesticated animals like dogs and pets. Wild animals will be happiest when they are free in the wild, not confined to a cage or your home. Many people would say it is unethical to keep a wild animal as a pet.

They have sharp claws – Their claws are evolved to pierce bark and allow them to climb trees. Imagine what those claws can do to your skin, clothing, and furniture.

Tree SquirrelSquirrels can bite without warning – Domesticated animals like dogs have evolved to possess a “bite inhibition reflex”. They know that they’re not supposed to bite, that biting is “bad”. For a wild animal like a squirrel, if they get the thought to bite, they will. There is no counter-thought in their brain to say that “biting is bad”.

You will be bitten and scratched – See the above reasons. People who have kept squirrels as pets are inevitably bitten and scratched many times. Professional handlers will usually where protective clothing. Remember, these are wild animals after all.

Squirrels will taste anything – They may take a bite out of anything they see that looks like it might be food including furniture, shoes, wallpaper, drywall, plastics, toys or anything. And unlike dogs, they can climb their way to reach almost anything.

Their diet is more varied than you realize – We all think of squirrels as nut eaters but that is only part of their diet. In the wild, they will eat a varied diet of berries, fruits, vegetables, insects, and worms. If you want a healthy squirrel you need to commit to feeding them like this.

Squirrels can not roam your house free – You would have to keep a squirrel in a cage most of the time. They are intensely curious and highly mobile. You will not be able to keep them out of trouble or contain their destructive tendencies if they are roaming your home freely. It won’t be safe for you or for them

It is illegal to own a squirrel – If nothing else convinces you, it is illegal to keep a squirrel as a pet. You will be facing a $1500 fine from the state of Illinois, as well as potential fines from your county or city and if you don’t own your home, potential eviction from your landlord.

Instead of trying to keep a squirrel as a pet, a safer alternative is to try and befriend a wild squirrel. They are tolerant of humans and can learn if you are a friendly human. Many people have trained wild squirrels to come to their porch for a snack, even to take food from your hand. You’ll still need to be careful but you and your home will be at less risk.

Wild animals should be kept in the wild. They’ll be happier and safer, and so will you. 

If you need a licensed animal removal service to humanely remove a squirrel from your home or business anywhere in Chicagoland, please email or phone us at (847) 464-1861.


Image Source – Wikipedia Commons

 

raccoon in chimney

How to Keep Animals Out of Your Chimney with a Chimney Cap

In this post, we’ll discuss how to keep animals out of the chimney of your home.

That chimney on your house may look like an inviting home to wild animals. It’s a common nesting place for birds, bats, raccoons and squirrels.

To an animal, a chimney is a nice warm space safe from predators. But these animals bring insects and diseases with them and their droppings can be a difficult issue to deal with.

If you get to the point where you require professional animal removal service, then we can help you with that. But we bet that you would prefer never having the situation get to that point.


For professional removal of animals from your chimney in Chicagoland, call (847) 464-1861


Install a chimney cap

chimney capA chimney cap is the best way to prevent wildlife from moving into your chimney.

It’s an affordable solution that can prevent the problem for decades. If you don’t mind working on your roof, then it’s possible that you can even install it on your own if you want.

A chimney cap can be purchased at your local home improvement store for as little as $50. High-end models may cost several hundreds of dollars. There are many sizes and styles to choose from, from stainless steel to chimney caps made of copper.

Related: Chimneys are common animal entry points

How to install a chimney cap

Tools you will need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder
  • Chimney cap
  • Screwdriver and/or wrench
  • Caulk for chimney flues made of tile or brick

How to choose a chimney cap

The screen height of the chimney cap you choose must be sufficient to allow your chimney to draft properly. It is recommended that your cap should be about six inches higher than the chimney flue.

Stainless steel is usually the best value for your money. You may choose a different cap though which better suits the look and architectural style of your home.

Whatever style you choose, installing a chimney cap will provide you a reliable solution for keeping wildlife out of your chimney and could save you hundreds of dollars in animal removal, dead animal removal and repairs of your home.


For professional removal of animals from your chimney in Chicagoland, call (847) 464-1861


 

How to Keep Raccoons Away From Your Home

In this article, we’ll discuss ways to discourage raccoons from coming onto your property.

Raccoons can create big problems on your property. Many homeowners have had to clean up trash that raccoons have spread across their yard. Others have had to call in specialists to clean up raccoon feces in the attic, which can endanger your family because of the diseases raccoons can carry. They will empty your bird feeders and eat your garden vegetables. Raccoons will move into your attic and make themselves at home.

Related: Suburban Raccoon Populations Are Growing and Getting Smarter

With all the raccoons making themselves at home in suburban and urban areas, it becomes very likely that you may have to deal with one of these issues.

It can be much easier to try to keep raccoons off of your property and out of your home then to try and clean and repair your attic from a raccoon infestation.

Below are some ways to discourage raccoons from looking at your property and home as an inviting place to visit.

Remove food sources

raccoons invade the suburbsThe main reason that a raccoon will visit your home is in a search for food. If your property becomes identified as an easy source of food, raccoons will return again and again to get food.

Trash cans are a popular destination for raccoons. You need to make sure that your garbage cans are secure from becoming a picnic for raccoons. Make sure the lids are secure. If a can or lid becomes broken, replace the can.

Keeping them out of cans isn’t always easy though because raccoons have a combination of prying hands, intelligence and the ability to learn.

You need to make sure your bird feeders are secure from raccoons, possibly even bringing them inside at night if it’s the only way to keep them away.

Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.

Clean up fruit that has fallen off of your fruit trees.

Add lighting

Raccoons are generally nocturnal animals and are most active during darkness. Lighting on your property may discourage them from coming onto your property. Motion activated lights on your property can startle raccoons and keep away from your property.

Repellents

People have been using DIY home raccoon repellents for decades. Their effectiveness will vary though. Some people swear by certain methods and other people will say the same ones have not worked for them. It can depend on the particular animal that is coming onto your property. Raccoon repellents people use include cayenne pepper, ammonia, mothballs, human or animal hair and predator urine. These repellants do occasionally work so you may wish to try them.

Seal your roof and home

Beware of raccoon feces in atticMake sure you’re not making raccoons lives easier for them by leaving places where they can enter your home. Check your roof and attic for any openings that may give a raccoon (or other animals) the space they need to get inside. Have a cap on your chimney to make sure they can’t get in through there.

Related: Common animal entry points

In summary

If a raccoon is able to get into your attic and make himself at home it becomes a much more serious issue. It can be a real challenge to remove them humanely. It also requires a nuisance animal removal license in the state of Illinois.

You will also need to clean up raccoon poop from your attic, which can carry diseases that can become airborne, requiring safety procedures to protect yourself.

Your best solution is to discourage those pesky raccoons from hanging out on your property in the first place.


Do you need help getting raccoons or other animals out of your attic?

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

Phone (847) 464-1861


 

How to Tell What Kind of Animal is in My Attic?

Squirrel in attic

Hearing noises coming from your attic at night?

Unfortunately, in Chicagoland, it’s not an uncommon thing. The extremes of weather here, especially during winter months will send a lot of animals searching for shelter. They might just decide your attic is the perfect place to settle down to keep warm or raise a family

In this post, we’ll cover some basics on how to try and identify what that animal in your attic is.

Identifying animal sounds in the attic

Most common animals in attic

The two most common kinds of animals that will enter your attic are raccoons and squirrels. This is a good place to start because most of the time that sound is going to be one of these two critters.

Related: Common animal entry points

Raccoon sounds

raccoon roundwormIf you are hearing animal sounds in your attic at night, it is most commonly a raccoon because they are nocturnal animals and thus most active at night.

Raccoons are often the loudest sound you will hear in your attic. They are the largest animal that will enter your home. It will make heavy, thudding, dragging, slower moving sounds. They will sound more like footsteps than any other animal, which can be frightening sometimes.

Related: Preventing Raccoons from Moving into Your Home

Squirrel sounds

If you are hearing sounds in your attic during the day, it’s probably a squirrel. They are typically only active during daylight hours.

Squirrels will make more erratic kinds of sounds. They ar lighter and will scurry and move around faster than a raccoon. Squirrels will usually stick to a schedule and so you’ll hear them moving around at the same time every day, usually around dawn and dusk.

If you hear one in the wall near you and bang on the wall, unlike some animals you’ll hear the squirrel run away from you.

Related: How to get rid of squirrels

Mice sounds

Being the smallest animal, mice will be much harder to hear. The saying “quiet as a mouse” exists for a reason. But it is possible you may hear them moving around at night. It might sound like a light scratching or chewing sound.

If you hear a mouse in the wall and bang on the wall, unlike a squirrel, it won’t run away. It will remain perfectly still for at least a minute, waiting to move again.

Related: The Differences Between Rats and Mice

Bats

You usually won’t hear a bat at night. They are in places where they’re not likely to be heard unless they are trying to crawl through your wall. In most cases you’ll see a bat in your house before you hear it.

Related: Bats in the attic during winter months

For professional animal removal services or attic cleanup and repair in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861


Image Source

 

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

Raccoons carrying disease into your home

You may not realize it, but that nuisance animal in your attic, shed, garage or on your property might be legally protected in Illinois.

Most wildlife is protected by law and cannot be killed or even removed without a permit.

The Illinois Department of National Resources is tasked with conservation and management of wild species in Illinois. By Illinois law, a property owner or tenant needs a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

By Illinois law, property owners or tenants need a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit (PDF) to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

Is the animal you want to remove a protected species? We’ve listed the most common nuisance animals in Illinois below. 


Questions? Call Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861


Mice, Norway rats, moles, voles, gophers, and shrews

dangerous rats, are rats dangerousThese small mammals may all be removed with no permit needed.

Exceptions to this rule include the eastern woodrat and rice rat, which are endangered species in Illinois. These two species may not be removed.

Related: Rat and Mice removal and control

Ground squirrels and chipmunks

The eastern chipmunk and the thirteen-lined ground squirrels may be removed without a permit.

Franklin’s ground squirrels are listed as threatened in Illinois and may not be removed.

 

Raccoons, skunks, opossums, beavers, muskrats, red foxes, gray foxes, mink, river otters, badgers, weasels, woodchucks, coyotes, and bobcats

Walking Skunk Wildlife Portrait Striped Black

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove fur-bearing animals. If you want to remove a fur-bearing animal yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, the IDNR encourages removal of most furbearers during open hunting and trapping seasons whenever possible. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. For more information on hunting and trapping regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site.

Related: Common animal entry points

Gray squirrels, fox squirrels, red squirrels, and southern flying squirrels

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove squirrels. If you want to remove a squirrel yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, gray squirrels and fox squirrels may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Related: How to Squirrel-proof your home

Rabbits

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove rabbits. If you want to remove a rabbit yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, rabbits may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Bats

The (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional bat removal service to capture and remove bats.

Bats inside rooms will usually exit on their own. Close off exits to the room and keep windows open overnight.

Related: How to get bats out of the house

White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are protected under the Illinois Wildlife Code as a game species. It is illegal to take live deer from the wild unless you have received a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) or are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

IDNR Deer Removal Guidelines (PDF)

In rural areas,  deer hunting is permitted in season. All state hunting regulations must be followed. Outside of hunting season, or in situations where hunting is not allowed, a deer removal permit may be issued by an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist.

A person who hits and kills a deer with a motorized vehicle can legally claim the deer to salvage the meat, hide, and antlers.

For more information on hunting and trapping in Illinois visit the Illinois Department of National Resources.


For professional animal removal services in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861