Category Archives: Animal Removal

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

 

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

striped skunkThe 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

Tree SquirrelThe 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 fawnWhite-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


 

Attic restoration

Why Attic Restoration is Important

Cleanup and restoration of your attic after animals have been living in the space is critical for the health of you and your family. 

Attic restoration means to clean and restore your attic to the condition it was in before unwanted wildlife moved in and created a mess.

You may think getting rid of the animal in your attic is enough, but that is not the end of your problem. Animals living in your attic will make a mess, leaving feces and diseases after they are gone.

For professional attic restoration in the Chicago area, please contact us online or call (847) 464-1861

Problems caused by animals in the attic

  • Animal feces and urine in your insulation
  • Leftover food and food waste
  • Animal and urine odors
  • Mold growing in urine soaked areas
  • Roundworms, parasites and their eggs
  • Animal scents which can attract more pests

Related: Dangers of animal feces in the attic

It’s extremely important to make sure all these issues are taken care of. They are not something that you would want to attempt on your own because you risk becoming infected by some diseases.

Parasites such as roundworm can become airborne, risking infection simply by breathing them in.

A trained professional attic restoration technician will clean, disinfect, and repair the attic using an air filter and protective clothing.

You will also need to make sure that you inspect the home to locate and repair any points where animals have entered your home. This may include roofing, fascia, soffit, siding, and chimneys.

Professional cleanup and attic restoration helps protect you and your family from disease. Animal entry repair will prevent the problem from happening again.

Live animal trapping and attic restoration video

In this video, you can see the Attic Solutions team cleaning and restoring a customer’s attic and returning it to its original state.

For animal removal and attic restoration services in Chicago, the Chicago suburbs and southern Wisconsin, contact us online or phone (847) 464-1861


 

animals in the house dos and donts

How to Get Wild Animals Out of Your House

Do you have a wild animal in your home?

Besides an animal moving into your attic, porch or garage, sometimes a wild animal will find itself accidentally in your home. It found it’s way inside, perhaps looking for food, and became trapped.

Do you have one in your home RIGHT NOW and you’re desperately looking for help?

I want a professional to take care of this right away!

First of all, remain calm!

Let’s quickly go over some dos and dont’s about what to do when you have an animal in your house.

DONTS

  • Don’t touch it! Even a harmless looking baby animal might be dangerous or carry disease.
  • Don’t panic! Try to remain calm. We don’t want to make the animal any more panicked than it already is. Unless it has set up a home, this animal doesn’t want to be in your house either. It got inside and became trapped.

DO

  • Try to close it into a room if possible. Close all other interior doors in your home. You want to try to keep it contained into an area and not wandering around your home.
  • Open windows and exterior doors. If this animal became trapped in your house, it definitely would rather get away from you. Give it the chance to escape.
  • Keep your pets away. Remove your dogs and cats to another part of your home. They could get seriously hurt from a confrontation with a frightened wild animal. They could also panic the animal and cause it to be more aggressive.
  • Be patient. Some animals may decide to hide and wait for darkness to escape. It’s not the ideal solution but it might work.

Your first priority should be to keep you, your family and pets safe.

If you’re worried, you can always contact a professional for help if you need it. Possessions can be replaced in need be. Keeping your family safe is always the top priority.

If you are want a professional to take care of this as soon as possible, call us at (847) 464-1861

 

 

animals in home during winter

Protect Your Home from Animals in Winter

 

So where do animals go during the winter? What do they do when you’re inside warming yourself around the fireplace or tucked under a warm blanket.

Those wild critters get cold during winter too. They need a warm place to stay. Your attic, garage, shed or basement sure start to look like an inviting critter Airbnb.

These are not the kind of holiday guests you want in your home!

Squirrels, raccoons, mice, and bats oh my! They’re all looking for a warm place to stay and your warm home is so inviting.

If you think your family and friends can make a mess of your home during the holidays, you don’t want to see what these wild critters can do!

So how do you keep these determined rodents out of your home?

Here are some tips to help keep wild animals out of your home during the winter months.

Wildlife in the home prevention tips

  • Check your foundation – From the bottom up, check your foundation for openings or any signs of animal activity in the spots where pipes, vents, and cables enter your home.
  • Secure your trash cans – Wherever you store your garbage before you take it to the curb, keep it tight and secure. Raccoons especially are attracted to garbage cans. Once they find a nice place to eat, they might decide it’s also a nice place to live.
  • Trim branches away – Tree branches that come close to your home make a nice path for a squirrel or bat to find their way into your home. Don’t make their trip into your attic easy for them.
  • Clear away clutter – Piles of clutter, yard debris and garbage make great hiding places for animals. Unnecessary clutter makes critters feel comfortable to get close to your home.

You can’t always keep all animals out but the biggest thing is to not make their route into your home any easier.

Keep a clean home and property. Check your doors, foundation, roofline, pipes and utilities and patch up any potential entrances.

If you do get critters in your home, Attic Solutions are experienced at animal removal in the Chicago area.

If you have any questions, just give us a call at (847) 464-1861

How Do You Know If There is a Dead Animal in Your Home?

New InsulationI hope that smell isn't what I think it is...

Call Attic Solutions to have a professional determine the cause, and plan for removal.

A combination of sulfur dioxide, methane, benzene derivatives and long chain hydrocarbons produced as various body parts of a decomposing body could be the source.. But to those familiar with the stench of dead bodies, it’s simply the smell of death. Like all smells, it is hard to describe. But unless you’re a real vulture, you’ll find the smell disgusting and sickening.

The smell of death can be a major customer relations problem in pest control. You’ve gotten rid of the pests, say a group of rats, but the resultant smell may make you think that the solution is worse than the problem!

Dead animals will smell until they are completely decomposed or until they are dried out. The damper the site, the longer the odor will last. If a rat dies near a steam pipe, the smell can be horrible for weeks. The odor from a dead mouse may last only a day. In fact, there may be no noticeable odor from a single dead mouse, but several dead mice in the same area could be a problem. A dead rat may smell really bad for a week, but there can be some lingering odor for as long as a month.

The obvious solution is to call us to find and remove the dead animal or animals, then ventilate the site.

But a better solution is prevention. In residences, offices or other sites where odors from dead animals are a concern, we use pest-proofing and other IPM tactics to prevent pests from entering the structure. If there are rodents inside, using a control method that holds the animal rather than one that allows it to wander off and die in inaccessible areas is a better option. Traps, rather than baits can be used, so that disposal of the carcass is easier. Check traps and glue boards often to remove dead animals.

Accumulations of dead insects can also cause an odor problem. For example,

  • Dead insects can rot in an insect light trap (ILT) catch tray. Be sure to empty and clean them frequently.
  • An insecticide-treated bee nest in a wall void can become quite stinky as the dead bees and the brood rot and as the the honey deteriorates.

Eliminating Odor

There are several ways to get rid of odor problems in a building.

  • Taking the odor out of the air by using an air cleaner with an absorbent filter.
  • Adding something to the air that neutralizes the odor.
  • Or, adding a new, more desirable odor that temporarily masks or covers up the bad odor.

Air cleaners usually use a replaceable absorbent filter such as activated charcoal or silica gel. When room air circulates through the filter, it absorbs and removes particles.

Odor neutralizers often contain bacteria or enzymes that break down the organic compounds that are causing the odor. Others use ionic minerals to neutralize odors. Some odor neutralizers also contain an artificial fragrance, but many do not. Odor neutralizers are available as powders, granules, sprays, or as rods.

Masking deodorants are highly concentrated fragrances that simply cover up the bad smell. They don’t neutralize it. They can be applied as granules, aerosols, mist sprays, or released through a cotton wick. Since they have a very strong fragrance, using them carefully to be sure they aren’t more offensive than the original odor.

Finding the Source of the Smell

To locate a dead animal in a wall void, use your nose. Flies in the room may lead you right to the spot (some technicians have been known to release flies to find a carcass). You may see maggots migrating away from the carcass. Or, with a larger animal, you might find a damp spot or a stain on the wall or ceiling.

The best solution is to contact http://www.attic-solutions.com/ , at (847) 464-1861 to remove the carcass.

source ; www.techletter.com

Bats in the Attic During Winter Months

Brown bats in attic during winter

As the winter months approach, common bats will either migrate to warmer climates or more commonly, hibernate from November to April.

It’s quite possible bats may be hibernating in your attic!

It was once thought that bats usually hibernated in caves during the winter months but it is actually much more common for them to find a safe spot in homes and buildings. We just usually don’t realize it because bats don’t just find a spot at the top of your attic to hang like we might imagine.  They often will hibernate beneath your insulation or find a space in between the walls.

What not to do with bats in your attic

Don’t seal their exit! The most common mistake people make is to seal all of the entries and exits during the day. The problem with this is that now you’ve trapped them inside. Those bats will now be desperate to get out and will very likely find their way into another room in your house, creating an unpleasant situation.

Dont Kill the bats You may not realize this, but in most states bats are a protected species. They are so valuable in helping control insect populations that they are protected at both the state and federal level.

Don’t use poisons, glue boards, or high-frequency noise emitters Although you might be able to buy these products online, there is actually a federal ban against ultrasonic pest control devices. It is illegal to poison bats in Illinois.

What to do about bats in the attic

Inspection Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional bat removal service, the first step is a thorough inspection to find bats, their locations, entry and exit points.

Exclusion You need first to locate the primary entry and exit points while observing the bats in the evening. During the winter months, bats may exit your home to search for water if the temperature move above 45 degrees. When all bats have left the home for evening hunting, this is when you should seal all entry points.

Professional Removal Bats in your attic during the winter months will spend a majority of the time being inactive. This is a good time to contact a professional removal service to have them safely removed. Remember, bats are a beneficial and protected species, so do not attempt to remove them yourself during hibernation.

Call a professional

If you don’t want to remove bats yourself (and we DON’T recommend it), then please call Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861 for professional bat removal in the Chicagoland area.

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons
Post Sources: The Bat Guy & MIBat Control

Raccoons in the Attic

racoons-in-the-attic-illinoisCharging rent is not the answer.

Raccoons are more likely to visit in winter, but they can and will get inside at any time of year. A mother may choose an attic as a safe spot for giving birth to and raising her young.

Warm Dens

Raccoons seek out warm dens in the winter to help protect them from the elements. They most commonly seek out hollow trees, but are opportunistic about other options. Raccoons have been known to take over the underground burrows of other animals, use caves or make dens in attics to keep warm. They sometimes den with other raccoons as well to take advantage of the mutual body heat, especially in severe winters.

Raccoons in the attic

As intelligent problem-solvers with great dexterity and determination, raccoons often find their way into attics at entry points where different building materials join. This might be where dormer junctions occur, where unpainted trim board creates structural defects, or where the building material itself is pliant, enabling them to push their way past, as is easily done with some plastic soffits.

Raccoons in the chimney

When a mother raccoon sees an uncapped chimney, she sees a perfect nursery. It’s a safe and sheltered place to give birth to and raise her young until they are able to get around on their own.

The fireplace chimney is usually preferred because the horizontal “smoke shelf ” is a convenient size to nestle with her kits, but she may also use the chimney venting a furnace.

Call a professional

If more immediate and direct intervention is required to remove raccoons, then we strongly recommend hiring Attic Solutions. Evicting a raccoon can be difficult. There are potential safely risks to the homeowner and humane concerns for the raccoons if the eviction isn’t done properly.

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Image Source: Business Insider
Post Sources: Humane Society & Pets on Mom.me

Top 6 Signs That a Raccoon is Rabid

top 6 signs that a raccoon is rabid

Raccoons may have a reputation for carrying rabies and it’s warranted. Raccoons are the number one animal to contract rabies. In fact, raccoons make up about 30% of all animal cases of rabies; bats, skunks, and foxes follow them. It’s important to protect yourself and your family from animal pests, especially rabid animal pests. Below are our 6 top signs that a raccoon is rabid.

Top 6 Signs That a Raccoon is Rabid

1. Walking strangely – If you see a raccoon that is walking in circles, or walking like it has partially or fully paralyzed hind legs, it most likely has rabies.
2. Look confused or disoriented – Raccoons typically look alert and interested in what they’re doing. A rabid raccoon will be lethargic.
3. Foaming at the mouth – Foaming at the mouth or drooling are classic signs of rabies. This is due to choking caused by the virus. Avoid any contact with a raccoon that exhibits this sign of rabies.
4. Making strange noises – Though raccoons are chatty, a rabid raccoon will be making bizarre or wild noises.
5. “Weeping” eyes – A rabid raccoon has a goopy, weepy appearance to their eyes.
6. Aggression – Raccoons typically retreat when approached, but a rabid raccoon may start a fight with your pets, or even you.

Mistaken Signs

Raccoons are typically nocturnal and most active at night. It is a common misconception that any raccoon active during the day is rabid. If the raccoon exhibits standard raccoon behavior, besides being active during the day, it probably is not rabid.

When To Call Pest Control

Call animal control if the raccoon pestering your home exhibits any of the top 6 signs that a raccoon is rabid. Stay away from the raccoon at all costs and keep children and pets indoors or away. Rabies is a very serious virus that can cause serious health issues to pets and humans alike. Call pest control immediately to have rabid raccoons safely removed from your property.