Category Archives: Opossum

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


 

What Do Animals Do During Fall?

Where do animal pests go when the whether becomes chilly? Surprisingly, many of them stay active before the snowy, winter months hit. Read more to discover what do animals do during fall.

what do animals do during fall

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Migration

Many birds and insects migrate to warmer areas during the chillier months of fall. Because temperatures begin to drop during the fall season, these creatures begin to find more suitable conditions. For example, swallows migrate south once the weather begins to cool and their food sources dwindle. You may think that since some animal pests are leaving during this season you’ll see less activity, but it’s far from the truth. In fact, you may see more activity in your home at this time of year.

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Hibernation Preparation

Other animals prepare to hibernate during the fall. Squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs will gather food to store for the winter. Although chipmunks and squirrels do not go into a true hibernation state, they a relatively inactive during the winter. This leads them to frantically stockpile leftover food near your garbages or from your bird feeders. These small mammals can be quite pesky during the fall.

Bats will also hibernate during the cold months. You can expect their presence to taper off as the insect population dies down with the cool weather.

In addition, wasps and bees will still be active during the fall. They do not hibernate until winter. If there’s a nest near your home that needs to be removed, unfortunately the cold weather won’t be enough to detract them. Make sure to call pest control for assistance moving wasps or bee nests.

What Do Animals Do During Fall: Stay Active

Many other animals stay active during this time of year. Skunks, for example, stay in their dens but are awake during winter. You’ll see (and smell) plenty of skunks during the fall. Raccoons behave similarly, and will stay active year round. This means, you still have to be vigilant and remove outdoor food sources for these pests. In fact, you may notice more pest activity because homes have plentiful opportunities for food, while the cool weather limits natural sources.

Opossums are also active during the colder months. You may be surprised to know that they’ll even become active during the day, though they are nocturnal. Nonetheless, you should never take a chance with an opossum behaving strangely, as it may be infected with rabies or another disease.

Lastly, rodents remain highly active during the cold months. You may see more mice and rats in your home during the fall, as fields are plowed and they escape to your safe home. In addition, homes are full of food sources and provide shelter from the elements. Your rodent problem may be highest during the fall. Call Attic Solutions to remove your pests safely and efficiently, so you can enjoy the fall season without pests.

Opossum Facts

opossums

Possum or Opossum?

Opossums are sometimes known as possums, which is actually the name for a different Australian marsupial. Possums are different animals than opossums, but the term is used nearly interchangeably in North America.

Marsupial

Though the opossum looks similar to a rat it is actually not a rodent at all. Opossums are marsupials and the only one located in North America. Their babies develop in their mother’s pouch and as they grow, ride on her back until they are old enough.

Short lifespan

Opossums have a short lifespan of approximately 1-2 years. Much of this is due to the fact that they are not very quick and have many predators including dogs and cats. Human interaction also interferes with their longevity.

Unique Features

Opossums have many interesting features including 50 pointed teeth, which is the most of any North American land mammal. They are more likely to show them off in a scare tactic display than to use them for attacking. Another interesting feature is their opposable thumbs on their back feet for gripping branches. Opossum tails help them carry material, grasp branches, and balance.

Behavior

Opossums are nocturnal creatures but may be active during daylight during winter months when it is more difficult to forage for food. Their activity depends on the food sources available to them and opossums may forage during the day regardless of season though. Opossums are omnivorous and insects, fruits, grains, small animals like frogs, and they are particularly fond of cat food.

Rabies

Opossums are extremely resistant to rabies, unlike many other wild animals. If an opossum were to bite you, it would be very uncharacteristic and would be best to seek physician attention immediately as that behavior would indicate potential rabies threat.

If you find a opossum in your home or yard and it will not leave on its own, call pest control to have the animal removed immediately.

Which Pest Is Most Dangerous?

We compare the following species of animal and insect pests to determine which ones are the most dangerous animals to your family, pets, and home.

Dangerous Pest Ranking:

1 = Most Dangerous Animal
2 = Dangerous Animal
3 = Least Dangerous Animal

dangerous animals, are raccoons dangerous

Raccoons – 2

Raccoons can be aggressive when cornered, but generally leave people and pets alone. They can cause major home/shed/yard damage, as they are incredibly curious and like to take revenge. They are known to tear apart cushions, wallpaper, garbage cans, and any food source within reach.

dangerous bats, are bats dangerous

Bats – 3

Bats are known incorrectly as being bloodthirsty vampires, but they’re quite harmless. Bats rarely bite, but their bite is nearly guaranteed to give the victim rabies if the bat is infected. Other than this potential danger, bats avoid humans. If a bat is in your home, they’re probably trying to figure out how to escape.

dangerous squirrel, are squirrels dangerous

Squirrels – 3

Squirrels can cause quite a bit of damage to yards. Squirrels are constantly searching for food, which means tearing apart the plants, gardens, and bark to find a snack. It’s debated whether squirrels carry plague or diseases that affect humans, but probably best not to take chances.

dangerous skunks, are skunks dangerous

Skunks – 2

Skunks are well known for their pungent spray smell that takes days to disappear. This smell is probably worse than any behavior they exhibit, though. Skunks are not aggressive creatures. By nature, the skunk is a defender, not a fighter. Skunks can carry distemper, roundworms and other parasites, which can cause harm to pets.

dangerous groundhogs, are groundhogs dangerous

Groundhogs – 2

Groundhogs are territorial creatures, which lead them to be aggressive, particularly near their dens. They can move significant quantities of dirt and cause structural damage to foundations and homes, aside from major garden destruction. In addition, groundhogs can also carry roundworms, which can affect dogs.

dangerous opossums, are opossums dangerous

Opossums – 3

Opossums are known for their defense of “playing dead,” and are not very aggressive. Sometimes they show off their teeth as a scare tactic. If provoked, they may attack. They are about as dangerous as a cat.

dangerous rats, are rats dangerous

Rats & Mice – 1

Rats are perhaps the most dangerous pest that could enter your home. Both rats and mice carry many diseases and parasites that are harmful to humans and pets. Rats can eat through nearly anything, including glass, electrical wiring, and wood (all of which can cause major home damage). Both reproduce very quickly and are difficult to eradicate once established in a home. Luckily, they are not aggressive animals.

*It is important to note that most of these animals are not highly aggressive and if a pest is behaving extremely aggressively towards you and your pets, it may have rabies. Contact wildlife removal immediately.

Attic Solutions Alert: Dangers Of Wild Animal Bites

Vicious Raccoon, Rabies, Wild Animal, pest control, animal removelA bite or scratch from any wild animal, or even that of a domestic house pet like a dog or cat, can be dangerous. Even if the wound is minor, it can become infected and spread throughout your body. Further, any bite can carry disease. One of the most common causes for worry among wild animal bites is rabies.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral infection of warm-blooded animals. It is most commonly found in bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and foxes in North America, although wild animals can infect dogs, cats, and livestock. The disease attacks the nervous system and, once symptoms develop, it is 100 percent fatal in animals.

How Do You Get Rabies?

You can contract rabies through a cut or scratch on your body, or through the mucous membranes (the lining of your eyes or mouth). The virus travels to your central nervous system in your brain and then travels to various organs where it multiplies.

Rabies Symptoms

  • Stage 1 (symptoms lasting 2 to 10 days)
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Vomiting
    • Decreased Appetite
    • Malaise
    • Pain, itching or numbness around the wound site
  • Stage 2
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Disorientation
    • Agitation
    • Becoming paralyzed

How To Diagnose Rabies

Animals are diagnosed fairly quickly. A test called direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA) is most often used by laboratories and results can be had in as little as a few hours. In humans, it is a bit more complex. Several tests must be completed for confirmation including saliva, serum, spinal fluid, and skin biopsies from the back of the neck.

What Is The Treatment For Rabies

There is not a cure for rabies and it is more difficult to treat once symptoms have presented. However, there are vaccines that provide rabies immunity following exposure or to prevent it (which is useful for people who work with animals like vets).

What To Do If Bitten By Wild Animal

  • Wash the wound with soap and water.
  • If bleeding, apply pressure.
  • Dry and cover the wound, but do not use tape or bandages to prevent trapping bacteria.
  • Call your doctor or healthcare professional for further instructions.
  • Locate the animal that bit you if possible.

How To Prevent Being Bitten

  • Avoid strange or sick animals.
  • Do not bother animals who are eating.
  • Keep pets on a leash.
  • Do not separate fighting animals.
  • Always get your family pets their rabies shots.
  • Supervise your pets outside.
  • Do not play with or approach wild animals.

As soon as you suspect you may have a wild animal infestation, call Attic Solutions immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with the issue. We will remove the animals and fix any property damage they may have caused.

 

Preventing Wildlife From Entering Your Home

Summertime in the Chicagoland area usually means warm weather and longer days. It also means animals are out moving about and mothers are teaching their young how to forage. This time of the year you need to keep a lookout for animals who just might be trying to take up residence in your home. And they do not plan on paying rent!

Raccoons

Raccoons

We need some water!

Raccoons love food and there is an abundance of that this time of year, thanks to picnics and barbeques. Be sure to bring in your garbage cans as quickly as possible (try not to leave them out overnight), and keep any exterior porch or garage doors shut.

Opossums

I hope they don't see me!

Just hanging around!

Opossums are shy animals that only act scary to frighten away would-be predators. These meek creatures spend their nights in search of food, and now that it is warm out there is a tendency to have our pets and our pets’ food outdoors. If you leave pet food out, you can bet you will have an opossum taking up residency shortly. To keep them out, remove any food and do not feed your pets outside.

Birds

So what do we do now!

So what do we do now!

Now that is has warmed up, the birds are flying north again! Be on the lookout for any that may have nested in your chimney, attic vents or soffits, or vents. While all the birds have likely hatched by now, some may have decided to call your house their home. Permanently. If you are just looking to prevent any birds from moving in, consider a chimney cap and wire mesh around any exterior vent or soffit openings.

Small Rodents

Wood mouse

I sure hope no one sees me here!

These nocturnal creatures are out and about now that it is nice out. Window wells are an easy spot for these opportunistic animals to sneak in. To animal-proof your window wells, consider putting a plastic or metal grates over them.

Skunks

skunk-687964_640

Who can I tag next!

While we’re past full-blown skunk season in Chicago (it’s generally February through late March), there are still plenty of these smelly creatures around. Skunks aren’t much for foraging, so they go where the ground is soft and there are plenty of people. Skunks have been known to burrow under decks and porches, and an outdoor motion-activated floodlight might help scare them away before they move in.

And of course you have your deer, coyotes, squirrels, turtles, and foxes… Just hanging

Tips About Keeping Opossums Away From Your Home

While opossums might not be the cutest animal you’ll ever encounter (depending on who you ask, of course), they’re not nearly as mean or as viscous as they seem. Opossums use their scary snarl and loud hiss to scare away predators, but it’s really just a big bluff! Opossums are actually quite shy and aren’t aggressive toward humans or pets, and in fact they can’t bite or attack well at all. If their scary act doesn’t work, they will usually try playing dead. They really are much more afraid of you and your pets than you are of them. keep opossums away

Even though the opossum doesn’t want to hurt you or your pets, you still probably do not want him moving in on your property, and that is perfectly understandable. Here are some tips to keep these critters at bay.

Exclusion, exclusion, exclusion

Start by searching your property for any opossum dens. You’ll want to look around the perimeter of your property and especially around porches and under decks. If you find any dens, wait until a few hours after dark (that’s opossums will be out roaming around) and then fill it in with straw, leaves, or even crumpled up newspaper. This is a humane method because if an adult opossum is indeed still in the den, he or she will be able to climb out but be very unlikely to return. After a few days, check to see if the den has been disturbed. If not, check if any young are inside (it’s not likely, but you never know). Once you’re sure the den is opossum free, you’ll want to seal it up. Digging a trench and putting in hardware cloth is a great method for sealing.

Make your property unattractive (to opossums, of course!)

There was a reason the opossum decided your property was the place to be, so you need to figure out what made it so attractive. Is your garbage lid loose? Maybe the opossum smelled the food in there and decided your home was the best buffet in town. Do you feed pets outside? Again, if the opossum finds an easy source of food, or even just the possibility of easy food, they are more likely to hang out. Make sure your garbage lids are tight, you feed pets indoors, and don’t have any food laying around outside.keep opossums away

Despite what you may have heard, opossums rarely have rabies. That drooling mouth is just to scare you away. If you find opossums have decided to move into your home and you need help with removal, call the trained professionals at Attic Solutions to safely and humanely evict them. The specialists at Attic Solutions are qualified experts in opossum removal and fixing any damage they may cause.

Keeping Opossums Out of Your Home

Vigilant homeowners are constantly inspecting their property for unwanted animals and signs of intrusions but the biggest threats may be nocturnal.  Opossums are nocturnal creatures that are a common nuisance species in the Chicago area.  They can be attracted onto a property by garbage or pet food and they commonly make their homes in attics, basements, sheds, or decks.  It is important for homeowners to recognize signs of an opossum intrusion because the opossums themselves are only seen at night.

Opossum Life Cycle

Opossums are marsupials that carry their young in pouches and they are the only marsupials found in North America.  They can be identified by their pointed snouts, grayish black fur, and rat-like tails and they can grow to be between 10 and 14 pounds.  The height of their mating time is in January and their young spend the first part of their lives in their mother’s pouch.  The young opossums eventually come out of the pouch to cling to their mother’s back until they are ready to leave on their own.  The average lifespan for an opossum is between 2 to 3 years.

Opossum Behavior

Opossums are omnivores that search for food at night and they will eat just about anything.  They have been known to steal pet food and rummage through garbage cans but their preference is meat or carcasses.  Opossums are also nomadic but tend to make a home base for themselves in man-made structures such as under decks, porches, and sheds and they can even intrude attics and basements.  They become a major problem when they get between walls because they can cause property damage and create foul odors with their droppings or by dying in a hard to reach place.  Opossums do not usually carry rabies but they do carry fleas and parasites and spread disease through their droppings.

Opossums are also a threat to attack pets and their 50 sharp teeth make for a pretty vicious attack.  They are slow creatures and in some cases when they feel threatened, they will play dead to ward off predators.


As soon as you suspect you may have a opossum infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with opossum exclusion and removal, using humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the opossum and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about opossum removal services from Attic Solutions.

Inspecting Your Home for Animals this Spring

The winter weather has finally left the Chicago area and the spring season is the ideal time for homeowners to do a thorough inspection of their homes for animals or signs of an intrusion.  This winter was extremely cold with record snowfall so it is possible that a squirrel, raccoon, or other animal may have found shelter in your home to escape the conditions.  By thoroughly inspecting your home inside and out, you can locate potential entry points and discover areas where animals may have been.

Inspect from the top down

The best way to inspect your home for animal intruders is to start in the attic and work down towards the basement.  When performing this inspection, make sure to take your safety into account as intruding animals may bite and scratch which could spread infection or disease.  It is recommended to wear protective clothing, work gloves, and steel toe boots and it may be wise to consider wearing a respirator mask and safety glasses as well.  Make sure to carry a bat or something to defend yourself with in case an animal is still hidden in your home and attacks you.

Areas in your home to keep an eye out for

As you work your way through the house, inspect the floors, walls, and ceilings for small openings that may allow animals to enter from the outside.  These openings should be sealed to help prevent animals from entering in the future.  When you reach the basement, use plenty of light during the inspection because working in the dark may startle groups of squirrels or skunks and create a difficult situation.

Finish with an exterior inspection

Your home inspection should end with a thorough inspection of the exterior of the house to locate and repair possible entry points.  Make sure to carefully inspect the gutters, roof, foundation, and siding for any openings as well as vents, air ducts, and windows.  As you discover potential entry points, look for any signs to suggest that an animal has been there.

This past winter had some of the harshest weather conditions the Chicago area has seen which makes it important to inspect your home for animals that may have intruded to escape the winter weather.  Follow these tips as you work your way through your home and if you do not feel comfortable searching through certain areas of the house, contact an animal control professional such as Attic Solutions for assistance.  It is best to locate and remove any intruding animals now before they start breeding.


As soon as you suspect you may have a animal infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with animal exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the animal and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about animal removal services from Attic Solutions.

Nesting Season for Wildlife

It has been a long winter in the Chicago area but the spring is finally here and the wildlife that inhabits the area will become more active as the temperature starts to rise.  The majority of the wildlife in the Chicago area has been dormant throughout the winter and by the spring; they are looking to build nests which may cause some of them to invade your home or yard, digging up your lawn or destroying your property in the process.  However, there are some preventative actions you can take to prevent animals such as rodents, birds, and others from nesting on your property.  If you discover an infestation that has already taken place in your yard or home, contact Attic Solutions to have the animal removed.

Spring Animal Nesting

The main priority of most animals after they become active in the spring is to build a nest for themselves and their offspring.  There are several locations in which animals may nest such as trees and shrubs as well as places where they become a nuisance such as chimneys, attics, or basements.  These animals may also cause problems as they collect materials to build their nests by digging up plants in the yard or destroying insulation and drywall if they are nesting within your home.  While it is natural and unavoidable for wildlife to nest in the spring season, taking certain preventative actions can reduce the possibility of an animal nesting in your home or property.

Nesting Prevention

Taking the right preventative actions is crucial when dealing with wildlife because it could save you from the property damage and headaches that an animal infestation causes.  One such preventative action that will help keep animals out of your home is trimming your shrubs, bushes, and trees so that they are away from your house.  Certain animals such as squirrels and birds may build their nests in trees and bushes and if the branches are close to or touching the house, it will be much easier for an animal to enter your home.  Another important preventative action to take is to inspect your home for possible entry points and fixing them so that animals do not have a way in.  This includes checking for torn screens, cracks, holes, or any other spaces that could act as potential entry points.  It is also beneficial to keep attics, garages, and basements free of clutter so that animals do not have extra places to hide.

As the wildlife activity increases in these first few weeks of spring, take some time to inspect your yard and your home and take these preventative actions if necessary to make sure that animals stay out of your home.  Most animals will be nesting in the coming weeks and even if you take the necessary preventative actions it is still possible for an infestation to occur in your home or lawn. By following these preventative actions and keeping a constant watch for potential intruders, you can avoid animal intrusions this spring.


As soon as you suspect you may have a animal infestation, call us immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with animal exclusion and removal, including humane live animal trapping (never poisons!). We will remove the animal and fix any property damage they may have caused. Click to read more about animal removal services from Attic Solutions.