Tag Archives: pest 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.

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

Top 10 Signs Of Rats

top 10 signs of rats

In this post, we review the top 10 signs that you have rats in your home, building, or property.

For professional rat removal call (847) 464-1861

During autumn, animal pests like to enter your home, seeking shelter and food. In rural areas, when fields are plowed, rats lose their habitat and make their way indoors.

In urban areas, the cool weather drives them into your home. Regardless of where you live, rats can cause big problems.

Aside from the numerous diseases and parasites they carry, they can cause major damage.

If you have a hunch that you have a rat infestation, check out our lists for the top 10 signs of rats:

 

TOP 10 SIGNS OF RATS

  1. Scratching in the walls – Scratching or rustling sounds in the walls is one of the early, subtle signs of a rat infestation. They run through the walls to and from food sources. In addition, if they are building a nest, they will be moving materials between the walls.
  2. Rat droppings – Rat droppings are small, brown, and rice-shaped. A single rat leaves between 10 and 30 pellets a day.
  3. Grease marks – Rats have an oily fur that leaves grease or dirt tracks. You may notice them along floorboards or across countertops in your house.
  4. Footprints – Their tracks have front and hind paw marks plus a tail print. You may notice them in dustier areas of the home.
  5. Rats holes – Brown rats are great burrowers and may leave holes as evidence.
  6. Rat nests – Rats make nests with cardboard, straw, and other soft items. You may notice them in your attic or basement, depending on the type of rat in your home.
  7. Rodent odors – You may notice a musky smell with the presence of rats.
  8. Urine stains – Their urine stains glow under UV lights.
  9. Chewed wires, floorboards, & boxes – Rats’ teeth are continuously growing, which means they gnaw on plastic, wood, and anything hard to keep them filed. You may notice gnawed floorboards, boxes of cereal, or walls.
  10. Rat sightings – If you’ve seen a rat, dead or alive, in your home – you may have an infestation.

If some or all of the top 10 signs of rats apply to your home, it may be time to call pest control.


Attic solutions can safely and effectively remove rats from your home and repair damage caused by rats.

Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationFor professional rat removal services in Chicagoland, call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you with humane wild animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

Satisfaction guaranteed!


 

Get Rid Of Groundhogs … Before It’s Too Late!

get rid of groundhogs

Do you have groundhogs at home? Are they burrowing in your yard and garden? Or are they hiding under your shed and digging tunnels? Groundhogs are known for their burrowing behavior. In fact, they may dig 5,000 or more pounds of dirt to create their burrows. These burrows and connecting tunnels can cause major damage to agriculture and residential development.

Why Should You Get Rid Of Groundhogs?

Groundhogs are incredibly slow movers. It is for this reason that they tend to stay near their dens. Groundhogs will not venture far to search for food. For example, if a groundhog makes a den near your home, it may root through your garden and even turn up bulbs. Since the groundhog moves slowly, its natural safety defense is to stay close to the protection of its den. If the groundhog knows there is a food source near its den, you’ll have a tough time getting it to leave.

Worse still, is that groundhogs spend plenty of their time in their den. They use dens for protection, hibernation, rearing young, and sleeping. Groundhog litters have several pups that mature at a year of age. Your yard and surrounding area could be infiltrated with half a dozen families of groundhogs quickly. In addition, groundhogs live to about three to six years in the wild. Plus, they hibernate over the winter and will be ready to breed again in the spring. Finally, groundhogs are actually very territorial and will become aggressive. They are not an animal you want to mess with. Though they probably could not cause any harm to an adult human, there is no point in risking injury.

This means, you need to get rid of your groundhog problem as soon as you discover it.

How To Get Rid Of Groundhogs Quickly

In this situation, you should call pest control immediately. Attic Solutions can remove groundhogs safely and effectively relocate them. This will prevent them from coming back to your yard to burrow. Due to their slow movement, they will create a new burrow rather than try to relocate back to your home. After the groundhogs are removed, be sure to fill in any open burrows. Skunks and other creatures may use them as homes when vacant.

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.

Working Cats In The City

working cats

The Rat Problem

Chicago’s rat problem has grown over the past few years, with complaints up in 2016. Though the mayor is working to address these issues, some residents are taking matters into their own hands. As a result, people are using working cats to combat the rat problem. The Cats at Work Project pits cats against rodents, providing a home for the cats and humanely eradicating rats.

Working Cats

Through this program, felines are put to work by controlling the rat population through their presence and hunting. They are vaccinated and sterile, and often come from former life-threatening situations. This option allows the them to stay out of the shelter system while providing a rodent elimination service from their natural behavior. The felines will hunt the rat pests, not eat them, and keep your home and yard free of animal pests. There have been over 225 working cats successfully placed. Many who have used the program claim to see an immediate rat population decline within a week of having working cats.

Does it Work?

Some criticize the working cats method. Experts say that cats may reduce the number of rodents spotted, but not diminish the number of pests. Because of the cats’ presence, rats may behave more secretively. Experts suggest that there may not be concrete science to back up the eradication of rats due to cat presence. In addition, cats may cause harm to the bird population. They hunt rats, mice, birds, chipmunks and many other small animals. This means, a working cat likely will not discern between animals and target rats, specifically. Lastly, experts are concerned that cats could cause exposure to parasites through their feces. Consequently, the felines would become pests.

How to Get Rid of Rats

Experts suggest limiting the rats’ access to food, water, and shelter. Rats can be tricky to remove though, and breed incredibly quickly to restore any population loss. If you are experiencing a rat problem, contact pest control to take care of the solution safely and effectively immediately.

Rabid Bats In Illinois

rabid bats

According to the Chicago Tribune, the amount of bats that have tested positive for rabies in Illinois is doubled comparatively to last year. Last year at this point, there were eight positive rabies tests. Currently there are 16. Though these numbers are small and it is early in the season, it could be indicative of a trend this year.

Bats are found everywhere in the state, including the Chicagoland area. Rabid bats have been found in homes in Arlington Heights, Aurora, LaGrange, and Chicago’s south side. The family from Arlington Heights is pursuing rabies vaccinations. Most rabid bats found last year were in Cook and Will counties. Will county had a record setting 20 cases of bat rabies.

Several species of bat are found in Illinois. Big brown bats and small brown bats are quite common, even in urban areas. Officials say that bats are common transmitters of rabies because they are often in contact with humans. Bats can also transmit rabies to other mammals like dogs, foxes, skunks, and raccoons.

To avoid catching rabies, it’s advised to avoid contact with wild animals including stray cats and dogs. Especially avoid animals that are typically nocturnal but may be acting strangely during daylight hours. Do not leave food outside that may attract wild animals. Seal off any entry points to your home, or other buildings like sheds and garages, that wild animals may enter. Bats can enter through small entry pints near windows, attics, soffits, and spaces in your home’s siding. Keep your family pets’ vaccines up to date and do not let them roam without supervision.

If you believe a rabid animal has bitten you, seek medical attention immediately. If there are animal pests on your property or in your home, call pest control to have them safely removed.

Illinois Chipmunks

Eastern Chipmunk

What species of chipmunks are native to Illinois?

In this post, we review the common ground squirrel species in this state.

 

There are three different common species of ground squirrel, or chipmunks, found in Illinois.

Ground Squirrel / Chipmunks Native to Illinois

  • Eastern chipmunk
  • Thirteen-lined ground squirrel
  • Franklin’s ground squirrel

Each of these chipmunks nests underground in burrows and have cheek pouches. They can be found in grasslands, prairies, and wooded areas that are not prone to flooding.

 

Eastern Chipmunk

Eastern Chipmunk in Illinois

Eastern Chipmunk photo by Gilles Gonthier

Eastern chipmunk: These can be found most places in Illinois but are very uncommon in southeastern Illinois.

The Eastern Chipmunks are identified by their red-brown fur, five dark brown stripes and contrasting light brown stripes on its back, dark tail, and a light colored underside.

They primarily feed on bulbs, nuts, seeds, fruits, flowers, plants etc. This species store their food in their burrows and come back to it later.

They are generally a solitary species and only socialize during mating season. They do not enter a true hibernation in the winter but enter a period of dormancy.

Related Post: What Damage Can Chipmunks Do?

 

Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel

Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel in Illinois

Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel photo by Greg Schechter

Thirteen-lined ground squirrel: They are sometimes known as the striped gopher or leopard ground squirrel.

The Thirteen-lined ground squirrel has thirteen alternating brown and white stripes and white spots in between. They occur in the northern 2/3 of Illinois and are particularly active on warm days.

This species feeds on grasses, weeds, seeds, plants, and insects. They are known for their surveying behavior in which they stand on their hind legs to examine the surrounding area.

 

Franklin’s Ground Squirrel

Franklin's Ground Squirrel in Illinois

Franklin’s Ground Squirrel photo by Ceasol

Franklin’s ground squirrel: These occur in the northern 2/3 of Illinois but can be uncommon due to their threatened status. They are listed as a protected species in Illinois under the Endangered Species Act.

They are brownish gray in color, with light speckles across their body, light undersides, and solid gray heads.

This species is omnivorous and eats anything ranging from insects to eggs, plants, small birds, and frogs. These squirrels are also generally solitary.

If chipmunks or ground squirrels are making a home on your property, damaging your gardens, or causing burrowing damage, do not hesitate to call animal control to remove them safely.

 


Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationFor professional chipmunk removal in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you with humane live animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

Satisfaction guaranteed!


 

Illinois Squirrels

There are four different species of squirrels that occur in Illinois. All of these mammals have long, bushy tails, long hind feet, and can be found in wooded areas. Illinois squirrels are found throughout the state, in wooded forest areas and urban areas. Deforestation and urbanization has diminished some of the squirrel population but they remain common.

illinois squirrels

Fox squirrel: The fox squirrel is the largest species of tree squirrel native to North America. In Illinois, they are generally a brown gray or brown yellow color, with orange underside. They thrive in areas with trees that produce nuts. This species is spends more time on the ground than other types of squirrel. Fox squirrels are relatively solitary creatures and spend much time alone.

illinois squirrels

Eastern gray squirrel: This tree squirrel is native to the eastern range of North America. These squirrels have mostly gray fur but white undersides. Occasionally black and white individuals can be found in urban areas within certain populations. The gray squirrel is crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during early and late hours of the day while avoiding middle of the day heat.

illinois squirrels

Red squirrel: Red squirrels area sometimes referred to as chickarees. They can be found only in north Eastern part of the Illinois, especially near the Kankakee and Iroquois Rivers. This species prefers to eat the seeds of conifer cones. They are known for their smaller size, red fur and white underside. This species has a very high morality rate, as only about 22% reach one year of age.

illinois squirrels

Southern flying squirrel: The southern flying squirrel is one of the only flying squirrel species found in North America. They are quite common in southern Illinois, but can be found statewide. They have brown gray fur and cream undersides. Their furry membrane that extends between front and rear legs allows them to glide through the air. These highly social squirrels have been known to forage for food and glide together in large groups.

If any of these Illinois squirrels are making a home in your attic or other buildings on your property, do not hesitate to call animal control to remove them safely.

Pests and Lyme Disease

lyme disease

Lyme disease season is here. The disease affects an estimated 300,000 Americans per year, especially during the summer months. Lyme disease is caused by a specific bacteria carried in several animals, and then transferred to humans through tick bites. Ticks carrying Lyme disease can be found in especially wooded areas of the country, including northern Illinois. Animals such as mice, chipmunks, squirrels, opossums, and raccoons can be infected. This means finding a pest on your property could mean more than an annoyance, but also a risk of infectious disease.

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is often characterized by the bull-eye rash it causes at the bite location. The infectious disease is carried by ticks and transmitted to humans when the ticks are attached for 36 – 48 hours. Signs of Lyme disease range from flu-like symptoms like fever, fatigue, headaches to serious conditions like heart palpitations, skin disorders, and loss of mobility. In rare cases, the bacteria can spread to the brain or heart. The disease is known to cause long-term symptoms and illness, though they vary greatly.

Prevention & Pest Control

To avoid contracting the disease, there are several precautions that can be taken. Avoid tick prone areas that are heavily wooded. If traveling to a tick prone area, wear long sleeves and pants, closed toe shoes, and a hat. After you or your pets have been in a heavily wooded area, check hair and fur for ticks. In addition, if you discover animal pests on your property (that may be carrying the disease) call pest control to have the animals removed. Especially make sure to have animal pests removed if you have pets that spend time outdoors.

How to Squirrel Proof Your Home

Squirrels are a pesky creature known for their bushy tails and nesting behavior. They often take residence in homes or outdoor building structures, causing trouble for homeowners. They may tear up insulation in an attic, use it for nesting material, chew through electrical wires, and cause damage to your home. Once squirrels have settled in your home, they can be quite difficult to remove. Follow these tricks to squirrel proof your home.

Squirrel proof

5 Squirrel Proof Home Tips

1. Repair damaged potential entry points to home like eaves, soffits, and roofing. Squirrels can scale trees easily and have excellent jumping skills, making few heights off limits. Any tiny home damage should be examined seriously and repaired quickly to prevent squirrel entry.
2. Use squirrel proof bird feeders. Squirrels love bird food and they can overrun your feeder, if it easy an easy source of food. Install standing bird feeders that are far from bushes and tree branches.
3. Install a chimney cap. Squirrels can enter chimneys if they are left open. Prevention is easier than removal!
4. Manage your trees and minimize squirrel likelihood. Trim your tree limbs so that they are at least eight feet from your home, to prevent them from jumping to your roof. Wrap a piece of sheet metal around your tree trunks about 6 feet up to prevent trees from climbing up.
5. Do not leave food sources outside. An obvious and simple fix, keep any pet or human food inside. Be sure to bring food and water dishes in at nighttime as well. Keep your garbage sealed tightly.

If you discover squirrels in your home or infesting your property, call pest control to safely remove the pests. Attempting to do so on your own can result in more damage from the squirrels’ wily, erratic behavior.