Tag Archives: summer wildlife control

Why Should You Hire A Professional Animal Control Company?

Finding unwanted and uninvited animals in your home can be very upsetting. Wild animals can be hazardous to both the health and the property of the human occupants of the home. While your first thought might be to just remove the animals yourself, sometimes it is much better to hire a professional. There may be laws or local ordinances protecting the animals in your home (or governing their removal), not to mention removing them might be dangerous. There are many benefits to hiring a wildlife removal company, including experience and proper tools.

caged-raccoonProfessional animal removal experts have several advantages over a homeowner, and one happens to be experience. While this may be your first encounter with a wild animal from the great outdoors, this may be the professional’s third or fourth call of the day! Wildlife professionals are trained experts who have removed animals countless times and know to expect the unexpected. They are familiar with the animal and the animal’s behavior.

Something else homeowners lack is proper tools. Depending on the animal and where it has taken up residence, your wildlife professional will know what (if any) tools are necessary. In some cases, a cage for trap and release may be required and that would be dangerous for an inexperienced homeowner.

Professional animal removal experts like Attic Solutions are also well versed in state and federal wildlife law as well as local ordinances pertaining to animals and animal removal. Average homeowners are not familiar and open themselves up to possibly unknowingly breaking the law if they attempt to remove wild animals on their own.

You should also consider if there may be any dangerous repairs to be made, like with a chimney or attic. A full-service wildlife removal company like Attic Solutions will not only remove the unwanted wildlife, but clean up the mess they made as well.

It is always best to err on the side of caution and not try to remove wild animals on your own. Without meaning to, you could break a law or endanger yourself or the animal. Call a trained professional like Attic Solutions who are familiar with humane and effective animal removal procedures.

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

Preventing Wildlife From Entering Your Home

Raccoon RemovalThere is nothing more frustrating than trying to remove an animal once it has decided to take up residence in your home! Whether they burrow under the foundation, or invade the attic, it can be both a time consuming and expensive process to evict them. Remember the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Well, that is very fitting! The following are some tips on preventing animals for making your home their home.

Window Wells

Window wells are an easy spot for an opportunistic animal to sneak into your home. To animal-proof your window wells, consider putting a plastic or metal grate over them.

Squirrel RemovalBasement And Foundation

Do a check of your perimeter specifically looking for any holes near the foundation. An animal only needs a small space to gain entry. If you are concerned that an animal has already taken up residence, ball up some newspaper and place it in and around the hole (unless you suspect birds or bats because this can trap them). If you have animals, the paper will be disturbed. Once you determine no animals have already moved in, move forward with sealing any holes you may have found. These holes can be plugged with materials such as wood, aluminum, sheet metal, mesh hardware cloth, or any other durable item. Small and hard to reach holes can be sealed with wadded up wire or even copper or stainless steel scouring pads.

Decks And Porches

Animals like raccoons and skunks have been known to burrow and build dens under decks and porches. An outdoor motion-activated flood light can help spook away animals who are interested in moving in. If you have a deck or porch that is built within 2 feet of the ground, the University of Illinois suggests that you dig a trench at least 10 inches deep around the perimeter. Once you have your trench, attach 1″ × 1″ welded wire or 1/2″ × 1/2″ mesh hardware cloth “from the top of the outside joists to the bottom of the trench.” You should allow for 6 to 8 inches of wire at the bottom and “bend it out at a 90o angle.” Then, fill the trench with rocks or soil and cover it with something like a lattice to make it look it nice.

Roof

Keep an eye out for loose shingles. Also look for any areas that may have water damage since that softens the material and it is easier for animals to dig a hole through it. You should check your roof twice a year and if you see any damage fix it immediately (after ensuring no animals have moved in).

Attic Vents And Soffits

You can prevent animals from coming in through attic vents and soffits by covering the inside opening with 1/2″ × 1/2″ mesh hardware cloth.

Attic Fan Opening

Follow the same steps used for attic vents and soffits. You can make it even more secure by nailing 1″ × 2″ pieces of wood on the edges of the mesh hardware cloth to keep it in place.

Fireplace Or Furnace Chimney

Install a commercial chimney cap or cover with mesh hardware cloth. In order to keep sticks from accumulating, be sure to leave a peak over the flue.

Do not try to remove raccoons on your own. Without realizing it, you could endanger yourself or the animal, or even be in violation of a law or ordinance. Call a trained professional like Attic Solutions who are familiar with humane and effective wildlife removal procedures.

Bat Species in Illinois

Bat Species in Illinois - Small Brown Bat

In this post, we review the most common species of bats found in Illinois.

If you need bat removal services from your Chicagoland home, please call us at (847) 464-1861

Bats are found throughout the United States and all of North America. They are actually the second largest order of mammals and comprise about 20% of all mammal species in the world. There are over 1,200 species of bats worldwide.

The most bat-heavy area of the state is in the southern area of Illinois, near the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

Some bats hibernate in Illinois, while others migrate to warmer states.

 

How many types of bats are found in Illinois?

There are 12 different species of bats that are commonly found in Illinois.

Don’t be alarmed; all of the bats who call Illinois home are insectivorous, which means they only hunt insects.

The bat species that are most commonly found nesting in homes, attics and structures are the Little Brown Bat ( Myotis Lucifugus ) and Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus Fuscus ).

Related: How to Get Bats Out of the House

 

Types of Illinois Bats

  • Little Brown Bat
  • Big Brown Bat
  • Southeastern Bat
  • Indiana Bat
  • Eastern Pipistrelle
  • Northern Long-Eared Myotis
  • Gray Bat
  • Silver-Haired Bat
  • Eastern Red Bat
  • Hoary Bat
  • Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat
  • Evening Bat

 

Illinois bat species

Big Brown Bat – This bat is medium sized with an 11 to 13-inch wingspan. They are insectivorous and eat insects active at night such as moths, mosquitoes, and beetles. These bats are commonly found all over the United States and live over 10 years. Big brown bats can fly up to 40 mph!

 

Illinois bat species

Eastern Red Bat – This medium-sized bat is known for its red or chestnut colored fur. They are commonly found among branches of hardwood trees. The eastern red bat forages for food in open spaces.

Evening Bat

Evening Bat – This small species, weighing between 6 and 14 g. They are very commonly found roosting in tree cavities. These bats are also occasionally found in man-made structures. They feed heavily on beetles, as well as other nighttime insects.

illinois bat species

Gray Bat – These bats are cave-dependent and rely on caves, as opposed to other structures like trees or buildings. Disturbance in caves can be extremely detrimental to their population. They were once considered endangered in the late 70s. Through conservation efforts, the population has restored.

illinois bat species

Hoary Bat – This bat has unique coloring, which is dark at the roots and white at the tips. They are a larger species of bat with a wingspan of 15.5 inches. Hoary bats are rarely found in urban settings.

Illinois bat species

Indiana Bat – These bats tend to live in hardwood forests, but can be found in agricultural areas and fields. They are considered endangered and it is estimated that over 50% of their population has depleted over the past decade. They are sometimes confused for the little brown bat.

Little Brown Bat

Little Brown Bat – This bat is one of the most commonly found in America. They prefer to roost near water sources and are found in caves, buildings, trees, natural hollows, and woodpiles. Their survival is currently highly threatened due to white-nose syndrome.

illinois bat species

Northern Long-Eared Bat – These bats are known for their relatively long ears. They also have a longer tail than other Myotis bats. This species tends to live in boreal forests. In the fall, these bats migrate to hibernate.

Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat

Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat – This bat is sometimes known as the southeastern big-eared bat. They have inch long ears and a wingspan of 10-12 inches. Moths make up 90% of their diet. They can be found in the south and eastern sides of Illinois in abandoned buildings, under bridges, in wells, in caves, and trees.

Silver Haired Bat

Silver-Haired Bat – This medium-sized bat is mostly black in color, though their fur is white tipped. They roost in tree cavities and bark crevices. Their coloring makes them difficult to spot while roosting. This species prefers to eat moths but will eat spiders as well.

illinois bat species

Southeastern Bat – This bat has a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. Their fur ranges in color from gray to orangish-brown. They like to hunt and feed over water. The Southeastern bat sometimes roosts with Rafinesque’s big-eared bats. They can be found in southern Illinois.

illinois bat species

Tri-Colored Bat – Formerly known as the eastern pipistrelle, the tri-colored bat is known for its interesting fur color. Their fur is brown at the tips, yellow in the middle, and black at the root. They are known as one of the smallest bats in North America, only weighing 4 to 10 g. They live about 10 to 15 years.

 

Bat Habitats

Most bats in Illinois roost in trees, caves, mines, rock crevices, and sometimes even under bridges when a cave isn’t available.

There are four species of bats in Illinois that have been known to take up residence in buildings or dwellings, including residential homes. Since there is not an abundance of insects during the fall and winter, most bats find a warmer climate or hibernate.

Most bats are either colonial or solitary. Colonial bats live together in colonies and solitary bats live as is suggested: alone.

Related: Bats in Attic During Winter

 

Bat Reproduction

Bats are mammals so their babies (called pups) are born alive (not hatched as some may think) and then nursed. Most females give birth to one or two pups per year, typically in May or June.

Bats do not build nests. When pups are born, they climb onto their mothers and hold on to them, except for when the mother has to hunt. Pups can usually fly on their own at about three weeks of age.

 

Bat Droppings

Bat droppings, called guano, can be easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. To the untrained eye, bat and mouse droppings may look similar, but they really aren’t.

Guano is shiny and brittle due to the consumption of insects. You will usually find piles of guano underneath bat roosts.

Related: Diseases in Bat Species

 

Little Brown Bat Population Decline

Recently, there has been a drastic decline in the population of the little brown bat. In fact, the decline is so severe, the little brown bat may soon find itself on the federal endangered species list.

The decline in population is due to an affliction known as White Noise Syndrome. White Noise Syndrome, a white fungus that grows in the nose of and on the muzzle, tail, and wings of a bat during hibernation, causes the bats to lose their fat reserves, which they desperately need during winter hibernation. Essentially, White Noise Syndrome causes bats to starve to death.

The cause of White Noise Syndrome is still unknown, and scientists and wildlife experts at both the state and federal level are continuing to monitor the situation.

When it comes to bat removal it is very important to contact the right animal removal to safely and humanely remove bats.

Attic Solutions - Contact Us TodayTo have professional remove bats or any unwanted animal from your home or business, call 847-464-1861 

Keep Summer Animals Out of Your Home

Keep Summer Animals Out of Your Home

The summer is at its halfway point and if you have been successful in keeping pests and intrusive animals out of your house, then you have won half the battle.  In the remaining days of the summer, homes are still at high risk for animal intrusions so homeowners should continue to be aware of the potential entry points and common hiding spots for animals in their homes.  There are a variety of different animals in the Chicago area that seek shelter indoors and the following tips will help you prevent animal intrusions and take the right actions should one occur.

Identify What Animal Has Invaded Your Home

There are always a variety of animals looking for indoor shelter and animals such as birds, bats, and snakes are most likely to invade homes in the late summer.  Many birds are laying eggs in the mid to late summer which means that they are also looking to build nests.  Intrusive birds commonly nest in attics and crawlspaces so make sure to check these areas regularly for any nests.  Bats and snakes may also invade these areas during the summer as they enjoy the heat and the shelter.

Find Exit/Entry Point

If you believe an animal may be going in and out of your attic or crawlspace, place a piece of cardboard over each possible entry point.  The cardboard will have chew and claw marks if there is an animal coming and going but this discovery could also mean that you have trapped the animal inside.  If you are positive that the animal is indeed trapped in your home, it is time to take actions to get rid of it.

Removing Animals from Your Home

The first thing you should do once you confirm that an animal is in your house is shut your interior doors to quarantine the animal in one room.  Once this is done, try opening a window or door to the outside and turn off the lights so that the only light in the room is coming from the opening.  Many times the animal will find their own way out in this scenario.  If the animal has made itself comfortable in your home by building a nest or lodging itself into a small space such as the dryer vent, then it is best to contact a wildlife professional to trap and remove it.

As the second half of the summer season starts to wind down, make sure to stay alert and watch out for animal intrusions around your home.  There are several types of animals such as birds and bats that commonly invade homes in the late summer and taking these actions can help you prevent or eliminate late summer intruders.  If an animal infestation is too much for you to handle on your own, contact Attic Solutions for our live trapping and animal removal services.


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.