How Rat Removal Services Work

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How Rat Removal Services Work

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Rats are a common rodent in Southwest Florida. They love the warm weather as much as we do and will take any opportunity to invade your property if you are not cautious. Whether they are brown rats or palm rats, they will quickly reproduce and become a problem for you.

How to Identify Rats in Your Property

There are many signs that point to a rat infestation, however, you have to be very attentive to catch these as rats are nocturnal animals. Here are some of the signs that you have rats in your home:

  • The most obvious: You spot a rat on your property
  • There are rat droppings near your home, especially around your trash or your pet’s food.
  • You hear scratching sounds in your attic and mostly at night.
  • There are nests in hidden areas of your home.
  • You spot chewed wires or marks of teeth on wood.
  • You spot teeth marks on fallen fruit on your property.
  • There are signs of burrows in your yard.

If you spot any of these, we highly recommend you contact a professional rat removal company before rats take over your property and create damage.

How Effective Rat Removal Services Work

Once you have recognized you have a rat infestation and hire a rat removal services company, there are a couple of steps the professional will follow to ensure effective removal and prevention.

Inspection

The first step to eliminating any rodents is to identify and confirm that you do have them on your property.

In an inspection, a professional will determine where the rats are congregating and setting up their nests. This is crucial to the rat removal process since it will show the rats’ trails. Inspections also reveal where they are feeding and the access points they have in your property.

There is a variety of equipment that can be used to spot rats if needed. Among the most well-known are:

  • UV light source: It can be used to find trails of urine.
  • Fluorescent Tracking Power: It attaches to rats and can be seen under UV lights to observe rats’ movements.

Sealing & Prevention

Simply eliminating rats will not solve your problem if you have access points in your home that can be invaded by other rats. To prevent recurrent infestation, all holes should be covered or at least filled with wire mesh, metal flashing, or any durable material that cannot be chewed through.

Some of the most common access points are:

  • Holes on garage doors
  • Holes on door frames leading outside the home
  • Holes on windows
  • Pipes
  • Cracked foundations
  • Roof vents and junctions

Make sure you take action in eliminating food sources, so you keep them from coming back. Some common food sources are pet food, food left uncovered overnight, and easily accessible trash.

Trapping & Elimination

After the problem with rats is identified and prevention methods are taken, then it is time for the professional to trap and eliminate them.

  • Setting up traps or baits. This method can take up to a couple of weeks since rats are very smart and cautious by nature.
  • Using rodenticides. When traps or baits are not enough, professionals will apply chemicals throughout your property. This method is mainly used when the rat population is large.

Clean Up

After the rats are eliminated, there needs to be proper sanitation to prevent bacteria and diseases from spreading. Professionals will use protective gear and disinfectant chemicals to handle the treated area. A thorough cleanup is the last step to rat removal.

Seeing Signs of Rats On Your Property?

If you have realized you have a rodent problem, give us a call today! The sooner you eliminate rats, the less damage they will cause. At Alford Wildlife & Pest Management, we have certified professionals with the knowledge and equipment to get rid of rats.

Even if you have not yet experienced any signs, we highly recommend our effective exclusion services to future avoid an infestation in this favorable rodent weather.

Call us today for a free quote.

 

 

Michael Alford Gets Reptile and Amphibian Certification from NWCOA

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

We are excited to announce Michael Alford is now Reptile and Amphibian Certified by the National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA).

What does this mean?

Michael has the knowledge to deal with reptiles and amphibians inhabiting homes and businesses. He can identify, trap, and relocate them following the proper safety procedures and regulations guidelines put in place for wildlife removal companies.

About the NWCOA

The NWCOA is a national trade association that represents the wildlife control industry. It provides resources and training to companies so they can be more competent when providing services. It provides training to or on behalf of state agencies and provides research findings and regulatory announcements affecting the pest control and wildlife removal industry.

3 Difficult Pests to Identify in Florida Homes

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Generally, pests are a nuisance. But if they are not taken care of in time, they can have a drastic impact on our homes and our budgets.

Some of them are harder to identify, making them more dangerous and more difficult to eliminate. Here are 3 of the most difficult pests to identify. Make you sure watch out for them and have a pest control professional visit your home regularly.

Bed Bugs

This pest is one of the worst to have in your home. They are hard to notice at first since they are very small, about the size of an apple seed. They are active at night and will bite you while you are sleeping.

Rather than looking out for them, you should pay attention to key signs such as red marks from the bites on your skin. They live on the blood of humans and animals so you will eventually experience irritation on your skin.

These bugs usually hide on your mattress, headboard, or bed frame so they can get access to you during the night. Be on the lookout for bloodstains on your sheet and mattress or other rusty colored stains.

Bed bugs can become a nightmare if not treated immediately. In a favorable environment, they will produce about three or more generations in one year. On top of that, they can expand quickly to other rooms by crawling on the walls and the floor.

Termites

Termites can damage the structure of your home without any obvious signs, and that’s what makes it a terrifying pest. They are called “silent destroyers” since they can chew away at your home’s wood pillars and by the time you notice them, they have done significant damage.

Two types of termites usually infest homes: workers and swarmers. Worker termites are responsible for collecting food for the colony and feed on cellulose which is a component found in wood. Swarmer termites take care of the reproduction and creating new colonies.

Many people often confuse swarmer termites with flying ants, dismissing them when they see them in their homes. This mistake often leads to larger consequences in the future.

A quick and simple test for termite pests is to place your thumb on exposed wooden areas in your house and apply pressure to see if the wood crumbles. This test helps you find the tip of the iceberg and shows extensive long-term damage. We highly recommend having a termite inspection done by a professional.

Fleas

If you have pets, there is a higher probability you will be exposed to fleas. They usually feed on domestic animals such as cats and dogs. They can even feed on rats and mice, so it is important that you watch out for rodents as well.

Fleas reproduce very quickly. Their eggs hatch within 2 to 14 days and usually by the time you notice them biting your legs, they have already spread throughout your house.

They don’t need a host to hatch. They can lay their eggs in your carpet, floor cracks, your couch, and almost anywhere. To make matters worse, they tend to flourish more in Florida because of our warm climate all year round.

We highly recommend that you check your home for fleas and their eggs. Start with your pet. They will usually prefer the neck and the inside area of your legs. If you find any, move on to possible contaminated areas such as your pet’s bedding and upholstered furniture.

Get Professional Pest Control Today

None of these pests can be exterminated on your own. It is important that you contact a pest control professional before they greatly affect your home.

Alford Pest Management offers affordable and professional pest control services. We have the proper equipment and expertise to help you get rid of the pests in your home. Contact us today for a free quote or call us to learn more about our services.

 

Dangers of DIY Rat Removal

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Palm rats, also known as roof rats, citrus rats, or black rats are a rodent species that are very common in Florida because of our tropical climate and can often find their way into properties, becoming a nuisance for homeowners.

Palm rats can damage your electrical devices by gnawing on wiring, rummage through your kitchen and garden, cause destruction to your home’s attic– not to mention the risk they pose to your family by spreading disease. Simply put, if you find rats in your home, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

You may choose to go the do-it-yourself route to try to get rid of unwanted rats in your home, not realizing that a rat infestation isn’t something you should try to handle yourself.

Here are a few of the risks of DIY rodent removal to remind you why it should be left to the professionals.

Risk 1: Disease

One of the biggest risks of having rats in your home in the first place is the diseases they carry, and that is also a reason you should not try to remove them yourself.

They can transmit what’s known as RBF (rat-bite-fever) to you, your pets, or your children if you come in contact with them. Their droppings and urine also cause serious infection and disease.

If you are trying to set up traps or remove rats yourself, you could expose yourself to these potential dangers. Professional wildlife removal companies are trained in the proper procedures not only to trap and remove the rats safely but to decontaminate the area once they are gone.

Furthermore, any DIY rat poisons on the market also have harmful ingredients that are not safe to have in your home and can get your family or pets sick.

Risk 2: Damage

Since rats can destroy insulation, wiring, get into food, wood, and furniture, there is an added risk when trying to get into the area they are and set up traps. When rats get into your attic and potentially chew through wiring, the destruction they cause can lead to house fires or critical damage to your home.

A professional is trained to assess the current situation and evaluate if your home is in immediate danger and create a plan to trap the rats to mitigate any further damage.

Risk 3: Prevention

Many DIY rat control products are “quick fixes” but aren’t going to help you with keeping rats out of your home in the long term. At home rat traps and rat poison might help you kill or get critters out of your home, but one of the most important parts of rat control is prevention.

Sealing entry points is an essential step in the rat removal process. Rats are able to get into your home through some sort of entry point, usually in the roof (hence the nickname roof rats) that have to be identified and professionally sealed to keep them out for good.

Risk 4: Time & Cost

Many people go the DIY route because they want to see results right away, and they don’t want to spend a lot of money. However, this is counterproductive, because going with a professional wildlife company can save you money and time.

Since rodents are nocturnal, it can actually be difficult to identify them, and know exactly what type of rodent problem you are dealing with. If you’re unsure of the species and the entry points, you can often end up spending a lot of your valuable time and money on different treatments.

Since wildlife trappers are certified and highly trained in how to identify and remove rats, they will be able to identify your rat problem and create a solution that can be quickly executed and cost-effective.

Word with A Professional Rat Removal Company in Florida

If you’ve encountered a rat in your home, don’t panic!

Instead of going the DIY route and putting yourself more in danger and risking costly damage, call Alford Wildlife for help. We are a professional wildlife removal company that specializes in rat removal and rodent control services in Southwest Florida.

For a free quote on our services, contact us online or call (239) 491-7592.

How To Keep Snakes Out Of Your Home in SWFL

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Snakes are one of the most common types of nuisance wildlife that you can find on your property in SWFL.

Because of our warm climate, and with many neighborhoods in the area being close to water, in Southwest Florida it is especially likely to find a snake around. We have written before about how to identify snakes on your property if you do find them, and see if they are venomous or not, which is important to know.

It is important to take precautions to protect your home from these critters getting into your property and possibly hurting your family or causing damage to your home! Here is some tips on how to keep snakes out of your house in SWFL.

What to Do to Avoid Snakes

  • Lawn Maintenance – Lawns are a common area for you to find snakes and there are a few precautions you can take to keep them away. Firstly, keep your grass trimmed short and keep shrubs trimmed. Snakes are less likely to hang out in these areas and it makes them easier to spot. Also, avoid overwatering your lawn, which could attract prey like worms, slugs, and frogs, which then attracts snakes.
  • Keep pet food inside – If you have pets, be sure to keep your pet food inside – it can attract rodents and insects which attracts snakes. The same goes for those who have a bird feeder outside. If you have one, be sure to clean up right away and store food in a tight-fitting lid.
  • Seal the cracks – You can take precautions to keep snakes out of your yard, but there is always a chance they can show up outside. But to keep your family safe, it is important to keep your home sealed off. Make sure any crevices in the foundation of your home’s foundation or AC systems to keep snakes out.
  • Fencing – An extra precaution to take is to install fencing to keep snakes out. While none will be 100% foolproof, but some companies make fencing specific to keeping wildlife out, so it is worth considering the investment.

What Not to Do to Avoid Snakes

Unfortunately, some companies try to take advantage of human’s fear of snakes to try to sell DIY snake control products that are ineffective.

You may have heard to use mothballs or snake-away products with sulfur to prevent snakes from getting in your home. Not only are these products not effective in preventing snakes, but the chemicals can be detrimental to your family or your pets.

Most importantly, if you do encounter a snake on your property it is important for you to NOT try to remove or relocate it yourself. Even if you can identify if the snake is not venomous, it’s important for you to contact a professional for safe snake removal services immediately.

Contact A Professional Wildlife Removal Company for Snake Control

If you find a snake in your home and need it removed, Alford Wildlife can help!

We are a licensed wildlife removal company that specializes in safely removing and relocating nuisance wildlife in Southwest Florida.

Our licensed wildlife consultants can visit your residence and assess the situation to create a plan that will remove snakes from your home for good.

For snake removal services in SWFL, call us at (239) 491-7592 or contact us online today!

How To Remove Nuisance Wildlife From Your Property

Monday, March 30th, 2020

What Is Nuisance Wildlife?

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, nuisance wildlife refers to an animal or animals exhibiting behavior that causes (or is about to cause) property damage, presents a threat to public safety, or causes an annoyance within, under, or upon a building.

With many animals adapting to survive in urban and suburban areas, they can often coexist with humans without creating conflict. I’m sure most of us have seen a squirrel on our lawns or birds in a tree outside and been fine with their presence, knowing that each species of Florida’s native wildlife serves important ecological roles.

However, when wildlife gets into parts of your home it shouldn’t be, like in your attic, or getting stuck under your home, or is causing property damage or a threat to your safety, that’s when proactive measures should be taken to remove them from your property.

What Are Common Types of Nuisance Wildlife in Florida?

There are a few different animals that are commonly found as nuisance wildlife in Florida. Depending on where the animal is, you might just hear a noise and not actually see it. Here is a list of the most common nuisance wildlife animals that need removal in Southwest Florida.

  • Rats are probably the most common nuisance wildlife animal in Florida. Palm rats, also known as roof rats or citrus rats, will invade any home with a small opening leading inside. They often take up residence in attics where they can cause property damage as well as spread diseases throughout the home.
  • Raccoons are another common nuisance wildlife animal that can be found in Florida. They can be found in attics, but also break into garages, porches, and lanais.
  • Opossums are scavenger animals that frequently get into pet food supplies and garbage. They can often be found in attics, walls and under homes.
  • Armadillos are burrowing animals that often choose to burrow next to or under a home. They can also be found in other covered areas like AC units, decks, or sheds. They dig and can often damage landscaping.
  • Moles are nuisance wildlife often found in Florida yards. They dig through soil and create tunnels as they search for worms and underground insects, causing damage to Florida lawns.
  • Squirrels are an animal commonly found in Florida, and often chew on wood and wires which can cause damage when they get into your home.

What to Do If You Find Nuisance Wildlife

There are a number of regulations around removing nuisance wildlife from your property by the FWC.

There are certain guidelines on what animals can be relocated and what traps you are able to use. There are a few DIY methods for capturing wildlife at home, but we do not recommend using those, especially when you are dealing with animals that can possibly be dangerous.

If you have nuisance wildlife on your property, you should reach out to a professional wildlife removal company that is licensed in wildlife removal and trapping. Not only are they trained to handle animals that could be potentially dangerous, but they are familiar with the rules and regulations that need to be followed.

When you encounter nuisance wildlife on your property, you should act immediately to remove any immediate threat of danger. That might mean keeping a certain area of your home blocked off or removing your children or pets from the home or area that the animal is in.

Try to take note of any of the information about the animal you have like what it looks like, what sounds it’s making, or what damage you see – that way you can share it with the professionals. Then, call a professional wildlife trapper to safely remove the animal from your property.

Work with A Professional Wildlife Removal Company in SWFL

If you find nuisance wildlife on your property in Southwest Florida, Alford Wildlife is a professional wildlife removal company that can help. We are licensed and trained to provide professional, safe and reliable wildlife removal of animals like rats, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, moles and other animals from your home or business property.

Based in Fort Myers, we provide service from Collier County to Hillsborough County, throughout Southwest Florida. Call us today for service!

Common Snakes Found in Southwest Florida

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Southwest Florida’s many waterways and lush vegetation create a favorable habitat for wildlife, making it one of the most abundant areas for nuisance wildlife issues. Common unwanted animals you might find on your property are snakes.

Encountering a snake in your home can be a very scary experience – especially due to the fact that many are venomous and can be dangerous to humans.

If you run into a snake on your property, regardless of if they are venomous or not, it’s best to consult a professional wildlife expert to ensure the animal is removed safely. However, it’s good to be armed with the knowledge of common snakes in the area and which ones are more dangerous so you can be well informed. Here are the most common snakes in Southwest Florida that you might find.

Non-Venomous Snakes in Southwest Florida

Luckily, there are a few snakes commonly found in Southwest Florida that are non-venomous. While you still don’t want nuisance animals on your property and should have them safely removed by a professional, you are not in the immediate danger if you find one of these non-venomous snakes.

The Southern Black Racer is the most common snake in the Southwest Florida area. It averages between 2 and 4 feet and is known to move with extraordinary quickness. They are also known to have large eyes. These snakes are basically harmless, although they have been known to bite when cornered, their bites are non-venomous.

The Florida Banded Watersnake can be found in freshwater habitats, like shallow waters of lakes, ponds, marshes, streams and rivers. It varies between 2 to 4 feet, and they are not as often encountered because they live in the water and keep a distance away from humans. However, when seen they are often mistaken for the venomous Water Moccasin or Eastern Cottonmouth which can be found in the water as well.

Scarlet Snake & Scarlet Kingsnake are two of the snakes known for the popular rhyme, “Red on black, friend of Jack, red on yellow, kill a fellow”. The “red on black” pattern that you can find on the snake symbolizes that they are non-venomous, but their pattern closely resembles the red on yellow pattern in the venomous Eastern Coral Snake.

The Eastern Corn Snake is another commonly found non-venomous snake in Florida. The average adult size is between 18 to 44 inches, and they are orangish-brown with black-bordered orange, red or brownish blotches on their body. They are commonly found near pinelands, hardwood hammocks, swamps, agricultural fields, and residential areas. The snake is primarily active at night and is both a terrestrial burrower and an extremely good climber. Like other non-venomous snakes, while they may be a nuisance on your property, they are harmless.

Venomous Snakes in Southwest Florida

There are a number of venomous snakes that are known to Southwest Florida. If you encounter one of these on your property, be careful to stay as far away as possible and seek help from a professional wildlife company as soon as you can.

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake are large snakes that can reach up to 5 feet in length and are common in Florida and the rest of the Southeast. They are small ambush predators that commonly hide and wait for small mammals like rats, rabbits, and birds to pass by to catch, so they are often found hiding or camouflaged. As large snakes, they can deliver considerable amounts of venom, and there have been fatalities to humans from their bites.

Dusky pygmy rattlesnakes are smaller pit vipers that rarely exceed 2 feet in length. While fleeing is usually their first line of defense, they are considered nervous and irritable animals and have been known to strike quickly. Their venom is strong but because they inject smaller doses, they are considered less dangerous than their eastern diamondback relatives.

Eastern coral snake follows the red on yellow pattern that is known in the rhyme to “kill a fellow.” Their neurotoxic venom attacks the central nervous system which creates a difficulty to breathe, speak, and walk. That being said, although the snake is venomous, they are shy and non-aggressive, and there are not very many cases of humans being bit by coral snakes.

The Florida cottonmouth is a medium-sized aquatic pit viper, more commonly known as a water moccasin. This snake rarely exceeds 4 feet and is known to have a bolder temperament than most snakes and will strike profusely if they feel threatened. They eat a variety of animals like fish, frogs, snakes, mammals, and birds and are an important part of the ecosystem. Their venom is considered dangerous based on both it’s potency and volume.

Snake Removal in Southwest Florida

If you find an unwanted snake on your property, especially if it’s a venomous snake, you should seek the help of a professional wildlife company immediately to trap and safely remove them to keep your home and your family safe. If you are unsure of a snake’s identity, do not attempt to handle it and consult a professional immediately.

Alford Wildlife is a professional company that specializes in the removal and relocation of nuisance wildlife in Southwest Florida, providing service all the way from Collier County to Hillsborough County. Our licensed team of experts can trap, remove, and relocate snakes and any other nuisance animals you find at your home or business.

To learn more, call us at (239) 491-7592 or contact us online today!

Raccoon Control in SWFL: How to Identify and Remove Nuisance Raccoons from Your Property

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Raccoons are one of the top wildlife complaints in Southwest Florida, and we receive several calls each week about raccoon removal. While they tend to roam in the nighttime outside of homes, you may be one of the unlucky ones to eventually have raccoons get into your home.

Here, we’ll dig into more about raccoons and how to safely remove them from your home.

How to Identify Raccoons

Most people have seen a raccoon or have an idea of what one looks like. But like bugs or other animals, there are multiple species of raccoons, and a handful of breeds you could find in your house. Common physical characteristics you will see with a raccoon are:

  • Grizzled-gray fur with a bushy tail that features dark rings
  • Around 2-3 feet long, weighing 10-30 pounds (for a full-grown adult)
  • Distinctive black area around the eyes

Raccoons eat both plants and animals. They are not picky eaters, which is why you can often find them raiding your trash cans for food. They do not hibernate but tend to be less active in the winter.  They can be found throughout most of the US and are very common in Southwest Florida. They can run up to 15 miles per hour and also swim.

Signs of A Raccoon in Your Home

Now you know how to identify a raccoon if you see one, but there are signs of a raccoon in your home beyond seeing one. As previously mentioned, raccoons are more active at night, so you may hear distinctive vocal sounds at night like growling, chirping, and whining in the evening hours. Raccoons often hide in the attic, so you may hear thumping and scurrying noises. You can also look for their tracks, droppings, and entry holes as signs a raccoon is in your home.

Risks of Raccoons in Your Home

Having an adult raccoon take up residence in your home can be very dangerous. There are some serious illnesses that can be transmitted by raccoons, the most common being a lethal strain of rabies.

They can also carry infected fleas, ticks, and lice. Raccoon droppings can also carry a roundworm egg called Baylisacaris procyonis. If a child makes contact with the raccoon feces, the larvae can transfer a dangerous illness to children and cause blindness or even death.

Although raccoons can appear to be bold or aggressive, they are usually more scared of you than you are of them, and they are rarely known to chase or attack humans.

However, the risk of disease to you or your family is a large risk, not to mention the damage they can do to your property when they take up residence in your home.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons

If all signs point to yes for you having raccoons in your home, you should act fast to get raccoons removed from your property.

Live trapping and relocation are the best ways to safely and humanely remove raccoons from your property. This is not something that you should try to handle on your own. Working with a professional wildlife removal company that is licensed and highly trained in how to capture and remove wild animals from your home will ensure you get the best service possible.

A professional wildlife company will also ensure that any entry holes are closed, and that your home is decontaminated from any mess the animal leaves behind.

Work with A Professional Wildlife Removal Company in Southwest Florida

If you’re located in Southwest Florida and are looking for a professional wildlife removal company to help you with raccoon control, Alford Wildlife can help!

Based in Fort Myers, we provide professional wildlife removal and relocation, exclusion, and decontamination services from Collier to Hillsborough Counties. We also provide full-service pest control so we can handle all your nuisance wildlife and pest management needs.

To get started, contact us online or call us at (239) 491-7592 today!

Hear Animals in The Attic? Here’s What to Do

Friday, December 27th, 2019

As a professional wildlife removal company, one of the common things we hear from our clients when they call is “I have an animal in my attic.”

If you live in a home with an attic, it’s an area where nuisance wildlife can frequently enter and nest in. Although they might not spend a lot of time up there, an animal’s presence can cause some long term damage to your home and be a frightening thing to deal with as a homeowner.

Keep reading to find out the types of animals in your attic, risks of animals in your attic, signs of animals in your attic, and what to do if you find animals in your attic.

What Kinds of Animals Live in The Attic?

Depending on where you are geographically, there are quite a few different creatures that could be taking up residence in your attic. Here are some of the most common animals we find that need to be removed from attics in Southwest Florida:

  • Rodents or Rats – Roof rats, also known as palm rats, often nest in Florida homes.
  • Squirrels – if you are hearing scampering noises during the day, a squirrel has probably gotten access to your attic.
  • Raccoons – Racoons are capable of ripping shingles and soffit off and ripping holes in weak areas of a building. If they can loosen a shingle or create an opening in the roof, they can enter your attic and stay.

Risk of Animals in Your Attic

We all know having an unwanted animal in your attic is probably not a good thing. But what are the specific dangers associated with having an animal in the attic?

  • Long term damage – most animals are going to gnaw and claw at the walls and floors of your attic, which can cause damage to the insulation, ductwork, wires, and sheetrock in the attic. They also will release excrement, which will cause a foul smell and can also cause damage to wood and sheetrock when left to fester in the attic, especially in the Southwest Florida heat.
  • Disease – Animals living in the attic can carry disease to you, your family, or your pets. Many common animals that are found in the attic can carry mites, ticks, and fleas that can spread throughout your home. The urine and feces that they leave behind can also cause disease if someone in your home comes in contact with it. Dust spread throughout your home can become contaminated with diseases caused by the creatures in your attic, which can cause disease as well.
  • Disturbance – An obvious danger you will encounter from having an animal in your home is the disturbance caused by them. Activities the animals will engage in – from feeding, mating, to normal communication – will cause unwanted noise that can be alarming to your family. Because many animals are nocturnal, they can often disturb sleep.

Signs of Animals in Your Attic

As previously mentioned, the noises you will hear are usually an early indicator of animals in the attic. There are a few specific noises to look for, and they might indicate which animal you are dealing with.

  • Gnawing or squeaking, especially at night, will often be from rats who are nocturnal.
  • Scampering or scurrying noises are typically from squirrels or rodents.
  • Purrs, whimpers, snarls, growls, hissing or screaming noises are most likely from raccoons.

There are a few other signs that will signal you that there is nuisance wildlife in your attic:

  • Animal droppings or urine
  • Nests made of paper, leaves or twigs
  • Disturbed insulation
  • Ducts ripped apart
  • Animal tracks left in dust
  • Entry holes on the exterior of your home

If you find any of these signs in or around your attic, especially combined with hearing noises, that’s a clear sign that there is an unwanted critter living in your attic.

Get Professional Wildlife Removal Service for Animals in Your Attic

Because each of the common animals you find in your attic are all different, there are different ways to handle them.

Rats are often best to remove with lethal traps and exclusion work, while squirrels are often easier removed with live traps or a one-way exclusion door. There are DIY ways to remove animals from your attic, but since each situation will be different and for the best results, we recommend working with a professional wildlife removal company.

Alford Wildlife is a licensed wildlife removal company in Southwest Florida that has expertise in a variety of areas including animal removal, animal relocation, animal exclusion, decontamination, insulation, and population management.

If you have nuisance animals in your attic, we can remove it safely and make sure that they won’t come back. For help with removing animals from your attic, or any other nuisance wildlife or pest control needs, contact Alford Wildlife online or call us at (239) 491-7592 today!

 

How to Identify & Prevent Common Lawn Pests in Southwest Florida

Monday, December 9th, 2019

If you are a homeowner in Southwest Florida, having a healthy and well-tended lawn is probably very important to you. With the hot and humid weather in Florida, there are many outdoor pests that take up residence in your lawn. Here are some common lawn pests you might find in your yard in Southwest Florida.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are small bugs between 1/10 – 1/8 inches long, with black bodies and white, shiny wings that fold on their back. They are active all year long. Although they are not harmful to humans, they are piercing, sucking insects that suck the juice out of grass while injecting a toxin that kills grass. They tend to attack sunny areas of lawns and dwell in the thatch layer or in the crowns of individual grass plants.

Grubs

Grubs are the larval forms of beetles – they can be between ¼ of an inch to 2 inches long and are creamy white and C-shaped with six legs. The larvae hatch in May and June, but they are year long pests. They damage lawns by feeding on the roots of turf grass. You can identify a grub infestation by seeing thin, yellow patches, scatter brown patches, or soft spongey areas of grass where the root damage has occurred.

Fall Army Worms

Fall army worms are a type of moth caterpillar. They are 1 to 2 includes long about the width of a pencil. They are light tan to shades of grey or green in color, with a head that is usually shiny black or brown, with a prominent yellow or white inverted “Y” marketing their front. Their body has stripes and black mole-like structures. They can typically be found in spring to fall, mostly around June through September. The worms typically lay their eggs on the underside of leaves, and then as the larvae hatches, they feed on the plants and grass close by. They are swift movers and can destroy shrubs and large patches of grass overnight.

Sod Web Worms

Sod web worms are another type of moth caterpillar. They are about ¾ inches long and vary in color from pinkish-white to yellowish brow. They have a dark brown or blac khead and are covered in fine hair. They are most active in spring and fall months. They typically rest in shrubbery during daylight hours and fly over grass in evenings, laying eggs over the lawn. You can spot an infestation by looking for brown spots and chewed grass blades. Like fall army worms, large areas of grass can be damaged severely in just a few days.

Fire Ants

Living in Southwest Florida, you are probably familiar with fire ants. Fire ants can be found in colonies that contain small bugs around 1/8 to ¼ of an inch in length that is brown or red in color. You will first recognize a dome-shaped mound they create on the ground, and you can see large swarms of ants moving together. Fire ants now only pose a significant threat to your lawn but pose a threat to people and pets with their venomous stings that can cause painful reactions.

Tips to Prevent Lawn Pests in Southwest Florida

No matter what you do to prevent bugs, it’s not always foolproof. That being said, here are a few tips that you can do to help your lawn flourish. First off, use a grass species that is known to grow well in your area, and do not trim the grass too short which promotes thatch to build up where many bugs like to dwell. Also, water the grass deeply, but infrequently.

Even if you take the best care of your lawn possible, you are still at risk of a pest infestation. If you are finding any of these pests in your lawn, they can do a lot of damage that is expensive to repair. If you are experiencing a lawn pest infestation it may be time to get professional pest control services.

Alford Wildlife is a professional pest management company that is licensed and has experience in a variety of areas including preventative pest control, pest removal, and pest extermination services. Contact us today at (239) 491-7592 to learn more!

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