Category Archive: Blog

Bird and Woodpecker Control

The sound of singing birds is a wonderful sign of springtime. However, it is also a sign that nesting birds may be looking for new locations to build homes and sources of food to feed their young. Unfortunately, your house may offer both of these things. Here is a look at some of the issues they cause and a few simple solutions to consider.

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Nesting
There are a few kinds of nests to watch for around your home. They can create a mess that is inconvenient to clean and may cause damage to your home. Most people are familiar with traditional nests built by robins and swallows. These nests typically appear on your eaves. Chimneys are a common choice of location for swifts. They like vertical surfaces and build a nest that can stick to walls and hang down like a purse.

Other birds are cavity nesters. They will find a hole in a tree cavity or cliffside and build a home. These birds may look for cavities in your home as well. Artificial stucco can be carved out by birds and is a common location for cavity nests.

Foraging
Foraging, or searching for food, can also cause problems for a homeowner. This is because the food of choice, wood-boring insects, must be extracted from your home by tearing apart the wood. This is especially true for woodpeckers. These birds are designed with beaks that can hammer into your siding and create large holes in search of insects. These birds can also be a nuisance in the spring when they like to tap on metal chimneys and gutters to attract females. This annoying serenade often takes place right at dawn.

Solutions
There are two main strategies to avoid bird problems– scare them away or prevent opportunity. Owl or hawk statues on a roofline may be enough to scare some birds, and are an inexpensive and common solution. Preventing opportunity is typically a better choice. This means having your home inspected for insects and repaired. Eaves can be sealed to prevent access, and siding should be inspected regularly to prevent cavities. A little maintenance can go a long way in keeping your neighborhood birds in the trees where they belong.

Squirrels in the Attic

While your children may be listening for the sound of hoofbeats from Santa’s reindeer this holiday season, there is another rooftop and attic sound that you probably don’t want to hear. Pesky squirrels, searching for a warm place to stay, will take up residence in warm, dry locations that offer shelter and ample food storage opportunity. Your attic is one popular choice. If the creatures coming from above don’t sound like they are from the North Pole, then it may be time to bring in reinforcements.

About Gray Squirrels
The Eastern Gray Squirrel is a tree-dwelling rodent who likes to spend their winters in high, dark locations like tree nests and cavities. Their typical winter nests are similar to an attic in many ways. They are dry, high in the air, and lined with mosses that are very similar to the consistency of fiberglass insulation. Their nest, called a drey, can be a permanent residence for these rodents. While some other rodents will only nest during breeding season, these squirrels may work out of their homes year-round. They will use these homes for nesting, breeding, and storing food. Gray squirrels are most active during the day. If you are at work and/or school during the day, you may miss most of their activity, which would give them time to set up an extensive nest before you discover their presence.

Determining Point of Entry
Squirrels are tree-dwellers by nature, so they are extremely agile when it comes to climbing wooden siding, navigating roof eaves and discovering any issues with jointery, siding gaps, or other breaches in home integrity. They may enter your home through a single point of entry or create several entrances and exits. They may live singly or in a small group. The best way to deal with a squirrel or squirrel family who have entered your home is to discover all of their points of entry. A wildlife removal company may use a camera or series of cameras to try and find these points. When combined with infrared technology, they can find warm bodies entering and exiting your home. They will also visually inspect your home to try and find areas that look like probable points of current and future entry.

Exclusion Removal
The most humane way to remove a squirrel family from your attic is with the use of excluder devices. These items will allow the squirrels to freely leave, but not to return. These will typically be placed on one or two of the main points of entry/exit, while the rest will be sealed to prevent re-entry via a different route. Once you can be relatively sure that all squirrels have been removed, then these devices can also be removed and the exits sealed. Your local squirrels are then allowed to find a home in your local trees, leaving your rooftop area free for Santa and his reindeer alone.

why rodents like attics in the winter

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As the days get dark and cold, many people spend more time inside their warm, cozy homes. Rodents also like to spend time in your home, specifically in your attic. Mice, rats, and squirrels are common culprits if you suddenly start hearing the pitter patter of little feet. Why attics? Because they mimic the dry wooden tree hollows where they would typically find shelter in nature. But they are even better. Here are five things that rodents may love about your attic:

1. They are Warm: In most cases, your attic is the warmest room in your house. Since heat rises, attics are typically full of hot air that has migrated from your heated rooms.

2. They are Dry: Unless your roof is leaking, they are much drier than the cold, rainy or snowy outdoors. In the wild, rodents will seek the hollow of a rotten tree or a small pocket beneath the roots. Dry areas are good for keeping bodies and nesting materials warm, and preventing rot for stored items.

3. There is Little Traffic: Attics are often unfurnished and left for storage purposes only. Because of this, it is a dark, quiet room where these creatures can be left alone. This means it feels safe from predators or people.

4. There May Be Access to Food: If your attic has access to the rest of the house through the walls, a stairwell, or some other method, then these rodents will see your attic as a hotel with a breakfast buffet included.

5. They Offer Food Storage Space: Attics have plenty of room for you to store items, and the rodents can see similar potential. In the fall, many rodents will start caching different seeds, nuts, and other foods. This is so that they are available to eat in the winter when most of their food options are either gone or hiding under snow. Attics are a place where they are safe, warm, and dry. They are not likely to sprout or rot, which makes it a long-lasting food source.

If you hear rodents or see droppings or chewed items, the best thing to do is take action quickly. While traps and poisons may kill the current inhabitants, it won’t keep the problem from happening again. Instead, you need to figure out where they are entering your attic and make sure that all these points are sealed.

Companies for wildlife removal services have multiple technologies to find the points of entrance and exit for rodents. They can place devices over these holes called excluders that allow animals to leave but not return. Once all of the rodents have left, then entrances are sealed. This is an especially popular option when people find squirrels in their attic, because it gently and humanely redirects them to find a new home in a nearby tree instead.

Woodpeckers Come Knocking

woodpecker comes knowing
When the Woodpeckers Come Knocking, Find Out What They Want 

The sound of birds in the morning can be one of the most pleasant things to wake up to unless, of course, the birds are busy performing a drum solo on your house. While woodpeckers are fun feeder birds to watch, it’s much better when they are only visiting your home for the feeders. If you are having a problem with woodpeckers drumming on your home, then you need to first understand why and then solve the problem from there.

Woodpeckers will knock on the house for one of three reasons, each of which comes with its own unique solution:

1. They’re Hungry: Woodpeckers feed on wood-boring insects. They listen to hear them chewing and moving through trees or wooden structures. When they find one, woodpeckers will then peck holes in the wood to fetch the food. If that insect is in your siding or the frame of your home, then it can do a lot of damage. However, the wood-boring insects are also doing some damage. Take away the food supply by contacting a pest removal company, and your woodpecker problems will stop too.

2. They’re Nesting: Woodpeckers are cavity nesters. They look for holes in trees, banks and cliffs to lay eggs. Often, they will work to create or expand existing holes, and may try a series of them before finding the right one. This happens in both wood and stucco homes. Denying access by putting a board or mesh overlay across the areas can deter them if they haven’t laid eggs yet.

3. They’re Mating: The loudest of all the drumming typically comes when woodpeckers are mating and want to attract attention. This is when you will hear them rapping on metal stovepipes, gutters and drainpipes to get the loudest sounds. If this is the case, you can sometimes scare or harass them away with things like owl or hawk statues. Sometimes they must be relocated, however, and this requires a permit in accordance with the migratory bird act, which protects non-game wild birds at all times. Your local wildlife removal company can assist you in deterring or relocating your woodpeckers legally and humanely.