With over 30 years of experience, Critter Control is the nation's leading wildlife control company. At Critter Control of Gainevsille, we're skilled at dealing with many of Gainesville's most bothersome pest animals. Whether you need to remove raccoons, bats or squirrels from your attic, or get rid of armadillos that are damaging your property, you can trust Critter Control to get the job done safely, effectively and humanely.
Dedicated to animal pest control excellence, our staff of professionals at Critter Control includes biologists, zoologists, animal control officers, and anti-cruelty employees. Our highly qualified animal control teams can handle nearly any wildlife control issue in Central Florida, with the help of our unique accumulation of expert knowledge. From risky alligator removal to basic bird control, we conduct each job under the highest of humane animal-handling standards. Also serving Alachua, Ocala and Lake City.
Q&A with Local Branch Manager Micah Tolle.
What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in your area?
Rodents, raccoons, bats and squirrels.
How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in your area?
We're busy in the fall and winter months. Business dips in the heat of the summer months, June, July and August.
What are some common signs of nuisance wildlife activity?
Hearing noises in attics. Finding droppings, or hearing scratching noises in the home.
Any prevention tips for residents in your area?
Trim trees away from home and have a professional inspect your property for wildlife activiity.
When should homeowners call Critter Control?
When you first hear noises, see damage, notice droppings or smell odors in your home or business.
Common Gainesville Wildlife Problems
As one of the largest populated cities in north-central Florida, Gainesville is attractive to many pests. Critters like rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels and opossums are drawn to the food and shelter provided by manmade structures. They force their way inside through broken window screens and vents and then wreak havoc by spreading diseases, contaminating food, and letting their excrement accumulate. Armadillos also thrive in the city's sandy soil and destroy carefully cultivated landscapes. Furthermore, Gainesville deals with larger wildlife pests such as coyotes and alligators.
Species of Bats Found in Gainesville
While Florida is home to 13 species of bats, the most common ones in the Gainesville area are the Brazilian free-tailed, southeastern, and evening bats. The University of Florida, located in the city, has two of the world's largest occupied bat houses, where these animals routinely roost. While bats are sometimes thought of as nuisances, most of them are beneficial to have around, as they feed on various insect pests. Still, bats are known carriers of several diseases, including rabies.
Problems Caused by Bats
One common complaint associated with bats is their inclination to roost inside Gainesville homes. A single bat in the house is most likely lost or confused. However, the presence of more than one typically means that the pests are nesting somewhere in the attic or walls. Indoors, bats can quickly become a nuisance. Baby bats make squeaking noises when hungry, and colonies left alone for long periods of time will invariably create piles of feces, called guano. These droppings are perfect breeding grounds for the fungus that causes histoplasmosis, a dangerous respiratory illness.
Effective Bat Removal
Exclusion methods, such as sealing all entryways into homes, are usually only somewhat effective against bats long-term. In fact, depending on the time of year, screening or shutting gaps, cracks, and vents can actually trap young bats inside. When this happens, the pups try to find other ways out of homes, which may lead them into living areas. Trapped baby bats may also starve, creating foul-smelling carcasses that must be removed. To properly and safely control problem bats in Gainesville, contact the trained wildlife removal professionals at Critter Control.
Why Raccoons Are Drawn to Gainesville
Raccoons are highly adaptable, thriving in habitats from deserts to the tropics and everything in between. As a result, they have no problem living in the urban environment of Gainesville. Florida's mixture of agrarian and metropolitan areas creates a steady food supply that has fueled growing populations of the pests locally.
Entry into Homes and Yards
Raccoons can become overly familiar with properties and start living in attics and crawl spaces or under mobile homes and decks. They do this when an entry point has not been properly covered or maintained. Torn screens or soffits, open chimneys, or broken windows are common sources of infestations. It is difficult to make raccoons leave once they move in. Willing to viciously defend themselves and their young, the pests make it dangerous for residents to attempt removal.
Raccoons' presence is especially troublesome because they can carry diseases, like rabies and distemper, that are harmful to people and pets. They also have a bad habit of defecating in bothersome areas, including pools, to hide their presence from other animals in the vicinity. For these reasons, residents should consider calling the experts at Critter Control to remove raccoons in Gainesville homes or yards.
Eastern Gray Squirrels in Gainesville
While there are many squirrel species found in Florida, the eastern gray variety is the most common in Gainesville. These pests are typically gray or brown in color with white underbellies and bushy tails. They feed on nuts, fruit, insects, and tree bark, though they will gladly help themselves to bird feeders in yards as well. Though they naturally nest in the forks of trees, gray squirrels will retreat to attics when they can find an opening.
Damage Caused by Gray Squirrels
Aside from bothering homeowners with chattering, squeaking, and clawing in the walls, the pests may also breed indoors. Though litters only contain two to six young, they can cause immense damage to the structural integrity of homes. From gnawing on wires, drywall, and air ducts to ripping up insulation, gray squirrels are very destructive. In addition, their feces and other bodily fluids make the perfect breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, which can be hazardous to human health.
Prevention and Control
The best way to keep squirrels from entering homes is to seal all entryways and perform regular inspections, especially in attics. If the pests are detected, contact the trained wildlife professionals at Critter Control to safely remove gray squirrels in Gainesville homes and prevent future infestations.
Other Wildlife Issues in Gainesville