Critter Control of SW Illinois

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What Are the Major Wildlife Removal Concerns in East St. Louis and Southwest Illinois?

In Missouri, nuisance wildlife is a native animal that causes damage to your property or threatens your health in any way. There are non-native problem animals too, but they are considered invasive species. Nuisance wildlife may be squirrels, birds, bats, raccoons, snakes, rats, mice, skunks, armadillos, and other animals you typically find in forested habitats.

Due to deforestation for development purposes, and climate changes, wildlife is forced into East St. Louis neighborhoods in search of food, water, and shelter. If they find it on your property, you can expect damage. Getting rid of nuisance wildlife is more challenging than you may think. Some require permits and licenses; others are protected by law and cannot be removed except during specific dates.

Below are examples of common nuisance wildlife problems in East St. Louis. If you have issues with any wildlife, contact a wildlife control expert for help.

Critter Control Wildlife Removal Process

Critter Control is here for you every step of the way in the wildlife removal process. From inspection to removal—and even exclusion and repair—we have the services you need to get rid of raccoons, rodents, and other nuisances fast. First, we identify the animal on the property, then use humane methods to remove the animal and secure weak points where more could enter. If damage has been done, we can make those repairs for a complete restoration. Contact a Critter Control office near you today.


Wildlife Inspection

During the inspection we try to ascertain how many animals there are, where they are located, and how they got in. Based on what you have seen, heard and smelled, we start the inspection where you have noticed signs of animal activity. Evidence of animals inside your home include nests, dens, feces, and animal tracks. We investigate the exterior of your home looking for possible entry points, any evidence of animal damage, tracks, fur, animal waste, or rub marks.



We use several methods to humanely remove the animal from your home. Depending on the species, the number of animals, and the condition of your property, we develop a custom wildlife removal plan. Humane wildlife removal strategies include animal traps, one-way doors, and repellents. Once we guarantee all animals are gone, we implement exclusion techniques. Exclusion techniques provide a safe, long-term solution to nuisance wildlife in your home. We create barriers to prevent animals from getting to resources. We only apply exclusions once we are sure all animals are gone from your home.


Exclusion and Repair

Wildlife will damage your home. Exclusion techniques repair any damage the animal causes getting into your home. Inside your home, animals build nests and dens out of readily available material. They will create runs through the insulation. Rodents will gnaw on anything including electrical wires and pipes. Animals can also spread diseases. We apply sanitation agents to clean up feces and urine. Mammals can host pests like fleas, ticks, and mites. Ectoparasite treatments exterminate those pests so you don’t become their next host.

Raccoon Removal

Raccoons in East St. Louis and Southwest Illinois weigh between 6 and 25 pounds. They have black stripes on their tails and a mask across their eyes. Raccoons are nocturnal and can adapt to urban and rural lifestyles. They are omnivores, and whatever they can scavenge, they will consume. Foods they find to eat in a neighborhood include pet feed, birdseed, table scraps, bugs, nuts, garden crops, bird eggs, pond fish, and much more.

These critters have human-like hands; if you see a track in the mud, you may mistake it for a hand. Their hands make them excellent climbers and diggers, which can be damaging to your trees and lawn. They can turn doorknobs and open trash cans with ease. If they enter your attic or chimney, they will pull out insulation, scratch drywall, chew on wires, and break things.

Raccoons tend to create one spot as their bathroom area, called a latrine. Feces and urine can pile up quickly in this chosen spot, sending foul odors through your vents. Feces can grow mold spores that can harm humans if inhaled.

In Missouri, raccoons are classified as furbearers. Catching them requires a hunting and trapping license. While you can get rid of nuisance raccoons anytime, it is best to call a professional for help. They have safe and humane traps and safety equipment and understand the local laws and codes regarding animal testing for diseases.

More importantly, experts know how to handle raccoons during mating and maternity seasons, which can begin in February and end during summer. A mother must stay with her babies during removal. Experts also know which exclusions will work for your property. They may help you remove food and water sources, seal openings in your home, apply sanitization to latrine areas, and choose secure storage for feed and trash. When necessary, they can install tree and roof barriers.



During the inspection, we determine the severity of the raccoon infestation. We look for physical evidence like footprints in or around the home, stains from raccoon feces and urine. On the exterior of the house, we look for damage like scratches on boards, broken vents and screens, ripped apart shingles, destroyed soffits, and every possible entry point.

Trapping and Removal

Raccoon Trapping

Live trapping is one of the most efficient ways to get rid of a raccoon. Depending on the situation, a one-way door or excluder valve can be installed. An excluder valve works by allowing the raccoon to leave but blocks its reentry. The choice of device is largely dependent on the season and location of the raccoons on your property. Direct capture is not commonly used because raccoons are a rabies vector species. If we must trap, we place traps strategically to safely catch the raccoons and we check traps frequently, based on state laws.



We provide a wide range of repair and restoration services. We can repair raccoon damage like broken screens on vents and chimneys and broken boards on decks and porches. It is essential to apply cleaning agents and ectoparasite treatments on areas inhabited by raccoons.

Rat and Mice Pest Control

Myomorpha is the species name for rats and mice. From that species, the house mouse and the Norway rat are the rodents living in your East St. Louis home or property, stealing birdseed from outdoor feeders or contaminating your groceries in your kitchen.

In 2022, St. Louis is ranked no. 30 on the “America’s 50 Most Rat-Infested Cities, Ranked” list. The reasons? It’s a river town, and as the Mississippi River rises, it forces rodents into other city areas. Also, the area’s many restaurants attract rats and mice. The closer they get to residential areas, the more likely they will find their way into your home.

Mice enter homes through cracks and holes, which only have to be the size of a dime for mice and a quarter for rats. You will know you have a rat or mouse problem when you spot trails of urine and feces. The trails usually run from their nest to a food source, including boxed pantry items, food in plastic storage bags, or crumbs left on the counter. Rodents contaminate 10 times more human and pet food than they consume.

One report claims that in 24 hours, mice can urinate thousands of times and produce 75 or more droppings. Even more frightening is that a female house mouse can give birth every three weeks, and up to 12 mice in each litter. That’s 150 offspring in one year. This is one of the reasons the rat and mouse population is increasing in East St. Louis and Southwest Illinois.
Rodents chew on anything, including mesh screens, wood, fiberglass, plastic, drywall, fabric, siding, and shingles. Gnawing on electrical wires makes your home a fire hazard.

You may occasionally see a rat or mouse when you enter a quiet, dark room and turn on the lights. They will scurry quickly to safety. If you see one rodent, many others are nearby, so hiring a pest management expert is best to eliminate the problem. They know the specific traps and baits to use, they can locate nests, make minor repairs to damaged wires and other materials, and apply sanitization to urine and feces trails. They can also seal all holes and cracks to prevent future rodents from entering your home.



During a rodent inspection, we thoroughly inspect your attic and provide a complete exterior home inspection. The most common signs of rodent activity are gnaw marks, feces, rub marks, nesting material, runs in insulation material, and small entry points.

Trapping and Removal

Rodent Trapping

A Critter Control wildlife specialist will create a strategic trapping plan to remove the rodents found in your home. Critter Control specialists may use snap traps and live traps to capture and remove mice and rats. Rodent trapping can usually takes between five to fourteen days.



The best way to reduce the possibility of letting unwanted rodents into homes is to seal possible entrances. Exclusion methods include caulking cracks in foundations, capping chimneys, and installing mesh covers over vents and crawl space entrances. We also strongly recommend a maintenance service. Rodents have front teeth that continuously grow, which means they can gnaw a new way back into your home.

Squirrel Removal

In East St. Louis neighborhoods, you likely encounter squirrels daily. The ones you see most are the Eastern gray and the Eastern fox squirrels. The gray squirrels are smaller than the fox squirrels. They have white bellies and gray on the sides. Fox squirrels have reddish-yellow coloring.

Squirrels can build a nest in just a few hours. If they make a nest in your gutters, HVAC ducts, or chimneys, your home becomes susceptible to fire and water damage. Other damages from a squirrel include chewed siding, gnawed wires, shredded insulation, scratched drywall, broken shingles, holes in the lawn, stolen garden crops, and stripped bark from trees.

Damages happen when squirrels are scavenging for food, water, and shelter. They have a broad list of foods they will eat, such as nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables, bird eggs, field corn, and tree bark. They raid bird feeders and pet feed, too.

Squirrels play a significant role in the ecosystem by redistributing seeds and nuts across the area. Their constant collecting and gathering make them excellent treasure hunters and prepare them for cold winters.

To get rid of nuisance squirrels, know that maternity season is in the winter with a 45-day gestation period when up to eight babies can be born. It takes about six weeks or longer for newborns to become independent. Wildlife control experts know the importance of keeping the family together if removal must happen during this time.

In Missouri, squirrels are listed as game animals because they are fur-bearing. Hunting and trapping them can only be done in certain seasons and with a license. Nuisance squirrels can be managed anytime in the year, but you must follow the rules, like the size and type of traps and snares and where you can put them.

Wildlife experts have multiple tools to get rid of nuisance squirrels, such as fumigants, repellents, traps, and exclusion methods. Examples of exclusions include sealing all possible entrances into your home, installing fencing around gardens, putting tree and roof barriers, and removing food resources when possible. When not possible, better storage for food is an option. You don’t have to give up birdfeeders and can, instead, equip them with a squirrel barrier.



Wildlife specialists look for signs such as chewing on, in, or around your home, small openings leading to the attic or the crawl space, droppings, and debris like nuts or nesting material. Beams, wires, pipes, and insulation may all show signs of damage from squirrels.

Trapping and Removal

Squirrel Trapping

Live trapping or one-way doors are the most effective and humane ways to get rid of squirrels. One-way doors should never be used during birthing seasons (Spring & Fall), so our specialists will decide which is the best tool for the job. If we have to trap, we place traps strategically to safely catch the squirrels and check those according to state laws.



We can restore your home or office by squirrel proofing all entry points after we have removed the offenders. We can also clean-up the nesting sites and remove any debris, food, feces and soiled insulation.

Bat Removal

Fifteen bat species exist in Missouri, each extremely valuable to the ecosystem. They are so valuable that they are protected at the state and federal levels. Some species are threatened with extinction due to diseases like the white-nosed syndrome, new wind turbines, habitat destruction, and climate change.

The same threats are why more bats roost in your attic, barn, shed, or other structure. They are nocturnal, so you may not see them, but if you have a good source of insects, they are likely nearby. Bats are amazing in the way they help our planet. They can eat between 600 and 1,000 insects every hour. Without bats, we would be overwhelmed with bugs.

Bats are also beneficial for pollination. There are over 500 plants that rely on bats for pollination.The biggest problem with bats is their guano and the damage it can cause. Guano or feces is thick and heavy and can grow mold spores. It contains acids that corrode wood and metal and leaves permanent stains.

Getting rid of bats requires expertise from wildlife control technicians who understand the regulations regarding when it is legal to eliminate them. Currently, it is against the law to remove or try to get bats to leave a structure during the maternity season, usually from early summer to late fall. The babies must be able to fly out of the structure independently at the time of removal.

When you hire an expert, you also get help removing guano and applying sanitization to the area, sealing all access points, and helping you manage the food resources attracting bats to your place. Examples include outdoor pole lights, manure piles, stagnant water, and open trash cans. They also know where to take bats locally for disease testing.


We perform a full interior and exterior inspection and search for signs such as rub marks, guano, a strong scent of ammonia, and small openings. The most common sign is the accumulation of guano (feces).

Trapping and Removal

Bat Removal

The most effective and humane way to remove bats is by utilizing a bat valve in conjunction with a full home exclusion. A bat valve allows for bats to exit your home but not re-enter. We follow all local ordinances for humane bat removal. We will never abandon flightless pups in your attic.



After removing the bat valves, we seal the entrance hole(s) so bats can no longer enter your home. If there is substantial guano in your attic, you should consider taking advantage of our attic remediation services to remove the soiled insulation and replace it.

Skunk Control

The striped skunk is the most common in East St. Louis. The skunk is like a raccoon in many ways. It is omnivorous and will eat just about anything, and they are considered fur-bearing game animals in Missouri. You can only hunt and trap them during certain seasons. While raccoons make nests in your attic, a skunk is more likely to be found in a crawlspace or basement.

Considered a slow-moving animal, a skunk can run up to 10 mph when necessary. They have terrible eyesight, however, and can only see about 10 feet in front of them. That doesn’t stop them from digging holes in your lawn, stealing fish from your pond, or raiding trash cans for leftovers. When a skunk feels threatened, it can release a spray with musk, which has a foul odor.

Skunks will typically move off your property after a week or two, but if one decides to stay, you should call a wildlife expert for help. They know how to eliminate a skunk without being sprayed with musk, using safe and humane traps when necessary. An expert can also help you prevent future skunk visits by sealing entry points to your home, removing food sources from your property, and adequately fencing garden crops.



In addition to noting any pungent odors that signal the presence of a skunk, we will inspect the condition of your landscaping, as skunks are known for tearing-up lawns and shredding grass while hunting for grubs and insects. We will also inspect the perimeter of your building’s foundations and under decks, to locate burrows.

Trapping and Removal

Trapping and Removal

Never try to remove a skunk from your property yourself. Getting sprayed is a very unpleasant experience. Furthermore, these animals may carry diseases that can spread to humans and pets, such as rabies. Our specialists will use live traps to capture and remove skunks for you, or they’ll use a one-way exclusion device to evict skunks from their harborage areas. The most effective ways to control a skunk problem is exclusion and habitat modification.


Skunk Control

The most effective ways to control a skunk problem is exclusion and habitat modification. Methods like sealing foundation gaps, replacing and screening broken foundation vents and installing hardware cloth (rat walls) around unprotected sheds and decks are the most effective and permanent ways to keep skunks out.
We recommend keeping pet food inside and securing any trash bins.

Bird Control

Throughout East St. Louis, you can see bird nests in mailboxes, eaves, gutters, and door wreaths. It’s the nests you can’t see that can damage your property. For example, nests in dryer vents, HVAC vents, chimneys, and even vehicles.

Too many birds on your property can become a problem. They feed in large flocks, destroying garden or field crops. Their droppings contain corrosive acids and bacteria that can be harmful to humans. Depending on the bird species, they can become aggressive when they feel threatened. Other damage may include sagging wires, broken tree branches, and broken shingles or siding.

Birds like woodpeckers will drill holes in your home’s structure and surrounding trees, causing costly repairs. If a migratory bird joins the group and has diseases, it can pass them on to other birds, spreading the disease to native species. In bird droppings alone, more than 60 diseases can be carried and transmitted. Birds can carry ticks, lice, mites, and other parasites that can harm humans.

Because trapping and releasing a bird will not rid them of your property, call a wildlife expert to help eliminate your problem. They can use fumigants, repellents, netting, and barriers to prevent birds from roosting. The pros can help you seal eaves and entry points to your home, protect your garden, and apply sanitization to all areas with bird droppings.



We thoroughly inspect the area for things that attract birds, like harborage and loafing areas, as well as food and water sources. Also, we look for where birds may be entering your home or business. We also inspect for damage caused by birds, whether it’s by nesting, or by droppings.

Trapping and Removal

Trapping & Removal

After identifying the bird species, we may start by physically removing the species in question. In rescue situations, such as chimneys or basements, birds can be released on-site if the entrance has been secured properly. Occasionally, live traps will be used, especially if flocks of birds are involved. For persistent birds and larger flocks, several advanced techniques may be applied simultaneously including netting, spikes, ledge products, scare tactics, misting and more. The most effective method of bird control is prevention and exclusion.


Repairs & Prevention

We can repair the damage that is allowing birds entry to your home, like broken siding, weakened gutters, rotted soffits and fascia. We can also install protective screens on chimneys and vents. We can also remove nesting materials and accumulated droppings, then clean surface stains. We can use netting over fruit and vegetable crops and water basins. Netting can also be used in car ports, building overhangs and food courts. We also install a large number of different types of roof ledge barriers too.

How Professional Wildlife Control Services Can Help You

Aside from the advantages of hiring a professional wildlife control expert mentioned above, you can also expect them to have the following:

  • Licensure and protective insurance coverage
  • Extensive training and certification
  • Safety protocols for you, them, and the animal
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal wildlife laws

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The Critter Control Difference

Trained Specialists Animal removal is a highly sophisticated job. As such, we vet and train our team members to ensure they have the knowledge and skill to remove any pest from your building. Our wildlife experts utilize advanced removal and exclusion techniques and damage repair.
Guaranteed Work Your satisfaction is always guaranteed. Critter Control® takes great pride in providing quality workmanship resulting in customer satisfaction.
Residential and Commerical Invading nuisance wildlife can wreak havoc on property. If left unattended wildlife and pests can cause costly property damage. Whether a residential property, apartment buildings, retail stores, office buildings, industrial plants, medical facilities, or warehouses, our trained professionals can handle any wildlife removal problem.