Both natural and man-made conditions contribute to the nuisance animal problems in Terre Haute, Indiana. First, its proximity to the Wabash River provides many animals with easy access to the water they need for survival.
Next, Terre Haute experiences cold, snowy winters, which create an environment where animals seek out the warmth of homes and businesses for shelter and, in many cases, birthing their young in comfort.
Lastly, Terre Haute has two large federal highways intersecting the city. U.S. Highway 40 and U.S. Highway 41 not only gave Terre Haute its designation as the Crossroads of America
, but this intersection also created a man-made structure that cuts animals off from their natural habitats and ranges. When animals lose their habitats, they have no choice but to seek out suburban and urban areas where they can survive.
With habitat loss and fragmentation, many wild animals gravitate to areas where people live as they seek out the relative safety of homes with easy access to food and water. Here's a breakdown of some of the most common nuissance wildlife in the Terra Haute area.
Raccoons are a common problem for Lafayette property owners, as these critters have become used to living amongst people and raiding the trash cans of residents and businesses. Once they find a secure source of food and water, it’s only a matter of time before they pick out a nearby attic or chimney to make a den and have their kits. Unfortunately, they cause a lot of damage to homes and are also host to diseases and parasites.
Raccoons can tear a large hole in a roof to gain entry and create a lot of noise thumping around. Critter Control can quickly recognize the unique footprints and feces of raccoons, and we can help you with raccoon removal before too much damage has been done.
Rat and Mice Pest Control
Rats and mice are two of the most abundant mammals on Earth. Thoroughly used to living amongst people, they’ve also become some of the most dreaded pests to have in one’s home or office.
The most common of these rodents to make your home theirs are the house mouse, the Norway rat and the roof rat. Once inside your house, these creatures will contaminate the food in your pantry, leave their feces and urine along their travel paths and on countertops, and create oily smudges along walls.
These creatures will also gnaw through walls and wires, creating a fire hazard. Just a few of them will quickly turn into an infestation due to their prolific reproduction. They can breed up to 12 times per year, having around five to six babies at a time. To be certain you’ve rid your home or office of all of them, it’s best to call Critter Control.
There is no shortage of squirrels in Lafayette. Purdue University loves its squirrels so much that they’ve made a Facebook page and Twitter account for them. However, the more squirrels and humans interact, the more likely it is that they will move in with us.
When the weather turns cold, these rodents look for shelter in homes and businesses. While they seem cute scampering about the park, they turn less so when tearing up insulation and chewing through wires in your attic.
Unlike their nocturnal rodent cousins, squirrels are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. If you hear scampering about above your head in the morning, it’s most likely a squirrel.
The thirteen bat species that live in Indiana are all insect-eating mammals and are the only mammals capable of sustained flight. Bats in Terre Haute are attracted to attics and chimneys because they have all the elements of a proper roosting place: darkness, security and quiet.
Bats should not be handled by people. They can carry rabies and parasites, and their guano carries other diseases that can be transmitted to people and pets. Human contact can also harm the bats, which are important to the region’s ecosystem, especially during mosquito season.
Bats are federally protected and should not be harmed. Bats give birth each spring to a single pup that remains helpless through the spring and summer, then is weaned by fall. It is during this time that bats can be eliminated from an attic without harming the young. A wildlife specialist will know how to humanely rid a home or business of a roost of bats, making sure to wait until their pups are old enough to fly and hunt for insects on their own.
Opossums are fascinating animals, but not when they’re living on your property. As North America’s only marsupial, they carry their young in a belly pouch and then on the mother’s back until they can fend for themselves.
They are insect eaters, which should be good for humans, but they will also opportunistically rummage through your trash, compost or outdoor pet food. Opossums are good climbers that will sometimes enter an attic, but they mostly prefer a burrow underneath a porch or shed, or inside crawlspaces.
When an opossum is living nearby, you will notice a foul smell and hear hissing and scratching sounds. Critter Control recommends getting rid of an opossum quickly, as it can transmit disease and parasites to both humans and pets.
The striped skunk is found in every county in Indiana. These animals are known for foraging for food in trash bins and pet food bowls. They're also profound and efficient diggers, and can mutilate an entire yard in a single night searching for grubs. They're distinctive black and white fur, and their pungent odor that can linger for days, are unmistakeable. If you happen to cross paths with a skunk, do not try to scare it away. Please also remember that skunks can carry rabies
; therefore, it’s best to let a professional handle removal for you.