The most common wildlife you find in your Quad Cities backyard includes squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, skunks, snakes, opossums, bats, rats, and mice. Iowa and Illinois have specific nuisance wildlife laws. Both states define nuisance wildlife as an animal that causes damage to your home or property, causes an annoyance to your family, or poses a threat to the public.
Seeing wildlife in your backyard is more common today due to animals having fewer places in the wild to find food, water, and shelter. At Critter Control, we have dealt with every nuisance wildlife in the Quad Cities. Below are a few examples of our inspection, removal, and repair process that helps us get rid of nuisance wildlife for good.
Don’t be fooled by the raccoon’s cute black mask and bushy tail. Raccoons will move into any vacant space. Recently in Rock Island, they infested an empty house, causing trouble for the neighbors. A raccoon’s destruction starts with their dens, which they build under decks and porches or in attics and chimneys.
Raccoons have hands that are much like humans, a big help when searching for food. Their hands allow them to turn doorknobs, unlock latches, open trash cans, dig holes in the lawn, catch fish in the pond, steal crops, and climb everything from trees to roofs. They can go anywhere for a good meal.
Destruction can be immense and goes way beyond scattered trash. They eat small livestock, raid gardens, and break vents and screens to enter your home. Once inside, they shred insulation and drywall, scratch walls and beams, and leave piles of feces and urine near their living space. Critter Control has removed many raccoons in the Quad Cities.
The rats and mice you will find causing damage to your home and property in the Quad Cities area are the Norway rat and house mice. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is a long list of diseases carried by rats and mice.
Rats and mice cause damage inside the home by chewing on wires, wood flooring, or through walls and building nests out of insulation, carpet, and any other item they can find. Because they can chew through most materials and squeeze through holes smaller than a golf ball, rats and mice can do a lot of damage.
Rodents contaminate food and break roof shingles and screens covering chimneys and vents. Rats burrow holes under the ground, causing instability to foundations and driveways. Rats and mice reproduce multiple times a year and have an average of six young per litter. While there are no legal limits on controlling rodents, the nuisance wildlife experts can do things to ensure you don’t have a return infestation.
Squirrels in the Quad Cities area include the fox, red, Southern flying, and Eastern gray squirrels. They can be seen collecting items to store for winter all around your yard. Squirrels like to keep food and nesting materials in multiple locations, including trees and holes dug in your yard. Stored items can include nuts, seeds, fruit, bird eggs, and bark.
The Department of Natural Resources recommends hiring a wildlife control operator to remove squirrels in the Quad Cities area. One reason is that some squirrels require permitting before removal. Another reason is that some squirrels, like the red and flying squirrels, are protected and cannot be taken at any time.
Squirrels will also store items and build nests in eaves, soffit, chimneys, vents, and pipes. This activity can jeopardize your family’s safety.
Squirrels are fun to watch, like when raiding the bird feeder. To know if the squirrels are a nuisance, call one of our experts for an assessment.
You may not realize bats live on your property unless they are in your attic. Then there is no denying it. Their feces, or guano, has a strong odor and stains flooring and walls. The Quad City area is home to 13 or more bat species. However, only a couple can be found roosting in your attic, like the big and little brown bats.
Bats are beneficial to the environment, eating thousands of insects in one night. This is one reason all bats are protected by state and federal wildlife codes. Bats cannot be removed during the maternity and mating season, from May to August and from October to March. It’s during this time bats may roost in colonies.
Calling experts to assist in removal is the safest plan for you and the bats. Also, cleaning their guano can be hazardous. Mold spores grow on the guano, and if you inhale the spores, it could lead to respiratory problems like histoplasmosis. Also, guano contains uric acid, and the guano typically covers the bat’s fur. Let our experts handle the dirty work.
Opossums are nocturnal and lone animals. To stay safe and out of harsh weather, they will make their home in sheds, inside garbage cans, under woodpiles and decks, and even enter a garage or basement, especially if you have a doggie door. Opossums are generally harmless and do not cause structural damage. Unlike raccoons, they are not strong enough to create an openning to your house.
Opossums can be beneficial to have on your property. Their diet consists of insects, grubs, and ticks. Opossums can carry diseases such as tuberculosis, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, and Chagas disease. While they probably won't damage your house, they can destroy your garden looking for food.
Remember, if a opossum has entered your home, you have an entry point that raccoons, rats, squirrels, and bats could take advantage of.
The striped skunk roams the neighborhoods of the Quad Cities, searching for nuts, seeds, insects, unprotected gardens, and small rodents. This is another reason to get rid of your rat and mice problem. Skunks cause damage by digging holes in your yard, burrowing under buildings, and raiding garbage cans.
Skunks have a defensive spray that can leave you, your pets, and your home is smelling awful for weeks. If a skunk is living under your porch, in your basement, or a brush pile near your home, call an expert for removal.
Moles create large mounds of dirt when they top soil is dry. These animals burrow deep underground and kick the dirt to the top creating a large mound with no visible entry. Most people think that they have fifty to one hundred moles tearing up their yard due to the amount of damage they can do. But in most cases, it usually one or two moles that are responsible for the damage in most residential size yards.
Trapping and removing moles is the best way to eliminate the problem. Inexperienced person usually are not able to properly set or capture moles with traps since they need to be set and maintained very specifically. For this reason, it is best to call an experienced wildlife specialist.