Critter Control of Springfield

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Keep them out.®
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Serving the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires

(413) 262-0138

Springfield is the third largest city in Massachusetts, located on the eastern side of the Connecticut River. It is also known as the fourth “greenest” city in the United States due to the 25 urban parks, 2,400 acres of parkland, clean water, and recycling efforts. Springfield is an ideal location for wildlife. However, significant stressors affect Springfield, forcing wildlife out of their natural habitats and into the city’s 17 neighborhoods.

Stressors include climate changes that affect all four seasons in Massachusetts. The arrival and departure of each season seem to be shifting, starting a domino effect of other stressors. Temperature changes, storms, floods, drought, and changing sea levels can lead to wildlife habitat loss, invasive species, pests, and diseases.

Also, Springfield has an abundance of new residential and commercial businesses. This means forests were developed, along with roads and dams. With each forested area removed, the wildlife living there must find a new source of food, water, and shelter. They often find these in your neighborhood, on your property.

The wildlife adapting to urban living in Springfield includes raccoons, squirrels, bats, rats, mice, snakes, skunks, opossums, groundhogs, beavers, ducks, frogs, deer, etc. Each can quickly become a nuisance. Massachusetts defines nuisance wildlife as those causing damage to any part of your property, posing a threat to the public, or causing an annoyance in the neighborhood.

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife recommends contacting a wildlife control agent if you have problems with nuisance wildlife. They provide a link to local agents on their website. Below are examples of Springfield nuisance wildlife.

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.

STEP 1

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.
STEP 2

Removal

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.
STEP 3

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

Even though you don’t have too many sightings of raccoons in Springfield, they live here in large numbers. They have been making the news more in the last few years, especially when a raccoon tests positive for rabies, like the one found in Easthampton. A rabid raccoon poses a big threat to the public, but it is not the only way it can be a nuisance.

Raccoons often enter homes looking for a warm place to make a den and possibly give birth to their litter. Raccoons will enter attics, chimneys, basements, and crawlspaces. Once inside your home, they will destroy insulation, drywall, wood beams, electrical wiring, and ductwork. Their fur is covered in filth, leaving a smudge mark on whatever it touches.

Raccoons create latrines or toilets near their nests where they drop feces and urine. Raccoon scat is larger than most small animals and can grow into a large pile in a short time. The feces can produce mold spores and emits a terrible odor, which may be relative to the foods they eat. They are omnivorous, meaning they will eat just about anything.

Raccoons upset trash cans for table scraps, dumpster dive behind restaurants, dig holes in lawns for insects, snatch fish from ponds, steal garden crops, and raid pet feed dishes.

Removing raccoons should be done by a wildlife professional who understands Massachusetts laws regarding trapping seasons, fur-bearing animals, and where to take the animal for disease testing if required.

Inspection

Inspection

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 & Removal

Trapping & Removal

Live trapping, or one-way doors are the most effective and humane way to remove raccoons. 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.
Repairs

Repairs

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.

Bat Removal

Bats living in Springfield attics, sheds, and barns throughout the year are the big brown bats. Other local bats, like the little brown, hoary, Indiana, tricolored, and silver-haired, spend most of their time in forests and caves.

Bats are amazing and much needed for balancing our ecosystems. Bats can eat thousands of insects in one night, and they pollinate over 300 species of fruits and vegetables. The plants that need bats for survival are known ingredients in over 80 medicines. Unfortunately, some bat species are threatened by diseases like white-nose syndrome. This is one reason all bats are classified as protected species in Massachusetts.

Endangered or threatened bat species make getting rid of them challenging, so you should hire an expert. You do not want to be fined or legally punished for trying to remove a bat. Also, you don’t want to risk being bitten or encountering feces covering their fur.

It is bat feces that causes the biggest nuisance to Springfield residents. As bats roost, they drop feces and urine below them. It drips over their fur before piling up on the ground. Guano consists of uric acid, which can erode metals and wood. It can also cause stain damage to walls and ceilings. If you have a bat colony roosting in your attic, the weight of the guano can put stress on your home’s beams and joints.

In addition, guano can grow mold with spores that float through the air. If it gets into your vents or travels through your home, you risk inhaling it. There have been reports of people acquiring histoplasmosis and other respiratory difficulties.

In Massachusetts, bats cannot be removed from any property during the maternity season. The month of May and between August 1st and mid-October are the allowed times because they do not interfere with a bat’s maternity season. Newborn bats must be able to fly out of the roost safely. This is one more reason to call a professional for help.

Inspection

Inspection

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).

Bat 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.
Repairs

Repairs

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.

Rodent Removal

The rat and mouse population in Springfield is alarming. The house mouse, brown rat, and black rat are the most common. What’s worse is the rate at which they reproduce and multiply. Female rodents are ready to reproduce just 28 days after birth, meaning they can do so five or more times yearly. Five or more babies are born with each litter, some of which will be ready to reproduce in less than a month. You can see how an infestation occurs quickly.

This is bad news for your home when rodents choose your attic, walls, ceiling, or any other small space as a place to live. Rats and mice chew and gnaw electrical wiring, baseboards, cabinets, groceries, carpets, furniture, and more. Repairs can become very costly.

Signs of a rat or mouse problem include feces and urine trails that typically lead from their nest to their food source. Greasy smudges on baseboards, cabinets, and appliances are another sign. Outdoors you may find burrows under your house, driveway, or other structures.

If you see one rodent, there are others nearby. Call a technician to get rid of rats and mice right away. They can assess damages and determine how many are living with you. They also know which traps and baits work best for each species. Using the wrong bait or trap can lead to bigger problems. Experts can also help you implement exclusions that prevent future rat and mouse invasions.

Inspection

Inspection

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.

Rodent Trapping

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. 
Repairs

Repairs

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

Eastern gray, red, and flying squirrels are thriving in Springfield. It is not hard to spot a squirrel busy collecting and hoarding treasures they will use during colder months. Fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, seeds, grains, leaves, flowers, and bark are a few favored treasures that are hidden just beneath the ground or in holes in trees and other small spaces.

Squirrels are fun to watch, but if you pay close attention, you will see why they can become a nuisance. Squirrels have teeth that continually grow. If you see a squirrel chewing and gnawing on something, it must do so to keep its teeth filed and avoid pain. As a nuisance, squirrels will chew on siding, shingles, electrical lines, and trees. Inside they chew on electrical wiring, wood, plastic ductwork, mesh screens, and drywall.

Squirrels prefer living in attics and chimneys, especially during the maternity season. They build nests in ventilation systems, creating fire hazards for families.

You cannot catch a squirrel and release it on another person’s property or state ground. This is supported by several Massachusetts laws to prevent the spread of diseases. Also, squirrels are considered fur-bearing wildlife and have specific hunting and trapping seasons and regulations.

Wildlife control experts have safe and humane traps to remove squirrels. If babies are in a nest, they reunite with the mother on the outside. They can also offer tips on reducing the number of squirrels on your property, like squirrel-proofing bird feeders and installing tree barriers.

Inspection

Inspection

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 & Removal

Trapping & Removal

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.
Repairs

Repairs

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. 

Opossum Removal

The Virginia Opossum is the only marsupial found in the United States. In Massachusetts, opossums breed from January to July. Opossums can have difficulty with Western Massachusetts winters. Opossums ofen use homes, shed, and garages for shelther from the cold. Opossums are excellent climbers and can gain access to your chimney and attics. 
 
Inspection

Inspection

Opossums can be found inside attics and basements or outside under decks and sheds. Common signs include unique paw prints and feces. Opossums are docile and usually easy to spot.

Trapping & Removal

Trapping & Removal

Opossums can be lured into cages for live capture. If it is maternity season, we follow all guidelines for removing mother and newborn opossums. We will seal entryways into the building to prevent opossums from reentering in the future. Opossums can be kept from getting under sheds and decks by installing fencing around the bottom edges and burying the fence underground.
Repairs

Repairs

Broken screens on chimney and roof vents are replaced with sturdier materials, and we properly seal all entry points, including crawlspaces. We clean and deodorize areas of opossum activity. Exclusion may include eliminating sources that attract bugs, like nighttime lighting, stagnant water, and livestock poop.

Skunk Removal

Skunks can be spotted or striped. The skunks in Springfield are striped. They are about the size of a cat with a black coat and white stripes. Between April and June, female skunks start looking for a place to give birth to between two and ten kits. Often, skunks choose basements, crawlspaces, and the area under decks and porches. They also choose places close to a good source of food. Like raccoons, skunks are omnivores, eating everything from trash and garden crops to pet feed and insects.

Skunks, when left alone, are usually harmless, and once their kits are able, they will move on to a new location. It’s when a skunk feels threatened that they become a nuisance. They will give several warnings to potential threats, like hissing and growling. It will then turn its anal glands towards the threat, flex them, and then release a musk spray to defend itself.

The musk is foul and can stick around for days or weeks. Pets often get sprayed. When they get sprayed under your home, the scent will linger in your home. You can avoid this altogether by hiring a wildlife professional to eliminate the skunk. 

Inspection

Inspection

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

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.

Fox Removal

Western Massachusetts is home to both the red fox and gray fox. 

You might notice foxes on your property during breeding season. Both species breed mid-Jaunary to late February. They usually den on the side of a knoll but they may also den in or under sheds, porches, and crawlspaces. The family unit stays together until autumn at which point the pups become independent. 

Foxes are opporunitic omnivores. Their range varies in size from two to seven square miles. So a fox on your property might be searching for food. In that case do not feed the fox and remove any potential food sources like birdfeeders and livestock. 

Foxes are considered furbearers in Massachusetts, for which regulated hunting seasons and management programs have been established. If you have a fox problem on your property, we have the knowledge to legally and humanely take care of it.  

Snake Removal

There are 14 snake species in Massachusetts, but the ones you may find slithering around your home are garter snakes, which are non-venomous. Only two snakes are venomous: the timber rattlesnake and the copperhead.

Encountering a snake causes many people to respond in fear, even though there is usually no reason to be scared. Snakes typically try to avoid humans. Snakes can be a nuisance if their presence makes you uncomfortable. Poisonous snakes pose a threat to the public. If a snake enters your home, it won’t stay long, and they do very little damage to a home.

If you have a snake on your property, it searches for food—specifically, rats, mice, and other small rodents. You may have a rat and mice problem indoors if a snake is inside your home. Calling a wildlife technician for snake removal means you will also get a thorough inspection for rodents.

Eliminating food sources that snakes prefer is the best way to eliminate snakes. Technicians can offer numerous tips to prevent future snake visits.

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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.
Critter Control Guarantee Your satisfaction is always guaranteed. We provide reliable prevention from future intrusions. Resolving a nuisance wildlife issue calls for more than trapping and removing the critter. Our exclusion services offer immediate and long-term wildlife solutions.
Financing Available Critter Control offers in-house financing. Both standard and 90-day same as cash financing options have 12-,18-,24-, or 36-month options. Some projects might qualify for a budgeted plan up to 60 months.

Q & A with your local Critter Control franchisee Jonathan Cahoon

Critter Control of Springfield Owner Jonathon Calhoun

What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in Western Massachusetts?

We most commonly service homes and businesses for skunks, snakes, bats, squirrels, beaver, mice, rats and woodchucks.

What are some common signs of nuisance wildlife activity?

Foul smells, scratching, gnawing, feces, accumulation of bedding materials and food stuffs where they don’t belong.

Any prevention or exclusion tips for residents in your area?

General property maintenance is a must. Clearing brush, ground cover and debris from around the structures in your yard will eliminate piles of brush as they can provide hiding spots for animals. Have licensed and insured professionals maintain hard to get places, such as chimneys, attics and crawlspaces.

When should homeowners call you?

If you think you have a problem you should call immediately, especially if you see obvious signs of habitation in your home or outbuildings.

How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in Springfield, MA?

When food, and water become harder to find in the winter months, wildlife will seek shelter in your homes and often reproduce there. All wildlife looks to exploit those weak points in your home to meet their needs, often leading to conflicts.
This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Jancee Enterprises, LLC, dba Critter Control of Springfield, Massachusetts.
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