The ecosystem of Massachusetts has been changing over the last century due to climate change and deforestation for commercial and residential land development, both leading to consequences for humans and wildlife.
Replacing forests with homes and buildings means wildlife must find food, water, and shelter in new places, like your backyard, where they can become a nuisance. Massachusetts defines nuisance wildlife as those that pose a threat to the public, damage or threaten to damage property, or make it hard for you to enjoy your property due to annoyance.
Common nuisance wildlife in Springfield neighborhoods include rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, snakes, skunks, birds, bats, opossums, etc. Getting rid of nuisance wildlife means following rules and regulations set by the Commonwealth. Each animal may have different guidelines on removal, relocation, and disposal.
The best solution is to contact a wildlife control operator with the knowledge and training on removing nuisances. Critter Control has a three-step process of inspection, removal, and repair. Here are some examples of our work.
There are nine species of bats in Massachusetts. Without bats, our ecosystem would be out of balance. They can consume thousands of insects in just one night, and do most of their feeding at dawn and dusk. A myth is that they are blind. Bats can see, but their eyes are tiny. Because of this, they rely heavily on sounds they make that echo off things in the environment, helping bats avoid crashes.
Bat guano is a primary reason they are considered nuisance wildlife. Mold can grow on bat guano. The mold can produce spores that float through the air and your ventilation system. For some people, inhaling these spores can cause respiratory issues.
Getting rid of bats should be done only by professionals. Why? Because all bats are listed as threatened or endangered and are protected at the state and federal levels. There are specific times of the year allotted for bat removal, mid-summer to late fall, which is outside mating and maternity seasons. When the time is right, we have an effective process for bat removal.
You have likely had an encounter with a Springfield raccoon — if not directly, then indirectly with the scattered trash, shredded lawn, missing garden crops, or greasy black smudges outside your home. If the smudges are near your chimney or attic, the raccoon may be living inside your home.
Raccoons have permanent striping on their tails and masks around their eyes. They adapt quickly to urbanization and are omnivorous, meaning they will eat anything from junk food to small rodents to insects and bugs.
Their nimble hands allow them to open trash cans, pet feed bags, and dumpsters. They will climb trees for bird eggs, dig lawns for insects, and steal garden fruits and vegetables.
If a raccoon takes shelter in your attic, you can expect to find a messy area due to feces and urine buildup. They also break boards, shred insulation, scratch floors and walls, and make a lot of noise with their hisses, chirps, howls, and screeches.
Raccoons in Springfield are fur-bearing game animals that require seasonal permitting for trapping. Our Critter Control experts know the laws for getting rid of raccoons and can help in the following ways.
If you have one rat or mouse in your home, others are nearby. Rats and mice reproduce multiple times a year. And with each litter, five or more rodents are born. A female becomes ready to breed in less than two months. You may already have an infestation and not know it.
Rats and mice in Springfield homes are the Norway rat and the house mouse. Occasionally you may find a field mouse or deer mouse. Rats and mice are small and can squeeze through tiny holes and cracks. Once in your home, they chew and gnaw on flooring, walls, wires, furniture, cabinets, and groceries.
Rats and mice leave feces and urine trails wherever they hunt for food and nesting items. If they enter your pantry, you can expect contamination of foods like cereals, rice, chips, cookies, etc. Getting rid of rats and mice is tricky since not all baits and traps work for all rodents.
The most common squirrels in Massachusetts are gray and red squirrels. Gray squirrels can even be found on our islands. Gray squirrels are more of a nuisance and cause more damage to properties than red squirrels.
Game hunting seasons exist for squirrels because they are fur-bearing animals. This means permits may be required when removing a squirrel from your property. You may think you don’t want to remove squirrels from your property. You may enjoy watching them scurry and scavenge in your yard.
It’s possible, though, that the squirrels are causing damage to your home or property. When they run across your roof, they can damage shingles and siding. They may be tempted to build a nest in your chimney or vent openings. They will enter your attic when given a chance.
Once inside, they wreak havoc on your flooring, drywall, insulation, ductwork, and any items lying around, including sentimental items. Squirrel noises include scratching, running, building, and chirping. Maternity season occurs in January and February and again from May to July. Having multiple squirrels in your home can be very annoying.
Squirrels chew wires, wood, metals, fabrics, and plastics. If a squirrel cannot chew on something, its teeth will grow to a larger size and become painful. Keeping their teeth filed is a priority to a squirrel, even if that means they chew holes in your siding, walls, pipes, etc. We can help get rid of your squirrel problem.
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.
Striped skunks are a common pest in Greater Springfield. 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.
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.
Fourteen species of snakes live in Massachusetts. Only two, the rattlesnake and copperhead, are venomous. The snakes you encounter in your basement, shed, or yard are garter or milk snakes.
Like all other wildlife, snakes search for food, water, and shelter. Snakes are both predators and prey. They eat rats, mice, eggs, slugs, birds, worms, and other snakes. Larger birds and mammals eat snakes.
Snakes do not cause many problems, but because so many people fear them, they are considered a nuisance. We are happy to get rid of snakes in your home.
This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Jancee Enterprises, LLC, dba Critter Control of Springfield, Massachusetts.