Columbia, Missouri, is a growing metropolitan area with an economy rooted in education, health care, life sciences, and manufacturing. Founded by settlers moving westward from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, its pioneers were attracted to the region’s rolling foothills and wide-open prairies overlooking the Missouri River. Today, Columbia, Missouri, characterizes itself as a live/work/play destination, a depiction that works as well for people as it does for its wildlife. Columbia’s cold winters, rainy springs, and hot, humid summers drive wildlife to residential areas, where they can find shelter and steady food sources. While wildlife generally enriches the lives of Columbia’s residents in many ways, it can sometimes become a nuisance
Critter Control Wildlife Removal Process
We solve your current wildlife problems and make sure to preent future issues down the road.
Many of the nuisance wildlife issues we see in the Central Missouri area could have been avoided with some reasonable prevention to vulnerable areas on homes and businesses that we commonly see critters exploit and enter. Part of every inspection where the animal(s) are entering a structure includes addressing these common entry points.
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.
Removal and Trapping
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 & Remediation
Exclusion techniques provide a safe, long-term solution to nuisance wildlife in your home. We create barriers to prevent animals from back into your home. We only apply exclusions once we are sure all animals are gone from your home.
Animals damage inside your home too. 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.
Raccoons are abundant in Columbia as they are in almost all regions of the country. These opportunistic animals favor attics for their residence because of the continuous exposure to food from residential trash and local chicken coops.
Raccoons have a permanent mask and banded tail. They would be cute if they weren’t so destructive. They will do what they can to get into parts of your house they see fit to sleep and give birth to pups. If they must rip, tear, or break something to get to that spot, they will. Raccoons make lots of noises, like whimpers, growls, and screams. They leave feces and urine nearby their shelter.
Before trying to remove a raccoon from your home by yourself, remember they can carry diseases, and if threatened, they may bite. Calling nuisance wildlife animal control experts is recommended. Critter Control's three-step process works well for raccoon removal.
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
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.
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 sanitization agents and ectoparasite treatments on areas inhabited by raccoons.
The eastern grey and fox squirrels are the most popular species in Columbia, Missouri. Tree squirrels
and flying squirrels have been known to enter unsecured attic spaces to nest, and will commonly gnaw a hole to enter the structure.
All squirrels are rodents, and they can wreak havoc in a short amount of time. Taking advantage of any available food sources, squirrels damage yards and fields by digging for nuts and insects. Flying squirrels and tree squirrels damage homes by gnawing or tearing at insulation and electrical wires on roofs and in attics. Tree squirrels chew on many different materials and can cause significant damage due to their nature of chewing to keep their incisors from getting too long. They can also cause outages when they run across power lines.
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
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.
Rat and Mice Pest Control
Rats and mice are found in every urban area throughout the world and have unfortunately become quite comfortable living among people. They scurry around in your walls and kitchen at night, looking for food to eat and take back to their nest. If you see rodents in your home or office during the daytime, it is because the population has become large.
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.
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.
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.
The Missouri Department of Conservation
recognizes fifteen species of bats in Missouri, some of which live in Columbia year-round while others are migratory.
Little and Big Brown bats are the most common species we have seen adapted to living in attics and buildings in the Central Missouri area. Bats are commonly found in attics
and barns, as the mammals enjoy safe, dark places. Hollow trees and bat boxes are ideal places for the creatures to use as a summer roost, as well.
For the most part, bats and humans peacefully coexist. One of the largest problems associated with bat populations is the droppings that accumulate. bat droppings (guano) can make people sick. Less than half of one percent of bats actually carry the rabies. Nevertheless, bats should never be picked up or grabbed.
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).
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.
Skunks are a common nuisance animal in Central Missouri from January to June. 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.
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 shred 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
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 specialist will use a live trap 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.
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 around unprotected sheds/decks are the most effective and permanent ways to keep skunks out.
We recommend to keep pet food inside and secure any trash bins.
In Central Missouri, we encounter birds in vents from April to July. Common places birds enter include vents on the side of the house, kitchen and bathroom exhaust vents, or others. Vents are attractive locations for birds to build nests as they are off the ground, away from predators, and enclosed for protection from the elements. However, vents do come with their own set of dangers for young birds, which sometimes fall into the vent exhaust pipe, where they’re unable to escape.
Even adult birds with full flying capabilities fall into the same trap. Birds are initially attracted to the warmth of the vents, which is why they are commonly found in dryer vents and kitchen exhaust vents. This becomes a fire hazard when birds nest in these locations. Furthermore, nests in vents are dangerous because humidity and steam can spread disease, including histoplasmosis, which is found in bird droppings.
When any of these cases occur, it’s important to call professionals with the proper equipment and expertise to minimize the stress of the animal. After a bird is removed from the vent or exhaust, a guard can be installed to prevent further recurrence.
Moles and groundhogs are two burrowing animals that plague people's properties in Central Missouri. Both critters create extensive burrow systems that can damage landscaping and pose risks to animals and equipment.
Moles are most active from March until November. Groundhogs hiberbate starting in September. Moles stay underground, but during the spring groundhogs will leave their burrows in the mornings and afternoons. Correctly identifying their holes is one of the best ways to differentiate them.
Molehills appear volcano-shaped in profile, with a hard-to-spot hole situated in the middle. These mole mounds are typically 2 inches in diameter. Their burrows feature one main entrance hole and up to four other exits, usually located near trees, walls, or fences. Each opening is between 10 and 12 inches in diameter.
Both animals rarely enter homes. Exclusion methods are effective methods to protect specifc parts of your property. Trapping and removal can be time consuming and expensive without proper experience and training to identify the appropriate burrow runs.
When should homeowners call Critter Control of Central Missouri?
They should call 573-441-0060
as soon as they think there may be an unwanted critter in the structure or on the property. Addressing the issue early will limit the damage and (hopefully!) make the solution less costly.
What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in Central Missouri?
Our most common issues are bats, squirrels, and raccoons in the attic. Birds in vents. Moles in the yard.
What are some common signs of nuisance wildlife activity?
Running, walking, or scratching noises in the attic or walls. Small droppings that accumulate in a localized area in the spring and summer and continue to accumulate after they are cleaned up.
How do the seasons affect wildlife activity around Columbia, MO?
Many animals (like bats, groundhogs, and snakes) hibernate in our area, making winter a much slower season for us.
How much does wildlife removal cost?
A: There are a number of factors that determine pricing; location of the animal (i.e. - chimney, attic, crawl, wall void, living area), condition of the animal (i.e. - sick, aggressive, dead), location and condition of the property and time of year (i.e. - weather condition, offspring present?). Generally speaking, pricing will vary by location and species for just the animal removal and that pricing usually does not include the entry repair.
Critter Control Difference
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.
Guaranteeing the safety of both humans and animals is our number one priority. Our wildlife specialists are trained to protect our human customers and keep everyone safe while ensuring the animals we are removing for you are handled using the most humane tools and techniques.
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.
Locally Owned and Operated
Critter Control of Central Missouri has been in business since 2005 and locally owned and operated by Peter Riney and his family since 2009.
About Critter Control of Central Missouri
Critter Control of Central Missouri has been in business since 2005 and locally owned and operated by Peter Riney and his family since 2009. Critter Control is a national franchise system with many individual local owner/operators like Peter. It is the largest company in the nation specializing in nuisance wildlife management, as opposed to insect pests.
Bringing over 17 years of wildlife management experience in this industry and the support and knowledge of a national company that has over 40 years’ experience and hundreds of certified pest, bird, and wildlife management specialists on staff, Critter Control has the personnel, experience, and knowledge to resolve your wildlife issue no matter how large or small.
Meet Our Team
This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Riney Enterprises, LLC, dba Critter Control of Central Missouri.
Other Common Wildlife Issues