Q&A with local District Manager
What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in your area?
We address a lot of bat situations in the metropolitan area along with squirrels and raccoons in attic spaces. We also do a fair amount of rodent (mice/rats) and bird control. We receive many calls on moles, skunks, and groundhogs damaging landscaping around homes.
How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in your area?
Call volumes generally increase in the spring due to the "critters" waking up from hibernation. Young are also born in the spring, which increases the opportunity for customers to hear or see more activity in both residential and commercial accounts. During the summer and fall months, bats, stinging insects, and burrowing animals such as moles, groundhogs, and skunks keep us busy. In the winter, our primary "critter" calls are squirrels and raccoons in attic spaces. These animals are trying to find warm areas to get out of the weather.
Any prevention tips for residents in your area?
Animals generally access homes through louvre vents, soffit roof interface gaps, roof vents, power fan vents, general foundation construction gaps, foundation vents, and open chimney flues, which should all be secured. Make sure any critter-related issues are addressed promptly.
When should homeowners call Critter Control?
When a homeowner has any concerns of unusual noises or odors coming from their attic or crawl space or if a homeowner notices any unusual activity in or around the yard and landscaping that might have been caused by a critter, give us a call. It could also be that a homeowner just wants an inspection by a trained professional to give them peace of mind that their home is secured and animal-free.
Pest & Wildlife Problems in St. Louis
Raccoons in St. Louis
Reports of raccoons spreading distemper in St. Louis, MO, are on the rise, which is a concern for area pet owners. Unlike most animals that carry the disease, these unique pests can transmit both canine and feline distemper. Raccoons also create issues for homeowners by riffling through trash and denning in garages or attics.
Bats: Winter Invaders
With plenty of available food and a mild climate, St. Louis, MO, is the perfect place for bats most of the year. However, because there are few insects around in the winter for a bat to eat, many migrate to warmer areas. Others choose to stay and hibernate inside buildings.
While the pests may make some scratching noises, most bat sounds are outside the human range of hearing. Homeowners are unlikely to hear these animals in the wall voids or attics where they roost.
This can be a problem, as infestations are dangerous. Bats in St. Louis can transmit rabies through their bites or the disease histoplasmosis via their waste.
St. Louis Squirrel Problems
Tree squirrels are a common sight in St. Louis, MO. Many people give these pests food scraps, attracting them back to yards in search of more.
Bird feeders and gardens will also lure squirrels into St. Louis yards, where they may even get into homes. Small openings like vents and chimneys are an open invitation to come indoors.
Pests Inside the House
Though squirrels in St. Louis prefer to live in wooded areas, they may seek shelter in attics during the cold Missouri winters. Once inside, the pests cause damage ranging from gnawed wires to ripped insulation.
They can also bring along disease-carrying parasites in their fur and make disruptive scratching noises during the day.
Flooding & Rodents
As snow melts into the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, residents of St. Louis, MO, are subject to spring flooding. Rising water forces rodents to leave their burrows and seek shelter indoors.
Because the pests are active at night, people may not know they have a mouse infestation until they hear scratching noises in the walls.
Once indoors, mice in St. Louis homes damage electrical wires, insulation, and wood trim with their constant gnawing. In addition, rodents contaminate whatever they feed on or touch. This means a mouse can spread several diseases to humans, including food poisoning.
Moles in St. Louis, MO, are troublesome for many homeowners because they tear up yards and gardens. The pests uproot grass and vegetation as they search for insects below the ground. This behavior creates costly lawn care issues for residents.
The Problem with Burrows
While moles in St. Louis rarely eat plants, their burrows may destroy roots or attract dangerous pests, like snakes, seeking shelter and prey. In addition, the holes and tunnels these pests leave behind cause tripping or falling injuries for people, livestock, and pets.
Local Vole Species
There are two types of voles in St. Louis, MO. Both the prairie and woodland varieties are plant eaters and can damage lawns and gardens. Their populations have cycles of abundance and decline, so homeowners may struggle with more vole problems in some years than in others.
The main problem caused by voles is the unsightly runways they create in lawns. These branching lines of bare dirt running through the grass take time and dedicated care to repair. Voles in St. Louis yards may also strip the bark from trees or eat fruits, flowers, and herbs in gardens.
Snakes in the City
St. Louis, MO, is home to three of the state's five species of venomous snakes:
- Timber Rattlesnakes
These snakes are all found in the local St. Louis area. Snakes in St. Louis generally prefer less populated areas but can find their way into parks, hiking trails, and yards. Residents fishing or boating are most likely to encounter a cottonmouth.
Avoiding Snake Bites
These animals generally strike only when people handle, step on, or provoke them. The best way to avoid conflicts with snakes in St. Louis is to keep away from them completely. While the area also has plenty of harmless species, like rat snakes and garter snakes, it's best to treat any of these pests with caution.
Attic Restoration Services
Critter Control offers a complete attic remediation process which includes but is not limited to removal of soiled/compressed insulation, application of deodorizer/disinfectant, replacement of damaged flex AC ducts, and installation of T.A.P. (Thermal Acoustical Pest Control) cellulose insulation.