Critter Control of Buffalo

Get them out.
Keep them out.®

Call today for a FREE inspection.

Click to call

What Are the Major Wildlife Removal Concerns in Buffalo, New York?

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) lists common nuisance mammals, birds, reptiles, and other wildlife that cause problems for homeowners. It defines nuisance wildlife as any animal causing damage to your property, threatening you or your family, or making it impossible for you to enjoy your property. The list includes bats, raccoons, squirrels, rats, mice, skunks, snakes, woodpeckers, pigeons, blackbirds, and more.

Changes to wildlife habitats force these animals to look for food, water, and shelter in other places, like your property. New subdivisions, office complexes, and other developments remove forests where wildlife lives. Climate change and invasive species give wildlife other reasons to leave one area for another.

To remove nuisance wildlife, you must first determine if you need a permit or if the animal is on the list of protected species. Erie County, NY, Department of Health recommends hiring a nuisance wildlife control operator to remove any wildlife from your property. The DEC provides a search tool to find professionals.

Educating yourself is the best way to know what steps to take if you encounter nuisance wildlife on your property. Keep reading to learn more about common Buffalo nuisance wildlife behaviors and what to do about them.

How Professional Wildlife Control Services Can Help You

Wildlife control experts understand and comply with all the laws and regulations regarding wildlife removal and what to do with the animals after removal since relocating wildlife is illegal. They use safe and humane methods and obtain proper permits. Also, they have the following:

  • Licensure and insurance for completing wildlife removal
  • Equipment and tools for quick and effective results
  • Extensive training and experience in dealing with nuisance wildlife

Raccoon Removal

Raccoons adapt well to living in urban environments. They are nocturnal; while most people sleep, these animals search the area for food. As omnivores, they eat almost anything, including nuts, fruits, vegetables, insects, rodents, fish, pet feed, mushrooms, frogs, and human table scraps. In warmer months, raccoons eat to put on weight for winter months. Raccoons do not hibernate but reduce their activity when winter weather prevents them from leaving their nests.

Their cute black eye masks add to their reputation of being mischievous thieves. Their human-like hands allow them to open trash cans, untie knots, turn doorknobs, grab fish out of ponds, climb trees and chimneys, and break into your attic or basement. They reach into chicken coops to steal chickens and eggs. They grab vegetables from the garden and open pet doors to enter your home.

The damage raccoons cause is extensive. In an attic, they shred insulation and drywall, build nests using sentimental items, and leave piles of feces and urine. Outside, they destroy bird feeders, dig holes in lawns, strip bark from trees, break shingles, and leave grease marks on anything their fur touches. Raccoons are excellent swimmers that will dip in any accessible pool or pond. They often leave feces behind in the water.

Removing a raccoon from your property is dangerous, and you must follow specific laws since they are fur-bearing game animals in New York. To hunt and trap them, you must get a license and use only traps and methods allowed by the state.

Trying to remove a raccoon can put you at risk for diseases if it becomes aggressive and bites or scratches you. While raccoons can carry rabies, more common diseases include roundworm, giardiasis, and salmonellosis.



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 and Removal

Raccoon Trapping

Live trapping is one of the most efficient ways to get rid of a raccoon. Depending on the situation, a one-way door or excluder valve can be installed. An excluder valve works by allowing the raccoon to leave but blocks its reentry. 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 cleaning agents and ectoparasite treatments on areas inhabited by raccoons.

Rat and Mice Control

The Erie County Department of Health created laws that homeowners must follow to help control the area’s rat and mouse problems. Erie County Sanitary Code, Article IX, Section 1.15(a) states that you must take action to keep from attracting rodents, such as removing clutter, properly storing trash, and not allowing any food sources to be accessible to rats or mice. These rules exist because Buffalo has a big rat problem. Some reports say the city has one of the highest rodent populations, primarily with the house mouse and Norway rat.

Rats and mice can easily enter a home through vents, pipes, ducts, small holes, and cracks. Rats only need a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can enter holes the size of a dime. Both of these critters can also chew their way into your home. Their strong teeth can chew through thin metals, plastic, vinyl, shingles, drywall, and wood. If inside your home, rodents chew through electrical wires, gnaw structural beams, and leave feces and urine trails between their nests and food sources. You will likely find them in attics, ceilings, and walls.

Signs of rodent activity inside include contaminated food in your pantries, greasy smudge marks on floors and walls, tracks, and trails of droppings. You may also see gnaw marks on the carpet, baseboards, doors, furniture, and wires. Inside your walls, you may notice urine stains soaking through the drywall. You may also hear the rodents chirping, squeaking, squealing, and scurrying in the evenings.

In addition to these nuisance behaviors, rats like burrow under homes, driveways, and other structures outside your home. They chew holes through siding and shingles and plug gutters and vents with nesting materials.

Getting rid of rats and mice is much trickier than you may think. One reason is that rodents reproduce up to seven times a year. With each litter, an average of six pups are born. Within three months after their birth, females can begin reproducing. This means one or two rats can quickly become an infestation.

Rats and mice carry diseases, but their feces and urine pose more risk to humans. Hantavirus, leptospirosis, listeriosis, and salmonellosis can be contracted via contact with rodent waste. You may get rat-bite fever if one bites or scratches you. Rat and mice species require different trap sizes and different baits. Using the wrong one can lead to bigger problems.



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.

Trapping and Removal

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. Rodent trapping can usually takes between five to fourteen days.


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

Squirrels are a much cuter rodent but still very destructive. Gray, fox, red, and flying squirrels live in New York. The gray squirrel is a tree squirrel that can be found living well among humans. Squirrel populations are increasing, causing competition for food and shelter, which is one reason you may find a squirrel living in your attic, chimney, gutters, or eaves.

Squirrels may look like they are playing all day, but they are actually collecting and storing food and nesting materials for the winter months. As omnivores, they collect nuts, buds, flowers, grains, fruits, vegetables, bird eggs, insects, mushrooms, smaller rodents, and bark. Burying their collections involves digging holes in your yard, some being decoy holes to trick other squirrels.

Squirrels’ teeth grow up to five inches yearly if not kept filed. Squirrels chew on hard materials to prevent their teeth from growing too big and becoming painful. These critters can chew through plastic, vinyl, wood, and metal. They can chew their way from outside your home to inside. Usually, they find existing cracks and holes to gain access to your attic or walls.

Once inside your home, squirrels behave similarly to rats, mice, and raccoons. They build nests inside insulation, pipes, and ducts. They destroy drywall and structural beams. Their behaviors cause structural, fire, water, or health hazards. You may hear them chirping, grunting, running, howling, and playing. You may also smell the foul odor of their feces or notice urine stains on your ceiling or walls.

Squirrels cause outdoor damage by stripping bark from trees, raiding gardens, stealing birdseed, digging holes in the lawn, and scratching and breaking siding and shingles. They even gnaw on power lines, causing outages.

Removing a nuisance squirrel should be done by a professional who understands the New York fur-bearing laws for hunting and trapping and how to obtain the correct permits. Squirrels carry diseases and parasites that can be harmful to humans.



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 and Removal

Squirrel Trapping

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.

Bat Removal

The big and little brown bats are two of nine bat species in New York. You may find these animals roosting in colonies or individually in your attic, eave, chimney, rafters, or other structures on your property. Bats are not harmful when left alone. The only reason they become a nuisance is the large amounts of guano or feces they expel. It contains corrosive acids that damage wood and metal. It also leaves permanent stains on walls and floors, saturating them so much that the waste seeps into your living space. The piles can get so large that the weight causes structural instability. Also, mold spores grow on bat guano. If you must clean it out, you risk inhaling the spores that lead to respiratory infections.

Bats are underrated and have a bad reputation due to TV and film. Bats are one of the most amazing and necessary parts of our ecosystem. They consume thousands of insects nightly, saving billions in insecticides to prevent crop damage. They also aid in pollination and seed dispersal. Without bats, bananas, avocados, and mangoes would disappear, and at least 80 medicines made from plants would not exist.

Do not try to remove a bat from your home. In Erie County, bats have tested positive for rabies. Trying to capture a bat may cause it to act aggressively and bite you. Also, parasites live on bats that carry bacteria harmful to humans.

Many bat species are protected at the state and federal levels as endangered or threatened. One reason is the white-nose syndrome, a fatal disease for some species. Other reasons bats are endangered include wind turbines and climate change.

Protected bats, by law, cannot be removed during their maternity season, from late Spring to Fall. Their pups must be able to fly out independently. Wildlife experts are trained to remove bats and put exclusions to prevent these animals from returning. Exclusions include sealing all holes or cracks ¼” or larger, installing one-way bat valves, and removing food and water resources, including outdoor night lights, stagnant water, manure piles, and open trash cans.

Experts safely remove bat guano and urine and apply sanitization to the area for your protection.



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).

Trapping and 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.


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.

Skunk Control

Aside from bats, Erie County has skunks among its wildlife, which also may test positive for rabies. Usually, skunks leave an area after a couple of weeks unless they are preparing to give birth. Skunks are similar to raccoons, except you may find them in crawlspaces and basements versus attics.

The striped skunks you see in Buffalo are omnivores who take every opportunity to eat whatever they can find. Skunks are well known for the foul-smelling liquid they spray when they feel threatened. The spray is waterproof and can’t be washed off right away. The smell can linger for days and weeks. If a skunk sprays while under your home or porch, the odor can linger in your home. They may also spray your pets.

In addition, skunks carry ticks, fleas, and lice that can attach to humans, putting you at risk for more diseases. For these reasons, hiring an expert to remove a skunk from your property instead of trying to do so yourself is a good idea.



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

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.

Call to Schedule an Inspection

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.


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.



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.


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.

Q&A With Local Critter Control franchisee Bryan Fichter

What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in your area?

Animals in attics, under decks, getting into garbage/vegetation.

How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in your area?

In the spring, we see animals seeking places to have their young. Rodents become very active inside during the winter months. In summer, animals cause damage to structures while entering and exiting den sites.

What are some common signs of nuisance wildlife activity?

Holes burrowed under porches and decks. Louvre vents ripped open. Noises coming from the attic. Fascia boards chewed.

Any prevention or exclusion tips for residents in your area?

Keep vegetation trimmed away from your house. Secure garbage can lids and remove any food sources, such as bird feeders and pet food.

When should homeowners call you?

Whenever you hear noises in the attic, or begin to experience an odor. Also, if see lawn damage.

This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Foster Wildlife Control, LLC, dba Critter Control of Waco, TX.

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 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.
Residential and Commerical 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.

This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Fichter Wildlife Services II, LLC, dba Critter Control of Buffalo, NY.