Florence forms the core of the Pee Dee region. Not only is Florence one of more populated cities in South Carolina, but also it continues to attract people. But as we develop the land, removing forests and natural habitats for wildlife, we take away their food, water, and shelter.
Wildlife must search for these things elsewhere, like in the many Florence neighborhoods. That is why you see squirrels, deer, raccoons, birds, bats, snakes, skunks, opossums, rats, mice, and numerous other wildlife in your backyard. Minor encounters with wildlife are usually not a problem. It can even be fun to watch them. However, too many encounters can mean they are becoming a nuisance.
South Carolina declares wildlife a nuisance if they meet one or more of the following:
- They damage your property.
- They make you uncomfortable or annoy you.
- They pose a threat to you or the public.
South Carolina recommends hiring a wildlife control operator to remove nuisance wildlife. A wildlife control operator is licensed and extensively trained in the habits and habitats of wildlife, required permitting, and local, state, and federal laws regarding wildlife removal. Below are examples of common Florence nuisance wildlife removed using experts like the ones at Critter Control.
While on nighttime scavenges, Raccoons enjoy swimming in pools they can access. They are known to leave behind feces in the water. While chlorine kills most germs, it does not kill a particular roundworm parasite in raccoon feces called Baylisascaris. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are specific steps you must take to make your pool safe for swimming.
Florence raccoons are filthy, leaving greasy smudges on everything their fur touches, including chimneys, siding, attic walls, and floors. They are also very messy tenants. They shred insulation and drywall, create a toilet space, plug vents and ducts, and scatter trash. With their nimble hands, raccoons can easily climb, scratch, dig, claw, and open just about anything.
The masked wildlife will travel several miles searching for food that can be table scraps, insects, fish, rodents, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and pet feed.
Getting rid of nuisance raccoons involves following fur-bearing trapping rules set by the state, like obtaining the proper license. It can also include getting the raccoon tested for diseases after removal.
Rats and mice that quickly become a nuisance to homeowners are the Norway rats and house mice. The CDC reports rats and mice carry at least 35 diseases. Diseases can spread from rodents to humans through ticks, fleas, mites, or by inhaling the spores on their feces. You may also contract it by being bitten by an infected rat or mouse, which can happen if you try to remove it and the rodent feels threatened or trapped.
Wildlife experts are trained on house mice and Norway rats. They learn rodents can squeeze through holes less than an inch in size. There are at least ten others in the same area for every rodent you see. The rate at which they multiply can lead to an infestation of hundreds of rats and mice in less than a year.
Female rodents can have between four to six litter a year. With each litter, between six and 12 babies can be delivered.
Signs of a rat or mice problem include gnawing on wood, metal, plastic, papers, and other materials. You may also see contaminated groceries and trails of uneaten foods, followed by feces and urine. Rats and mice can make your home dangerous by chewing electrical wires and building nests in your vents. They also like to dig burrows under your home and driveway, making them unstable.
Rats are active all year round, making getting rid of them a top priority.
Squirrels are also rodents, but there are differences like squirrels typically only breed once or twice a year. However, female squirrels can start reproducing as early as six months old. The threat of an infestation still exists. The squirrels in Florence neighborhoods are the various types of Eastern grey, Southern fox, and flying squirrels.
While squirrels are one of the leaders in helping with forest regeneration, due to planting nuts and seeds in the ground, they can become a nuisance if they move into your attic or crawlspace. Just like other rodents, squirrels have teeth that never stop growing. To keep them filed down, squirrels chew and gnaw on everything. This makes their teeth stronger as they age.
They can chew holes through siding, wood, plastic, and some metals. That means breaking into your home is easier than you think. Once inside, squirrels will chew wires, furniture, cabinets, and anything else they encounter. If you have squirrels on your property, you have the foods they enjoy, like birdseed, fruits, vegetables, bird eggs, flowers, nuts, grains, pet feed, and certain tree barks.
Squirrels are game animals, so removing squirrels may require special permits or licenses at certain times of the year.
The big and little brown bats and the Brazilian free-tailed bats are the ones you may find living in your Florence attic, rafter of a barn, chimneys, or other empty spaces in a structure on your property. Some live in trees. If they are on your property, you have an excellent source of insects, which is their number one preference. Bats can consume thousands of insects in one night.
The best time to remove bats in Florence is in the early spring (March-April) or fall (August-October). The bat materinty season lasts from April to end of July. During this time, you are not allowed to remove bats from your property. You cannot try to harass them to leave on their own either. The reason is that bats are protected species under state and federal laws. Several species are being threatened by diseases, like the white-nose syndrome. We need bats to help balance the ecosystem. Can you imagine the number of insects we would have if bats were no longer around?
Bats may roost alone or in colonies. They become a nuisance because of their feces, or guano, which produces many negative consequences. For example, guano stains flooring and walls and changes the appearance of your home or building. Guano is also very heavy; over time, the weight can cause damage to wooden beams.
Guano contains uric acid that corrodes metals and wood, again damaging the structure of your building. In addition, guano can grow mold spores that, when inhaled by humans, can potentially cause respiratory illnesses.
You must report bat activity on your property, no matter what time of year it is, so wildlife experts can create a plan for removal that keeps everyone involved safe, including the bat.
There are 38 snake species in South Carolina, only six of which are venomous. In most cases, the worst that a snake will do is give you a scare. Not only is the thought of having a snake in your home an unpleasant one, but also a snake can be a sign of another pest problem, as they're finding food sources around your home like mice and rats.
Call Critter Control in Florence, so we can identify why the snakes are there and help to safely remove them.
This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Metz Wildlife Removal, LLC, dba Critter Control of Florence-Myrtle Beach, SC.