As the fourth-most populated city in the United States and still quickly growing, Houston and its surrounding area are a hotspot for a variety of problematic wildlife. Skunks, snakes, armadillos, raccoons, mice, rats, bats, and squirrels can be spotted invading both homes and businesses in the area.
Critter Control offers reliable wildlife removal in Houston, Texas. We can remove any animal on your property safely, efficiently, and humanely.
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.
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.
Raccoons are intelligent, agile, and fierce. They can find their way into dumpsters, garbage cans, buildings, and even sealed structures due to their strong legs and dexterous hands. Raccoons are highly resourceful when it comes to scavenging for food. For this reason, this is where you will normally find them. While raccoons may look cute, they are fiercely aggressive and powerful. They carry a wide range of parasites, including roundworms, tapeworms, and ticks.
You are most likely to notice raccoons in your attic during the summer when they breed
. A female raccoon looks for a safe and secure place. Attics have all the necessariy characteristics for a den. A female raccoon can have up to four kits or cubs at a time.
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 cleaning agents and ectoparasite treatments on areas inhabited by raccoons.
Like raccoons, squirrels are also seen as cute, furry animals. However, they can cause extensive damage to your roof by gnawing through the decking, tearing holes along the edge, and even peeling off asphalt shingles. They also can make a mess by collecting debris in your attic to build a nest.
Squirrels actively looking for shelter during January to February and May to June, which is mating season. You are more likely to notice squirrels in your attic at this time. Squirrels also carry several diseases and can be highly aggressive when threatened.
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
Few animals are as resilient as rats and mice. These rodents can set up camp in a building and multiply quickly before you realize they are in your home or business. Mice can crawl in tiny spaces, giving them quick access to any area, which typically includes the kitchen. Mice and rats gnaw through wood and other building materials, which can compromise structural integrity. Rodents destroy property, contaminate food, and spread diseases, causing any living space to become inhabitable.
To get rid of rats
or mice, we need to control the entire population. Leaving a single female mouse can repopulate the building in only a few weeks. We use a variety of methods to accomplish this.
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.
Houston area residents are used to seeing bats
, but problems arise when colonies roost in homes, attics, chimneys, and walls. This is because bats in Houston damage structures with their droppings and body oils. Worse, their feces spreads Histoplasmosis, which can cause severe reactions in humans. The presence of bats
is marked by squeaking and scratching noises at dusk.
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.
Birds in Houston annoy residents when nesting around homes. Local woodpeckers make some of the loudest sounds of any bird, scratching and pecking at the sides of houses to communicate or forage for insects. They also excavate holes in walls and attics for raising their young. Birds also can be dangerous to humans. Nesting parents are aggressive, and species like barn swallows or mockingbirds may attack people who intrude upon brooding sites. Bird infestations can also bring biting, parasitic mites into homes on their feathers.
We thoroughly inspect the area for things that attract birds, like harborage and loafing areas, as well as food and water sources. Also, we look for where birds may be entering your home or business. We also inspect for damage caused by birds, whether it's by nesting, or by droppings.
Trapping & Removal
After identifying the bird species, we may start by physically removing the species in question. In rescue situations, such as chimneys or basements, birds can be released on-site if the entrance has been secured properly. Occasionally, live traps will be used, especially if flocks of birds are involved. For persistent birds and larger flocks, several advanced techniques may be applied simultaneously including netting, spikes, ledge products, scare tactics, misting and more. The most effective method of bird control is prevention and exclusion.
Repairs & Prevention
We can repair the damage that is allowing birds entry to your home, like broken siding, weakened gutters, rotted soffits and fascia. We can also install protective screens on chimneys and vents. We can also remove nesting materials and accumulated droppings, then clean surface stains. We can use netting over fruit and vegetable crops and water basins. Netting can also be used in car ports, building overhangs and food courts. We also install a large number of different types of roof ledge barriers too.
Easily identified by their striking black and white coloring, skunks dig in lawns and make scratching noises when denning under sheds and decks. It's often easy to identify the location of a skunk because of their lingering, unpleasant smell.
While they're better known for spraying in self-defense, skunks will bite if cornered. Skunks are the most common carriers of rabies in Texas
-- responsible for over half of the state's reported cases. It's best for residents to avoid approaching skunks.
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
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.
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.
There are several species of moles in the United States, but only eastern moles are present in Houston. Moles dig intricate underground tunnels, using them as passageways for travel and as nests. Moles rarely leave their burrows. If you have moles in your yard, you'll notice their mounds.
A Critter Control mole removal expert will know the best methods of how to get rid of moles. The most common way is to trap the moles. This can be tricky since moles create various types of tunnels and do not have an entry and exit point since they rarely come above the ground. Trapping moles may sound easy, but it requires the proper equipment and knowledge to pinpoint the “travel” tunnels to effectively trap the mole.
Armadillos generally pose no direct threat to people. More than 90 percent of the armadillo’s diet is insect matter so having one on your property can help with pest control. They become a nuisance if their burrows (usually 7 or 8 inches in diameter and up to 15 feet in length) start to undermine structures on your property.
Cage traps with a funnel is an effective removal strategy. Armadillos can be unpredictable so cage placement needs to be strategic. Barriers or fences are effective exclusion techniques to get rid of armadillos. There are no fumigants, toxicants or repellents registered for the control of armadillos.
There is no shortage of snakes in Houston, Texas. Many of them are poisonous and should be avoided. Common snakes in the area include coral snakes, copperheads, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths.
If you find a snake in your home or office, it is either shedding its skin or looking for prey - usually other pests such as mice or rats. When spotting a snake, the best thing to do is slowly back away and call our professionals to remove it for you. We can remove it quickly and safely, keeping you from getting bit.
Wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, cicada killers, or bees can ruin your outdoor experience. Stinging insect control includes safely removing the insect and removing the nest or hive.
There are several types of bees in Houston. The most common are European honeybees, bumblebees, Africanized bees, and ground bees. Typically, bees will only sting if their hive is threatened. But Africanized bees, otherwise known as killer bees, are known for aggressive behavior and may attack unprovoked.
After the stinging insects are taken care of, the entire hive must be removed. An old hive left in your home could attract a new colony or attract other animals. The hive area must be sanitized to remove any honey. Otherwise, leftover honey could attract other pests, including ants, cockroaches, rats, or raccoons.
Wildlife Questions in Houston
What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in the Houston area?
Roof rats, squirrels, and raccoons are common year-round. Bats are seasonal (February - November), and mice are common in new developments.
How much does it cost to remove an animal?
Inspections are always free. 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.
When should homeowners call Critter Control?
Homeowners should call (832) 862-8951
as soon as they suspect a critter is in or trying to get in their home. Prevention and early detection will always lead to a more cost-effective process to remedy the situation and prevent any critter-related damage.
If you suspect you have a critter in the home, don't go it alone. Sealing in a critter or their young inside your home is likely to result in more damage and cost more to fix. Call the professionals.
How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in your area?
Bats are definitely affected by season, appearing in the spring and into fall. Rats and mice are year-round as are other mammals, but removal becomes more complex during breeding season.
Will animal control in Houston remove a wild animal from my home?
No. BARC recommends calling 311 if you have a wild animal inside your home, but they will not respond to service requests for wildlife pest control or wild animals found in your yard. If there is an injured animal on your property, contact the TWRC Wildlife Center at 713-468-8972.
Other Common Wildlife Issues