The Rio Grande Valley, or what we call “the Valley,” is filled with native and non-native wildlife. We border Mexico in the floodplain of the Rio Grande, which is covered in grasslands, wetlands, forests, and prairies. It is beautiful and makes the perfect habitat for numerous wildlife. There are 142 species of animals and over 540 species of birds living in Texas.
Nuisance wildlife in the Rio Grande Valley is an animal that causes damage to your property or acts as if they are going to damage it. They also may pose a threat to the public or cause such an annoyance that it is hard for you to enjoy your home or outdoor spaces. Examples of nuisance wildlife you will encounter on your property include raccoons, birds, rabbits, skunks, opossums, rodents, snakes, armadillos, bats, etc.
There are state and federal laws regarding the removal of nuisance wildlife. Some are protected and must be left alone, while others require depredation permits. Failing to abide by Texas laws can result in hefty penalties. Relocating nuisance wildlife has regulations due to the diseases many animals carry.
Critter Control Process
How Critter Control humane and safely gets rid of nuisance wildlife from your home and property.
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.
Rio Grande Valley raccoons
have adapted well to living around humans. Typically, they only go out at night to scavenge for food while you are asleep. They can travel up to six miles searching for food.
Raccoons are called masked bandits for a reason. They can be mischievous. Using their nimble, human-like hands, they turn over garbage cans, scatter trash along the road, and dig holes in your yard searching for insects. Because they eat anything, including junk food, pet feed, bugs, garden crops, fish out of your pond, and small animals, they will not let much get in their way. They prefer a warm, cozy spot, like your attic or chimney, to rest.
will enter your home through open holes. They will also break vents, boards, and screens as they push their way inside. Once inside, they create a spot specifically for feces and urine. Then they begin to destroy ducts, insulation, drywall, and stored items.
Raccoons are known to carry rabies and many other diseases. Never try to remove a raccoon
on your own. If you find a nest, they may need to be removed manually. Texas requires you to notify the Parks and Wildlife Department, which may want to test the animal for rabies.
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.
Rat and Mice Pest Control
The Norway and roof rats, and the house and deer mice, are common in the Rio Grande Valley
. They are active at night and know how to stay out of sight. There is no lack of food, water, and shelter, and they can be found on the many ranches, barns, farms, commercial buildings, restaurants, warehouses, and residential neighborhoods.
Because rats and mice
multiply so quickly, you must call for help at the first sign of rodent activity. Look for feces and urine trails, crumb trails, chewed or gnawed wood, wires, carpet, furniture, and pantry items. Outdoors look for sagging electrical wires and burrows in your yard.
, know that rodents are clever and will avoid suspicious items added to their environment. Also, each rodent may be trapped best with different baits. Using the wrong bait can lead to even more problems, and setting traps or spraying pesticides are temporary fixes. To avoid an infestation, you must implement exclusion methods.
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.
Watching a tree squirrel in the Rio Grande Valley
is entertaining. Most likely, you are watching the fox squirrel, but we also have the gray and flying squirrel in our area. They enjoy nuts, grains, seeds, bird eggs, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and in more desperate times, bark.
If you’ve ever seen a tree stripped of its bark, it’s likely a squirrel is the culprit. This behavior can also signal they are deficient in sodium. If squirrels are on your property
, you have food, water, and shelter resources. The shelter may be in your attic or chimney, two of their favorite spots. Expect damage to beams, vents, ducts, pipes, wires, drywall, and flooring when inside your home. They gnaw on anything they can find since their teeth are constantly growing and must be kept filed; it can be painful if their teeth grow too large. Squirrels carry diseases, as well as fleas and ticks that have diseases.
quirrels are game animals with designated hunting and trapping seasons. There may be permitting rules to follow for specific species.
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.
Bats are protected, so you want to hire someone who knows the laws regarding removal. For example, bats cannot be removed during the maternity season, from spring to fall.
Until recently, the vampire bat
was only found outside the United States. Now, it is in Texas, too. They prey on livestock, transmitting diseases. They are tiny, and a bite on a cow is very hard to detect. A typical bat living in urban areas within the Valley includes the Mexican free-tailed bat
Bats are messy wildlife but are an essential part of the ecosystem. Bats consume thousands of insects every night. They become nuisances because of one primary reason, the feces and urine they drop inside your building. The accumulation over time can become heavy, and it contains uric acid that can erode the metal. If their guano piles get too big, the weight can put pressure on boards and beams, eventually causing them to break. Never try to trap or remove a bat
by hand. Bats are covered in guano. So, if you touch a bat, you are also touching their feces and urine.
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.
Of all the snake species
in the Rio Grande Valley, only four are poisonous, including the cottonmouth, rattlesnakes
, copper mouth, and coral snakes. We have water surrounding us everywhere, and when waters rise, snakes make their way into our yards and homes.
While most snakes are not harmful, they can still be a nuisance. Snakes are beneficial for the environment. They eat small rodents and can even eat predatory snakes, protecting people and pets. However, they create a fearful reaction among people who accidentally bump into them in strange places, like their basement or vehicle.
Identifying snakes is not that easy. It’s hard for many people to know which ones are dangerous. Even when you cross paths with the friendliest snakes, you may get frightened. Even snakes that aren’t poisonous can carry bacteria, and if it bites you, it can infect you. It’s always best to use professionals to remove snakes from your property
Snakes are excellent at avoiding detection. We inspect your home for potential entry points and look for signs like snake skin and feces. Because a snake typically enters a home hunting for food, our wildlife inspector also looks for signs of a rodent infestation.
Removal & Control
Depending on the location, we can set a live trap or direct capture. Exclusion is the most effective way to keep snakes out of your home. If rodents are present, it is essential to exterminate the rodent infestation. Their presence will continue to attract snakes.
In addition to dealing with any possible rodent problem drawing snakes to your property, a specialist will assist with sealing possible entry points and also encourage you to remove any debris where snakes can easily take up residence.
Other Common Wildlife Issues
The Critter Control Difference
Rio Grande Wildlife Experts
As the local experts, not only do we understand wildlife habits and habitats, but also we know the local, state, and federal regulations for wildlife control.
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.
Q & A With the Local Franchisee Weston Pawelek
What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in your area?
Raccoons living in attics, snakes in yards, opossums and skunks under homes and rats in attics.
How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in Rio Grande Valley?
Never really gets cold enough here to slow any species of animals down. Snakes are seen every month of the year, as well as raccoons.
What are some common signs of nuisance wildlife activity?
Holes chewed into eves, vents torn open, holes ripped into roofs. Droppings in attics or outside.
Any prevention or exclusion tips for residents in your area?
All holes need to be addressed not just the actual entry point.
When should homeowners call you?
As soon as they suspect that they may have a problem.
This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Pawelek Wildlife Control, LLC, dba Critter Control of Rio Grande Valley.