Q&A With District Manager
What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in your area?
Some of the most common wildlife issues a homeowner will face in this area are from grey squirrels, flying squirrels, snakes, and groundhogs. Both grey squirrels and flying squirrels are known to chew into homes and destroy attic insulation. Both species are capable of causing thousands of dollars in structural damage to the home. Grey squirrels are larger, and as a result will create larger holes when chewing in. They are also diurnal, meaning they are active only during the day. Flying squirrels are much smaller, making it harder to determine where they are entering the home. Flying squirrels are nocturnal, and therefore are active during the night. Grey squirrels and flying squirrels are known to chew on wires which may cause house fires. In order to remove, and permanently keep out these pests: trapping, exclusion, and sanitation are required. Snakes on the other hand, enter into yards and homes where people and pets are present. The bite of a venomous snake can severely injure children, adults, and pets. The most common food source for snakes are mice/rats, frogs, lizards, insects, and other small pests found around a home. In order to reduce snake activity, the food source must be eliminated. Along with food source reduction, trapping and deterrents are also required to solve and prevent snake issues in an area. Groundhogs are destructive pests known to burrow under homes, porches, sheds, or other permanent structures. They are capable of creating basketball sized holes in yards that may cause serious injury when stepped in. Groundhog burrows that run underneath homes, sidewalks, and other structures may weaken the structure and cause it to collapse. These animals also carry fleas which may spread into a home if burrows are nearby. Trapping, exclusion, and sanitation must be done in order to remove, sanitize, and permanently keep out these pests.
How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in your area?
Warmer temperatures bring more pests. However, pests such as mice/rats, raccoons, grey squirrels, and flying squirrels thrive in the colder months.
Any prevention tips for residents in your area?
Regularly inspect your home. If you notice any strange signs such as chew holes, debris build up, or if you hear any strange noises, call Critter Control. A technician will provide you with a thorough inspection and be able to provide you with a solution, no matter what type of pest you are dealing with. A Critter Control technician with work with you in order to promptly schedule and begin the extraction process. Most importantly, once the wildlife is removed, all repairs done to the home are warrantied! Once we get the pests out, we keep them out!
When should homeowners call Critter Control?
At the first sign of evidence. It could be damage to the house such as chew holes, debris build up, or stains. It could also be a strange sound you hear in the attic such as scratching, walking, or other strange wildlife sounds. It is important to address wildlife issues as soon as possible. It will cost much less to address a wildlife issue sooner rather than later.
Pest & Wildlife Pressure in Roanoke
Located in a river valley, Roanoke, VA, encounters plenty of problems with pests due to its geography. Abundant water sources bring many animals to the area, while heavy rainfall and frequent flooding may drive them to seek shelter in neighborhoods.
The Problem with Bats
Many bats in Roanoke, VA, live in natural caves throughout the region. However, some species will also roost under eaves, in chimneys, and inside attics. When bats invade homes, residents have a higher risk of contracting diseases such as histoplasmosis and rabies.
Histoplasmosis spreads through mold spores found in accumulated bat waste. The presence of high humidity or moisture in the attic may accelerate the growth of these mold spores and, if disturbed, the pathogens can become airborne and spread through ventilation ducts.
Bats can also transmit the rabies virus to people and pets through scratches and bites.
Squirrels in the Home
Bird feeders in lawns may attract squirrels to residential areas in Virginia. The pests are excellent climbers, so they easily move onto roofs and use weak spots like damaged roofing and soffits to get indoors. A squirrel may nest in a garage, attic, or chimney, creating noise and building leafy nests.
Raccoons disturb Roanoke residents by raiding trash cans and denning in chimneys. The pests can also transmit illnesses like rabies and tularemia to people and their pets. Securing garbage bins with tight-fitting lids may keep these animals away from yards, but a raccoon can be persistent.
Rat and Skunk Problems in Roanoke
Bats are not the only pests that carry rabies in Virginia; skunks are another local species that can spread the virus. In addition, these pests tear up Roanoke yards while searching for grubs to eat. Hungry skunks often rip up extensive areas of turf in search of grubs and dig up mounds of soil across the yard, resulting in costly repairs.
Throughout the night, skunks will feed on pet food left outdoors and eat from garbage cans. Their pungent musk lingers wherever they roam and can be particularly strong when the pests den under porches or decks. Unattended pets are especially at risk for rabies or a nasty dose of skunk spray.
Both rats and skunks cause trouble when they live too close to people. Rats often leave trails of urine and droppings between their nests and food sources indoors. Skunks, on the other hand, create issues outside. The animals may spray curious pets with a foul-smelling oil and den under porches.