Seattle has its share of unwanted wildlife in developed areas. King County reports there are some invasive species in our area. For example, European starlings and sparrows are aggressively taking over the nests of woodpeckers and other birds.
These same birds like to invade other things, too, like your home. They aren’t the only wildlife trying to find food, water, and shelter in your home. Snakes, squirrels, opossums, and skunks are just a few more examples of Seattle wildlife becoming a nuisance in developed areas.
Raccoons like to den near a water source, so frequent rainfall in Seattle provides a variety of comfortable habitats. Raccoons are well adapted to urban and suburban environments and attracted to unsealed trash cans and outdoor pet food. In colder months, raccoons will attempt to access a home through the chimney or den under a deck. These pests come with the risk of disease and property damage and should be removed immediately.
Before trying to remove a raccoon from your home by yourself, remember they can carry diseases, and if threatened, they may bite. Calling nuisance wildlife animal control experts is recommended. Critter Control's three-step process works well for raccoon removal.
Rat and Mice Pest Control
The most common rodents to find in your home are Norwary rats, roof rats, and the common house mouse.
Squirrels are so fun to watch. They fill up their cheeks with acorns and race up and down trees. It’s all fun and games until your bird feeders are destroyed, the siding on your home has been chewed through, and nests are built in your chimney. The Eastern Gray squirrel is a particular nuisance since it is the one to most likely enter your home. They are most active in the early mornings and evenings.
Native squirrels in our area include the Western Gray Squirrel, Douglas Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Northern Flying Squirrel. Non-native squirrels are the Eastern Gray Squirrel and the Eastern Fox Squirrel. Squirrels in Seattle have also been known to gnaw on wires lying on the roof of homes, causing power lines to droop, digging holes in your garden, and chewing holes in your attic where they may build a nest.
Squirrels mate from late winter to early spring, with litters arriving from March to June. All squirrels except flying squirrels and the western gray squirrel can produce a second litter in the Fall.
If you have squirrels on your property, call us for an inspection.
In Washington, bats are a year-round nuisance for homeowners. These critters look for places to hibernate during cold weather and roosts to rest during warmer months. Though some colonies choose trees or caves, others will enter homes.
Bats are a common sight in Seattle because they live in homes. The most common bats seen in the Seattle area are the little brown bat and the big brown bat, which could be living in your home now, damaging the structure of your home with their toxic feces and urine made of high levels of uric acid.
We must wait to block holes over a period of days early in the evening after the bats have left the structure to feed. We do this from mid-August to mid-October to give baby bats time to learn to fly. We also want to give them time to leave before colder weather arrives. Another window of opportunity occurs in early spring, before the birthing period in May.
If you have bats in your home or yard, call a professional at Critter Control for help.
Skunks carry rabies and other diseases, making them dangerous to humans and pets. Female skunks seek a quiet, safe place to have baby skunks. Many find places underneath your home, porch, or decks. If the mama skunk feels threatened at any time, it will release an odor that repels any living creature.
Suppose they spray while living underneath your home; those odors can rise and enter your home, taking weeks for the odors to fade.
Skunks like to chew wood, tear screens, or burrow to find the right spot under your home. Don’t risk being sprayed by a skunk in trying to remove it by yourself. Call us instead.
The ponds, rivers, lakes, and marshes in King County are home to a variety of semiaquatic mammals like beavers, river otters, and nutria. Each animal can presents unique problems that require specific animal control solutions.
Nutria burrow into dikes and irrigation systems.Individuals should never try to trap and remove nutria on their own. As the animal may be carrying a variety of pathogens and parasites, mishandling can lead to serious health risks. Contact a trained wildlife specialist to remove and humanely relocate nutria populations.
River otters can disrupt a pond or lakes ecosystem by eating fish. Wire fences can keep otters out of private ponds and fisheries. Building walls along the shore may make it difficult for otters to exit bodies of water, which effectively traps the animal until removal is possible.
Beaver dams can flood your property, and beavers can destroy trees building their dams. There are several solutions for beaver control. There are engineering solutions to prevent beaver dams from flooding your property. Covering the base of trees and landscaping can protect them from beaver damage. Beaver trapping and removal should be used as a last resort.
Trapping and removing burrowing animals from your yard can be challenging. Animals like moles, voles and mountain beavers can create extensive burrow systems with multiple entrances. In some cases, the animal has abandoned entrances and tunnels. It can be time and resouce intensive targeting a burrow the animal is no longer using.
Well-maintained landscaping, while pleasing to the eye, may provide the perfect living conditions for moles. They often build unsightly dirt mounds and raised surface tunnels, which can disrupt gardens, pavers, and plant root systems.
Mountain beavers create extensive burrows in their preferred habitat of damp forests, ferny slopes, and damp ravines in urban areas of King and Pierce counties. They have an herbivorous diet and will eat a wide variety of plants, both above ground, and underground.
Northern Flicker Woodpecker Control
The Northern flicker is the most common woodpecker in Washington. Homeowners often deal with these pests in wooded areas. Woodpecker issues are especially frequent after storms or landscaping efforts displace trees. Birds that lose their habitats seek alternate shelter. Residents may hear them drumming on siding or gutters.
Bird netting is frequently used to stop woodpecker populations from damaging surrounding trees and buildings. Frightening devices also provide some protection. Such methods involve the use of shiny, bright, and mobile objects near potential drilling sites. Exclusion can be difficult if the birds are well established in the area, at which point pest control professionals may be the only solution.