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Critter Control 101: Wildlife & Rodent Tips For Winter

CRITTER CONTROL 101

Here’s an incredible statistic: Rodents invade more than 21 million homes every winter. Talk about a high number! Are you looking for critter control near you? Look no further! 

We put together a list of the top rodents and wildlife to look for in or around your home and how Clark’s can safely remove these critters and keep them from returning. 

House Mouse

critter control 101
house mouse
  • According to PestWorld, house mice breed very quickly and can adapt easily to changing conditions. They tell us that a female house mouse can give birth to HALF A DOZEN babies EVERY THREE WEEKS and can produce up to 35 young per year.
  • Mice can also drop up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, or 70 times each day. 

Diet & Habits

  • Mice prefer to eat cereal and seeds but can eat insects, nuts and fruits. ONCE INSIDE, mice will almost eat any human food they can find. 
  • House mice have “territories” that can range from 4-5 feet. If they have food and water, their territory is complete, and they have a home.
  • They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high!
  • They typically feed at dusk and before dawn.

How To Prevent House Mice

  • Inspect for any torn wires, insulation, and walls for signs of an infestation.
  • Store boxes and containers off the floor to prevent mice from taking over any undisturbed areas.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices.
  • Keep tree branches and other shrubberies well-trimmed.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house. 

Norway Rat

critter control 101
norway rat
  • They are known for their continuous gnawing, which is their way to cause damage to structures. 
  • They reproduce quickly and give birth to roughly 3-6 liters per year.
  • Norway rats are drawn to piles of wood and can bring in various diseases and bring in fleas to a home.

Diet & Habits

  • Norway rats will eat almost anything but prefer meat, fish and cereal.
  • When outdoors, they typically thrive in fields, farmlands, and structures, as well as riverbanks, garbage, woodpiles, and underneath concrete slabs. 
  • Norway rats can fit through holes the size of a QUARTER and occasionally reside in attics or roofs.

How To Prevent Norway Rats

  • Keep firewood stored away from the structure.
  • Remove debris piles.
  • Seal ANY holes with steel wool to help block any points of entry.
  • Store food properly in airtight containers. 
  • Keep garbage and trash cans tightly closed.

Raccoons

critter control 101
a photo of a raccoon trying to steal one of our technician’s keys!
  • Raccoons are commonly found in forested areas close to a water source, but they also can scurry around in fields, preferably near livestock watering areas. 
  • They can build “dens” in hollow trees, ground burrows, brush piles, barns, etc. 
  • FACT: Raccoons are one of the MAJOR hosts of RABIES across the U.S. 
  • They are known to raid garages and garbage cans left by the street, always searching for food. 

Diet & Habits

  • Racoons are omnivores and will eat both plants and other animals, like fruits, berries, nuts, fish, and frogs (to name a few!).
  • They can live as long as 12 years in the wild.
  • Raccoons are not as active in the winter but can come out occasionally seeking shelter. 

How To Prevent Raccoon Infestations

  • Inspect your home for any broken vents, holes, and uncapped chimneys as they can easily sneak in this way. 
  • Store trash in sealed areas, like a locked shed or outhouse.
  • Use tight, animal-proof lids if your trash can is out in the open.
  • Rid your yard of any woodpiles. 
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from your house. 

Squirrels

critter control 101
squirrel
  • Squirrels love to make their nest in the attic of your home, and although they may look adorable, they will wreak havoc in your attic. 
  • They are known to chew through wires which is a significant fire hazard.
  • Squirrels can also damage your insulation by constantly excreting their feces to mark their territory.
  • They are known to invade in the cooler months as they seek warmer shelter.

Diet & Habits

  • Besides eating nuts, squirrels are omnivores and eat meat and plants.
  • They will bury food to save it for colder months.
  • Squirrels are typically found in tree nests they built from leaves, twigs, and bark. 
  • In the cooler months, it’s possible to find squirrels residing in your attic as they attempt to seek shelter during the cold winter months!

How To Prevent a Squirrel Infestations

  • Screen vents and chimney openings
  • Inspect for any cracks and crevices and seal them if you find any openings.
  • Keep tree limbs cut back by 6-8 feet from the roofline.
  • Use airtight containers for food and take out the trash regularly.

 

source(s):

https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/rodents/house-mice/

https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/biting-temperatures-send-rodents-scrambling-indoors/

https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/nuisance-wildlife/raccoons/

https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/how-to-get-rid-of-squirrels/


If you suspect an infestation, you can take a deep breath and relax. Clark’s Wildlife Team will come to your home for an evaluation and give you the best option to safely eradicate rodents and other nuisance wildlife. We cater specifically to each home to ensure it stays RODENT free this winter!

clarkscsr@clarkspest.com866-781-4991