A very common pest that can cause headaches for New England homeowners is small wildlife, including squirrels and bats. In the latest episode of Bug Jim, The Pest Control Podcast, Jim Byrne from Expert Pest Control helps you understand everything you need to know about small wildlife control for squirrels and bats. This is part 1 of episodes about small wildlife control. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to stay up-to-date with the latest episodes. You can also listen to the podcast here or below. A transcript of the recent podcast below can help you understand the importance of wildlife control when squirrels or bats are present on your property.
Podcast Episode #08: Small Wildlife Control, Part 1
What types of small wildlife does Expert Pest Control deal with for customers in the New England area?
Jim: Our biggest wildlife control call is squirrels. That’s not even close. However, there are three different squirrels that we get calls for. Grey squirrels, which of course everybody knows what those are. Then we also get a lot of calls for red squirrels. They are about half the size of a grey squirrel. And, we also get wildlife control calls for flying squirrels. So, it’s not just “I got squirrels.” We need to go out and determine which kind of squirrel you have because they have different habits, different breeding cycles, and more.
Wildlife control is a whole different ballgame from insects and rodent control. I’m very glad now because we have someone who is really, really good at controlling wildlife. For years, we didn’t handle wildlife control jobs because we were not licensed and we didn’t have anyone who was an “expert” in wildlife. But, now we do, and this technician has been doing great work for Expert Pest Control for a few years now.
We also get a lot of calls for bats, especially from people who live out the woods. A lot of times, these people will not even realize they have bats until they see one fly through their house. Or, they might see the bats leaving their chimney at dusk. There are a lot of wildlife issues out there.
When are squirrels most active? When do they become a problem for people?
Jim: Kind of all year, but they are like rodents. They know when winter is coming. And, if they can find an easy way into your attic to live all winter, then they are going to do that. Your attic is a nice, warm, protected spot for them. Many times, homes will have a hole (or the squirrel will make a hole) that they can get in and out of easily – they feel nice and cozy living up in your attic all winter.
Sometimes in the spring, they will have their litters up there. That presents a whole different wildlife control problem because we do not want to close off a hole that mom is getting in and out. This is because she will just chew another hole (which will cause more damage) or the babies could die up there. This would cause an odor problem. Then, it could turn into a fly problem because the flies are breeding in the dead baby carcasses.
So yeah, it could get nasty. You really have to be careful of what you do when. The attic should be inspected to be sure that there is no litter up there before we start working. Our goal is to not trap the baby squirrels in the attic. Like I said, that would cause a whole set of other problems.
What exactly is the wildlife control treatment for a squirrel problem in the attic?
Jim: A lot of times, it is determining how the squirrels are getting in and out. Then, putting a one-way door where the squirrels can leave, but they cannot get back in. It’s a really ingenious product – we used to make our own before a company started making them. These one-way door products are much better and save us a lot of time from having to make them ourselves. It’s basically a screen that the squirrel can push its way out, but as soon as pushes its way out, a door slams behind it. If the squirrel tries to push back into the attic, the door won’t allow them back in.
The squirrel will be like, ‘okay, I guess I’m out of here.’ Unless, like I said, if it is a mother and she has her babies in that attic. If she has been shut out, she is not going to say ‘oh well.’ She’s going to chew another hole to get back inside. That’s why it is so important to follow the right steps, so you don’t end up trapping something in the house and cause a bigger issue.
What are the signs that I might have a problem with a squirrel?
Jim: When you have a squirrel in your attic, you generally know you have a squirrel. They are very noisy. When I arrive at a customer’s home and they say they have something in the attic, I ask them a couple questions to get a good idea if it is indeed a squirrel problem. I will ask them if it is a faint, tapping of the feet sound, or does it sound like someone is playing football in the attic? Because, like I said, squirrels will make a huge amount of noise. It’s generally not too difficult to determine – it’s a squirrel.
Also, sometimes there is a lot more than one squirrel in the attic. Flying squirrels can have big colonies up there. We have caught 25 flying squirrels in an attic before. So, you can imagine that 25 squirrels are going to make a lot of noise. Gray squirrels are much bigger, so they make the most noise. But, they generally do not have as big of a colony. Usually, two or maybe three squirrels are in a gray squirrel’s colony, whereas flying squirrels can have 20 to 30. So, wildlife control can really be quite an adventure.
Submit Your Pest Control Questions to the Podcast!
If you have your own question about pests or pest control, you can send it to us and we’ll answer it on the podcast. Expert Pest Control is the number one local resource for small wildlife control in Massachusetts. We offer pet-friendly solutions and eco-friendly products that are safer for people, plants, and animals. Plus, we work with each homeowner to determine the best course of action to prevent squirrels and bats from wreaking havoc in your attic or your yard. If you suspect you have squirrels or bats in your attic, seek help from professional wildlife removal and control companies. We have the wildlife tools for all types of critter control. Don’t try it yourself.
Request a quote below for humane small wildlife removal. Learn about our pest control solutions for all types of wildlife, squirrels, bats, and more. Otherwise, we hope you’ll be back to listen to the next episode of Bug Jim, The Pest Control Podcast.