Squirrel Control, Roof Rat Control, Bat Control, Pigeon Control and Pest Control Products - What Works and What Does Not?How to get rid of Squirrels in the attic, Roof Rats aka. Attic Rats, Norway Rats, Mice, Raccoons, Bats in the attic and Skunks under the house:
Squirrel Traps and Rat Traps- Live Traps or Snap Traps: Are these the best way to get rid of squirrels in the attic or rats without additional problems?
The Grey Squirrel's Latin name is Sciurus Carolinensis. Grey squirrels mate twice a year - in the early spring or late winter and in the summer. The mother squirrel will give birth to her young about 45 days after mating. A squirrel has 4 to 6 baby squirrels per litter. A pair of healthy squirrels could produce a dozen offspring each year. In twelve months the offspring become breeding adults. Each litter does not leave its mother's nest for the first 10 to 12 weeks of its life. It is totally dependant on its mother's milk to live. If you have squirrels in the attic there most likely are baby squirrels in your attic 40% of the year. Squirrel trapping or poisoning could leave baby squirrels up in your attic in a nesting site to die of starvation. A mother squirrel will nest in the safest place she can find to protect her young. Attics are ideal places. The cavities in the your home's walls are many times chosen by nesting squirrels - the radiant heat in the winter and the cool air from air conditioning make the interior house walls good nesting sites for mother squirrels. These cavities are accessed by the squirrel through top of the wall openings in your attic. If you use rat poison or a squirrel trap to try to get rid of squirrels in the attic, then you could be smelling dead, baby squirrels rotting in your attic or walls for weeks. And if you use a rat poison to kill the squirrels, the squirrel will often retreat to its nest in your attic to die and you will be smelling its rotting body for weeks. Often interior walls have to be cut into to remove the dead squirrels. An attic squirrel may nest under attic flooring and the flooring will have to be removed to remove the dead squirrel in the attic. AND PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, THAT IF YOU HEAR SQUIRRELS IN YOUR ATTIC THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, YOU MOST LIKELY HAVE 4 TO 6 BABIES PER EACH MOTHER SQUIRREL IN THE ATTIC 40-50% OF THE YEAR. A MOTHER SQUIRREL CAUGHT IN A SQUIRREL TRAP, WHETHER SNAP TRAP OR LIVE TRAPPED, AND CARRIED AWAY - OR - A POISONED SQUIRREL - OR - A SQUIRREL SHOT WITH A PELLET GUN - COULD, 40% TO 50% OF THE YEAR, RESULT IN DEAD YOUNG SQUIRRELS IN YOUR ATTIC OR INTERIOR HOUSE WALLS LEFT TO DECAY AND SMELL.
Rat traps used as squirrel traps. Rat traps are designed for rats - not for squirrels! I am speaking of the snap trap variety of rat traps. I have seen a squirrel that was trapped in one of these rat traps and it did not kill the squirrel. The rat trap used as a squirrel trap was placed in an attic by a well meaning husband trying to get rid of his squirrels in the attic. He had placed about a dozen rat traps in a 2,000 square foot attic space. The traps had been up in the attic for seven years! A squirrel ran past one and tripped the rat trap trigger. The rat trap snapped shut on the attic squirrel's foot. Where do you think this injured squirrel with a rat trap attached to its broke leg ran to? It ran to a interior house wall where its nest was. There's no place like home. The squirrel managed to force its broken leg through the wall opening in the attic with the rat trap still attached. But as it tried to leave the interior wall space to go back up into the attic the rat trap used as a squirrel trap became stuck and so was the injured squirrel. Unfortunately the squirrel had to be put down.
If you use a rat trap as a squirrel trap the squirrel will usually not face an immediate death being as the rat traps are not designed to be used as a squirrel trap. The squirrel will definitely suffer and if it is able to move it will often retreat to its squirrel nest in your attic to die and rot and smell.
If you use a rat poison to poison a squirrel or a rat, besides the risk of it or its young dying in your attic or home's wall, is the risk of a sickened or dead family pet.
Every year there a hundreds of cases of secondary poisonings from a dog or cat chewing on or partially ingesting poisoned rat, mouse or squirrel. If a dog or cat finds a dead rodent - and they can smell them out, they find what to them is a chew toy and/or an extra meal. As they carry around the dead rodent in their mouths, as some kind of trophy, they are ingesting the very poisons that killed the rat. At least, your pet could get sick and sometimes they die. This death will occur some times because there is often, over time, more than one dead rat or squirrel that they find and the poisons accumulate in the pet's blood stream until it becomes sick and dies, or at least runs up a considerable veterinary bill.
The scent glands of squirrels are located in their feet. As they run they leave little scent road maps for other squirrels to follow. The pheromones in rodent urine (squirrels are rodents) can last up to two years. Tree squirrels love to live in attics. It’s warmer, drier and safer from predators. Unfortunately most attics are not equipped with squirrel toilets. But this is not a problem for the squirrels - they will just urinate and defecate all over the attic. And I do mean all over. It is amazing to see an attic where squirrels have been residing. Raisin sized dung all over the place and matted down insulation which is stained with and smells of urine. It is truly nasty – but not to the squirrels. The urine and glands in the squirrels’ feet leave pheromone trails which are like a welcome mat or “attic for rent” sign for future squirrels. This is why squirrel trapping, poisoning, or house sealing has to be done over and over and over by homeowners at great cost each time and most definitely accumulatively. I know from experience and so does my pocketbook.
Squirrel Thinks: "This is the 5th time I been for a ride in his truck - No Problemo, I'll be back".
I am in the pest control industry. I have to be familiar with many aspects of the industry. In one of the pest control classes I attended, taught by a pest control inspector, the inspector informed us that integrity was a big part of keeping our state license. As part of ensuring this, the inspectors would “shadow”/observe unawares a pest control operator and before an inspector does a site, chemical, equipment, paper work, and service vehicle inspection he/she would often watch the pest professional from a distance without the pest control operator’s knowledge he/she was being watched/inspected. The inspector teaching the class said that in the vast majority of the times an animal was live trapped at a customer’s residence or business the animal pest was unethically released within two blocks of where it was caught. In this case the pest would just return to the capture site. Pest control operators in most states are required to take the pest at least two miles away from the capture site before releasing it. The inspector told the class that our license would be in jeopardy if we were caught doing this unethical practice.
So if you hire a pest control company to live trap and/or seal your home or business - what certainty do you have that the pest control employee won’t just let the squirrel, mouse, or rat out of the live trap just down the street? Again this was not the exception but the majority according to the inspector’s class. And if you snap trap the pest, or glue trap the pest, or zap trap the pest – What keeps other animal pest from following the scent trail to your home or property?
A Squirrel's Motto: "There's No Place Like Home"
Squirrel Traps and the Homing Behavior of Squirrels
Eighty percent of squirrels that are trapped in live squirrel traps and released within two miles return will return to
your their home.
This number drops in percentage with each mile that the squirrel is taken from the capture site. At a 5-7 mile range a significant, but reduced, number of trapped and released squirrels still return to the capture site. In field experiments approximately 5% of trapped and released squirrels returned from as far a 10-12 miles from where they were caught in live squirrel traps. One squirrel trapped and carried about twenty-five miles away from the squirrel trap site returned to its home.
In the two experiments, from which the figures were taken, over 100 individual squirrels were trapped and released. One squirrel trapping and homing behavior study was performed by the University Of Connecticut. The other squirrel trapping and homing behavior study was performed by a large pest control company over a three year period. In each case the trapped squirrels were caught in live squirrel traps and transported with special attention paid to the prevention of the squirrels having visual cues along the traveled paths aka. they could not see where they were going. This was done because squirrels that are trapped and then can see along the route to their release site almost always find there way back. Hey, a squirrel can turn left at the park and then right at the McDonalds too.
Still if they can't see the relocation route - how do they find their way back? One study by University of Laval in Quebec, Canada found that red squirrels, when released from the squirrel traps, had a basic sense of the direction which they needed to travel back to the place where they were trapped. But, the trapped and released squirrels did not seem to have any knowledge of how far they were from the place where the squirrel traps were set and they were captured. Seventeen squirrels were trapped and released in this squirrel trap and release homing behavior study. This squirrel trapping study suggest that the squirrels use two strategies to return the the site where the squirrels were trapped. The first is the squirrels innate sense of direction orientation. The second was the exploratory trips the squirrels made toward the place where the squirrel traps were placed and they were captured. Since the squirrels did not see the travel route form the squirrel trap placement to the release sites how did they find their way back home if they had no visual cues by which to orient themselves. Was it a re-adjusting of their internal sense of direction or their keen sense of smell that enable them to pick of the pheromones of familiar squirrels? In another study done on a different member of the rodent family suggest that visual cues or a lack of them may not be the only mechanism of squirrel homing behavior. In this other rodent homing study the mice (cousins of squirrels) were trapped. Half of the mice were blinded. The blind mice found their way back to the place where they were trapped equal to the seeing mice. This study was repeated ten times with a new set of mice each time and the blind mice found their way home just as well as the seeing mice. Still thinking about using squirrel traps to solve your attic squirrel problem? Still thinking about using squirrel traps to solve your attic squirrel problem? Still thinking about using squirrel traps to solve your attic squirrel problem? Sorry for repeating myself - but squirrel traps can put you into a repetitive cycle too. And if you hire a professional squirrel trapper the cost are very often repetitive too.
The preponderance of the returning squirrels in most squirrel tarp studies are males. Within a two mile range this male to female returning squirrel ratio was not as pronounced. Closer to, and up to, the two mile range most of the returning, trapped and released squirrels were males. After two miles the number of trapped and returning female squirrels dropped significantly. The two experiments were performed in opposing seasons. The University of Connecticut experiment was conducted in the middle of winter. The pest control company's experiment was conducted over three consecutive summers. The term of the pest control company's experiment would have cover the period during which the female squirrels would have had nursing/blind baby squirrels in their nests. Again, few of these female squirrels returned to their nesting sites to care for their baby squirrels if they were carried more than two miles away from the live squirrel trap site.
In the University of Connecticut experiment the trapped squirrels were individually identified and marked via toe clippings and released. The squirrels that returned to the capture site were recaptured and taken a farther distance away and still half of them returned - all of theses second trip squirrels were males.
Very little is known about the internal mechanisms of a squirrel's homing ability. Other rodents show the same abilities. In one experiment of the homing abilities of mice almost all of the trapped and release mice returned to their nesting areas when taken and release up to two miles away.
In each of these squirrel trapping experiments the miles measured were in straight lines ("as a crow flies"). In the pest control company's experiments the mileage was measured also in a straight line but in some cases the additional precaution of traveling in a zigzag pattern was employed and this additional measure did not seem to confound the squirrels innate homing abilities. Again, 'There's no place like home" - even for a squirrel in the attic.
The Reason Squirrels Return - NUTS
Squirrels spend a great deal of their time foraging for food. A squirrel will scent mark and bury hundreds of acorns to see itself through the winter. Imagine if you had all your winters food stored in one place. Imagine that you spent a great deal of your time protecting your territory and food hidden on it. Ever heard of a Fort?, Castle?, Bank Vault? And imagine that your saved stores could last for two years. And someone kidnapped you and took you far away from your home and its food. I'd be back too! AndÂ if you don't return? Another squirrel will scent out your hidden food stores and move right in. Solution: With pest control strobe lights these problems are addressed. First, we have found that if a squirrel or rat is living in a house wall that it accesses through a space that is protected by a high intensity strobe that the squirrel or rat will give up going to its nesting area in the wall. It just is not worth it - see Rodent Strobe's How It Works page. Second, Attic squirrels and rats are good mothers. If their young are in what the rodent mother deems an "unsafe" area she will move them to another place that she sees as safe. We recommend that a person using our pest control strobe lights simply turn off the strobes for a few hours at a time during the first few days to allow the mothers to move their young. Then when all the attic squirrels, attic rats, raccoons, etc., are gone - turn on the strobes and leave them on. Problem solved! No dead, rotting squirrels or rats. No dead or sick family pets. No repeating and repeating the squirrel trapping, or rat trapping nightmare.
The Foraging Behavior of Attic Squirrels and How it Relates to Effective Squirrel Control via Squirrel Traps.The most active foraging time for the squirrels that live in your attic is the fall. As the fall season progresses the squirrels spend a greater percentage of their time foraging and hiding their winter food stores. The attic squirrel's typical behavior is to carry a nut, such as an acorn or pecan, about 50 feet from the tree from which it is harvested and then pretend to bury it. Yes you read right - squirrels are smart. We protect our money with passwords and pin codes. An attic squirrel protects his or her food stores by pretending to bury it as many as three times. The squirrel will dig a hole. Then the squirrel will pretend to put the nut in the hole. The squirrel covers the hole with leaves and dirt and repeats this process. And, if a squirrel sees that it is being watched it will then repeat this process with the same nut for several days. The squirrel will dig up its buried acorns and relocate each nut with the same deceptive behavior for each nut. Then after a full day of foraging and hiding its winter stores it will retreat at dusk and will be a happy squirrel in attic - with food stores in your yard. Researchers have even dug around areas where a squirrel has buried a nut in the sight of the squirrel and the squirrel will then multiply its deceptive tactics in order to protect its winter food. Squirrels are very territorial, especially the male squirrels. This makes squirrel control via squirrel traps very difficult. If a male squirrel is caught in a cage squirrel trap and released into an area with other male squirrels which are protecting their nut stores the trapped and relocated squirrel is chased away.Â Squirrel Control by other squirrels! This is another reason why the preponderance of squirrels that are caught in a squirrel trap that return to their capture sight are male. Females are more readily accepted into a new squirrel community especially by the male squirrels in the area. Squirrel trapping professionals love this because you will be calling them back to fish dead baby squirrels out of a wall. I talked to one pest professional who owns a rather large pest control company which is back-logged with squirrel control work setting squirrel traps and house sealing for at least a month in the months from October to May. He told me that by the time he gets through with the added up squirrel trapping and house sealing charges to the typical home it averages from $1,200 - 2,600 per home. Squirrel Control can be expensive! And, if the pest professional who trapped the squirrel in the attic releases the squirrel within 2 miles of your attic (and according to pest control inspectors most do) the squirrel eighty percent of the time will make it back to your attic within about 2 weeks.
Attic Squirrel Control and Rat Control by means of wolf urine, coyote urine, fox urine, predator urine, or scents? Will these get rid of squirrels, rats, mice, bats and raccoons in the attic?
Do not shake away your money!
In the first place - been there done that. I can tell you from personal experience that this does not work for long - In my case it did not work at all. Besides I don’t want more urine smell in my attic – enough is enough. Oh! (But the web sites say) this will scare away the pest because the rat, mouse, mice, squirrel, raccoon will smell the predator’s urine and it will be frightened away .Vertebrate Pest Control Experts implore consumers not to go this route because field experiments show these products to be a short term success (two to three days) but a long term failure. Don’t waste your hard earned money on these products. Too many people do.
Here's Something Else to Think About:
The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for one of these products lists fox urine as a main ingredient. Where is all this dried fox urine coming from? Are there fox port-a-potties placed in the forest? It takes a lot of fox urine to produce these products. Where is it coming from? The largest source of fox urine on the market is supplied by the fur trade industry. Hundreds of foxes in cages with trays beneath each cage to collect the marketable urine. Do you want to purchase a product that does not give long term results? Do you want your money going to support the fur trade industry?
Squirrel Control, Rat Control, Skunk Control and Bat Control by means of ultrasonic pest control, ultrasonic repellents, ultrasonic repellers?
Been there, done that too! I wish I had my money back. That ultrasonic thing was expensive and the owner of the company told me how great it would work. Yeah buddy. Did you know that several of the leading vertebrate pest specialists - PhD. Professors, experts in the field have tried to get the Federal Trade Commission to ban ultrasonic pest control devises because they do not work? The Federal Trade Commission has published a warning to all ultrasonic pest repeller manufacturers and retailers. There may be an initial effect but research shows that the pests return and become habituated (get used to the noise). How long do ultrasonic work? Research shows that the repelling effect last for 1-3 days, but after 3-7 days the pests become habituated to the noise and continue living in the space not bothered enough to leave their home. Additional research confirms that ultrasonic pest repellers may have a partial or transitory effect, but have no persistent effectiveness. Most academic researchers urge legislatures and consumers to view ultrasonic pest repellents with skepticism. The New York State Consumer Protection Board cautions against using ultrasonic repellers. In addition to this, contrary to the claims of many ultrasonic pest control device sellers, there is scientific evidence that some of these devices cause hearing loss in pets, most especially dogs . Even the US Army does not approve of ultrasonic pest control devices.
I traveled to San Diego to speak with the vertebrate pest expert who does the pest control products investigations for the Federal Trade Commission. When I told him I had a pest control product that I needed some help in designing container and field experiments for product testing the first thing he asked me (with a look of disgust) was “this isn’t another one of those ultrasonic pest repellers is it? – Those things don’t work”. I am pleased to say that he seemed very impressed with my product, especially when he was in a dark room with my strobe flashing and he was commenting that it was making him dizzy as he moved around the room. Then I observed him try several times to turn on the lights with the wall switch and his hand was meandering around for several seconds before he was able to secure his hand on the switch and turn the lights on. I was one happy camper.
Plastic Owls to get rid of Squirrels, Roof Rats aka. Attic Rats, Bats and Mice in the attic?
There is a restaurant with a giant Paul Bunyan statue in the parking lot with a big axe in his hands. Is this scaring the human customers away? Have you ever seen a picture of a scarecrow out in a corn field with a bird sitting on it? – I have. Again, please don’t waste your money on a plastic owl – unless all you want is one or two days of squirrel control until the pest figures out it’s not real.
Will a radio in the attic get rid of squirrels, roof rats and mice in the attic?
This will work for a day or two but that is about it. I know people who sleep with a radio or a television on all night with the volume up. When asked how they could sleep with such noise they respond “Oh, I’m used to it”. The pest will get used to it too. No one likes to be kicked out of their home – rodents are no exception.
Pellet Gun to get rid of squirrels, raccoons and pigeons in the attic?
What if you just wound it and it runs to its nest – IN YOUR ATTIC – and dies? -OR- It has baby squirrels left to die in your attic or walls? Well, happy smells to you Annie Oakley. Besides, in many towns this is illegal.
Squirrel Traps and Rat Traps - The Snap Trap Type: Some things to consider before you purchase.
This is a way to control pests. BUT, there are several drawbacks. First, be careful for your fingers – if it can snap a mouse’s spine it can certainly break or severely hurt a finger. Children can get hurt. Family pets could get hurt. Emergency rooms are expensive.
Mouse traps, mice traps, rat traps are meant for smaller rodents. Squirrel control via this method could mean a squirrel caught in one of these could suffer for hours. A large rat (and rats can get as large as a small cat) might possibly have to be killed while still caught in the trap. Pest control manuals recommend attaching snap traps to a larger board so a larger wounded animal caught in a trap doesn’t drag it elsewhere where it will die and smell and be hard to retrieve. I have personally seen a squirrel in an attic that caught its foot in a snap trap. The squirrel then retreated with the snap trap attached to its foot into an inner house wall and became caught in between the attic wall and the open attic space because the trap would not fit back through the space between the wall and the attic. This animal would have died in the wall and would have rotted and smelled had it not been found and removed.
If you use a rat trap, or a mouse trap, or a squirrel trap that is designed to kill the pest - what if it has babies living in the attic or wall spaces of your property? They die and the smell is horrible! Plus then you have to go through the expense of having a pest control professional crawling through your attic and possibly cutting into your walls to remove the dead litter. But with Rodent Strobe if the strobes are turned off for short periods of time (several hours) during the first few days - the rat, or squirrel has a chance to remove its young and the whole family leaves. This is squirrel control and rat control that does not leave a rotting dead animal in your walls or attic. This is truly the best way to get rid of attic squirrels, raccoons, bats in the attic, rats in the attic, skunks under the house and opossums in the attic or crawl space.
Pest control manuals give guidelines on disposal of trapped and killed or injured pests. First, warnings are made that a wounded animal can be very dangerous. Secondly, dead pests can carry diseases so wear the proper protective equipment. Third, It is recommended that the dead animal be sprayed thoroughly with a clorox and water solution before removal and disposal. Also be aware that the dead pest may have fleas that have been feeding on its blood and if one of its fleas bites you then you could be infected with a pathogen. Lyme disease, a disease that was once thought only to be in deer ticks, has now been found in fleas. The “black death” was spread by fleas on roof rats. Norway Rats and Roof Rats often have tapeworms. Tapeworm eggs exit the host through their saliva or rectum. The eggs are like lice - they are easily contact distributed. Disposing of a dead Roof Rat or Norway Rat can give you another type of pest infestation. Furthermore, if a pet dog or cat picks up a dead Roof Rat or Norway Rat in its mouth and the Rat has tapeworms (a COMMON rat ailment) then your family pet can be infected and if it licks its rear end and then licks your face or sits on your counter or table you have a high probability of being infected by a tapeworm or similar parasite.
Parasites: rats to pets to humans - Center for Disease Control estimates 3 to 4 percent of Americans infected by pets with parasites. The percentage rises to 7 to 10 percent of children and up to 30% in the poor rural south. Raccoons cause parasites in cats that is then spread to humans via contact with the cat. Brain Parasite that is spread from rats to cats and then humans.
Rat traps and Roof Rats aka. Attic Rats.
Been there, done that. If you have roof rats – good luck, I had none. With literally dozens of traps and multiple baits – over seven years I didn’t catch a single roof rat. I could smell them. I could hear them. I saw their droppings. I just couldn't’t catch them and neither could four pest control companies. You have got to have a really bad problem with roof rats to catch them – by “bad problem” I mean an over population and fierce competition for food sources. And to solve the problem you have to catch them all and then you have their lasting scent trail to worry about. See this article in the San Diego Union Tribune about a local government vector control man (rat trapper / rat exterminator) - he set multiple traps in places where the roof rat problem was out of control and did not catch a single roof rat in for 60 days.
Moth balls in the attic for squirrel control or rat control is illegal and toxic to humans.
The use of moth balls in an attic or other spaces to get rid of squirrels in the attic is illegal in all 50 states. If you use moth balls to get rid of squirrels, bats in the attic, and raccoons in the attic or any other vertebrate pest or even suggest their use to someone you are committing, at least a misdemeanor, and even a felony in many states. If you are considering using Moth balls to get rid of squirrels in the attic then you need to read this - Moth balls are toxic to humans and pets. Most moth balls are made from naphthalene which is derived from coal tar. The gas emitted from moth balls is heavier than air and will seep from your attic into the lower levels of your home – your living areas. Many people will recommend moth balls to get rid of squirrels in the attic and other pests. In states such as Arizona, California, Florida and New York this simple recommendation is a felony. Moth balls take oxygen out of the air. Their purpose is to suffocate moths in a contained environment. It is similar, very similar to running a car engine in a garage with the garage door closed. Several years ago a friend had a yard man tell her to put moth balls in her attic to drive out the squirrels. It worked for a while but the amount of moth balls she had to put in the attic spaces to drive out the squirrels made her house stink of moth balls. Now, my friend could not smell the moth balls after several days, but everyone who entered her house was over-whelmed by the odor. I have asthma and when visiting her it greatly bothered my asthma. Two years later the lowest places in her house, such as bathroom cabinets, linen closets, etc. still smells of moth balls. Many people who make this huge mistake then spend years trying to get the moth ball smell out of their house. Good luck! To this day, freshly laundered towels that have been placed in her bathroom cabinets soon acquire the smell of the moth balls. Again, my friend could not smell the moth balls but everyone who entered her house could. Same thing with squirrels and mice - they get used to the smell - unless you use so many moth balls that the toxic vapors are so heavy that the squirrels or other rodents can’t stay – which means these heavier than air toxic vapors are seeping down into your living areas and into your lungs and into your blood stream. Did you know that babies that have been wrapped in blankets which were stored with moth balls have been found to have high levels of naphthalene in their blood streams? Moth balls for squirrel control, been there – smelled that, in most cases it is illegal and very toxic.
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