Squirrels are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of living in houses. The most common complaints include the following:
• Squirrels living in the attic
• Squirrels living in the chimney
• Squirrels chewing on woodwork
• Squirrels stealing bird seed
• Loose squirrel stuck inside home
SQUIRREL BEHAVIOR: Squirrels are most active in morning and evening. Squirrels eat mostly nuts and seeds. They live in a variety of habitats, both forest and suburban or city areas. They establish home territories, and often communicate via scent, chattering, and flickering of the fluffy tail.
NUISANCE CONCERNS: Squirrels love to live in attics. They also love to chew, and will chew on houses or wires, ducts, pipes once inside an attic. People don’t like the noises of squirrels running about above the ceiling or in the eaves, but it’s really the chewing that’s a problem. If squirrels chew on electrical wires in an attic, it can create a real potential fire hazard. Squirrels also bring in nesting material and leave urine and feces in an attic.
SQUIRREL DISEASES: No real important disease, though they do carry parasites, and thus are vectors for the diseases that fleas, ticks, etc can transmit. They also leave a lot of droppings, which pose the usual excrement health risks, such as leptospirosis or Salmonella.
HOW DO I GET RID OF SQUIRRELS? If it’s just squirrels on the property, the best bet is trapping and removal. If it’s squirrels in the attic, then all of the open holes and vulnerable areas through which they can enter should be sealed shut with a material that squirrels can’t chew through, such as steel. The squirrels can then be trapped and removed, or excluded through the use of one-way exclusion doors and tunnels.
Raccoons are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of living in human dwellings. The most common complaints include the following:
• Raccoons living in the attic
• Raccoons living in the chimney
• Tipping over garbage cans
• Stealing pet food or bird seed
• Sick, potentially rabid raccoon
• Presence is alarming dogs/pets
RACCOON BEHAVIOR: They are very common animals, particularly in urban areas. They are well adapted for survival in cities. They are excellent climbers, and they have very nimble hands. They are also strong, and they often explore, tearing new areas open in search of food and shelter. They like to den in trees, but they love to den in attics.
NUISANCE CONCERNS: Racoons have adapted to living with humans. They have learned that garbage cans and dumpsters are excellent sources of food, and that houses are excellent habitat. A mother raccoon will often tear a hole in a roof to access an attic, where they will make quite a mess and a lot of noise. If you have a raccoon in the attic, it’s going to make a big mess. They carry a number of parasites and diseases that can affect people or pets.
RACCOON DISEASES: They are a common carrier of rabies, a potentially fatal disease. They also carry canine distemper, which can kill your dog. Their feces may contain raccoon roundworm, the spores of which humans can breath in and become seriously infected by, so it is important to capture raccoons using human habitat.
HOW DO I GET RID OF RACCOONS? The only real means of getting rid of raccoons is through trapping and removal of the animals. If you’ve got raccoons in your attic, it’s important that the wildlife operator search for a litter of baby raccoons, and remove them by hand before trapping and removing the female raccoon. If it’s just raccoons outside causing trouble, they can be trapped and removed, but beware, they’ll often dig and grab anything within a few inches of the cage trap.