Spring is around the corner and with the warming days come the first litters of wildlife. Mating season is underway for our local wildlife. Grey squirrels will begin to have the first of their twice-yearly litters sometime in February while raccoons aren’t far behind with their one yearly litter being dropped as early as march.
Don’t panic though, even if you hear these unwanted visitors in your attic, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a critter nursery up there quite yet. Squirrels and raccoons have a period of several months with their respective birthing seasons and some can give birth either earlier or later in the season. What this means for you is if you have them in your structure, then it’s wise to have them removed by a professional as soon as possible to help avoid complications that can be caused by litters of young wildlife.
Due to their life cycle, the young of nuisance wildlife mature quickly. They go from immobile newborns to curious explorers within a few weeks. While not ready to live on their own yet, the young are fully capable of wreaking havoc in your home just like unattended human toddlers, but now you must multiply those times six or even eight times. We have removed multiple raccoon litters of either or more during our time in the industry.
They’re In the Walls!
For the typical resident, hearing the scampering, scratching, thumps, bumps, chittering sounds, or other vocalizations that along with nuisance wildlife and their litters is normally more than enough to send them seeking out a “trapper.” But it’s when those young start exploring is where things get much worse. As soon as they are mobile, young begin to explore their growing world. This can unfortunately lead them to fall in recesses and wall voids often too small for the adult female to retrieve them. This can lead the young becoming lodged in voids where they will eventually die and likely cause odor which can necessitate cutting holes in walls to access them and remove the carcass, remediate odor and any other biohazardous residue prior to repairing the access point. Sound fun yet?
Well, they may not die, that’s good right? Well, what happens when they make their way down through voids to access the home via pipe voids under sinks or in the basement, crash through drop ceiling tiles, or just claw or chew through drywall? These incursions into your living spaces are not often one-way trips for young. You think it can’t get much worse, but you’re wrong.
Follow The Leader!
If you’ve ever watched young animals, you’ll notice a certain group mentality behavior. Safety in numbers as it were. Where one brave member of the litter goes, it’s not unusual to see siblings follow along. Therefore, when young start making their way into places they shouldn’t be, they will often have company shortly afterward. Having multiple young appear in living areas is commonplace.
Even if siblings don’t directly follow out of curiosity or fear of separation, the lost young’s distress vocalizations will not only attract siblings but is a panic call to the mother due to her maternal instinct who will claw or force her way to try and retrieve her young. The female will often be scared, confused and aggressive due to the situation with her desire to protect her young making for a very dangerous encounter for any homeowner.
At this point, it best for you to get to a secure location and call a trained and licensed professional to handle the situation instead of attempting to handle it yourself. Often, both police and fire departments don’t want anything to do with your wildlife situation as they are not trained to handle those issues. We’ve encountered many times when even animal control will refuse to deal with any non-domestic animal in addition to the fact, they are often available only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon-Fri.
Curiosity isn’t the only factor in having animals find their way into your living area. Sometimes people wrongly think the animals are outside and that solving the problem is as simple as sealing the entry point therefore unknowingly trapping the wildlife inside the home. As the young wildlife grow toward maturity, their size increases, and the excessive size and weight can cause a failure of the ceiling that was strong enough to hold them only a week or two ago.
Once inside a home, they can chew or tear at furniture and windowsills, knock down items on shelves, tear items off walls such as curtains and pictures as they attempt to climb up for a sense of safety or look to escape. They will soil areas with feces or smear blood all around if they injure themselves on things such as broken glass from objects they’ve destroyed. We’ve seen these situations many times. The interior living area, if this happens, is damage of just what you can see. Imagine what a full litter of wildlife is doing to your home’s insulation, items stored in the attic, or exposed wiring.
Protect Yourself and Your Investment
Having nuisance wildlife in your home can cause a lot of damage and their young only compound that. Given that for the average person, their home is the largest investment they will ever make should have you take the problem seriously. Besides that, where you live is supposed to be a place of safety for you and your family.
Don’t call “Uncle Tony,” the guy who lives down the street, or someone who knows a guy to help you. Instead, get a licensed, trained professional to handle the issue as soon as possible. By doing so, you reduce the overall damage to the structure, minimize fecal, urine and parasite contamination, and lessen the chances of having a group of young destructive animals take over your living room.
Additionally, a professional will be licensed and insured protecting you from both the physical dangers of wildlife and the legal dangers of unqualified, fly-by-night handymen who might end up suing you when they get injured on your property.
If you suspect you have unwanted wildlife or litters of wildlife in your home or structure, call the professionals at Guardian Pest Control at 877-924-7378 (PEST) to schedule a service call and rid your home of these unwanted wildlife.