Customer Login

Protecting People, Property and Wildlife®

Since 1983

The Dangers of Fleas from Wildlife

Fleas, while tiny at just 1-2 mm in length, can cause homeowners and their pet’s major problems. These nasty insects live in your animal’s coat and bedding and feed on their blood. And, not only do fleas cause your pets to scratch incessantly due to their irritating bites, but they also pose other significant dangers you may not be aware of.

Fleas can carry tapeworm, cause flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), and be the reason for hair loss and secondary skin sensitivity due to constant scratching. When many fleas are present, they can cause anemia due to excessive blood loss, which can be life-threatening to small animals like kittens and puppies.

Common Culprits

Though you may do your best to keep fleas off your pets and out of your home, chances are, your dogs and cats could still pick up the parasites from wild or feral animals that gain access onto your property.

Raccoons and opossums often create headaches for homeowners by making a mess of garbage cans, stealing pet food, and tearing up gardens. They can also cause problems by bringing fleas into your home and yard. The best way to prevent this from happening is by limiting the available food sources on your property that’s attracting them. Secure your garbage bins with tight-fitting lids, bring pet food indoors overnight, and install a wire fence around your garden area.

If you’re a cat lover, you may not think of feral cats as a problem. However, strays who do not get constant care from humans are usually infested with fleas. Which means, if your pets spend time outdoors, it’s possible for them to still get fleas.

Prevention Tips

If you’ve ever had to get rid of an existing flea problem in your home, then you know how frustrating, expensive, and time-consuming it can be. Because each adult female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day, infestations can happen rapidly. Therefore, it’s vital that you take the necessary steps to prevent the insects from taking over your home. Make sure you use a medicated flea treatment on your dog as well as treat the inside of your house and yard.

We Can Help!

Because the flea cycle happens within the environment more than on the host (such as your dog or cat), it can take several months to solve the problem. At Critter Control® of Orlando, we are equipped to handle even the most challenging pest infestations, whether large or small. For more information or to schedule your home consultation, call us today at 407-295-7194 or fill out a contact us form online.

 

Rodents, like all animals, love to eat. They especially love the easy meals they can get inside of your home or around your property. However, you can help deter unwanted house guests such as rats and mice by sanitizing and rodent-proofing.

Inside the House

Food and water left out for pets contribute to the increase in rodent populations. Once they know of an available food source, the rodents will keep returning until they are unable to get what they need.

To help prevent rodents from getting into your food, try the following:

  • Store bulk food in glass or metal containers with the lids tightly sealed, especially prime rodent targets including flour, sugar, corn meal, and grains. If you have bird feeders in your yard, make sure to keep the seeds in rodent-proof containers as well.
  • Sweep, vacuum, or mop any spilled food.
  • Make sure counters and appliances are free of crumbs.
  • Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink for an extended period.
  • Put pet food and water away when your animals are no longer eating or drinking.
  • Seal any holes or gaps around the plumbing underneath your sink, around your appliance’s electrical cords, and inside of the cabinets.

Around the Property

Make your home less attractive by maintaining your yard.

  • Clear brush or overgrown grass near your home’s foundation to help remove popular rodent nesting spots. Regularly mow the lawn and remove any tree branches hanging over your roof.
  • Relocate, eliminate, or use squirrel-proof bird feeders to avoid having a collection of seeds on the ground.
  • Stack woodpiles and any other building materials at least 100 feet away from your home.
  • Remove debris and trash from the yard and maintain compost piles.
  • Keep outdoor garbage in tightly sealed containers and put it out on the curb the day of trash pickup.
  • Repair and seal any holes or points of entry such as unprotected vents and plumbing that rodents can use to get inside.

Wildlife Removal Specialists

If you currently have a rodent infestation, let the trained technicians at Critter Control® of Orlando remove the nuisance pests for you. Our years of experience has allowed us to discover and implement the best trapping and control methods to get your home back to normal and keep you and your family safe. For more information, or to receive your free estimate, call us today at 407-295-7194.

While all mammals can carry and transmit the rabies virus, raccoons, in addition to foxes, skunks, coyotes, and bats, are known to be primary carriers in the United States. These specific animals are considered rabies vector species and can carry the virus without ever showing any symptoms.

What is Rabies?

The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system, causing disease in the brain, which results in the death of the animal or person. Humans who contract rabies may experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Partial Paralysis
  • Excitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Hypersalivation
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Hydrophobia

Survival is rare once a person begins to show any of these signs of the disease.

How is Rabies Transmitted?

Generally, the rabies virus is transmitted when infected saliva of an animal is passed to an uninfected animal, usually through a bite.

Symptoms of Rabies in Raccoons

Although raccoons are nocturnal, it isn’t uncommon for them to be wandering around in the daytime. However, if you detect any of the following behaviors, it’s best to call for assistance from a professional who has experience handling sick animals.

  • Staggering walk due to partially paralyzed hind legs
  • Seemingly oblivious to surrounding noise or movement as if it is disoriented
  • Frantically wandering
  • Repeating high-pitch vocalizations
  • Foaming of mouth and discharge from eyes
  • Harming itself

If a raccoon displays any of these signs, you can be certain they are sick and should take extra precaution to stay away from it.

It is also a good idea to always keep your distance from wild animals even if they look perfectly healthy. While the rabies disease is preventable through vaccination and is rare in humans, the seriousness of contracting the disease means that you should take every precaution to keep your family and pets safe.

If you see raccoons near your home or business frequently, contact Critter Control® of Orlando today. We will discover what’s attracting them, remove the nuisance animals, repair any damages they have caused, and prevent future infestations. For more information or to get a free estimate, call 407-295-7194.

 

Of the 1,300 species of bats living around the world, there are 13 that are native to Florida. They are all insectivorous, feeding on thousands of insects each night. Some of the bat species form colonies, while others roost alone. Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating and beneficial creatures.

Brazilian free-tailed bat – Their short fur ranges from dark brown to grayish-brown and has a tail that extends past its short tail membrane. They are most often recognized by the strong, musky odor they emit due to a scent gland they have. They roost in large colonies ranging from a few hundred up to several thousand and prefer man-made structures such as buildings and bridges and especially under barrel tile roofs. The Brazilian free-tailed bat is the most common bat in Florida and is found throughout the state excluding the Keys.

Southeastern myotis bat – These medium-sized bats are found in the northwest panhandle and weigh 5 to 12 grams with gray to brown dorsal fur and yellowish to white fur on the stomach. Typically, they form colonies in caves, hollow trees, bat houses, buildings, bridges, and culverts.

Evening bat – Common throughout all of Florida except in the Keys, evening bats form colonies of about eighty bats in buildings and other man-made structures such as bridges, utility poles, and bat houses. They have brown fur on the back and whitish fur on the stomach with a “dog-like” muzzle.

Eastern red bat – The Eastern red bat is found in the eastern US and throughout the northern half of Florida. They are solitary creatures, roosting in tree foliage, bushes, and Spanish moss. What makes these bats unique is that the colors between the males and females are different, which is uncommon for bats. Males have brick-red, reddish-orange, or yellowish fur, while females’ fur is duller and lighter.

Northern yellow bat – The Northern yellow bat is large with thick yellowish to grayish brown fur, perfect for allowing it to be hidden while roosting in the dead palms of sabal palms. They are commonly found throughout Florida except in the Florida Keys.

Seminole bat – Similar in appearance to the Eastern red bat, the Seminole bat has rich mahogany fur with white tips and white on the shoulders and wrists. Solitary, they roost in pine trees and Spanish moss. They are another bat species found in all of Florida except in the Keys.

Tricolored bat – Weighing between 4 and 8 grams, the tricolored bat is Florida’s smallest bat. Its fur ranges from silvery-grey to grayish-yellow to light brown. You can identify a tricolored bat from its pink forearms that contrasts with its black wings. This species roost singly or in small groups in caves, tree foliage, tree cavities, and sometimes buildings and other man-made structures like sheds or barns.

Gray bat – These bats have grey fur that covers their whole body and weigh between 8 to 10 grams. Gray bats only roost in cave systems and are a federally endangered species found in only one county in the northwest panhandle.

Big brown bat – Big brown bats have long and silky, wavy, chocolate-brown to reddish or golden-brown fur with a “dog-like” muzzle and weigh between 11 and 25 grams. Their appearance is like the evening bat’s; only they are larger. They typically roost in dead tree cavities throughout the state of Florida except for the Keys, but will also roost in buildings, bridges, and bat houses.

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat – Their large, one-inch ears are what sets them apart from other bats. Weighing between 7 and 13 grams, they have grey to brown fur on their back and white fur on their stomach. They roost in small groups in natural roost sites such as hollow trees, tree cavities, and under loose tree bark and are the only species of bat in Florida to collect insects like moths and other soft-bodied insects to eat from tree foliage. Found in different locations, especially in the Florida panhandle and the central and northern portions of the Florida peninsula.

Hoary bat – The largest tree bat and second-largest bat in Florida weighing 20 to 36 grams. They have thick black to gray fur with orange or yellow around their face. The white tips on the end of their hair give them a frosted appearance. They live in northern states and will migrate south to Florida and during the winter months. Hoary bats are solitary, roosting in tree cavities, tree foliage, behind loose bark, and in Spanish moss. From October through April, they are found in north and north-central Florida.

Velvety free-tailed bat – They are dark brown to dark gray with a long tail that extends past a short tail membrane. In Florida, this species has only been discovered roosting in buildings. Thought to have come from Cuba, the velvety free-tailed bat is only found in the Florida Keys from Key West to Key Largo.

Florida bonneted bat – Florida’s largest bat weighing between 34 and 47 grams. It has dark gray to brownish-gray fur with a long tail that extends past its uropatagium and large broad ears that join at the base and slant forward over their eyes. They roost colonially in tree cavities, cliff crevices, buildings, and other man-made structures. This species is rare and is on the endangered species list. Found in south Florida excluding the Keys.

Bats who roost in buildings will seek homes that allow them to enter small openings in areas such as gable or ridge vents, chimneys, or any other unprotected areas.

If you have bats roosting in your attic or on your property, contact Critter Control® of Orlando. Our technicians understand the laws regarding exclusion and are equipped with the appropriate tools and knowledge to remove them safely. Once the removal is complete, we will inform you of any necessary repairs or maintenance that should be done to prevent bats or other wildlife from entering your home in the future. For more information, or to schedule a home inspection, contact us today by calling 407-295-7194.

Removing bats from the attic of a business is a complex and challenging task. However, because of the significant damages bats can cause over time, it’s critical you don’t allow them to take up residence in your commercial building.

Bats are the world’s longest living mammal, with a lifespan of up to 40 years! If conditions permit, they will inhabit the same dwelling for a very long time. As the bat’s colony grows, the amount of damage increases, which is why you want to get them removed as quickly as possible.

Nuisance Concerns

As bats roost inside of the attic, the collection of droppings and urine they leave soaks into the insulation and drywall, developing a strong odor similar to a cat litter box or ammonia. Bat guano can also remove paint, corrode metals, rot wood, and block ventilation systems. If too much guano accumulates, it can put pressure and weight on the drywall and ceilings, creating sagging and ultimately, threatening the structural integrity of your business.

When guano reaches the ground in dark and humid or damp environments, it becomes a sufficient host for histoplasmosis fungus to grow. Although histoplasmosis is not typically a serious threat under normal conditions you can expect to find inside of a newer commercial building, it is still possible to become infected by inhaling the spores from the fungus. For infants and those with a weakened immune system, contracting the respiratory disorder could be fatal if not treated in time.

How We Will Remove Guano from Your Commercial Building

Before guano can be removed, you must be sure no bats are living inside of the structure. A professional wildlife company like Critter Control® has the knowledge and experience to resolve your bat issues from start to finish.

During our initial inspection, we will determine what species the bats are and if there are babies present. We will then figure out how the bats are getting in and out of the building so that we can remove the entire colony safely. Once we are positive all the bats are gone, we will seal the openings, clean up the guano and urine, and repair any necessary damages.

The industrial vacuum cleaners we use are made to get rid of large amounts of guano efficiently. Critter Control’s® top priority is keeping our customers, the animals, and our employees safe during every job. When cleaning, our technician’s wear specialized suits, masks, and gloves, and take every precaution to keep any guano from infecting other areas of the commercial building or air supply. We use eco-friendly antiseptics to remove the guano and decontaminate the space, so you can have peace of mind that your business is clean and safe.

 Rely on Critter Control® of Orlando

If you believe bats are roosting in your business or think you may have discovered what could be guano, Critter Control® of Orlando can help! During our initial inspection, we will determine what species the bats are and if there are babies present. We will then figure out how the bats are getting in and out of the building so that we can safely remove the entire colony. Once we are positive all the bats are gone, we will seal the openings, clean up the guano and urine, and repair any necessary damages. For more information, or to set up a consultation, call us today at 407-295-7194.

Many times homeowners will discover small holes in their siding or find areas where the soffit is ripped and assume that bad weather is to blame. But, more often than not, wild animals are the ones that create the damage. And, while the areas may not seem like a big cause for concern, not addressing the issues right away leaves you vulnerable to more significant problems in the future, which can be more costly and time-consuming to fix.

It’s also critical that you don’t try and repair the damage without first doing a thorough inspection of the inside of your home to ensure no animals are living in there. Distressed wildlife will create new holes and cause more damage as they try and get themselves out. It’s also possible for them to die inside of your home, resulting in unbearable smells that require professional cleaning to remove.

Hiring an experienced wildlife control company like Critter Control® of Orlando to inspect your home and property will allow you to correct any current issues. If we discover animals living inside your attic, crawlspace, or walls, we will safely and humanely get rid of them. We will then take the necessary steps to prevent future critter infestations.

Whether you need holes covered, foundation cracks filled, siding replaced, etc., we can help. We also offer a variety of residential services such as attic insulation and restoration, home and exterior cleaning, and dead animal odor removal.

If you have concerns that animals are living inside of your home, call us today at 407-295-7194 for a free estimate. With over 30 years of experience, we can remove the animals and clean up any damage and mess they left behind.

With insects constantly flying around your property, it makes gardening tasks and other outdoor activities more difficult. However, there are numerous insect-repelling plants you can place around your home or in your garden to help keep those pesky bugs at bay.

The essential oils in certain plants act as a natural bug repellent, resulting in fewer insects in your yard. However, plants alone can’t keep your landscape and garden entirely insect free. Other ways to keep bugs away, especially mosquitos, is by removing any standing water which they use to breed and having a company like Critter Control® of Orlando perform regularly scheduled pest control services.

To help better your chances of winning the battle against the bugs invading your property, incorporate the following herbs:

Lavender – Though people love the smell of lavender and have been using the essential oil for centuries; moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitos hate the sweet scent. Keep tied bouquets of lavender inside the home, plant it near entryways, or in parts of your garden that gets plenty of sunlight. You can also make a natural mosquito repellent to spray on your skin by extracting oil from the flowers.

Lemongrass Used to make citronella, lemongrass helps repel mosquitos, assisting with the prevention of contracting insect-borne illnesses such as malaria, dengue, and Lyme disease. The grass can also be used whole, sliced, or pounded into a pace and then added into a variety of culinary dishes like soups, chicken, pork, and even as a flavoring for crème brulee. Keep the grass inside of a pot or plant it in the ground in a well-drained area that receives a lot of sunlight.

Peppermint – The strong fragrance helps repel mosquitos, ants, and even mice. Because mint grows aggressively when planted in the ground, it’s best to keep it in pots around your patio or garden. Place clippings of mint in areas where broccoli, cabbage, and turnips are growing as well as use the leaves to flavor ice tea.

Rosemary – You can keep rosemary in containers on the patio or put it into the garden to repel flies, mosquitos, and other insects from damaging your vegetable plants. Rosemary can also be used for a variety of medical and culinary purposes.

Incorporating these and many other similar plants into your garden will keep vegetables growing and ornamental flower beds looking pretty.

And, while the herbs will assist with deterring small pests, for larger infestations, you can rely on Critter Control® of Orlando to keep you and your family safe. Our experts are well-equipped to handle even your most complex pest infestations. For more information regarding the services we provide, or to schedule your consultation, please call us today at 407-295-7194.

Due to their bodies having little fat, opossums don’t store food during the winter and instead forage for food year round. You can frequently see them wandering the streets and yards of homes and businesses in search of things to eat including fruits, nuts, insects, mice, frogs, snakes, and carrion. Opossums also eat the garbage, pet food, birdseed, and poultry they find around human habitats.

Opossums will den anywhere they can find a spot that’s dry, sheltered, and safe which is why they are commonly found living inside of attics and crawlspaces or underneath sheds and decks of both homes and businesses.

Although opossums are solitary creatures and usually travel alone, they can create significant damage inside human structures. Using their teeth and claws, they’ll tear shingles, siding, and insulation and the feces and urine they leave causes large stains and can make you sick if left for too long. Opossums also rip insulation and carry in items from the outside such as dried leaves, grass, and other soft materials to form a nest and make a comfortable place for mothers to birth their young.

If you’re concerned that you could have an opossum infestation in your home or workplace, look for these following signs:

  • Loud scratching noises – Opossums make ripping, scratching, and scuttling noises as they build their nest. The sounds are also not confined to one particular area, so you will most likely hear them whenever they are moving around.
  • Constant animal vocalizations – If you hear noises such as hissing, shrieking, clicking, or lip smacking, you could have multiple opossums living inside. Often, it’s a mother opossum communicating with her
  • Building exterior damage – Look for torn shingles or ripped soffits as well as damaged siding, eaves, and gutters.
  • Disappearing pet food – Opossums love an easy meal and will steal the pet food you leave outdoors. Whenever possible, feed your pets inside or bring the dishes in overnight when opossums are most active.
  • Unpleasant smells – Because of their size, opossums leave large droppings all over the area where they live. Their urine and feces stain wooden materials and soak into attic insulation, causing an unpleasant odor. It’s also possible for the opossum to get trapped and die in which you will want to hire a professional to remove the decomposing body and perform a thorough cleaning.

When it comes to opossum removal, don’t wait to address the situation. Instead, rely on the professional services of Critter Control® of Orlando. We will safely and humanely remove the nuisance pests and take the proper steps to ensure they don’t gain access back into your home or business. For more information or to schedule your free consultation, call us today at 407-295-7194.

We have become accustomed to seeing many different non-domestic animals that are either being forced to leave their natural habitats or choose to live among humans and their pets because of the easy access to food, water, and shelter. While the animals seem harmless when outside wandering the streets and yards of residential neighborhoods, they can cause a variety of health issues you may not be aware of.

Different wild animals such as raccoons, opossums, and bats are capable of carrying diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, heartworm, Baylisacaris, and Trypanosoma cruzi. They are also commonly known to carry ticks and fleas that can infest your yard and be harmful to your pets. The best way to prevent your pets from becoming infected is by staying up to date on their shots as well as taking preventative measures like:

  • Maintaining your yard – Regularly pick up any fallen fruit, debris, and animal waste that could attract the curious animals to your property. It’s also a good idea to trim back tree branches that enable the animals to get into your yard or house.
  • Storing pet food inside – Leaving food and water bowls outside may seem like a good idea to ensure your pets don’t go without either, but wild animals love the easy chance to fill their bellies. If you must feed your pets outside, try and do it during the day since many animals are nocturnal.
  • Refraining from feeding wildlife – Never feed wild animals. Once you start feeding them, it becomes even harder to keep them from coming on to your property. Eventually, they get braver and start finding ways to get inside your home where they cause even more damage.
  • Keeping pets indoors at night – Since a lot of nuisance animals are active at night, keeping your pets inside will help keep them safe from rabid and aggressive animals.

If possible, install a fence at least several inches deep into the ground to help keep animals from coming into your yard. Also, keep entrances to attics, crawlspaces, and similar areas where animals like to nest closed whenever they are not in use.

Coming in contact with nuisance wildlife can be dangerous, especially if they are carrying diseases or parasites that can be transferred to you or your pets. If you’re concerned you have wild animals living on your property or inside your home, give Critter Control® of Orlando a call. We will remove the unwanted critters and then use a number of techniques regarding habitat modification and exclusion to prevent future animal infestations from occurring. For a free estimate, call us today at 407-295-7194.

 

With forests continually being cleared, the animals who typically nest in hollow tree cavities are losing their homes, causing them to seek shelter elsewhere. Mortared brick chimneys are the perfect replica of tree cavities. Unfortunately, animals who gain access inside of your chimney create significant problems. Not only do they bring ticks, fleas, and other parasites into your home, they can cause a blockage, and start a potential fire by carrying flammable materials inside such as grass, twigs, and leaves. Many times animals like birds and squirrels end up dying in the chimney when they can’t get themselves back out.

This is because unlike in the past, where houses were constructed with mortared brick chimneys and clay tile liners, homes today are built with smaller metal flue pipes. The metal is too slippery, preventing the animals from gripping the material and climbing out. The bodies of the animals along with their nesting materials can also prevent carbon monoxide and other lethal gases from escaping the flue properly, causing a dangerous situation for you and your family.

If your chimney has stopped working, it’s very likely that the issue could be caused by critters such as birds, squirrels, or raccoons living in there. Keeping pests out of all parts of your home is necessary, which is why we recommend calling Critter Control® of Orlando for assistance.

How to Keep Animals out of Your Chimney

Whether you’re currently having pest problems or would like to take preventative measures to keep animals from getting into your chimney, we can help you. Installing a stainless steel chimney cap with wire mesh is an easy and effective solution for keeping critters from getting into your chimney, while at the same time allowing the by-products to be released. Another great benefit of having a chimney cap installed is that it helps to prevent water and debris from entering the inside of your home.

What to Do if You Discover Trapped Animals

If you have wild animals living in your chimney, never try and capture and release them yourself. You should also never try and smoke them out. If an animal is stuck, it could die, and then you’ll have an odor problem, on top of having to discard the body and clean up the mess yourself. Also, certain species of animals like the chimney swift bird are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Those who hurt the birds or their nests that contain eggs can face legal consequences.

 

Call the Professionals

When it comes to complete wildlife solutions, Critter Control® of Orlando has you covered. We have over 15 years of experience assisting Central Florida residents with their animal control, pest control, and wildlife management needs. For a free estimate or to schedule a consultation for your home or business, give us a call today at 407-295-7194.