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Removing Muskrats and Mink from Homes and Businesses

Mink and muskrats are semiaquatic furbearers’ pests that you most likely don’t want lurking around your ponds, riverbanks, lakes, or boats. The mink is known to empty koi ponds of all their fish within a few days and muskrats can wreak havoc on electrical systems from their constant gnawing. Muskrats can chew through electrical lines of your boat and dock and they undermine pond banks, reservoirs, and other water-retaining structures from their extensive burrowing. Their tunneling can cause leaks, flooding problems, or clog up drain tiles. For prompt and professional help in ridding nuisance pests, call Creature Control today.

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Muskrat Characteristics

Muskrats are a semiaquatic rodent found in or around lakes, ponds, ditches, sewers, and other water sources. The muskrat is often mistaken for an otter, which it resembles when swimming. Muskrats travel through natural waterways and drainage systems, preferring prolific cattail swamps and creek systems to open lakes. Although muskrats are primarily vegetarians, they will also feed on crayfish, mussels, turtles, frogs, and fish in ponds where vegetation is scarce. They will also come on land to consume new shrub growth and can destroy waterside gardens in a short amount of time.

Muskrat's natural tendency to gnaw and chew wires cause damage to electrical systems of watercraft and the like. They mimic many of the habits and physical characteristics of the beaver, another creature they are sometimes confused with. Muskrats prefer to build dens by burrowing into the sides of steep banks, but if a bank is not available, they will create a hut out of reeds on the open water, not unlike beavers. They are especially prevalent in areas with a chain of lakes, canals, and many streams. Muskrats are very shy and tend to avoid contact with humans, so many homeowners may not realize they have a muskrat problem at first. Despite their shyness, they do pose a real danger in the damage they cause to waterfront property, especially those on canals, streams, and riverbanks.

Muskrats are capable of destroying seawalls and waterside landscaping by burrowing into banks, sometimes as far as 30 feet underneath the shoreline. Muskrat tunnels are very unstable. The muskrats will burrow very near the surface, usually only 6 to 12 inches, meaning the tunnels have little overhead support and tend to collapse quickly. Muskrats will repeatedly re-burrow adjacent to collapsed tunnels, eventually creating narrow ruts or canals in the ground that can be two feet wide at times. Eventually, this land will erode or wash away during flooding. It is also common for homeowners to fall into muskrat burrows while walking by the water's edge, an obvious safety hazard. Besides undermining banks, this can also cause drainage and flooding problems, making muskrat damage extremely costly. They have also been known to clog up drain tiles on farms. For professional muskrat removal and muskrat trapping, call Creature Control today.

Mink Characteristics

Mink are strictly carnivorous, preying on a wide variety of wildlife. The mink loves the water and much of their prey can be found in and around it. The mink’s diet includes fish, shellfish, frogs, snakes, small rodents, rabbits, muskrats, waterfowl, and eggs. Mink will prey on animals much larger than themselves, latching on to anything they can get their jaws locked onto; geese and swans are occasional victims. The mink is among the most powerful pound-for-pound mammalian predator in the world. The strength of the mink’s bite relative to its size is only rivaled by the Tasmanian devil and its cousin, the American weasel.

Mink are relatively small predators weighing in at 2 to 3.5 pounds with an overall length of 20-30 inches. These elongated semi-aquatic animals are very sleek and sit low to the ground with short legs. The appearance of the mink would be best described as a mix between an otter and weasel. Mink are very handsome specimens with a rich, dark chocolate brown coat and an extremely muscular physique. They are highly valued for their fur because of its luxurious appearance, stunning durability, and exceptional insulating qualities. The mink’s protective fur, coupled with its unmatched aggression, has allowed it to thrive in some of the harshest conditions on the planet. From the frozen glaciers of northern Alaska to the reptile - infested swamps of the Florida everglades, the mink is at home in more climates than most mammalian predators on the globe. Mink don’t have permanent dens; the only time they den up for more than a day or two is when they raise their young in the spring and early summer. Most of the year, mink are on the move, spending up to half of their time in the water probing every little hole in the bank in search of prey. Mink hunt day and night, usually resting only after they have made a kill. Mink will often spend time in the dens of their prey; muskrat dens are a common location for mink to hold out for a day or two while they feed on the carcass of the den’s last tenant.

Mink have few predators because of their fierce, aggressive style of defense. Wolf and coyote will attempt to make a meal out of the mink but often give up after a few nasty bites to the face. Surprisingly, the most successful predator of the mink is the great horned owl, as they can descend from the darkness in complete silence and sinks its talons into the victim before it knows it’s being attacked. The owl does not always come out on top; however, the mink’s powerful jaws can still deliver a crushing bite that drives off the owl half the time.

Mink Removal with Creature Control Muskrat Removal with Creature Control Get Rid of Mink and Muskrats with Creature Control

Muskrat Removal

Creature Control has worked with a lot of businesses and municipalities as many properties have large retaining ponds that are ideal habitats for muskrats. The larger the retaining pond, the more likelihood of a muskrat problem. Depending on your situation, it might not be a bad thing to have a few muskrats around. They do keep the weeds down, and if the retaining pond is out of sight, it might not be a big deal. But if you have a pond with a fountain or pump, the muskrats can disturb the equipment and gnaw on the pump’s power cords. They may even collapse the perimeter of the pond with their burrowing, doing costly damage to landscaping.

It is possible to trap muskrats on land, but trapping them in water is more practical. Whether on land or in the water, muskrat trapping is a complicated process, requiring comprehensive inspections with special equipment. Although it can be very difficult and time-consuming process, it is one that Creature Control has been extremely successful at. Our skilled technicians have the experience to identify areas of muskrat activity and live trap them underwater, upon which they can be safely removed and relocated. Our traps do not draw attention to themselves and our technicians know how to handle these aquatic critters. If you think you have a muskrat problem, contact Creature Control today.

Mink Removal

Human-mink conflicts are not that common in most of North America. When mink does create a conflict, it’s usually quite unnerving. Mink will devastate poultry flocks, rabbit farms, and game ranches were penned up birds have little chance of escape. Mink has also become a real nuisance around fishing piers and waterside fisheries where commercial fishing is prominent. Part of the problem is that mink love the thrill of the kill and will hunt for sport, killing far more than they consume. Tell-tale signs that a mink have killed an animal are bite marks at the base of the skull and carcasses stacked in neat piles. Mink seemingly pile up carcasses after a killing spree to revel in the satisfaction of its achievement.

Our techs at Creature Control enjoy the prospect of servicing customers inconvenienced by this fascinating but potentially destructive animal. It’s one of the rarer requests we get and they are an exciting animal to encounter. We always promote the humane treatment of these animals and highly recommend live removal and relocation. If you suspect a mink is threatening your property or have any inquiries on the species, call Creature Control; we’re happy to help.

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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.