Category: Animals

Histoplasmosis & Bat Guano

When considering the potential dangers of bats, most people will know about the possibility that the flying rodents carry rabies, which is undoubtedly a valid concern. There’s no reason to downplay that risk because it’s certainly real, but a far more likely issue (statistically speaking) is contracting Histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is a disease that generally affects the lungs and can be contracted through exposure to bat feces, commonly known as guano. Large amounts of guano left to dry are usually a result of a successful bat eviction that did not involve any cleanup or a failed cleanup. Exposure usually comes from disturbing guano that has dried out, as the disease comes from fungal spores that infect the bats themselves and are present in the guano. Symptoms of Histoplasmosis include aches, chest tightness, fevers, chills, and in chronic cases, bloody coughs. It is treatable, but if left to spread outside the lungs,…

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Effective Mouse Control

As winter approaches and the temperature outside drops, we humans like to cozy up inside our nice, warm houses. Unfortunately, so do pests such as mice, squirrels, and raccoons. In Michigan, mice are certainly our biggest wintertime pest concern. Unlike other mammals, a mouse will not hibernate, and mice colonies will remain active throughout the winter season. In fact, mouse activity may even increase during the colder weather because those living nearby, in fields, etc., will be drawn inside your home as they seek warm shelter. Mice have an incredible sense of smell, and they are small enough to squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. They are nocturnal and are generally not seen during the day. A sure sign of a rodent infestation is mouse droppings, dirty/grease smudges along baseboards, a distinctive ammonia-like odor (strong urine smell), damage caused by their constant gnawing, nests made from shredded…

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Explaining Check Valves for Bats

Let’s say you hypothetically noticed a bat or two in your home over the winter and called Creature Control in the late spring to set up an inspection. Your technician arrives in early June, and writes up a quote, which you consider for a week or so. You decide to move forward with the bat eviction, and call to schedule the work to be done, only to be told that we need to hold off on installing your check valves (the one-way doors used to evict bats) until mid-August. Why is that? The reason is because up until that time, any juvenile bats that might be in your attic are still unable to fly on their own. They will starve to death if their mother exits the den to feed and is unable to return due to the check valves and seal work we would have completed. However, a couple…

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Screech Owl Removal in Grand Haven

                  In February Creature Control received a call from a factory in Grand Haven for a bird problem. This factory had experienced some bird issues in the past (mainly starlings and sparrows), but this was a different kind of problem. A little guest was flying about loose inside the factory. Short, brown and stocky with a round head and a short tail, this guest happened to be a little eastern screech owl. The factory staff had tried to help the owl escape by leaving the doors open. However, the owl refused to leave. Unable to solve the problem on their own, they contacted Creature Control. Our West Michigan manager Josh headed out with another technician Julien to assess the situation. As part of the usual routine in animal rescue/removal, our technicians searched for an entry point and were able to identify a…

Owl Removal in Grand Haven
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How to Tell If the Noises I’m Hearing are Rodents?

Homeowners know that a house makes lots of sounds—anything from the siding expanding in the summer, to attic beams contracting in cooler air, to the mysterious creaking sound of “the house settling”. There are, however, some sounds that are absolutely anxiety-inducing for any homeowner: the sounds of rodents in the house. Perhaps you have heard scratching in your walls at night, or the pitter-patter of something in the ceiling. These sounds may indicate a rodent problem.   How can you know if the noises you’re hearing are rodents?     The tell-tale sign of a rodent problem—whether it be rat, mouse, or squirrel—is the sounds they make. Although rodent sounds may be similar to those of bats, birds, or raccoons, there are subtle differences that can help you identify what might be causing them.    The points to pay attention to are the time, type, and location of the sound.  …

How to Tell If the Noises I'm Hearing are Rodents?
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How Covid Lockdowns are Fueling Residential Rodent Problems

The 2020 Coronavirus lock-downs have had many different effects. One unanticipated consequence is an increase in rodent activity. What is the connection between rodents and Covid lock-downs?   The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has linked the increase in rats and mice specifically to the closing of restaurants. Through the years, rats and mice have relied heavily on food and waste thrown out by restaurants as one of their primary food sources.    During the lock-downs, restaurants have drastically decreased or even stopped food service and production. Suffice it to say, rats and mice have experienced a significant deprivation of the food and waste they had been relying on for so long–especially in denser urban areas and suburban localities near shopping centers.    Driven by hunger, rodents have started searching for other sources of food: our homes. Since restaurants are reducing their food service, more and more people have begun…
Mouse Problem?
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Mouse Invasion

The falling temperatures of October drive rodents indoors seeking warmth. What should you know about mouse control going into the autumn? Getting a Handle on a Mouse Problem The best way to get on top of a mouse problem is by use of our tamper-resistant bait stations. A combination of interior and exterior bait stations is a sure-fire way to take care of mice in the home. Give us a call or drop us an email for more information! Get that General Seal Knocking down the mouse population is only part of the solution—effective rodent control requires sealing off entry points to prevent rodents from getting inside your home to begin with. Creature Control recommends a general seal as an integral part of successful rodent management. Ask your Creature Control technician about looking over your foundation and giving you an estimate for a general seal. It goes a long way…

Creature Control Bait station
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An Unexpected Guest in the Fireplace

This past Sunday, we received an emergency call from a residential home in Kalamazoo. The customer reported hearing strange sounds coming from the fireplace—movement, rustling, almost a flapping kind of noise. We sent our West Michigan manager, Josh Boone, out to investigate. It’s not uncommon to get a call for weird noises coming from the fireplace. The chimney is a very common entry point for wildlife such as squirrels, raccoons, bats, and more. These particular sounds, however, were tell-tale signs of a bird. Josh had been to many bird-in-fireplace calls over the years. In most such calls, the bird is a starling that has become inadvertently trapped in the fireplace. When Josh arrived on the scene, though, it was clear right away that whatever was rustling in there was much bigger than a starling. When he opened the fireplace and shined his light inside, Josh saw not a starling but…

Boone Wood Duck in the Fireplace
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Use Your Bird Seed Wisely

One of the easiest ways to deter unwanted wildlife from getting into your home is to get bird feeders away from the house. We love the birds, but the hard truth is that the bird seed people put in their feeders attracts all sorts of critters, from raccoons to deer to squirrels and mice. Birds are notoriously messy in their eating habits, as you can see from the picture above. Raccoons and other critters will often come to the area by night to scavenge the spilled birdseed. Enterprising raccoons or squirrels will actually climb up and knock the birdfeeder around to intentionally spill more seed. A lot of bird seed gets consumed this way; in fact, it has been estimated that for every 20 pounds of bird seed a homeowner puts out, 11 pounds of it will get consumed by creatures other than birds. The danger in this is that…

Use Your Bird Seed Wisely
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The Proper Way to Help A Turtle Across the Road

A common act of charity on Michigan roads is the occasional stop to help a turtle cross the street so it doesn’t become a road pancake. This is easy enough when the turtle is a small painted box  turtle, but it can get a little sketchy when it is a very large, mature snapping turtle. Snapping turtles are noted for not only their size but their ornery temperament; if you’ve ever had a turtle hiss at you, it was probably a snapper. Their powerful jaws can easily break—and in some cases completely sever—a human finger. They can be very aggressive if they feel cornered. Snappers are not to be trifled with by those unfamiliar with how to deal with them. But even so, we can’t just stand by and allow our belligerent reptilian friends to get smooshed by traffic. Snappers have extremely long life span—most snappers you see crossing the…

The Proper Way to Help A Turtle Across the Road
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