Category: Animals

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…

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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…

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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…

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Creature Control partners with the Bat Association of MSU

Creature Control has teamed up with the Bat Association of MSU in a collaborative effort to conserve bats and come to the aid of less fortunate struggling families in the Local Lansing Community while performing valuable research on Michigan bat populations. “The Bat Association of MSU is proud to announce a new partnership with Michigan’s premiere bat exclusion company, Creature Control, LLC. As one of the largest agricultural schools in the country, Michigan State University is the perfect space to organize for the research and conservation of a species that saves U.S. Agriculture upwards of 27 billion dollars annually. As an organization that supports One Health, we appreciate the important role that exclusions play in reducing the contact between wildlife species and the public. Understanding the natural history of the species that contribute to the complex ecology of Michigan is central to performing these exclusions in a way that protects…

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Man destroys home in attempt to get skunks out

FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) – Authorities say a suburban Detroit man destroyed a home by using a smoke bomb in an attempt to get skunks out of a crawlspace. The Detroit Free Press reports firefighters responded Monday night in Ferndale and found flames in the crawlspace and on the first floor. The fire spread through the walls of the rental home to the attic. Crews put out the fire, but it burned through the roof. Fire Chief Kevin P. Sullivan says no skunk carcasses were found. The newspaper says a responding firefighter had a sprain, but no other injuries were reported. Sullivan says the department advises that people hire pest control professionals. He notes, however that “if one is an absolute die-hard do-it-yourselfer, please read and understand the directions and warning labels” on such devices. This story is a great example of why you should call a professional wildlife controller when…

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Hawk Takes Down a Squirrel

One of our technicians recently got to witness an exhibition of nature at her finest and snapped these pictures of a Coopers Hawk swooping down on a squirrel. The hawk dive-bombed the squirrel in the road right in front of our tech. The tech snapped some pics as the hawk and the squirrel wrestled momentarily before the falcon came out victorious, flying away with his prey hooked firmly in his talons. Nature is beautiful and terrifying!  

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Creature Control Technician Saves Duck

Most of the time, Creature Control technicians spend their time trapping and removing unwanted wildlife from people’s property. Every now and then we also get a chance to rescue threatened wildlife, like this story last year about a technician who saved twenty baby snapping turtles. This time, is was an injured duck that was in need of rescuing. Creature Control technician John was working on a muskrat inspection in Grandville in west Michigan when he noticed a male Bufflehead duck sitting in a parking lot. Ducks are of course migratory, and Buffleheads will winter over in the Great Lakes area. At first John didn’t think much of it, but the duck was strangely calm and seemed immobilized. Upon closer inspection, it was clear the Bufflehead was wounded. John took the Bufflehead and tried to find a rehabilitation center to accept the duck; Creature Control is not licensed to do any…

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Small Game Regulations: Check Before You Trap!

When it comes to the control of nuisance wildlife, sometimes you can get so focused on solving the problem that you can forget about the legal details of wildlife removal. The July, 2016 edition of Michigan Outdoor News “Cuffs and Collars” section reported a man was dealing with an abundance of nuisance fox squirrels. Exasperated, the man purchased some live traps and began trapping the squirrels. Over several months, he trapped and killed 40 squirrels on his property. Eventually, some neighbor made a complaint to the DNR about the man’s trapping activities. A Conservation Officer was dispatched to investigate. The CO discovered the squirrel trap and a squirrel carcass. The homeowner admitted he had been trapping the squirrels and thought it was not an issue, but what the man did not realize was that fox squirrels are classified as small game in Michigan. The trapping of fox squirrels – even…

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Creature Control Rescues 20 Baby Snapping Turtles

Who hasn’t been moved  by the sight of a turtle plodding slowly across the road, patiently following its course but oblivious to the danger all around it? Now imagine twenty baby turtles clambering over a grassy yard in danger, not from cars, but from the lawn mower. This was the situation that faced Creature Control technician Dave Mullins when he showed up for a routine bait station restock in Okemos. As Dave went about his work restocking bait stations, he noticed a baby turtle crossing the customer’s driveway. The customer was out mowing her lawn – and the baby turtle was heading right for the mower! Dave scooped up the baby turtle, but upon closer inspection noticed that the grass and mulch along the driveway was alive with movement. He started digging around and found not one or two but a total of twenty baby turtles all making their way through…

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