Category: Environment

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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Late Mosquito Season This Fall

Are you going to be eaten alive by mosquitoes over the next few weeks? Depends on where you live. Due to unseasonably high levels of rainfall in August, we are poised for some more intensive levels of mosquito activity in Michigan for the fall of 2018. Rain itself is not the cause of increased mosquito activity; rather, it is standing water. When lots of rain falls in low-lying or flat areas without sufficient time for the absorption of rain water, the result is large quantities of standing water which in turn become breeding sites for mosquitoes. In Michigan, this is particularly a concern in Saginaw, Bay, Midland and Tuscola Counties, which all have low elevation ground and lots of standing water. These areas can turn into mosquito-hell when there’s a heavy rainfall, but this can really be the case anywhere that is flat or low-lying terrain. The presence of standing…

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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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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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Controlling Invasive Plants with Goats

Creature Control has made a business of controlling nuisance wildlife and managing insect pests for residential and commercial clients. Of course, there is another kind of nuisance species that can detract from the enjoyment and usability of property – that is nuisance vegetation. Poison ivy. Stinging nettles. Various types of thorn bushes. Those obnoxious plants that sting, poke, give you rashes, or just get in the way. Managing these species can be a pain;  they are very resilient, and often times they grow back faster than they can be controlled. Faced with the challenge, many home owners  simply give up and yield portions of property back to the wilderness. Fortunately, that does not need to be the end of the story. As is often the case, the best solution to nuisance vegetation is to go back to the tried-and-true methods of the past –  goats! Goats have had a bad reputation….

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Chronic Wasting Disease Hits Michigan Deer

Michigan deer have had it rough as of late. It was only in 2012 that Michigan deer were suffering from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. Now in 2015 the deer of Michigan may be exposed to another danger from chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a neurological disease that afflicts white tailed deer. Afflicted deer will act abnormally, eventually become physically debilitated and die. The first case of CWD was found in a deer in Meridian Township, Michigan, which is east of Lansing. The 6 year old female was acting strangely. The DNR confirmed CWD in an announcement made on May 26th. That was all it took for the DNR to go into emergency preparedness. CWD is fairly contagious and already exists among deer populations in 23 states as well as Canada. It would not take much for it to spread throughout Michigan, devastating our deer population. Preventative measures taken in…

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Long-Eared Bat Declared Threatened

For years, migratory bat populations in the Midwest have been threatened by a disease known as White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that infects the skin on the nose, ears, and wings of migratory bats. The fungus causes erratic behavior and causes the bats to use up their winter energy reserves prematurely, resulting in their death over the winter. While ground zero for WNS has been Indiana, there has been considerable concern that WNS would spread to Michigan’s bat population via the migration of the Indiana brown bat. As of 2011, it appeared that Michigan’s bats were safe from WNS based on a study of 24 different known hibernation sites by the DNR. However, in subsequent years instances of WNS have been noted in Michigan’s migratory bats. This spring, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service have put Michigan’s long eared bat on the list of “threatened” species. This does…

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Michigan Mute Swan Management

Perhaps you have been on a canoe or jet-ski and been caught off guard by an aggressive swan hissing and chasing you? Or maybe you live on a lake or pond and have noticed swans driving out ducks and other waterfowl? If so, you have encountered the mute swan, a common nuisance bird in Michigan. In this article we will examine the characteristics of the mute swan, highlight some of the problems they pose, and offer guidance on removal. Characteristics of the Mute Swan The mute swan is a non-native invasive waterfowl. They are white, similar to trumpeter swans and tundra swans (both native to Michigan), but are identifiable by black knob on the top of their bill. Another easy way to identify a mute swan is by their orange bill (Michigan’s native swans all have black bills). They are extremely aggressive; besides driving out native waterfowl with their hostile behavior,…

Mute Swan
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Mold Remediation

An unwanted animal infestation in your wall or attic can bring a lot of headaches. Besides the removal of the animal itself, homeowners often have to contend with cleaning up after the mess the animal made. Raccoons, squirrels, mice, and especially bats can destroy insulation and wreak havoc in your attic. How Animal Problems Become Mold Problems Prolonged animal residence and damage in your attic can lead to ventilation problems. Ridge vents, soffits and other points of ventilation can become clogged or destroyed by the animals, leading to an accumulation of moisture. If this situation goes on too long and is untreated, mold can develop in these moistened areas. Animal activity can also compress insulation. Insulation that has been severely compressed loses its R-value (the capacity of the insulation to resist heat flow). This means that in the winter heat will simply pass through the insulation, causing the rapid melting of…

Crappy Roof
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How Subzero Temperatures Affect Pest Control

If you live in Michigan or anywhere in the northeast, the first week of January was one of record low temperatures and record snowfalls. Here in Michigan, we dealt with 15-17 inches of snow and temperatures as low as -17°F with wind chills as low as -30°F. One would think that in these sorts of conditions, animal activity probably comes to a standstill. Yet, surprisingly enough, animal control companies are often inundated with calls during these deep freezes. Here’s why. Many mammals hibernate during the winter. However, there are many who do not. Mice, squirrels and raccoons are all awake and active during the winter. Bats, though they go into dormancy, will also occasionally wake up periodically throughout the winter if there are extreme temperature changes, as we saw last week. If you lived outdoors during this sort of deep freeze, what would be your primary concern? To find warm…

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