I received a call from a client who was having Squirrel issues. A Fox Squirrel had moved into a small section of gutter on the 2nd story of their home just above their bedroom. This particular squirrel would begin its daily activies at 5am every morning and was waking up my clients before they wanted to get up. This squirrel, like most squirrels was very smart and had managed to take the bait from multiple types of squirrel traps without getting caught. I modifies a small rodent trap with 2 pieces of plywood so he wasn't able jump over the trigger or dig under the trap to get the nuts. The video shows the end result and the story ends with my clients being able to get their much needed rest.
One of my calls this week was from a nice woman who said, "There is a strong Skunk Smell in my house, and I'm not sure if it is coming from the outside or from under my home." I told her it was possible that it was coming from a skunk that sprayed in her lawn but ussually a skunk has found its way under a home when that happens. She had told me she inspected the outside of her house and thought there was one possible place for a skunk to get in but she didn't think the opening was big enough. I arrived at the house and inspected the outside, the spot she was refering to was a small opening in her foundation that was mostly covered up by her ceder shake sidiing and in a very tight spot to inspect behind her AC unit. I layed down on the ground and was able to reach my arm back to it and fit mmy hand up under the siding to feel the opening. I set 2 traps there aroung the AC unit and a camera looking directly at the opening. it took 2 days for the Skunk to come out from under the house. We caught it and left traps and a camera for an additional week to make sure nothing else was under the home before I sealed up the opening with concrete.
I've had a few calls this week for Skunks in and under structures, one was for a Skunk under a deck. The call was from a returning client. His mother had a Skunk issue under her Deck In December. I set a trap and caught a skunk the first night. I left my traps for a few more nights and there was no more activity under her deck. I sealed up her deck by digging down six inches and installing hardware cloth (1/4 inch wire screen) around the base of the deck and around her fence. I told the Client if he ever had any issues with any of the work I did or another skunk issue to give me a call and I'd come back and take care of it for him. Well 2 months later he called me saying his mother had another Skunk under her deck. This Skunk got under the deck from the neighbors side of the house. I got permission from the neighbor to put traps on her property. The Skunk came out on the 3rd night and I was able to catch him. I had a camera set up so I could be sure on the number of Skunks present.
A common question I get as a wildlife trapper is, How Many animals do you think are under my house? My answer is always, "It's tough to tell" but it is very important to find out the exact number. I set motion activated cameras near openings or inside the questioned areas so I can see the numbers of animals that have taken up residency in the home. I attached 4 videos of instances where I had trapped a number of animals at each location and after a few days of not catching anything, I check the camera to find out there are still animals using the areas.
Raccoons can do a lot of damage in crawl spaces. Here is a picture from the crawl space of a house in Bencia California. The home was located along the side of a drainage ditch that was used by all kinds of wildlife. The home had a deck in the back and a large opening under the deck that lead right into the crawl space. The New owner of the home had called me because he smelled a dead animal smell coming from the crawl space. I arrived at the site and inspected the home for possible entry points of wild animals and found the large opening. I informed the home owner that I would first like to catch the animals that are most likely living under the home before I go under to look for the dead animal. I set 2 traps and the next morning I caught 2 raccoons. I ended up finding 2 more dead raccoons under the home and all of this damage that they and possibly other animals had done to the duct work under the home, as well as large amounts of feces left by the intruders.
I get a lot of calls for animals under homes. The calls come from home owners who have either heard the animals moving around in the crawl space or they have smelled a skunk and believe it to be under the home. When I arrive at the home I do an inspection of the outside of the home. I look for possible spots of entry for the animals to get in. Once I find the entry point I will then go inside and look into the crawl space for any sign of the animal and or possible damage that may have been done by the animal. Then I set traps at the entry and exit point of the crawl space. Sometimes this can require decking to be removed or openings to be modified so my traps can butt against the house which ensures that I am only catching the problem animals under the house and not random animals that just may happen to be passing by. After the traps are set I will secure them in place to make sure the animal isn't able to push them from the opening. I give the homeowner fair warning that the process may take a few days for the animal to leave. Once I have caught the animal I always seal up the entry point and replace anything that was moved.
I have a Skunk in my backyard is what the lady said on the phone to me this morning, I asked her some basic questions like. Did you see the skunk or just smell it? How long have you known about this problem? Then we talked about what I would do to help her remove the Skunk from her property. I told her I would inspect her backyard and look for all possible ways that the skunk was gaining access to her property. i explained that I would then set traps to catch and remove the Skunk and then either seal up the access points the skunk was using myself or advise her on what should be done to prevent skunks from returning.
Dead Animals under your home or on your property can be difficult to deal with. I have removed many dead animals from crawl space and properties. Typically it is something that home owners don't want to do themselves so they will call someone like me who crawls under homes and is willing to remove the carcass and any remnants of the animal that may be causing an odor. Once the animal has been removed home owners need to find out how the animal got into the crawl space or property and how they can prevent it from happening again. I provide inspections when I remove dead animals from crawl spaces so I can give answers to how the animal got into the space and how we can prevent it from happening again. I
I get a lot of calls from homeowners who hear noises at night in their attic and think they have raccoons living in there and want me to come out and inspect the attic for them. The first question I ask is, Why do you think its a Raccoon? Most of the time its because the homeowner has been startled by a loud thud on their ceiling. Sometimes they will hear Raccoon chatter which is a very good indication that young baby raccoons are present.
I first do an inspection of the attic. If possible I will go into the attic and first look for the animal that is making the noise. If nothing is visible and apparent I look for sign of large animals being present in the attic. If Raccoons have been in the attic there will be excrement and the amount of it will tell me how long they have been in the attic. Then I will do an inspection of the outside of the house and roof, if it is possible to get on the roof. I look for access on to the roof either from down spouts that Raccoons will use to climb up or fences or trees. Typically I will find the main access the raccoons are using and set a trail camera looking at the point of entry so I can see how many Raccoons are coming and going. Then I will set traps on the ground near the spot where the raccoons are getting onto the roof. the following day I return to check the traps and camera.
How do you stop raccoons from tearing up your lawn? I use a humane and live catch trap to remove the animal from the property never to return. Now people have tried all sorts of different tricks to keep Raccoons from damaging their lawn. Some people have tried spreading Coyote scat, that they have bought online, around the perimeter of their property in hopes that the raccoons will smell it and be scared of the coyotes and seek their next meal else where. In theory this sounds great but rarely works. Raccoons will usually pee on the coyote scat and carry on into the lawn and proceeded to do the same damage they have been doing leaving the home owner upset that they have been sold an expensive and ineffective bag of crap.
The most effective method is to remove the Raccoon from the property by use of a humane live catch trap. Trapping and removing the Raccoons is the only method that you can guarantee that specific animal will not return. It is the only method that I recommend and the only one with guaranteed results.