Most Frequently asked questions

humane wildlife removal & Animal Trapping services in houston & surrounding areas

Bat Removal FAQs

 

Although there are 11 species of bats that either reside or migrate through Houston, most bats that people will encounter in their Houston home or property are Mexican Free-Tailed bats. As the name suggests, they migrate back to Mexico to ride out winter in caves. However, if they find a suitable temperature/environment in one of our man-made structures they may not migrate and instead reside in Houston year-round.

Yes! Bats are protected by federal and state laws because they are deemed environmentally important. One bat can consume up to 1200 mosquito sized bugs in one hour. That’s almost 10,000 bugs a night. It is estimated that some of the largest colonies of these bats consume 250 tons of insects nightly! Although they are a great benefit to our environment, they are a nuisance when they enter our structures. Use only a licensed professional if you suspect a problem!

Guano is another term for bat excrement. It is similar in shape and size of mouse droppings and can be easily confused. Guano is easy to determine with a flashlight or other lighting means. If you crush it with a gloved hand and shine a light on the material left and it sparkles it is most likely guano. This is due to the exoskeletons of the insects that bats feed on nightly. Guano also has a smell often described as pungent, acrid or musty. It is often referred to as a smell that one will not forget.

Aside from the heavy smell left over from a bat colony guano itself can be harmful to humans and animals if left in a structure. Bats can carry histoplasmosis and it is transmitted in the lungs via spores after the guano is disturbed in some manner, typically through clean-up or even walking through it in an attic. Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection affecting the respiratory system and can be fatal. If the guano can be accessed or removed through a demolition process, it is recommended that it is removed or at least chemically treated.

Though it will be different based on each situation, average costs for dealing with a bat colony in a home ranges from $400 to over $9000 for very large or extensive infestations. Commercially, these costs can run even higher based on several factors such as the height of structures and accessibility. Bat removal can be tedious because it takes attention to detail to make sure every possible entry is sealed before the main entry areas have one-way valves installed to remove the animals and prevent them from entering a new spot. The clean-up portion can be equally challenging when it requires the removal of building materials to access the guano hidden where the bats resided.

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Raccoon Removal FAQs

 

This question, we receive from many of our customers and it usually points to a raccoon intrusion.  Raccoons are one of the largest creatures in the Houston area that readily enter attics either for breeding or to take advantage of a warm safe place to sleep in the insulation they find there.  If “heavy’ foot steps are heard, its usually raccoons who are the culprits.  The sound of raccoons in attics and walls are very different from the scratching and scampering of rodents and are in a class of their own.  It is important if you suspect of one or more raccoons in your home or business to contact a professional wildlife company such as Elite Wildlife Services.

Raccoons are a large animal and with that comes larger amounts of urine and feces generally all over the attic.  They can also develop latrines or areas where they go to the bathroom and these areas can quickly show themselves through stains in the drywall.  This is often accompanied by a change in smell in the house, and in certain untreated cases, we have had raccoons fall through from the softening of the drywall causing a huge a mess and expense for the homeowner.  If you suspect a raccoon has taken up refuge in your attic, it is important to act fast and call a reputable raccoon removal company in your area.

Heavy footsteps especially at night can be a dead give away.  In the spring, noises in the attic along with crying or chattering noises can come from a female that has given birth and is very common.  Our insulation makes a wonderful nursery material.  Other signs include a change in smell in the home and staining. 

One important item to note is that after getting raccoons out of your attic, it is important to also treat for fleas.  Most raccoons have fleas and when they are removed from a home the remaining fleas left in your attic have nothing to feed on and will enter the home in search of a blood meal from a resident or pet.  At Elite Wildlife Services, we take the time to investigate and recommend sanitation and pest services so our customers are not left with a flea problem.

Simply trapping a raccoon should not cost more than $200- $300.  That is typically not how a raccoon removal project goes because there is generally more than one raccoon to remove, unless it is just one getting into the trash outside.  Most removals we perform consist of a raccoon ripping a large hole or holes in soffits and roofs. 

They can also enter from underneath the home if the house is not sealed from the bottom or if its elevated.  We can trap the raccoons in the attic or exclude (through the use of one-way door) on the main entry point, but we need to seal other entry points as well.  Each situation is unique and we customize a plan to fit each customer’s situation so costs can differ as each situation will be different. 

At Elite Wildlife Services, we offer a complimentary inspection where we can provide each client a customized plan to fit most budgets.  This inspection comes with our consultation and recommendations and there is never pressure to purchase.

In most cases, raccoons will not leave on their own. Our homes and attics provide an almost temperature controlled environment that is usually more comfortable for wildlife than they can find in nature. 

Combine that with an abundant amount of nesting material the insulation they find there provides and you have a recipe for an unwanted, permanent tenant that doesn’t pay rent. 

I am often asked if sonic devices will repel raccoons and sadly they do not, as the animals can tolerate the sound in exchange for the benefits the environment they find provides. If raccoons are suspected, it is important to call a wildlife company such as Elite Wildlife Services to remove them correctly. 

If not addressed, raccoons can be one of the most destructive and costliest problems we can have in our homes. Not to mention, many raccoons have rabies, bringing on even more danger to the wellbeing of our families. 

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Rat Removal FAQs

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You can usually hear rats, and you’ll typically hear them at night. You’ll most often hear them moving in the attic or on the roof. You may hear scratching or scampering noises. 

You can also check the attic itself for droppings. You’ll tend to see a lot of them. You might see dark, heavy stains in pathways that rats are traveling frequently. Droppings look like little grains of dark brown rice to twice that size. 

Rats have very oily bodies and they rub against certain surfaces as they travel, leaving oily, unpleasant stains. If you’re seeing them in open areas then the swarm has grown very large and you need immediate help. 

If the rat swarm grows too large, they might grow bold enough to start entering areas humans frequent, and you’ll start seeing them face to face.

First, we’ll find and block off their access points so they stop getting into the house. Without taking this step no other control methods will be effective. Once this is done, we can turn to the rats inside of your home.

We use humane traps to get rid of your rat problem, removing them safely from your home.

From there it will be time to clean up their droppings. We use safe, non-toxic disinfectants to scrub away their leavings. We also get rid of any nests they’ve built and entirely sanitize attic spaces where they dwell. 

The cost will depend on the size of your building and the size of the infestation. We’ve done jobs for as little as $169 and it can range to over $1000. Commercial rat removal services tend to cost the most.

One way you can control the cost of rat removal services is by calling us as quickly as possible. The longer the rats have to breed, the more expensive it becomes to remove them.

Hey, look, we’re biased, but we are also humane, professional, friendly, and cost-effective. But, don’t take our word for it, check out our awesome reviews from happy customers throughout the entire Houston Metro area. Our Mommas taught us not to brag, but we think there’s some pretty good reasons to give our service a whirl.

Call (832) 727-9181 today.

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Squirrel Removal FAQs

 

Grey Squirrels in attics in the Houston area are very common especially starting in September.  This coincides with other rodents and is usually the beginning of their “breeding season” characterized by rodents entering structures that we inhabit.  This season is usually triggered by a change in temperature as we enter the fall season.  Grey Squirrels, like other rodents, enter our structures by either chewing a hole or exploiting an existing construction gap or other weakness.  Grey Squirrels tend to chew larger holes than roof rats but both prefer places that are “hidden” from sight if available. 

 To distinguish what type of attic rodent you have the first question to ask is what time of day are you hearing the noise.  If the noises are heard at night most likely you are dealing with roof rats or even flying squirrels.  If the noise is heard during the morning hours and then in the evening most likely it is Grey Squirrels.  Other noises associated with Grey Squirrels are gnawing or chewing sounds coming from the attic or on exterior materials, especially wood.  Trim and fascia boards on homes and businesses become the grinding stone for squirrels as they file down their ever growing teeth.  They are also attracted to the rubber and plastic electric wire coverings found in attics which can be extremely hazardous. 

If you suspect squirrels in your attic the best move you can make is call a professional.  Squirrels can be very determined and are not easily trapped by home and business owners who are not experienced.  This can also lead to squirrels becoming very wary of people and traps and make the removal process more difficult.  Many people attempting to remove squirrels will get on ladders trying to get too hard to reach places and can fall and injure themselves in the process.  Calling someone experienced in this type of removal will usually result in a better, safer outcome for the property owner and for the squirrels.

Grey Squirrels are very common in all of the Houston area so having one in your attic or walls unfortunately is not uncommon.  Squirrels build nests in attics similar to the ones they build in trees with the exception that they use building materials they find in the spaces they reside such as insulation, which makes an ideal nest building material.  Aside from making a mess in the attic with their droppings and urination, they often carry fleas which can quickly spread into the actual home if untreated.  

Grey Squirrels are avid chewers due to their front teeth constantly growing and therefore they constantly chew or grind their teeth down.  This sound of gnawing often gives them away. 

Their young are often responsible for gnawing wires which can usually be found not far from their nests and are the second leading cause for house and building fires. 

If you suspect squirrels in your attic and one of your outdoor lights quits working suddenly it is important to have a certified electrician inspect to make sure there are not any chewed wires in the attic.

First tip we give property owners is to keep landscaping and trees trimmed back from houses and buildings. 

A tree leaning on a roof or a bush up against a house makes and ideal “ladder” for many types of wildlife including insects.  While keeping it trimmed back is not a foolproof means, it does help discourage insects and animals from an east access to our structures. 

Another method is not having bird feeders close to the house.  This constant feeding brings all types of rodents and many other unwanted types of wildlife and greatly increases the risk of a rodent intrusion.  If someone really wants a bird feeder they need to place it as far away from their house or building as possible. 

Lastly, maintaining their home or business and addressing any wood rot or other “entry” right away.  Rodents of all types are waiting to take advantage of any entry point on homes and businesses and become your non-paying tenants! 

 

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We use live traps to capture them. That’s the only way to get them…they’re persistent little creatures. Yet we also take and recommend some steps to keep them from coming back.

For example, a lot of squirrels get in through the fascia. The gutter acts as a highway to get them there. Gutter guards can be extremely helpful in this regard (try Flo Free if you’d like to avoid the headaches gutter guards can add to biannual cleanings).

Next, we recommend trimming tree branches that overhang the roof line, since that’s another way squirrels get tempted to enter your home. 

Meanwhile, when we’re done trapping the squirrels we’ll figure out where they’re entering, seal up those access points, and relocate your squirrels over 10 miles away so they won’t try to get back into the cozy spots they remember. You’ll still see them all over your yard…there’s no avoiding it…but the ones you’ll be seeing haven’t tasted your house yet, and won’t be able to get in thanks to our sealing efforts.

There are a lot of myths that say you can get rid of squirrels with bright lights, loud music, or apple cider vinegar. None of these methods work. The only way to get squirrels out of your attic is to call a professional to trap them.

Squirrels have a pretty high tolerance for almost anything if they have found a safe spot to bear and raise young. Your attic is it…no matter how bright or noisy it may be.

The average squirrel removal job costs anywhere from $200 to $3000. Much depends on the size of both your house and of the infestation. Commercial squirrel removal certainly costs the most.

Control costs by calling us as soon as you suspect you have a squirrel problem. If you start hearing unusual noises, smell foul odors, or find squirrel droppings then you probably should make the call right away. 

Call today to request an inspection. We’ll tell you exactly what it takes to show those squirrels the door. 

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