What to Do if an Animal Died Behind a Wall

What to Do if an Animal Died Behind a Wall

If you’ve ever had a critter die in a hard-to-reach place, you know how unpleasant it can get. There is this overwhelming smell spreading throughout your home, interrupting your daily activities. What do you do about it? Dealing with a dead critter is definitely something most people are not prepared for, yet most homeowners are likely to experience it at some point. Here are a few tips from our Howard County animal removal experts to help you decide how to best address this issue.

Open Up The Wall

If the dead critter is behind a wall, you could cut out a piece to reach and remove it. If you hire a Maryland dead animal removal professional like Mid-Atlantice Animal Control, this is one of the things we would recommend. Sometimes, we are able to reach and remove the critter without opening the walls by locating it though the attic and down the wall. It takes years of experience to know common spots where animals get stuck and be able to remove them in a non-invasive manner. However, it’s often hard to pin-point where exactly you need to cut. The smell alone may help identify the wall in question, but it won’t be useful in finding the exact location. Without professional help, you may end up making several holes before you find and remove the smelly animal. Or you may never find it despite numerous attempts—they don’t call it a hard-to-reach place for nothing!

Wait it Out

The reason an animal carcass smells so bad is because the cells and tissues start to break down, producing stinky gasses. This process goes faster in warmer temperatures, such as the 90-degree heat waves we get in summer. The smell can get unbearable during that time. It may take several weeks to several months for an animal carcass to decompose to the point where it stops smelling. If you are living in your house during this time, this is definitely not ideal. However, if the animal is behind a wall in a basement, a closet, or some other area you rarely use, it may make sense to wait it out. You could use dehumidifiers in that area to speed up the drying, as well as place strongly fragrant items, such as a cinnamon broom. This will help offset the bad smell in the meantime.

How to Prevent Animals From Getting Trapped Behind Walls

No one wants to have a decomposing carcass behind their wall. So how do you prevent this from happening again? The answer is in understanding the reasons why animals may end up in these hard-to-reach places.

Don’t Use Poison

If you have rats or mice, you may be tempted to use poison to get rid of them. Not only is this cruel, but it may also leave you with the problem we describe above. Rats and mice can often travel up and down the walls. If you kill them with poison, they don’t die immediately, which means they may end up dying in a place where you can’t get to them. And if you have a massive rodent infestation, you may end up with numerous stink bombs throughout the house.

Keep and Eye on Your Attic

In many cases, an animal, such as a baby squirrel or a baby raccoon, may fall between the walls as they wander away from their nest in your attic. They won’t be able to climb back up, so unless they are extracted in time, it’s certain death for them. Pay attention to any odd noises in your attic or holes in your roof line. This is a sure sign that some animal has moved into your home. It’s best to have your local Maryland animal removal professional to perform the eviction, because we know that many times an animal intruder is a mother with her well-hidden litter. Removing the mother alone will cause the babies (that may still be blind) to go out looking for her and fall down.

Don’t Ignore the Scratching

If an animal that is alive and well falls between the walls, it will surely try to scratch its way out. If you hear persistent scratching behind walls, it’s likely a critter stuck in there. Address this right away by either opening up the wall or calling a professional. Trust us, it’s better to extract this critter alive now than later deal with the awful smell.

Check the Chimney Before Starting a Fire

Another common place where animals tend to make nests is your chimney, especially if it is uncapped. A chimney is a safe and secure area, and because we don’t generally use our chimney in summer, raccoons and squirrels may get an impression that the chimney is up for the taking. Before you start your first fire this fall, be sure to have your chimney inspected. Never start a fire if you hear noises above the firebox and suspect there might be animals living there. This will surely lead to an unpleasant evening for everyone. Need help removing a dead or alive animal from hard-to-reach places? Let our experts at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control land you a hand!

Which Animal Removal Company Should I Hire?

Which Animal Removal Company Should I Hire?

When it comes to animal removal or wildlife removal, you have many options which company to call. By simply searching in Google for “animal removal in Howard County” or any other Maryland location, you will find at least 2-4 companies that offer such services. But how do you narrow down your search? Or does it even matter who you hire as long as they get your pest animal out of your house? Here are a few tips on how to make the right decision.

It Matters Who You Hire

First of all, let’s settle this: it does matter who you hire. Different animal removal companies may have different approaches to wildlife trapping and removal, and they may not have the same procedures, price points and even goals. We’ll go into details on some of these factors below.

Make Sure They Work With Wildlife

Pest control companies and wildlife removal companies are completely different. Sometimes, one company may do both, but you are better off choosing a company that specializes in animal removal. The reason is that pest infestations, such as termite or cockroach, are far more common than human-wildlife conflicts. So a company doing both will likely get the majority of their calls for pest control, which leave animal removal as a side job. Effective animal removal requires experience and training, not to mention a completely different approach. Someone who does it full-time will be more qualified to assist you.

Are Their Practices Humane?

While you may be angry at that squirrel that chewed a hole through your fascia board, there is no reason for the animal to die. In most cases, it can be safely captured and relocated or rehabbed as needed, so that both you and the animal can forget about this and move on with your lives. Moreover, certain wildlife, such as bats and some species of birds, may be protected by law and can’t be harmed. If it doesn’t explicitly say on the company’s website that their approach is humane, ask them directly. At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we do our best to make animal removal the least stressful for all parties.

Are They Licensed and Insured?

Nuisance wildlife removal is a regulated industry that requires licensing. If needed, your wildlife removal company should be able to present a copy of their license or give you the license number to verify. And since animals can be unpredictable, you definitely want your wildlife remover to carry liability insurance in case an injury or property damage occur.

Do They Clean Up and Repair?

Removing the unwelcome animal from your home can be complicated, but it’s only a part of the job. Once the animal is gone, there is usually an aftermath to deal with: the holes it made in your roof, the damage it caused inside the attic, etc.—the sheer amount of urine and feces can be overwhelming! You would like a hand with that, wouldn’t you? Be sure to ask your Maryland animal removal company whether they do cleanup and repairs. It’s great if they do, as they will save you a lot of time by doing the dirty work for you. In some cases, such as when you have raccoons in your attic, it could be unsafe for you to handle their droppings that are often infested with raccoon roundworm. Our cleanup specialists take care to thoroughly clean and disinfect the area to eliminate any potential health risks for you and your family.

Do They Care About Prevention?

Just because the company removes a squirrel from your attic or chimney, doesn’t mean you won’t have wildlife problems ever again. Unfortunately, that’s not a promise any wildlife removal company can make. However, they can take the steps to help you reduce the likelihood of future infestations. These steps may include evaluating the potential entry spots, installing animal-proof covers, or advising you on modifying your habits to make your home less attractive to wildlife. At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we think that this is one of the most important stages in animal removal that should never be skipped. Call us or contact online if you think you have an animal intruder in your home or on your property.

Noises in the Attic You Should Worry About

Noises in the Attic You Should Worry About

Does it sound like something is living in your attic? There is a good chance you are not just hearing things. And there is an even better chance (in fact, we can almost guarantee) that it’s not a poltergeist or a tormented spirit of a former homeowner. Nine times out of ten when we come out to investigate strange attic noises, we end up finding opportunistic animals making your home their home. Here are some specific examples of noises and the animals that may be causing them, as witnessed by our Howard County animal removal technicians.

Daytime Noises

If you hear scratching or rolling noises during the day, it’s possible there is a squirrel living in your attic. Squirrels will scratch surfaces as they build their nest, and they may also bring in nuts to store as the food supply. These nuts can get dropped and rolled, which is something you will likely hear from your bedroom. Squirrels can also make noises when they work on breaking open nuts with their teeth. You’ve probably heard them in a park. Here is one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XsUjY5Z8fk If you hear chirping noises during daytime, you may have birds nesting in your attic. Birds don’t really have strong claws or beaks to make a hole, so they likely used an existing gap somewhere along your roof line.

Nighttime Noises

If you hear scratching or a loud thumping at night, you might have a raccoon in your attic. Raccoons are mostly nocturnal animals that come out at night to forage for food. Because they are fairly large, their walking and jumping can usually be heard very well. You may also hear noises outside of your house as raccoons open up your trash cans or knock things down when looking for food. Raccoons are also fairly vocal and can make a variety of sounds from purring to whistling. If you hear several “voices,” it’s possible you have a mother raccoon with her litter in your attic. Here is one of the example of what a raccoon may sound like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ2lGJmIyqQ Another animal that could make loud noises that keep you up at night is an opossum. Opossums are great climbers and have no trouble entering attics. You may hear them at night getting comfortable in your attic as they rip up your insulation and tear open the air ducts. If you hear nighttime noises that sound like something is moving really fast, it could be rats or mice. In this case, you may hear them not only in the attic, but but also inside the walls. Although these rodents are quite small, they can make some noise.

Sunset/Twilight Noises

If you are hearing noises around dusk, and only at that time, it’s likely bats. Bats can make scratching noises as they crawl inside your attic, and they can also cause a big racket when a large colony gets ready to exit the attic for the nightly hunt. However, you probably won’t hear bats unless it’s a very large colony. They are rather small and tend to be quiet. The best way to confirm if you have bats in the attic is to watch your home from the outside after the sun sets. You should see exactly where the bats are coming out from. Here is a video from one upset homeowner astonished at the number of bats coming out of the attic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QTC5ZKXwOA Do any of these noises sound familiar? Give us a call or contact us online to get help identifying and removing the nuisance animal from your attic.

What is a Raccoon Latrine?

What is a Raccoon Latrine?

A raccoon latrine is one of the reasons why it’s dangerous to have a raccoon living in your attic and even on your property. If you haven’t heard this term before, our Gaithersburg raccoon removal experts will be happy to tell you all about it, as we’ve found and cleaned up numerous latrines during our many years in business.

So What is a Latrine?

A latrine is basically a fancy name for a raccoon litter box. That’s right, just like cats, raccoons pick an area where they go to the bathroom, so to speak. It can be a fairly large area, much bigger than what your cat has. And depending on how many raccoons are using it, it can get covered in feces and soaked in urine pretty fast. If you think cat pee stinks, you haven’t dealt with an indoor raccoon latrine before. Now imagine that this latrine is in your attic or your back yard! We know, it’s an unpleasant thought, but for many Maryland homeowners it’s a sad reality.

The Danger of Raccoon Latrines

Having a designated “toilet” area may sound like a pretty hygienic concept. And it may as well be that way for raccoons, but not for humans. Besides the sheer grossness of having a raccoon litter box over your head or underneath your feet, there are serious health risks involved. Raccoons are known to carry raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis)—a dangerous parasite that does little to raccoons. It lives in the raccoon’s intestines and produces eggs that are expelled with feces. From there, the eggs can be picked up and ingested by other raccoons, your household pets and humans. Children are especially prone to picking up raccoon roundworm, as they unknowingly touch their face and mouth with dirty hands. Although there is only a small number of reported cases, for those who do contract raccoon roundworm the prognosis is less than hopeful. The parasite tends to cause encephalitis, attaching the central nervous system. If the infected person survives, they are likely to suffer from blindness, deafness or have significant brain damage.

Protecting Your Family From Raccoon Roundworm

If you think that roundworm is a rare occurrence in raccoons, hear this: anywhere from 70% to 100% of the U.S. raccoon population carry the parasite. And if you think that there are no raccoons near you, we may have to disappoint you again. A 2009 survey found that 51% of lawns in suburban Chicago had a raccoon latrine. If your home is in or near a forest, pond or a marshy area, there is a good chance you have raccoons living near you. To protect yourself and your family, the best you can do is make sure everyone knows to wash their hands after working outside or touching animals that have been outside. If you suspect a raccoon is living in your home or on your property, or if you find a latrine, call a Maryland raccoon removal professional to have the animal removed and the latrine cleaned up. Don’t try to clean a latrine yourself, especially if you are not using proper protective gear. Roundworm eggs can survive long after they’ve been deposited, even if the latrine is no longer active. They are also extremely resilient to disinfectants and are best killed with heat. Contact us today if you have any questions or need help evicting unwelcome wildlife from your home or yard.