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Pest Management Tips for Large Critters

When most people think of pest control, they think of insects and other miniscule pests. But larger animals can also pose a pest control problem, especial for those living in more rural or forested areas.

Pest management for large critters can be difficult and cumbersome, as they can cause much more visible forms of damage to your property, livestock, pets and even your family. Following is a look at some of the common large pests that professional pest control companies deal with in the Pacific Northwest.

Squirrels

Squirrels may seem cute and cuddly, but the damage they will visit upon your lawn, garden, roof, gutters and the general wiring both in and outside the home is no joke. Squirrels are one of the more successful invasive species in suburban areas, as they will nest in just about any place that is warm, such as in attics or between walls.

Squirrels, despites their lack of size, are hard to deal with in large numbers. The best pest management strategy is to seal up any unofficial entryways into your home – especially the attic, basement or area under the house. Squirrels can chew through most window screens, so you’ll need to plug any access points with sturdy boards or insulation. Patch up all holes or cracks around your home that are larger than a grape, as squirrels are masters at squeezing into small spaces. If all else fails, a professional pest control company can help identify and eliminate entry points.

Raccoons

For those who live in the city or dense suburban areas, raccoons are another common pest. Like all mammals, they seek shelter and a warm place to sleep. That’s why many Northwest homeowners find raccoons setting up nests in the attic, basement, under the house or even in the hot tub.

Besides spreading disease, raccoons are pests first and foremost because they will get into your garbage or food stores and leave their droppings in or around your home. They’re often quite bold and can also pose a threat to pets and small children. Hence, despite their shyness and reclusive nature, they should be dealt with efficiently and quickly.

Pest management for raccoons can be tricky, as many communities don’t allow homeowners to trap, kill or relocate these pests. Because raccoons are nocturnal, installing bright lights around your home can help discourage them from coming around. A simple porch light is often not adequate; multiple motion-sensor floodlights may be required to saturate the area with illumination.

Other pest management practices recommended by professional pest control companies include placing garbage in sturdy metal trash cans with tightly sealed lids and removing any other outside food and water sources, such as pet food. If you encounter a raccoon nest in or around your home, avoid cornering the animals, as this may leave them no other option but to attack. Call a professional pest control technician instead.

Moles

Moles are the bane of any gardener or landscaper’s existence. They tunnel through the earth, causing unsightly holes and disrupting the root systems of your plants. During the spring and fall, particularly after a rainy spell, they push mounds of earths up to the surface, leaving miniature volcanoes all over your yard.

To keep moles out of specific areas of your yard, such as the garden, pest management experts suggest creating a wire mesh barrier around the area that extends two feet below the soil and six inches above. Getting rid of them entirely can be tricky, as they burrow underground and often remain hidden from homeowners. While commercial traps and baits are available, these can pose safety, health, and environmental risks. To learn more about safe pest management for moles, contact a professional pest control company.

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