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Rats in Georgia

In the state of Georgia, exterminators and wildlife professionals deal mainly with two kinds of rats: the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat.  You may wonder what kind of diet each of these two rat species have; some argue that Roof Rats do not eat meat, and others will assure you that Norway Rats only eat greasy meats.  After catching thousands of these animals, Forsyth Wildlife has experienced that both rat species eat meat, fruits, or vegetables, depending on what is available.  Both species can be found in crawl spaces, living environments, and attics.  It has been our experience that these unpredictable animals are impossible to classify based on diet.  They are survivors and their unpredictable nature makes professional help a must.

Rat Management and Removal

When hearing noises at night it is very likely that your attic or structure is infested by rats.  These creatures multiply very quickly and eat almost anything.  From wood to insulation, rats can use a wide variety of materials to create nesting sites and favorable environments.  Rats need to be excluded from human-inhabited buildings since they can be dangerous in many ways.  Rat management is crucial if wires, cables, hoses, and pipes are existent in a building.  Rats are known to chew on wires causing fires, chew on hoses causing floods, and chew on cables damaging entire networks.  At the same time, rat excrement could be very detrimental to the health of humans and pets.  Rats urinate and defecate at all times leaving their excrement on top of food and food preparation areas.  Rat management is a must in all residential and commercial structures due to their rapid reproduction and potential to cause damage.  If you or someone you know suspects a rat infestation, please contact Forsyth Wildlife immediately in order to reduce damage and contamination.

Pest Removal and Animal Removal for Squirrels

It would be wonderful to be able to predict the behavior of squirrels and other wildlife. Some people are confident  that squirrels will leave after a few days or months.  However, based on our 30 years of experience and research, unless structures are sealed and protected against squirrels, the persistent animals will live and nest inside for long periods of time (usually years). It is common to see squirrels return to the same spot year after year, as they prefer to have their young in the same spot they were born.
Many homeowners try poisons, repellents, rat traps, and/or live cages to rid their structure of squirrels.   While all of these are pest control techniques, in the case of squirrels the approach should be totally different.  The use of poison is definitely a “no-no”.  Poisons are many times slow acting and will be carried out by the squirrels into other environments where other types of animals could gain access to it, including pets.  In addition, poisons that have been consumed by the squirrels could be ingested by non-target animals that will eat or carry dead squirrels in their mouths.  This secondary poisoning could be fatal to other animals.  Forsyth Wildlife cautions homeowners that poisons should not be used to control squirrels.
The use of repellents is common, but could be toxic to humans.  A prime example of a repellant is moth balls.  For years this poison has been used to repel snakes, squirrels, and other animals, but the negative effects moth balls have on humans far outweigh the benefits.  Squirrel repellants usually work for a very short period of time and are carried away from target areas by rain or other environmental factors.
Using snap or rat traps to control squirrels may work in some cases, but killing the squirrel is not the easiest or best way to control these animals.  Squirrels many times are a little bigger than what snap traps are designed for, so the squirrels may not die and will carry the trap to areas where human access is restricted.  The injured squirrel many times carries the trap into areas like wall voids or under insulation, and once it finally dies, can be difficult to locate.  Now you have a problem that still hasn’t been permanently resolved, and a foul smell to deal with.  Snap traps are also hard to set and dangerous to remove.  Human injury can occur for those who are not trained to set and/or remove traps.
Live cages are a better option, but if not combined with a full home exclusion this can be a never-ending job.  Squirrels leave pheromones behind when they infest attics, which are highly attractive to other animals,  making it almost impossible to catch all squirrels.  Rats and mice are also attracted to this scent, which sends the message that says, “Come live here, it’s nice and cozy!”  Other animals will also figure out the location of the trap, or the way it works and will avoid the devices altogether.  Professional trappers will know how many traps to place, the optimal placement for them, and more importantly what entry areas to seal to prevent re-infestations.

Pest Control and Animal Control for Squirrels

Since controlling animals from entering human environments is important, Forsyth Wildlife has prepared some information that may help you to understand squirrel control.  Trapping alone for squirrels is not recommended.  Our recommended method is exclusion.  Unlike small insects and pests, squirrels are large enough to allow professionals to perform exclusion and trapping methods in order to completely eliminate their entry points to attics and buildings.
Forsyth Wildlife strongly urges you against the use of poison to attempt to control squirrels.  The outcome of its use is more often detrimental than helpful.  Squirrels commonly die inside walls and underneath insulation, causing fly and odor problems that could last for weeks or months.
When squirrels have young, controlling them gets more complicated.  Exclusion and hand-removal of the babies is the preferred option.  Our professionals at Forsyth Wildlife relocate newly born animals while attempting not to harm them.  They then attempt to relocate the young to suitable natural environments.

Nuisance Squirrel Removal and Prevention

Forsyth Wildlife has performed nuisance squirrel removal service in the Metro Atlanta area since 1980.  For the past 30 years our company has had the required licenses, insurance, and trained experts necessary to solve even the most difficult cases of squirrel invasions.  These rodents will damage property on a daily basis and will not stop until physically removed and prevented from re-entering.  Gray Squirrels are active in the morning and afternoon, Flying Squirrels are active at night, and both kinds of squirrels will chew wood, cables, and pipes; nest indoors; and destroy the R-value of insulation.
It is common for squirrels to be present in attics around Metro Atlanta, especially cities like Alpharetta, Duluth, Suwannee, Buford, Atlanta, Cumming, Roswell, and surrounding areas where growth and construction have been increasing for years.  The most common scenario of all conflicts between squirrels and humans is the presence of squirrels in the attic.  Nevertheless, sometimes Forsyth Wildlife finds squirrels that actually have entered living spaces and have hurt people and pets.
What is in your attic?
Squirrels chew, scratch, and chatter both in the daytime and at nighttime depending on the squirrel species.  Most people become aware of squirrels in their attics when they hear some of these signs at night due to the fact that humans are quiet and resting at this time while the squirrels are fully active.
Determining if you have squirrels?
Determining if you have a squirrel in your attic is simple when the noises and signs you hear are in the daytime.  Gray squirrels are the most common animal that lives in attics and makes noises at night.  All other animals invading attics and structures are known to be active at night, so the chances of you having Gray Squirrels when hearing noises during the day are better than 95% (based on our 30 years of experience).  If on the other hand, noises are heard at night, in most cases it is a combination of flying squirrels and rats, since these two animals frequently co-exist in attics.  Other animals such as raccoons and opossums will live inside attics, but the noises and signs will vary drastically.  Either way, if you have any signs of animal activity in your home, call Forsyth Wildlife for help!

Determining if you have a squirrel in your attic is simple when the noises and signs you hear are in the daytime.  Gray squirrels are the most common animal that lives in attics and makes noises at night.  All other animals invading attics and structures are known to be active at night, so the chances of you having Gray Squirrels when hearing noises during the day are better than 95% (based on our 30 years of experience).  If on the other hand, noises are heard at night, in most cases it is a combination of flying squirrels and rats, since these two animals frequently co-exist in attics.  Other animals such as raccoons and opossums will live inside attics, but the noises and signs will vary drastically.  Either way, if you have any signs of animal activity in your home, call Forsyth Wildlife for help!

Humane Squirrel Removal

Have you reached your wit’s end with those pesky squirrels in your attic?  If you are ready to permanently evict these annoying and destructive pests, please read on.  Forsyth Wildlife is aware that squirrels are an important part of Georgia wildlife and always places an emphasis on removing the animals in the most humane way possible.  The company has used in excess of thousands of live traps to remove squirrels form attics and other areas.  These traps work by attracting the animal inside and capturing it without harming it.  After squirrels are captured, they are relocated to a natural habitat away from structures where the animals can thrive.  All our professional wildlife trappers have a true love for animals and nature, while at the same time are well-trained and aware of the damage they do to homes & structures. It is important to note that despite our efforts to save as many squirrels as possible when removing them from attics and other places, these animals could be already sick or weak when we trap them, so we can not guarantee that all animals will survive the trapping process despite our efforts.

Flies in my Home or Place of Business

Based on the 30 years Forsyth Wildlife has been dealing with wildlife and pests, the most common fly in Georgia homes is the Blow Fly.  This is a large, metallic green, gray, blue or black fly found throughout the state of Georgia.  Since these flies depend on animal carcasses to develop and survive, they are less affected by weather conditions than other species of flies.  When animals die inside structures, blow flies will lay their eggs in the carcass.  The larvae will develop off of the decaying flesh, and adult Blow Flies will emerge to infest homes and buildings by the hundreds.  Be aware that having wild animals living in close proximity (i.e. crawl space, attic, basement, drop ceiling, etc…)  will allow integration of scavengers such as flies and could pose a potential health threat to human inhabitants.  Forsyth Wildlife recommends that you solve all animal issues in the interior of the buildings to ensure that no fly issues threaten the health and well being of those important to you.

Squirrels: Diseases, Preventions, and Cures

Many home and business owners are concerned with the health risks of having squirrels and other animals invading their living environments.  Some squirrels are known to carry diseases that can be passed along to humans through pests such as mites, flies, and mosquitoes.  In addition to carrying disease-carrying pests into living environments, squirrel excrement can be toxic to humans.  Diseases such as Leptospirosis and Salmonella are known to be transferred form squirrels to humans through their feces.  Other health risks include the animals scratching or biting, which can be especially dangerous if eye tissue is damaged from scratches.
Preventing squirrels from spreading diseases requires exclusion of these animals from living environments.  The only method of entry for some mites, flies, and other parasitic animals is by squirrels or other animals carrying them into the home, so if the squirrels can’t get in, neither can the other pests that they carry! If you already have a problem with squirrels and the contamination of your environment by excrement is severe,  Forsyth Wildlife recommends the disinfection and/or removal of affected areas and insulation.
To cure diseases such as Leptospirosis and Salmonella, the aid of a doctor is required in many cases.  Please consult a doctor if you have been exposed to severe infestations and or large amounts of excrement in a confined area.

Common Animal Damages and Repairs

Wildlife such as rats, squirrels, raccoons, snakes, opossums, & bats in the attic is a serious problem, and it is never the kind of problem that can be solved by a handyman.  Many home and business owners wait until it is too late to call a professional for help.  It is our recommendation to pay for a few hours of an expert’s time to point you in the right direction to solve the animal problem.  Here are some examples of damages and repairs Forsyth Wildlife has had to deal with in the past 30 years of business.   If you have rats, squirrels, raccoons, snakes, opossums, bats, or other wildlife in the attic, we urge you to correctly and promptly address the problem.
Chewed Wires: As professionals we have seen animals chewing car wires inside the hood and cab of automobiles, electrical wires inside attics and walls, cables and internet wires, and entire home theater systems.  The cost of the damages caused by animals can range from $100 to $500,000.  As an example, one of Forsyth Wildlife’s customers bought a brand new car (T. Avalon); the second day rodents entered the vehicle and caused $7,500 worth of damage.  The customer had to replace all the wiring inside the hood.  This is just one of hundreds of customers that have faced similar situations.  A house in Cumming, Georgia caught on fire and the fire marshal (fire investigator) ruled that the cause of the fire was a shortage cause by a chewed wire in the attic.  This house burned to the ground, leaving a single mother homeless.  This house was quoted by Forsyth Wildlife 8 months prior to the incident, but home owner never decided to hire professional services.  She assured Forsyth Wildlife that her neighbor was trained and capable of solving the issue with rodents.  Please hire a professional company when dealing with animals inside your attics and structures.
Chewed Pipes: As animals chew wires and cables, they also target pipes, as they have the round shape that is most attractive to wildlife.  Rodents have chewed hoses and pipes connecting dishwashers and refrigerators which caused thousands of dollars to fix every time.  Hundreds of our customer have faced devastating news when entering a flooded kitchen or bathroom.  Even more aggravating is the fact that animals as small as a pinky are responsible for causing the damages.  When kitchens are flooded, hardwood floors buckle, furniture gets moldy and many times a musky smell stays in the area for months.  It is worth mentioning that even after all the damages are repaired, critters could come back and do it again.  Please make sure that your house is sealed  against animals by a trained professional.
Chewed Objects: From a $200 suit case to a $50,000 oil painting, Forsyth Wildlife has seen animals chew and destroy objects.  Animals will chew objects trying to gather nesting materials, find a hiding place, or secure a food source.   Many valuable objects are stored in areas with ideal conditions for wildlife such as attics and closets.  These environments are frequently occupied by animals and rodents making it easy for them to chew and damage objects.  In one case, rats chewed and damaged $ 20,000 worth of children’s clothing and toys since they were in storage for a period of three months.  Some of the damaged materials included bedding, clothes, plastic bottles, diapers, cribs, camera monitors, and many more.  Insurance was very difficult to collect and only paid about 45% of all damages.
Damaged Insulation: Many homes that have been infested by bats and raccoons have an undisputable need to remove and replace contaminated insulations since their excrement can be very toxic to humans.  Most insurance policies in the state of Georgia will pay for the removal and replacement of contaminated insulation if raccoons or bats contaminated the insulation.  In the case of squirrels and rats, replacement of insulation and decontamination may be needed if the infestation is heavy.  Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover this since they expect owners to solve rat and squirrel problems as soon as they notice any signs.  Rats and squirrels could damage insulation to the point of no return, but it definitely takes them longer to do so, compared to raccoons and bats.
Water Damage: Chewed pipes are not the only cause of water damage caused by animals.  In thousands of homes animals will open entry areas around the outside soffit boards or roofs.  These entry ways will allow water to enter structures by the gallons, creating mold and damages that can cost thousands of dollars to repair.  When dealing with large animals such as squirrels and raccoons, their entry ways could be from the size of a baseball to a beach ball.  If you have openings this size around the roof of your structure, water will cause more damage than any wildlife.  We urge you to repair openings and animal entries before is too late.  Make sure animals are captured and relocated before they try to open entry ways elsewhere.

Bird Control Techniques

Birds are a pest when invading buildings and structures.  When they become pests, it is clear that Forsyth Wildlife needs to address the problem to prevent further damage and contamination in the future.  Solving problems with pesty birds such as pigeons, woodpeckers, starlings and crows is not an easy task.  Experience, equipment, and support are important tools in the process of bird eradication, but sometimes these pests could bypass all efforts. Forsyth Wildlife offers a warranty on all services, so in the case of a pest bird reoccurrence, our company will stand behind the previously protected area (according to contract).
Pest Birds could be a very serious issue thus requiring serious solutions and effective methods to control. These pests will contaminate roosting sites and areas around them.  Their excrements will generate a number of lung diseases and they may bring other pests with them such as fleas, mites, and mosquitoes.
Some of the more common methods are: exclusion, electrocution, sterilization, and trapping.  Please call Forsyth Wildlife for more information on this subject.