Woodpeckers In Utah

woodpecker_damage2We are going out of our mind, furious about the woodpeckers destroying our house.  It’s one of those situations that starts out mildly annoying, and then grows into a much bigger problem as we just tried to ignore the issue.  My husband and I built this home in Utah in 2001, and we built it in one of those beautiful Utah towns that’s close enough to Salt Lake City, but far enough away for that country feel.  In fact, we’re close to a bird sanctuary and wet lands, so we’ve loved the variety of wildlife we get to see right in our own yard.  Usually.

A few years ago, we were woken by a knocking on the outside wall.  We looked out and were at first charmed to see a beautiful woodpecker perched on our stucco siding.  Then, we watched it as it drilled a hole right into the stucco.  We chased it off, only to have it return several more times that day.  Since then, it’s been a nightmare.  Every single year, at least two woodpeckers descend on our home.  We spray for bugs, and not one of our neighbors has a woodpecker problem, just us.  Lucky us.

My husband keeps a BB gun around just to scare them off.  We’ve put up the fake owl.  We’ve decorated the back of our house with ugly pie tins and old CDs (thanks for nothing, Pinterest).  Nothing has scared them off.  They just keep coming.  We put off repairing the stucco until we could figure out how to get rid of the woodpeckers for good.  Big mistake.  Now we have water damage on the inside of our walls thanks to those irritating woodpeckers.  I’m scared of going into the attic space, because I’m wondering what bugs or other critters have come in through those woodpecker holes.  And, I still have absolutely no idea what’s attracting those woodpeckers to our house anyway.  Plus, woodpeckers in Utah, like all wild birds with the exception of a few, are protected under federal laws.  So, we can’t kill ‘em, much as we’d like to.

I’m at my wit’s end.  Tired of hearing the bold woodpeckers destroying my house.  Sick of worrying about water damage from woodpecker holes.  And, I hate having to repair the walls just to have the woodpeckers come back and cause more damage.  Time to bring in the professionals, because I’m about ready to actually aim that BB gun right on those birds, laws or no laws, and I’m not paying fines or risking prosecution for woodpeckers!


rats1We get a lot of questions about rats.  What do rats like to eat?  Why are rats in my home?  What do rat droppings look like?  How do I get rid of rats?


Roof rats, Norway rats, black rats, pack rats, kangaroo rats, naked mole rats, cotton rats.  Not all creatures called “rats” are actually of the rat family, but when you’re dealing with a rat infestation, you probably don’t care what type of rat you have, you just want them gone.  Unfortunately, different types of rats behave differently, which means that you need to know what kind of rats are breeding around you so that you can most effectively get rid of them.  That’s one real advantage to having a rat catcher / wildlife removal expert.  With a little investigation, they can tell what kind of rats are infesting your house or building, and they have the expertise and tools to get rid of that particular type of rat.


Rat teeth are constantly growing, so a rat must continually gnaw on things to keep them a manageable size.  Combine that need with strong teeth and powerful jaw muscles, and rats can chew through pretty much anything, including concrete and lead pipes.  A rat can bite with the force of 12 tons per square inch (a great white shark bites with 20 tons per square inch.)  Ouch!!  So, once rats are in a building or a home, anything is fair game for gnawing.  Wood joists, wires, boxes, soffit, pretty much any building material and personal property.


Rats will eat pretty much anything and gnaw on everything. They are opportunistic feeders, which means if they can get at it, they’ll eat it.  Grains, meat, fish, seeds, fruit, snails, insects, pet food, leather, fur and other rodents.  Keeping lids tight on garbage cans, getting rid of bird feeders, and cutting off access to gardens and food storage will all help limit a rat’s access, but they’re quite capable of climbing, jumping and chewing their way in if they’re determined.  Allstate Animal Control has a slick rodent barrier that prevents rodents from digging under a fence and climbing up fences, trees or telephone posts to gain access to a food source.


Rat droppings are compact black pellets that look very much like a bean or raisin.  Their droppings usually measure about ¼ to ¾ of an inch long, and are usually found in their traffic areas, outside the structure, by window wells, window ledges, or access holes.


Rats can get into a home through a tiny opening.  Holes left by woodpeckers, openings around pipes, a weak soffit or other roofing material are excellent access points for rats, and you may notice the entryway is black and greasy from a rat’s body oils.  Finding and sealing one opening, though, may not be enough.  They will likely have more than one entrance point.  Again, a professional rat trapper can inspect your building or home, locate and seal up these little holes.


Picking up a few traps at a hardware store and setting them around heavily trafficked areas is definitely an option for homeowners, but since rats are such prolific breeders, it’s likely you have more rats in the walls or attic or under the floor than you can see or catch.  Rat poison is another option, but introduces possible harm or even death to children or animals who get overly curious. Also, rats are smart and learn to quickly avoid most poisons set out for them.  Keep in mind that rats pack a painful bite, carry diseases (sometimes fatal diseases), and get very feisty and ornery when cornered.  The absolute best way of getting rid of rats is to have a professional trapper come out to your building.  They have the expertise, the tools and the experience to find out which kind of rat you’re dealing with, use the most effective methods of exterminating rats or trapping rats or killing rats, and do what is needed to keep rats from coming back.

Football Player Kills Raccoon with Wrench

Nebraska football player Jack Gangwish tried to take a selfie with a raccoon he spotted on the side of the road, so he pulled over and approached the raccoon, camera at the ready.  From the raccoon’s perspective, a giant defensive end just came at it, so it did what it thought it needed to do, and that was bite the football player in the calf.  Unfortunately, a raccoon bite means the raccoon must be tested for rabies, and the only way to do that is to kill the raccoon and send it to a lab for testing.  As Gangwish said, “It was death by crescent wrench.”  Talk about a selfie going horribly, horribly wrong!  PETA is now getting involved, saying Gangwish should be punished for animal cruelty.


Pigeon Poop

pigeon_crap375 gallons of pigeon droppings?  Yep.  Twice a year, some unlucky parking garage employee in a Fairbanks, Alaska garage gets the job of cleaning up after the pigeons that roost in and around the garage.  The hazmat suit is donned, special hazardous waste material bags are used, and about 75 gallons of pigeon poop is scooped up.  According to some government reports, one pigeon produces up to 25 pounds of poop every year.  Now, multiply that by however many pigeons are roosting in and around your business, garage, office building, apartments, home or outbuilding!  And, it’s not just gross to look at.  It’s corrosive!  Pigeon droppings are acidic enough that it eats through concrete, wood or metal joists, weakening a structure, defacing buildings, and ruining property.  So, not only does it weaken the structure of a building, but it’s heavy enough to weigh it down and cause serious damage.  When you weigh the pros and cons of ways of dealing with a pigeon problem, you need to also consider the cost of repairing joists, re-facing the building, re-pouring concrete.  A professional bird remover will not only get rid of the roosting pigeons, but will clean up pigeon droppings and sanitize the area, as well as install materials that will keep pigeons out of your building.  It’s well worth it to have an expert take care of the pigeon problem once and for all instead of dealing with the problem year after year after year.

Trappers Love Wild Animals

As a wildlife control company, sometimes people assume we don’t like wild animals.  We’re a network of trappers, aimed at removing wild animals from properties and away from people.  Truth is, we know a great deal about all types of wild animals that come into contact with humans on a regular basis.  From rats to raccoons, opossums to armadillos, groundhogs to ground squirrels, coyotes, bobcats or feral hogs.  It’s our job to know these animals, what causes their run-ins with humans, what attracts them to our properties, what their life cycles are like, how they raise their young, and what kind of damage they can do.  The more we know about these animals, the better we are at removing them.  The more we know, the more we love these animals, too.  But, our main goal is protecting people, their pets, their businesses, and their properties.  So, we handle wild animals problems with an eye toward protecting your health, safety and property while still taking care of the wild animals as humanely as possible, according to all local and federal laws.  Sometimes, the animals, such as rats or mice, must be killed.  Releasing them into the wild only displaces the problem elsewhere, for other people to have to deal with.  Sometimes, we are able to release a wild animal, such as a family of raccoons, back into nature, far away from human habitation.  We know the kind of diseases these wild animals can transmit to humans.  We know the harm they cause when they attack people, pets or domestic animals.  And, it’s our job to remove wild animals and keep them from harming you, your family, your pets and your property.