Category Archives: Wild Animal

What the Hole?

I discovered rock chucks under my house this morning, so a big happy birthday to me! It has been quite the day, I woke up to a delicious pancake breakfast from my sweet daughters with strawberries and orange juice!  My boss told me I could come in to work later, and my husband had dinner reservations for that evening; it really seemed like my 35th birthday was going to be my best birthday yet.  Except that when I went to get into my car for work, I went out the side door and as I stepped off the concrete pad, my foot went into a hole my very fresh, very hot coffee went all over me.

One trip to the ER later, I’m home with a sprained ankle, first-degree burns on my hand and wrist, and no idea where the hole outside my door came from.  But, since my kids are at school and my husband left for work I’ve had plenty of time to look it up.  I found an article that talked about woodchucks and skunks, but since I’ve never smelled any kind of skunk spray I focused on the woodchucks, which are small gopher-like creatures.  They definitely don’t seem like they could make a hole the size of the one I fell into so I kept digging, and there it was: yellow-bellied marmots, also known as rock chucks, and it looks like one (or possible more) of these rock chucks is under my house.

I’m a lot of things, but a wildlife removal specialist is not one of them, and contrary to what my husband might tell you, he’s not that great of a shot so it seems like I’m going to have to hire someone to come trap this thing.  Having it dig around down there is definitely not a good thing, I read that if their tunnels get extensive enough, they could cause foundational damage or undermine driveways and sidewalks!  How crazy is that!  If falling into a hole was what it had to take to get this rock chuck out from under my house is what it took to stop it before major damage, then I guess it’s not that awful.  Besides, I got the day off, and it’s still my birthday.

Gone Postal

I’ve been a mailman for about thirty years now, and boy let me tell you about some of the things you see.  And it’s not just the people, either!  I’ve seen my fair share of home drama, yelling, throwing lamps, and storm outs; but it’s the encounters with animals that I’ll never forget. At this point I’m surprised they don’t train you in animal control as well as package identification!  Beyond dogs and cats, I’ve seen raccoons, bats, mice, and a load of other wild animals.

The most common ones (for me at least) are the snakes, especially during the hotter months.  They’ll lay themselves out on sidewalks, driveways, and even porches.  When I was a Boy Scout I learned to identify most of the snakes in my area, so I can always tell whether or not they’re poisonous, but the people inside the house aren’t as capable.  Once, when I was delivering a package that needed a signature, a big ol’ bull snake was out sunning himself on the porch.  Well when the young miss from the house opened the door and got a look at him, she screamed so loud I just about dropped the package, then she fell unconscious right in front of me!

Another time, I was trying to deliver quite a large package but no one was answering the door so I opened the screen to leave a note with the date and time I came and a bat flew down and hit me square in the head!  I guess it had been sleeping between the screen door and the front door and I had woken it up with my door bell ringing.  I even got sprayed by a skunk once!  I was walking down the steps after dropping off some mail and out of nowhere (but actually from under the stairs), a skunk sprayed everywhere.  I guess I had spooked it from stomping around, who knows?  All I know is after all of these years, I definitely consider myself a well-rounded expert on both mail delivery, and wildlife.

Like Moths to a Flame

I don’t know what it is about it, but wild animals are attracted to my garage.  I’m serious!  I’m more accustomed to walking into the garage and finding a random animal than not.  Usually they’re just one time sights and then they’re gone, but occasionally the animal (whatever species) will stick around for a while.  There have only been two times where we had to call a wildlife specialist in to remove them, however.  The first time was a squirrel nest about five winters ago.  They crawled in through a hole where the wall met the roof and began nesting on top of the fuse box.  We thought they were just coming in from the cold for a couple of days but soon we discovered they had actually had babies!  We ended up having to wait a couple of months when the little ones were mobile and would be able to survive outside of the nest before a professional came and removed them; that was an adventure.

While the squirrels were frustrating (mother squirrels are very defensive!), that was nothing compared to the raccoons.  It was summer time about two years ago, I still to this day do not know how they got in but one night I came home from work to see one full grown raccoon staring at me as my garage door opened.  I pulled in hoping it would run out the door but instead it scrambled up to the top of our storage shelves.  Again, I left it alone hoping it would be gone by morning. Instead, the next day I woke up to find my car covered in dirty paw prints and to see several of our storage boxes knocked over and opened.  This happened every night for about two weeks before we could get someone to come out and get rid of them.

In between the squirrels, the raccoons, and now, we’ve had a few other interesting run in’s; these, however, were just small.  Not long after we first moved in, my husband went into the garage for a bike pump and got sprayed by a skunk that had wandered in the night before (that was a bad day).  A couple of months ago my daughter found a bat hanging from the roof, not long before that we had a robin sleeping on the garage door runners, and just last week we had an actual deer sleeping on the dog bed! Along with a few other random encounters and a mice problem a few years back, I can’t figure out what animals are so attracted to in my garage!  I guess it’s a mystery we’ll never solve.

Scratching in the Attic

Nothing can keep you awake at night like scratching in the attic.  This whole catastrophe started a few nights ago, at first I thought it was just the dog scratching at my door to get in, but then I realized he was laying at the end of the bed, and he was snoring.  Bewildered, I laid back down, looked up at the stars on my ceiling, and let my imagination run wild.  As an avid reader and writer, the smallest of sounds, smells, or feelings, can become a drastic event in my head. Once, I convinced myself there was a hurricane outside when really my fan was on, an intruder in my house when really my dog was still inside.  All these little, insignificant things can be blown out of proportion, and man did I blow this sound in the attic way up.

As I listened to the scratching from the attic, I played the possible scenarios through my head.  A homeless man taking refuge in the small room (I saw that in CSI once), a vampire waiting for me to fall asleep so he can suck my blood like in Twilight, maybe my future self-came back in time to stop me from making a horrible mistake like in Back to the Future!  All of these wild thoughts made me both excited and nervous so I grabbed the little Yorkie from his dreams and ran downstairs. I decided it was safest if I slept near the phone; and on the couch.

Despite my best efforts (and my Lunesta) I received no more than four hours of sleep that night, five at the most.  This continued for a day or two until we get to now, today in fact, and today I refuse to lumber into work with circles around my eyes like a raccoon (which makes me think maybe it’s a raccoon?).  So I’ll take action.  I’ll search through all of the Google pages, call every number in the phone book, I would even move out for a couple of days if I need to.  I’ll pay anyone and anything, whatever they ask if they can get rid of whatever is causing the scratching in the attic.

Animals Affected by Floods

Rat (7)


Tropical Depression Bill left flooding in its wake throughout the central United States, endangering lives and property, but the floods affected wild animals as well.  Large reptiles such as alligator snapping turtles and alligators were flushed out of their normal habitats and residents have reported seeing them strolling across their lawns.  Other wild animals, like rodents, raccoons and skunks have had to seek out higher ground when their habitats are flooded, causing a few more run-ins with humans than normal.  And, the smaller wild animals are quickly followed by larger predators, like coyotes.  Officials from Oklahoma to Louisiana and Texas are reminding residents to avoid direct contact with wild animals that have been displaced by floods.  Do not feed these wild animals, because they will encourage the animals to remain in the vicinity of this new food source instead of returning to their natural habitat and their normal foods.  Wild animals who have been displaced do not understand when people are trying to help them, and will scratch and bite to protect themselves.  Do not handle any wild animal, do not feed them, and try to avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce chances of disturbing or hitting wildlife seeking higher and drier ground.

Flood waters will carry snakes into residential or business areas.  Rats, mice or chipmunks will seek out dry attics or the walls inside homes or other structures.  Skunks, opossums or raccoons may be forced to leave their dens and they will seek out dry areas in crawlspaces or in garages.  In many areas, the local officials are busy responding to calls of alligator sightings, displaced deer herds, or bears that are affected by the floods, and cannot immediately respond to calls about raccoons or rats.  Allstate Animal Control has a network of licensed, experienced nuisance animal control technicians who can help you.  If you have wild animals that have been affected by the floods in your home, on your property, or around your family, pets or livestock, contact Allstate Animal Control at 1-888-488-7720 or to schedule a service call right away.


Utah’s Mild Winter and Wild Animals

Raccoon (2)The entire country has seen weird weather patterns so far in 2015.  Unusually mild and warm in some places, freezing temperatures and dramatic amounts of snow in other areas.  Mother nature is tricking wildlife, and we should be prepared for the impact.

In Utah, the weather has been so relatively warm and mild that daffodils and tulips have already started to bloom in early February.  Bears are already waking up from hibernation.  We’re not seeing as many bald eagles in Utah, likely because they didn’t need to migrate as far south this year.

Utah’s wild animals are much more active this time of year because of the mild winter and early food sources.  A bumper crop of nuts or berries and other food sources also means a “bumper crop” of wild animals in Utah, like mice, rats, squirrels, pigeons, sparrows, opossums and other birds.  More of the smaller wild animals will attract more predatory animals, like raccoons, skunks, coyotes and snakes.

Let’s not forget the impact of a low snow-pack level.  Not only has Utah been relatively warm, but it’s also been relatively dry.  Lower snow fall means Utah may face drought conditions this year.  In a drought, the natural food and water sources dry up, and shelter becomes more scarce.  We may see more wild animal-human conflicts in Utah as wild animals migrate into residential areas in search of easier food and water and shelter.

Whether Utahans are cheering or lamenting the unusual weather, the smart move is to prepare for unusual wild animal activity.  Allstate Animal Control can set up an inspection for homes, offices, warehouses, church buildings, schools, stables or other outbuildings.  An inspection will reveal if you already have a problem with a wild animal, if there are things around or on your property that will attract a wild animal, and what prevention methods are best for you.  If you already have a problem, Allstate Animal Control sends out technicians who remove dead animals, repairs animal damage, sanitizes the area in which wild animals have lived, trap animals, gets rid of wild animals, and installs exclusion materials to prevent wild animals from returning to your building.  Contact Allstate Animal Control today at 1-888-488-7720, or at

Winter Storms and Wild Animal Problems

The winter storms that have pummeled the East coast have certainly disrupted life for all of us, from thousands of canceled flights, to having to shovel the driveway several times a day, to braving icy and snowy roads to get to work or school.  But, the harsh winter conditions have challenged some wildlife populations and made life easier for other wild animals. Long periods of deep snow mean death to the weak and sick among raccoons, skunks, opossums, deer, rabbits and birds, especially the weaker or sick animals. Food is more difficult to find, which provokes wild animals like raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes and coyotes to wander through residential and commercial areas in search of easier food and water sources.  People are more likely to have run-ins with wild animals who seek out the warmth of spaces under homes and other buildings.  Raccoons, squirrels, pigeons and rodents get into warm attics or walls and hunker down from the cold.  Ground-dwelling animals, like voles, gophers, groundhogs or moles, enjoy deep snow since it insulates their burrows and protects them from being spotted by predatory animals like coyotes, skunks, raccoons or owls.  Deep snow right now might result in higher rodent populations, more vole problems in the spring, which will in turn attract their predators once the snows have melted.  So, between shoveling the driveway and de-icing your car, you might want to be proactive in taking care of the wild animal problem you might not even know you have until they start to damage your home, car or yard.  Contact Allstate Animal Control at 1-888-488-7720 or visit our home page at to schedule an appointment with a wild animal specialist.  Wildlife Trappers will visit your home or business; inspect your building for signs of wild animals, wild animal damage, or weaknesses in the structure that allow animals to enter your building.  They will remove wild animals and install materials to prevent them from getting into your walls, attic or crawlspace.  They can even remove the dead animals that have died under your home or outbuilding, or in the attic, or walls, chimney, basement or crawlspace.  They will clean and sanitize the area and make it safe for your family.  Violent winter storms are difficult enough to endure, you don’t want to deal with a wild animal problem on top of everything else.