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Rabid Raccoons in New Jersey

In the month of November, there have been at least 5 raccoons have been captured in different towns in New Jersey carrying rabies. In the beginning of the month, a raccoon attacked a man and his 2 dogs in Audubon. Middletown has had 2 attacks from 2 different rabid raccoons within the first 2 weeks of November. In South River, a rabid raccoon was captured at the start of the month, marking the 12th rabid animal captured in Middlesex county this year. Another raccoon was found near Hopewell. It was captured and confirmed to have rabies. In the month of November, there have been at least 5 raccoons have been captured in different towns in New Jersey carrying rabies. In the beginning of the month, a raccoon attacked a man and his 2 dogs in Audubon. Middletown has had 2 attacks from 2 different rabid raccoons within the first 2 weeks of November. In South River, a rabid raccoon was captured at the start of the month, marking the 12th rabid animal captured in Middlesex county this year. Another raccoon was found near Hopewell. It was captured and confirmed to have rabies.

According to the CDC, raccoons account for almost 30% of all rabies cases in the US, with bats being the only animal to have more reported cases of the disease. Luckily, the number of reported cases of the disease has been on the decline for the past 20 years. Increases in vaccinations to pets and boosters upon contact with animals suspected of carrying the disease have helped mitigate the spread of it. Less than 8% of cases in the US consist of people and domesticated animals.

We specialize in removing squirrels, raccoons, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

Fearless Squirrels

In the wild, it’s kill or be killed; eat or be eaten. But here, in the urban jungle, the call of the wild is replaced by the honking of horns. Squirrels seem to scurry away and hide when humans and dogs come close, because they are taught to. But in rare cases, squirrels have been known to approach people or animals. Squirrels that approach humans may do so for many reasons: desperation, fear, aggression, hunger, and sometimes unknowingness.
Squirrels don’t know by nature to avoid people. That behavior is learned, whether by experience or parental instruction. Young squirrels are known to approach humans; especially when separated from its family. A squirrel that doesn’t know better may move towards human activity in search of food, shelter, or warmth; just seeking out what it instinctively wants.
A squirrel may come at a human or other animal aggressively for a number of reasons. Most of the time, it is because it feels threatened or desperate to get away, and it chooses fight over flight. In rare cases, a squirrel will become aggressive because of rabies. If at any time a squirrel seems aggressive, you should move away from it. You never want to provoke a squirrel, rabid or not.
If a squirrel is rabid, it is not uncommon to act aggressively towards other squirrels, animals, humans, and even inanimate objects. This level of boldness and aggression is often unprovoked. An aggressive squirrel is not necessarily rabid.
We specialize in removing squirrels, raccoons, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

Coyotes in NYC

It may seem surprising, but there are predatory animals living within New York City. Many New Yorkers think that a deer populations and the occasional raccoon are the only things they have to worry about. But there are small populations of cootes living within the five boroughs. While more common in Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn (where there are more wooded/less urbanized areas) they have been reported in all of them.
NYC Coyotes are most often seen on golf courses or in wooded areas. While most will be naturally wary of humans, you can never be too careful with them. In most areas of the city, they will only hunt animals as big as rodents or birds. They will rarely go after deer, and are even less likely to attack people.
Coyotes are canines, and look similar to wolves or some dogs. They have flatter heads, longer legs, and a pointier snout than most domesticated dogs. They are not fully nocturnal, but are most active during dusk and night. Most coyote sightings in the city occur between October to March. From October to January, young coyotes mature and leave the care of their parents. They will seek out a place to make their den; and up until march, will start looking for a mate.
Avoid contact with coyotes, and follow these guidelines to help make sure that coyotes can safely coexist with humans. Do not leave food out for coyotes, and do not directly feed them either. It is important to not make them dependant on humans for their needs. Clean up your garbage at parks, and use garbage cans there. Keep your dogs on a leash at all times when at a park, and leave your cats indoors. If a coyote approaches you, make yourself seem bigger, and make noises to make them run away. This makes them wary of humans. Try to stay far away from coyotes, and do not approach them.
Most coyotes are not dangerous for people. If you spot an aggressive coyote, report it to the golf course staff or a park rangers. In case of a medical emergency from contact with a coyote, please call 911.
We specialize in removing opossums, raccoons, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

 

Rabid Raccoon Captured in Clifton

On September 6th, a rabid raccoon was captured in Clifton, New Jersey after a local resident noticed the animal acting sickly. The raccoon was caught, and brought to the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services Public Health Laboratories for testing and treatment. Luckily, the resident noticed the diseased raccoon, and was able to recognize the signs of rabies.
It is important to know the signs and symptoms associated in the event that you encounter a wild animal or pet that might be afflicted with it. Common symptoms include excessive salivating (including drooling and/or foaming at the mouth), dilated pupils, muscle spasms, light sensitivity, fever, seizures, coma, and even death. In nocturnal animals, increased activity in daylight hours can be common.
We specialize in removing opossums, raccoons, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

 

Rat Pulls Garbage Bag Across NYC Sidewalk

Two years ago, a video of a rat carrying an entire slice of pizza in New York City went viral. Dubbed “Pizza Rat,” the video shows us just how tenacious these vermin can be, and how close they truly get to us in our everyday lives, just for food. Recently, another video has come out of the Big Apple, depicting quite a similar scene. This video shows a rat dragging a garbage bag down the street, before ultimately giving up and grabbing an item from it. The video really highlights that these rodents are very capable of getting food when they want it. This animal is not just digging through garbage, but trying to take the whole thing. It may be funny to watch, but none of us want a rat like that living in the attic or walls of our home.
We specialize in the humane removal of rats, mice, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

 

How Skunks Outlast the Winter

Skunks do not hibernate through the Winter, like most wild mammals do. They actually are fairly active in the Winter months. Skunks work hard to survive the Winter.

Unlike squirrels, they do not stockpile food for the cold months. Skunks eat extra food during the Fall, to build up a layer of fat. While this fat keeps them warm, they do still need to look for more food. Garbage cans are a common food source for skunks close to civilization, especially in the winter. They will continue to forage for food through the winter until they are snowed in.

While perfectly able to create their own dens and burrows with their claws, most skunks seek out pre-existing shelters; from other animals or humans. Skunks often take shelter in abandoned dens or under decks. Skunks live in groups, but these groups tend to be larger in the winter, and will usually huddle for warmth in their dens. Skunks will use grasses and debris to fortify their burrows against the cold.

While they do not hibernate, skunks enter at times of extreme cold or heavy snowfall, a state called torpor. Torpor is a sleep that, like hibernation, slows the metabolism and allows the skunk to survive without being active. It is not as severe as hibernation, and this lasts only short time spans; in between which the skunk must venture out for food. Skunks can allow their body temperatures to lower by about 20 degrees for short periods of time, which can give them an advantage when foraging in the cold.

We specialize in the humane removal of skunks, rats, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

Backyard Cleanup

The end of fall can be a hassle; from raking leaves to preparing for the snowfall, it can be easy to forget about the wild animals. Your backyard can be a key location for animals like raccoons and opossums looking for a place to outlast the winter. Places like your shed, bags of leaves, and piles of debris can become shelters for unwanted critters, so be sure to clean up your yard.
How can wild animals take advantage of your backyard? Sheds are often a go to shelter for wild animals. While raccoons and other animals might try to break in, some may try to burrow underneath it. Foxes, snakes, skunks, and moles commonly make underground dens; and by going under the foundation they can damage the structural integrity of the shed.
Bags of leaves, piles of branches, or firewood piles can be invaded for shelter by wild animals. If they are close to your home, animals can use the cover of this shelter to slowly break into your home.
We specialize in the humane removal of squirrels, raccoons, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

Raccoon Damage in Your Home

The nights are getting longer, and the days are getting colder; but what does this mean for the animals that might live near your home? Raccoons in particular may want to break into your home to get out of the cold. These little bandits can be a big problem for homeowners.
How can raccoons get inside? The answer can be as simple as a doggy door, but that’s not the only access point for them. Raccoons are good climbers; and will often get into a home from the roof. Damage to the roof can mean that a group (called a gaze) of raccoons can live up in your attic. Chimneys are also common raccoon dens if they are not used often. Be sure to be careful when using your chimney for the first few times during the cold seasons; as animals may be using the space.
Raccoon damage inside the home can be a huge problem. Possibly because of their inquisitive nature, raccoons will tear apart just about anything in your attic. From air ducts, to insulation, to the walls themselves; these critters will absolutely demolish the attics or basements they invade.
Raccoon feces and urine will often carry Raccoon Roundworm. This parasite can be transferred to humans through the air when close to the waste, or by ingestion of contaminated food. The roundworm can cause damage to the central nervous system and even cause blindness. Additionally, Giardia Lamblia is a microscopic protozoa that can live in the fecal material of raccoons; and can cause illness and diarrhea if it contaminates food or water.
We specialize in the humane removal of squirrels, raccoons, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

Skunk Infestation

Skunks can create huge issues for NY homeowners. The odor a skunk meits can be awful, but that’s not all. Skunks tear into garbage, eat garden vegetables, and make a mess in your yard. Skunks will burrow under low decks and break into sheds for shelter. Skunks are relatively nocturnal and do not hibernate in the winter.
Unlike a lot of other urban wildlife, skunks don’t jump or climb well. They will sometimes get into garbage cans by climbing piled bags or attempting to knock them over. They may even become trapped in garbage cans that they climb into.
A skunk’s spray is a sulfuric liquid that can be blasted up to 20 feet, while usually only accurate up to 10. The smell can linger for days. If you see a skunk with its tail raised, get away from it. If the spray gets in you or a pet’s eyes, it can cause temporary blindness.
Skunks are the number 2 carrier of rabies in the country, where raccoons are first. They carry a large host of diseases, including roundworms and canine hepatitis. They are known to be littered with fleas, lice, and ticks; and may contract diseases from them.
We specialize in removing rats and other pests in the New York and New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 855-468-0771 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

Little Birds Cause Big Problems

Flock of sparrows at roof of house

When most people worry about animal pests in their neighborhood, their biggest concerns are usually large animals such as deer, raccoons, and bears, but one of the most widespread pests in the world today comes in a small package, the common house sparrow. House sparrows are found virtually everywhere that humans are, most people pay them no mind since they are so common and seem so small and harmless, even cute. The sad truth is that these little birds are actually introduced pests on most of the planet.

House sparrows are easy enough to identify, there is certainly no shortage of them around to observe. They are small stubby birds with short wings and tails. Both genders have light colored breasts and brown colored backs, but males have darker plumage on their backs, a gray patch on the crown of their head, and a distinct patch of black extending from the eyes and beak down across their throat. The loud chirping of house sparrows is also easy to pick out among other bird calls.

Like many other bird species, house sparrows can inconvenience humans by building nests in undesirable places. Eaves, awnings and gazebos may become nesting sites for these pests, but they can also settle into exhaust vents for dryers or stoves, or around window-mounted air conditioners. House sparrows build nests made of densely woven twigs and grasses which may clog up vents and prevent them from working properly. They also often invade large indoor public spaces and warehouses.

Unfortunately, the trouble that these birds cause ranges far beyond building nests on or in our homes and businesses. House sparrows may be small, but they are very aggressive and they compete with a number of native North American bird species for nesting sites. If house sparrows have an opportunity to steal a nest instead of building one of their own, they will usually take it. Bluebirds and Purple Martins are often the victims of these violent takeovers and both baby hatchlings and parent birds alike can be fatally mutilated by house sparrows. These pests are the bane of bird enthusiasts who install nesting boxes for native species.

If you want to help discourage house sparrows from taking over your backyard, here are a few steps you can take:

  • Don’t Feed House Sparrows
    House sparrows are a common sight at bird feeders, people who like to attract songbirds to their yard often see these little brown birds as an unavoidable part of owning a bird feeder. What these people don’t know is that simply switching to a black oil sunflower seed will discourage house sparrows from visiting while still attracting native birds. Bird enthusiasts should generally avoid using seed or seed mixes that include millet, cracked corn and wheat because sparrows like these seeds.
  • Keep pests out of your trash
    Though their primary diet consists of seeds and insects, house sparrows also like to snack on many of the things we do. They will often peck open trash bags to get at food scraps inside. Be sure to put your trash in sturdy cans with animal-proof lids. This is a smart idea for discouraging a number of neighborhood pests, not just house sparrows.
  • Remove House Sparrow Nests
    House sparrow nests will only lead to more house sparrows. Always be proactive and consistent about removing their nests from your property. It is much more humane to get rid of the nests before they can lay eggs in them. Removing the nests yourself is not recommended, you should probably wear thick gardening gloves and a dust mask if you want to try it yourself. House sparrows are also very persistent, and unless you want to repeat the same process of removing their nests every 7-10 days, you should probably call and ask us to bird-proof any areas where they build nests.
  • When in Doubt, Call the Professionals
    If you aren’t sure what kind of bird nest you are dealing with, leave it to the pros. Removing nests is difficult and messy, and you could accidentally harm a native or endangered bird species. Our wildlife experts can identify bird pests and remove their nests safely and humanely.
  • Animal Proof Your Home or Business
    This is always a wise choice whether you currently have a sparrow problem or not. Sparrows and other animals can easily find their way into damaged shingles, walls, or unprotected vents. Prevention is the best medicine for unwanted pests. We can identify and seal up common areas where animals can get into walls, roofs, attics, and other spaces.
  • Monitor Your Birdhouse
    Unless you can consistently evict or exclude house sparrows from your birdhouse, consider removing the birdhouse entirely. Fewer birds is a better alternative to more house sparrows.

We may never be able to remove these hardy pests from our neighborhoods for good, but we can help native birds by controlling their population in every way possible. Contact us today to help with all your wildlife problems, no matter how big or small they may be.

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