Do It Yourself - How To Trap And Remove Nuisance Critters

Do It Yourself - How To Trap And Remove Nuisance Critters
Most of us have been faced with the reality that there is an unwelcome and unwanted “guest” in our home. Whether it’s a mouse, cockroaches, ants, or even larger critters such as raccoons, opossums, or the unthinkable—a snake—we know that we have to get rid of the pests no matter what. The problem is, what is the best method for getting rid of those unwanted house guests? A repellent? Get a cat? There must be a better way.

Identify The Critter
First of all, you need to know just who, or what, has taken up residency in your abode. Is it a mammal, marsupial, rodent, reptile, or insect? Even birds can get inside attics, nest, and become a nuisance. When you know what you’re up against, then you can plot your plan of action to let the critter(s) know that you are not willing to share your home with them. If you don’t catch a glimpse of the animal in question, you can figure out what it is based on the sounds it makes, the time of day it is active, and even by examining its feces.

Mammals And Marsupials
For critters such as raccoons and opossums, take care! They may bite! It’s more likely that these critters will take up residence in an attic or basement/crawl space rather than moving into your living room. When you do make their acquaintance, probably the best thing to do is to get a live trap, bait it, and place it where they seem to be hanging out. When you make the catch, take the bugger way out into the country far enough so they aren’t likely to find their way back to your home again. Turn it loose in the woods or a field, or whatever the terrain is in your local area. If you’re really brave, you might try cornering the critter and catching it, but use a thick towel or a blanket, and wear protective gloves. This isn’t recommended though, unless you are a professional; you don’t need to get bitten or scratched. When you do catch the freeloader, make sure that there isn’t a batch of babies someplace close by. You don’t want to leave orphans to starve, die, and stink up your house.

If you’re quick enough, you can just catch a lizard and take it outside. They are lightning fast, though. A snake may be easier to catch, but be very, very careful. Unless you’re in the know about snakes, assume that it’s poisonous and handle with care. Pin down the snake right behind the head, grasp the tail end, and be prepared for it to squirm violently trying to escape. Again, take it far away from your house before letting it go.

Mice and rats may be cute to some people as long as they are in a cage, but no one likes them running loose in the house. After all, they carry disease, and they are destructive. They can chew through wiring, into food packaging, and even through cloth. Furthermore, they leave their little “autographs” all over the place, even inside of the food packaging they’ve managed to get into. They’ve even been known to get inside the water drainpipe, clogging up the house plumbing good and tight. Use a live trap to catch the pests, but be sure to check the traps a couple of times a day just to be humane.

If that doesn’t do it for you, there is always the plain old mousetrap – snap traps are the most humane and effective. Poison should never be an option. Three reasons: One, if your cat, or the neighbor’s, eats the poisoned rodent, the poison will sicken the cat, too. Two, if the rodent eats the poison, and then gets inside the walls of your house and dies, your house will reek for about three or four days until decomposition does its work and the odor subsides. Three, if a young child or your pet gets into the poison, there could be disastrous results.

Once you’ve rid your home of its unwelcome residents, you need to see what you can do to prevent them moving back in. Check to see that there are no holes or cracks anywhere—under the sinks, in the back of the closets, around air conditioning units, vents, or any place where there is an opening to the outside world. It is amazing how small of an opening that a mouse can squeeze through. It doesn’t take much at all. Sometimes there is a pipe going down through the floor near a sink. The easiest way to fill this hole so that nothing can slither through it is cramming the hole full of steel wool. Tape around it so the wool can’t be pushed aside. Nothing will cross this barrier.

Call A Professional
If all else fails, or if you’re not inclined to take up critter-wrangling, call the professional critter removers at, and they’ll be happy to come out and give you a hand.

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