Dallas homeowners call animal removal services to evict critters
Helen Law heard a squirrel scratching while hanging out in her daughter’s bedroom. “I was worried they were in [the attic] making a nest and making babies,” the Plano member says. Law enlisted the help of highly rated Chimney and Wildlife Specialists of Addison, which for $175 installed a one-way door on the squirrel’s entry and ensured it was outside before patching the hole.
Highly rated animal removal providers say animals often wreak havoc in and around homes. Scratching noises overhead, underfoot or in the walls indicate unwanted wildlife indoors, and chirping from a chimney might mean a nest with a litter of baby raccoons. “The longer they’re in there, the more damage they’ll do,” says Chimney and Wildlife Specialists owner Tony Darrah, who added catch-and-release animal removal to his business because he frequently found animals in his clients’ chimneys.
Squirrels, whose teeth grow continually, chew wires and wood, and thirsty rats chew into air conditioning units, waterlines or water heaters. In the summer, raccoons, opossums and armadillos seek shade and cool places under decks or foundations and can pass fleas on to household pets. Raccoons also defecate in the same place each time, weakening building materials and leaving potentially hazardous fecal matter. “I’ve seen a pile of crap waist high in an attic before,” says Tom Brock, owner of highly rated Trapper Tom of Irving.
Providers use a variety of removal methods
Dallas-area members report hiring pros to remove various unwanted critters, using methods including traps, poison, hand removal, animal urine and animal pheromones. Eliminating food and water sources outside, such as pet food or overflowing birdfeeders, and reducing roof access from tree branches can help keep rodents outside, say providers, who aren’t required to hold licenses in Texas. “I track the animal by walking around the house and looking at the clues,” Brock says. “They come and go the same way every time. They are creatures of habit, just like us.”
Unrepaired damage also gives animals access to homes, experts say. Member Kathi McGregor of Lochwood in Northeast Dallas hired A-rated AJB Pest & Termite of Forney to fill holes from squirrels and woodpeckers that gave roof rats a refuge. Owner Paul Brooks set traps and bait for rats for a base fee of $249. Brooks says rats can be a problem in suburbs because construction displaces them. “I want [homeowners] to get their homes back,” he says.
Wildlife rehabilitator Bonnie Bradshaw, president of highly rated 911 Wildlife in Plano, rids homes of animals by placing one-way trap doors on entry holes. “We gather juveniles by hand and put them in a reunion box outside on the roof so the mother can move them,” she says. Techs then patch holes with wire gauge and mesh.
Member Rod Johnson hired 911 for $350 because of their humane animal removal methods when raccoons nested in his Lucas attic. “We enjoy the wildlife,” he says. “We just didn’t want them moving in with us.”