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Since 1983

Laws Protecting Bats in Florida


laws for batsFinding a couple of bats roosting in your home can be disconcerting, to say the least. For many people, bats are scary and mysterious creatures, and they would prefer to not think about them at all, much less be confronted by one in their very own home. But before you go setting traps or spraying pesticides, there are some critical things you need to know about bats first. Trying to get rid of bats on your own could cost you thousands of dollars if you manage to hurt or kill them.

Endangered Bats in Florida

Our sunshine state is home to 13 different species of bats. This is wonderful, because bats do such a great job at limiting insect populations. Without them, bugs like mosquitoes would make living in Florida unbearable. But even more than this, they keep insects from destroying our agricultural products, providing invaluable services to our state’s economy.

Right now, there are three federally endangered species of bats in Florida: the Gray bat, the Indiana bat, and the Florida bonneted bat. The structures these bats roost in are also protected under law, since the bats’ numbers are dwindling.

Regulations on Bat Removal

It is always illegal to kill one of these endangered species, no matter what. That’s why you must be extra careful if you ever find bats in your home. Identifying the species of bat can be difficult to non-experts, so it is best to let a fully licensed and certified animal removal specialist take care of the situation. Furthermore, during the time period from mid-April to mid-August, it is illegal to remove bats from your home since it is their mating season. You must let the bat pups mature until they are able to fly and survive on their own before removing them.

When in doubt, call Critter Control® of Sarasota. Our team of animal control experts are certified in the state of Florida to remove and handle bats, so you don’t have to worry about breaking a law you’ve never heard of. We believe that the safest and most effective way to remove bats is by performing an exclusion, letting the animals fly out on their own and sealing up the house when they are gone. If they’ve left piles of guano behind, you don’t have to deal with that either – we will clean and sanitize any areas they touched. For our bat exclusion services, call us today at 941-355-9511.

removing bat guano Have you been seeing more bats than usual flying around your house at dusk? Is there a funny smell that seems to be coming from your attic? There might be some bats roosting in your home during the day, waiting for the bugs to come out at night to emerge and feed. And if there have been bats in your attic, you can be sure that there is at least a little bit of guano as well. This is the #1 thing you have to look out for when you have bats, since it poses the most problems for homeowners.

Guano Complications

Any animal waste should be treated with care, but guano has some unique features which merit even more caution. Because bats roost on the ceiling in attics, their waste drops to the ground and piles up over time. The piling tendency of guano introduces complications. It puts a significant amount of weight on a concentrated area, which can compromise ceilings and walls. Guano is also dusty and crumbly, and when disturbed, can release spores into the air. It is not sanitary to breath it in, so removing guano requires specific safety equipment.

Cleaning Up Guano

If you have only had bats in your attic for a short amount of time, then there’s a good chance you just have scattered dropping which have not built up into piles yet. This is the best case scenario and shouldn’t be too hard to clean. Otherwise, you’ll need professional-grade cleaning and safety equipment to do the job. Most of the time, guano will also contaminate attic insulation, which means that you will need to replace that as well.

Instead of trying to tackle the job on your own, let the experts take care of it for you. At Critter Control® of Sarasota, we have all the experience and tools necessary to not only get the bats out of your home safely, but also remove all the guano that has accumulated. Call us today for our industry-leading animal control services at 941-355-9511.

when to call a rodent exterminatorA mouse scurries out from behind some boxes in your garage. What is your first thought? You might reason that it’s just one little mouse, it’s no big deal. After all, what could be so hard about trapping one critter? You might even think that you don’t have to do anything at all, and that the mouse will soon move on.

While you may be right that it’s not such a big deal sometimes, you can’t ever know for sure. Seeing one rat or mouse in or around your home in the daylight can be an indicator that there are many more in hiding. They aren’t often active in the daytime when predators can easily catch them, so finding one when the sun is out can be a bad sign.

In addition, you might even be successful trapping a rat or mouse after seeing one, leading you to think the problem was solved easily. Not so fast – you have no way of knowing if the rodent you trapped was the same one you saw, and it is best not to jump to conclusions in this case. If you let your guard down because you don’t see any more rodents, the problem can become exponentially worse due to their rapid breeding capabilities.

When you begin to hear scratching and squeaking noises coming from the walls, consistently find rodent droppings near walls, or notice a funky smell coming from a specific spot in your house, it is definitely time to call a professional. Large infestations can wreak havoc on your home, and the quicker you can address the issue, the better.

Critter Control® is America’s industry leader in animal removal services. Our experience removing countless rodents from homes and our high quality of service make us your best pest control option. Let us do the work for you so that you can have peace of mind that your rodent problem is gone for good. You can reach our Critter Control® of Sarasota branch at 941-355-9511 for a free initial consultation.

Snakes in YardFor some reason, snakes are one of the most feared kinds of animals in the world. But, they rarely do any harm to humans. They don’t seek out and attack people, and they are naturally shy creatures. Despite this, people rarely welcome them in their yards. What many don’t realize is that a snake doesn’t linger around a particular yard for no reason – it means that it has found a food source. If you want the snake gone, you must first deal with the food source.

Snakes Indicate Rodents

One of a snake’s favorite snacks are rats and mice, so if there seem to be more snakes around your home than usual, it is highly likely you have a decent rodent population living in or around your house. It is extremely uncommon for their to be a snake infestation without their also being a rodent infestation. Snakes don’t want to be in your house, and would prefer to remain as far away from you as possible, but they can’t pass up the opportunity for several good meals.

Rodent Removal

Unless the snakes have made it inside your home, in all likelihood you won’t need to do anything to them directly to get them to leave your yard. What you need to worry about are all the rats or mice living inside your home. While you may think getting rid of rodents is easy and all you have to do is set up traps, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Trapping isn’t as easy as it seems. Rodents are crafty creatures, so you need to place traps strategically in order to be successful. Many a homeowner has set out a few traps, got quick results, and thought the problem was solved only to see a rat scurry across the attic just the next week.

Your best chance of fighting a rodent infestation is to call the animal removal specialists at Critter Control® of Sarasota. We’ve seen quite a few rat and mouse issues in our 30+ years of experience to know exactly how to deal with the problem efficiently and completely. If you want the nuisance animals out of your house and off of your property, we are your best bet. Get rid of your rodent infestation and watch the snakes disappear as a result. Contact us at 941-355-9511 today for a free consultation!

There are many pieces of false information about bats in the popular imagination. They aren’t nasty rodents, they aren’t aggressive animals, they don’t attack people, and they don’t all have rabies. The truth is that people should regard bats as one of their favorite animals. They feast on flying insects like mosquitoes at night, and are capable of eating over 1,000 insects an hour! Bats are an invaluable part of our ecosystem, so when they get into your house, it is important to respect the laws around bat removal to ensure that they have the best chance of survival.

Attic Roosts

But why do they come in homes in the first place? Attics are simply perfect roosts for bats. People don’t frequently use their attics, so they have peace, quiet, and darkness up there. They use their sharp senses to detect cooler air coming out from cracks or holes in roofs or walls to find ways inside. Bats can’t actually bite their way into your house like rats or squirrels – they must use a pre-existing hole to get in.

Once bats are inside, you may not notice their presence for a long time. They are peaceful and quiet creatures, so the first time you detect them is likely to be if you physically see them roosting. But, you might also begin to smell their droppings, guano, which accumulate under their roosting area. This is the main problem bats cause: their guano is highly unsanitary and can damage the structure of the house significantly when it accumulates.

Bat Exclusion

Though bats aren’t as big an issue as other nuisance animals like raccoons, they are more of a pain to remove than any other home invader, in large part due to the state protections on the species. Bats are important to the ecosystem, and their populations are dwindling, so you can’t remove them if they’re roosting in your house during birthing seasons. Furthermore, it is illegal to use poison or kill the bats.

The best way to get bats out of your home is to call the bat exclusion experts at Critter Control of Sarasota. Our team understands the proper techniques involved in bat removal to effectively get the animals out of your house, without violating state regulations. We can also make sure all the guano gets cleaned up, and fix any damage the bats caused. Call us today for your free initial consultation at 941-355-9511.

We all have a lot of expenses – rent, groceries, insurance, phone bills, and many more. The last thing anyone needs is another item on the list. Unfortunately, when a nuisance animal like a squirrel makes its way into your home, the results can be costly. Unless you get extremely lucky, you’ll have removal costs in addition to much bigger costs of damage repairs. In order to save the most money possible and minimize the damage the squirrels do to your home, contact Critter Control of Sarasota as soon as you become aware of the situation.

Squirrel Roommates are Costly

Though small in stature, the amount of havoc squirrels can wreak in your home is large. Mother squirrels will often seek shelter in your attic in the spring months to find a safe place to raise their young. This is not something you want to deal with – more squirrels means more chewing damage and more excrement ruining house materials.

Attic insulation makes the perfect nest for baby squirrels, so the mother will often rip it up and pile it together to make dens. This is problematic not only because it ruins the insulation, but also because it leaves portions of your attic exposed to squirrel urine and feces. If they have the run of your attic for too long, their pools of urine can soak into your ceiling and walls, which take time and money to repair. They also could ruin a large portion of the insulation, requiring you to completely replace it.

Save with Critter Control

Even though it might seem like hiring professionals to deal with your squirrel problem just adds to the cost, we can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. We don’t just come in, trap the animal, and leave you to deal with the rest – if we did, we wouldn’t be the leading nuisance animal control service in the country. Our solutions are much more complete: we remove the animal, re-fortify your house against future invaders, clean the mess, and fix up any damage. When you find an unwanted animal in your home, call us immediately before the damage is severe at 941-355-9511.

Many people have tried using mothballs to get rid of pesky critters like mice and rats, but the question is, does this actually work? After all, they’ve been used for about 2 centuries to keep moths away from clothing. Unfortunately, mothballs are not an effective repellent for rodents, no matter how well they’re placed.

What Mothballs Actually Do

Naphthaline, the original chemical composition of mothballs, was discovered in 1820 as a distillation of coal tar. Because of naphthaline’s flammability, mothballs now are made up of paradichlorobenzene. Generally, both of these chemicals are used in pesticides and repellents because they give off strong fumes which become toxic at high concentrations.

In order for mothballs to perform their primary job, they need to be placed in sealed-off spaces like boxes, containers, or chests. The fumes can build up in smaller places without air circulation, and they smell so bad that it keeps moths away. Thus, mothballs are chemicals which function as pest repellents when the break down into gas in contained places.

Why They Don’t Work on Rodents

Mothballs aren’t an effective rodent repellent because they were never designed to be. The key for making mothballs repellents is the space in which they are placed. If the chemicals are dispersed in a larger space, they are essentially “watered-down” and become ineffective.

So, sprinkling mothballs around a room, garage, or attic isn’t a good method for rodent control. A small number of mothballs could potentially discourage rodents from going too close to them, but it would not stop them from simply moving elsewhere in the room where the scent isn’t as strong.  In order for them to have the desired effect, you would have to put so many mothballs in a room that it would make your whole house virtually uninhabitable.

Proper Rodent Control

At Critter Control® of Sarasota, we highly recommend that you don’t use pesticides or repellents like mothballs to get rid of rodents because they simply don’t work well. By contrast, our trained technicians have years of experience dealing with nuisance rodents. They will help you get rid of any pests in your house as well as teach you how to prevent them from coming back, without using horrible-smelling mothballs. We use the most effective methods in the business, while also leading the industry with our high standards of humane animal treatment. Give us a call at 941-355-9511 for a free consultation!

Rats are all over the world, found on every continent except Antarctica. One thing is certain, they love making their homes inside people’s houses. The ample space to live and breed, in addition to the abundance of food and things to chew on, makes your home a rat paradise. If a rat population is left unchecked in a home, the situation can quickly spiral out of control into a full-blown infestation.

Rapid Breeders

How does this happen so quickly? Well, one of the things that rats do best is breed. They make up for their short lifespan (most don’t make it more than 1 year) by ensuring the survival of the species through reproduction. After a short gestation period of about 25 days, a female can give birth to as many as 22 young at once. This means one female can have several litters every year. Furthermore, every baby she has can reproduce after just 3 months, which can increase the population exponentially. All of these shocking facts lead to one conclusion: rat populations must be controlled as soon as possible in your home before it gets out of hand.

Rat Control

So you have stumbled onto an infestation – now what? You could try to deal with the problem on your own, but it’s really a job for a trained professional. Critter Control® of Sarasota is here to help! Here is what we can do for you:

  1. Gather information – To help us form a plan, we will perform a comprehensive inspection of your house to determine the extent of the problem. This will show us where the infestation is and how the rats are getting in and out of your home.
  2. Remove the rats – Whether they are in the attic or inside the walls, we will get them out of your house as efficiently and safely as possible.
  3. Fix damages – Infestations are no joke. Rats need to chew on items to whittle-down their ever-growing teeth, and that many rats gnawing on your house can cause significant damage. They might also rip up insulation for their nests or completely ruin it with their waste. We will repair the damage caused by your infestation.
  4. Fortification – It would be pointless do the previous 4 steps without making sure rats couldn’t get back in your home. With the knowledge gained from our initial inspection, we will seal all the ways rats could enter your house again to give you peace of mind.
  5. Education – Finally, we will teach you everything you need to know about eliminating rat attractants to keep them from coming back.

Clearly, this is a difficult job, especially for someone without the requisite experience and equipment. You can rest assured with the experts at Critter Control® of Sarasota, who have decades of animal control experience, that our methods are the safest, most efficient, and most humane in the business. Call us today at 941-355-9511 for your free consultation!

The short answer is yes, rats can absolutely chew through walls.rat in wall

Animals falling into the rodent order share an odd characteristic: their incisors never stop growing and must be whittled down by continuously gnawing on things. As members of this order, rats are chewing machines. In addition to their chewing frequency, they also have extraordinary jaw strength.

Rats in the House

If motivated, rats will gnaw holes and squeeze their way into your house. Not only can they chomp through thinner materials like drywall, they can also make it through wood, brick, and even weak cement! Most of the time, rats don’t need to chew through anything to get inside your house. They often enter through openings in the attic, pipes, vents, or walls. Many times, they want to get inside because your home provides them with excellent living conditions: climate control, shelter from storms and predators, food, plenty of things to chew on, and space for reproducing.


Once inside, rats can cause a significant amount of damage to your home. Because they need to regulate the growth of their teeth, rats will chew on just about anything – wooden beams, walls, furniture, water pipes, and more. One of the worst things they can chew on is electrical wire, which can knock out power or cause electrical shorts.

Furthermore, their excrement can make your house unpleasant, to say the least. If the rats have been living in your home for an extended amount of time, their excrement can build up, increasing odor that can attract more rats. In addition to this, it can cause decay and bacteria growth, so it is important to get rid of the rats as soon as you notice them in your home.

Professional Assistance

Rats and the damage they cause can be a lot to handle for a homeowner inexperienced with rat tendencies. Critter Control® of Sarasota is here to help, offering the highest quality wildlife management service in the industry. We can safely and efficiently remove all the rats from your home, in addition to sealing up any entryways and cleaning any messes created by the pests. Call us today for your free consultation at 941-355-9511.

Rat-proofing your home in Sarasota can be a time-intensive undertaking, but it’s necessary to ensure your health and safety. Rat-proofing your home protects your property from damage and protects you, your family members, and pets from the diseases rats often carry. At Critter Control of Sarasota, we are dedicated to helping each of our customers with this task using individualized plans.

How to Rat-Proof Your Home

If you live in an area where rat infestations are common, you have probably already picked up a few rat-proofing tips. Whether our tips are new or review for you, let us share a few of the things that have worked best for us over the years.

Quick Guide to Rat-Proofing Your Home:

  • Seal all entry points, particularly foundational cracks and floorboard holes. Rats will use these as initial entry points, and will also come back to them with a larger colony. Furthermore, rats create many entry points by gnawing on your floor, insulation, or fixtures. Mesh wire, wooden boards, and other sealants are common.
  • Never leave food in the open, or in unsecured containers. Rats feed on both human and pet food, and can chew through most standard food bags quickly. They also use human garbage as a food source. Because they spend so much time in filthy areas like dumpsters, their natural diseases such as rat bite and Q fevers are exaggerated.
  • Do not use poison or other rat-exterminating sprays. They will kill one or two rats, but eventually others will learn not to go into the area where the poisons are sprayed. Additionally, killing the rats you see will not guarantee others will not invade your home. Ask Critter Control about our exclusion methods, instead.
  • Do not attempt to trap or remove a rat on your own; they will bite if cornered or provoked. Additionally, do not let your cat or rat-catching dog deal with an infestation alone. Your pet could easily become contaminated.

To learn more about rat-proofing your home, contact Critter Control of Sarasota or call 941-355-9511 today.