The Importance of Wildlife Exclusion & Remediation for Property Managers

Large residential properties and commercial buildings are full of empty nooks and spaces that can start to look pretty cozy to wildlife this time of year.

While property managers are busy taking care of the human-occupied areas of their buildings, overlooked spaces and gaps can be quickly colonized by winged and furry tenants who can wreak havoc on insulation, wooden beams, wiring and more – not to mention the mess they leave behind.

Keeping them out is not a job for amateurs. Bats can find their way into openings as small as 3/8” and raccoons are notoriously adept at exploiting the smallest breaches. Birds, mice, squirrels and other rodents are also likely sizing up the amenities your building has to offer.

Evicting them and discouraging their return is a job left to wildlife professionals with plenty of experience and an arsenal of tools and strategies.

Professional Exclusion & Remediation for a Wildlife Free Building

At RAC, we do more than rid your building of nuisance wildlife. We take steps to ensure they don’t return. Here’s an overview of our processes:

1. Assessing the Damage: This is the first and perhaps most crucial step. It helps in understanding the extent of the infestation and the resulting damage.

2. Wildlife Removal: Using humane methods, the intruding wildlife is removed from the premises.

3. Repairing Damage: This might involve replacing damaged insulation, mending broken beams, or fixing chewed wires.

4. Cleaning and Sanitizing: Removing droppings, nests, and other waste materials followed by thorough sanitization.

5. Prevention: This step involves sealing any entry points and taking measures to ensure the problem doesn’t recur.

Why Choose RAC for Professional Wildlife Exclusion & Remediation Services?

Rusty’s team stands out in the realm of wildlife exclusion & remediation for several reasons:

Comprehensive Service: We don’t just remove the wildlife; we take care of everything from damage assessment to prevention.

Expertise: Our team is skilled not only in wildlife removal but also in understanding the structural and safety requirements of your building.

Safety First: We employ methods that ensure the safety of both human occupants and wildlife.

100% Warranty: Our sealing and prevention methods come with a warranty, giving property managers peace of mind.

Essential Advice for Property Managers: The Do’s & Don’ts

If you suspect you have wildlife in your building, it’s crucial not to take matters into your own hands. While it may be tempting to try and tackle the issue on your own, there are certain things you should NEVER do:

  • Avoid DIY Clean-Up: Wildlife droppings can harbor harmful diseases. Cleaning without the proper equipment and knowledge can expose you to health risks.
  • Do Not Handle Wild Animals: Always hire a professional when trapping or handling wildlife. From rabies to other diseases, wild animals – especially when frightened – can pose a serious risk to the health and safety of building occupants.
  • Mothballs Aren’t the Answer: Contrary to popular belief, placing mothballs won’t deter wildlife and can pose a threat to humans. Save your time and resources and contact a professional instead.

Your Peace of Mind is Just a Call Away

Wildlife intrusion does more than disturb the peace of mind of your tenants. It can also create a health, safety and sanitation issue. With RAC’s professional services, you’re not just getting a professional removal and cleanup service; you’re getting peace of mind.

Contact us and discover why property managers, building owners, and homeowners trust Rusty’s Animal Control for all their wildlife solutions.

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Battling the Burrowers: Effective Strategies for Muskrat Management

As the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. This is particularly true when it comes to muskrats. Despite their seemingly harmless appearance, these semi-aquatic creatures can make a wreck of your property.

While commonly found in marshy territories near bodies of water, muskrats are equally adept at making a comfortable home in your backyard if you live on a pond or lake. Their most striking and destructive feature? An unparalleled ability to burrow elaborate tunnel networks, resulting in significant damage to embankments, levees, and retention pond banks.

Muskrat-Induced Damage

Muskrats are industrious creatures, but their burrowing habits can lead to extensive property damage. Structural instability can result when they burrow into banks and levees, leading to collapses and potentially flooding. Moreover, their dietary habits can pose a threat to the local flora and fauna, as well as agricultural crops, mussels, and other aquaculture products.

Muskrats can also carry diseases that include tularemia – a bacterial disease transmitted through contaminated water, infected meat, or an open cut – and should not be handled or trapped by anyone other than professional wildlife management.

When cornered or caught, muskrats can become aggressive and attempt to bite or claw their way free. While they rarely attack unprovoked, it is best to give these wild creatures space until you have consulted with a muskrat management expert.

Spotting the Signs: Is it a Muskrat?

Before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to be sure that a muskrat is your culprit. Here are two signs that muskrats may be digging in on your property:

Damaged Vegetation

Muskrats primarily feed on aquatic plants, cattails, and farm and garden crops. Signs of damage include chew marks as well as partially eaten vegetation.

Burrows in the Banks

Muskrats typically dig dens in steep banks or construct dome-shaped lodges in open water. Signs can also include burrow entrances, erosions, and cave-ins near shorelines.

Effective Muskrat Management Strategies

Proper muskrat management is crucial to prevent extensive damage. Rusty’s Animal Control recommends the following methods:

  • Habitat Modification: Alter the habitat to make it less attractive to muskrats. This may include reducing vegetation near water sources.
  • Trapping: Trapping is a common and effective method for muskrat removal. Hire a professional to place live traps designed for humane capture, and ensure traps are checked regularly.

Calling in the Cavalry: Rusty’s Animal Control

While muskrats are an important part of native ecosystems, their presence on your property can become problematic, requiring intervention to prevent ongoing damage.

Attempting to manage a muskrat problem on your own can be challenging, time-consuming, and even dangerous. The good news is – you don’t have to do it alone. With decades of experience in wildlife management and removal, Rusty’s Animal Control is here to help.

Our trained and licensed professionals are experienced in safe and humane muskrat removal practices. We can identify signs of muskrat presence, remove these creatures in a manner that is safe for both the animals and your property, and then work with you to create an environment that deters future muskrat infestations.

Don’t wait for the muskrats to take over. Reclaim your property with Rusty’s Animal Control. Contact a member of our team to learn more about our services for muskrat management.

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Keeping Bats Out as the Temperature Drops

As the leaves start to change and the air turns crisp, you may find some unexpected guests making themselves at home on your property this fall.

During the colder months, bat colonies commonly seek warmer, safer roosting locations – including eaves and attics. And while these fascinating, flying creatures can seem mesmerizing from afar, having them move into your space can be a real nightmare.

The Dangers of Uninvited Attic Guests

Bats make terrible house guests. They’re messy, stay up all night and carry dangerous diseases, including rabies. Bats are the most common source of rabies in Indiana, where rabid bats have been identified every year since 1965.

Bats also leave behind unpleasant odors and unsightly stains from their droppings, known as guano. And, once they’ve settled into your property, it can be challenging to keep them out as their tiny size allows them to infiltrate even the tiniest openings.

Understanding the potential risks of bats is crucial for responsible property management:

  • Zoonotic Diseases: Bats can carry a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to humans
  • Rabies: Rabid bats can pose a risk of transmitting this fatal viral infection to humans through bites or scratches
  • Histoplasmosis: Bat guano can contain spores of a fungus that causes respiratory disease in humans when disturbed
  • Structural Damage: Bats seeking shelter can damage buildings and leave stains and guano
  • Noise and Odor: Large bat colonies can create noise and unpleasant odors

A Bat-Friendly Approach to Management & Exclusion

At RAC, we prioritize bat-friendly management and follow regulations surrounding their removal. We adhere to federal and state guidelines that protect certain bat species, ensuring our methods are humane and environmentally friendly. When you choose RAC, you’re working with a company officially approved by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Evicting bats requires expertise, and our tried-and-tested process of exclusion is designed to ensure they won’t return once evicted. Our experts meticulously locate entry and exit points, sealing them with precision and utilizing one-way doors to allow bats to leave safely while preventing re-entry. Our team also secures structures with high-quality materials to deter bats from returning.

Comprehensive Remediation Services

We understand the mess bats can leave behind, so our services go beyond bat eviction and exclusion. Our remediation services include damage repair, sanitization, and insulation replacement if needed.

We ensure that the affected area is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, leaving your property fresh and bat-free. To provide peace of mind, RAC offers a one-year warranty on all our exclusion work, ensuring your property remains protected.

Bats, Rats, & Beyond

While bats might take the spotlight as “uninvited guests,” RAC is equipped to handle other pests as well. From rats and mice to raccoons and squirrels, we offer professional wildlife control and removal services for all types of properties—commercial, industrial, and residential.

Our expertise extends to nuisance wildlife management and habitat modification, making us your trusted partner for all your wildlife-related needs.

Your Trusted Bat Management Partner

As fall sets in and bats seek shelter from the cold, take steps to protect your property from these unwelcome guests. Rusty’s Animal Control is your go-to solution for humane and effective bat management services.

Don’t let these winged intruders spoil the season; contact RAC today and ensure a safe and bat-free environment. Get a quote and schedule your bat management services now.

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Beware Summer’s Buzzing Invaders: Managing Stinging Insects on Your Property

Summertime is upon us, which means longer days, warmer temperatures, and – unfortunately – the return of stinging insects.

Wasps and yellow jackets, among other pests, can turn your backyard into a battleground and a potential health threat to those allergic to their stings.

Wasps and yellow jackets, equipped with powerful stingers and the capability to inflict multiple stings, can make enjoying the outdoors a challenge. Plus, their habit of building nests in sheltered areas around our homes makes them unwelcome guests that require effective – and safe – management.

A Growing Issue: Nest Building & Population Increase

Both wasps and yellow jackets are social insects. Starting in spring, queens emerge from hibernation to establish new colonies. Nests – often found in hollow trees, walls, eaves, attics, and underground – grow rapidly throughout summer. By the end of summer, a single nest may house thousands of these stinging insects.

The Risk: Painful Stings & Potential Allergic Reactions

Wasp and yellow jacket stings can cause more than just a sharp, burning pain; they can lead to severe allergic reactions in some individuals.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include swelling, difficulty breathing, hives, and in extreme cases, anaphylaxis – a life-threatening condition. Even without an allergy, multiple stings can be dangerous, especially for children and the elderly.

Property Damage: Structural Integrity Threats

Some species, like carpenter bees, are also capable of inflicting property damage. Their nest-building process includes boring holes in wooden home structures, outdoor furniture, or fences.

Ground-nesting yellow jackets excavate extensive nests in soft soil, disrupting plant roots and potentially destabilizing walkways or patios. Their nests can lead to dead patches on lawns and pose potential tripping hazards.

Both species can infiltrate home interiors through small gaps into wall cavities, basements, or attics. Inside, they can damage insulation and HVAC systems.

The Solution: Rusty’s Animal Control

Don’t let the fear of stinging insects prevent you from enjoying your property this summer. Get ahead of the potential pain and property damage by seeking professional help. Rusty’s Animal Control can safely and effectively remove these stinging insects, destroy their nests, and ensure they don’t come back.

With over a decade of experience in pest and wildlife removal, our team provides thorough services that include the elimination of wasps and yellow jackets, nest removal and sealing of entry points.

Additionally, we offer a variety of other pest control solutions tailored to your specific needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team members to learn more about how we can help protect your property from these and other common pests.

Contact us to learn more about our stinging insect solutions and let us make your summer a little safer – and a lot more enjoyable.

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Keeping Warehouses & Industrial Buildings Free of Birds

Birds can create a significant challenge to efforts to keep warehouses safe and healthy for people and products.

When birds find their way into warehouses and become trapped, they can spread illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli, and potentially deadly upper respiratory infections through their waste.

Birds often roost and nest in rafters and other hidden spaces, with their waste falling onto the areas below. Birds that become trapped can also die and decay unnoticed in hidden or unreachable places.

From contaminated products to structural damage to roofs and ventilation systems, birds cause an estimated $30-$50 million in damage to warehouses annually.

It’s an expensive problem, especially as the number of warehouses grows across the country. Over the past 10 years, the number of warehouses in the U.S. has grown to over 19,000, accounting for over 10 billion square feet of space and employing more than 7 million people.

Warehouse sanitation issues threaten employee health, product safety and can leave a business in violation of regulations including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safe workplace requirements.

How to Prevent Expensive & Unsanitary Bird Problems in Your Warehouse

While dealing with birds can be a complex problem, there are measures you can implement to prevent bird intrusion and the resulting spread of disease in your facility:

  • Birds tend to remain where food is plentiful, so implement a company policy that restricts eating and food disposal to designated areas like the lunchroom or outdoors.
  • Keep doors closed when not in use, including dock doors – leaving doors open, especially in spring, is like rolling out the red carpet for nesting birds.
  • Remove all visible signs of birds and sanitize the area. This includes droppings, feathers, and nesting materials.
  • Eliminate non-essential landscaping around the facility, especially near doors. Such areas provide hiding places for birds and make it easier for them to enter your building.
  • Consider installing bird removal, deterrents, and exclusion systems, such as shock track, in areas where birds frequently gather.

Addressing bird issues can seem daunting, but help is available. At Rusty’s Animal Control, our team of experts can work with you to evaluate your situation and develop a cost-effective solution for keeping your warehouse bird-free.

Start addressing your bird problems today with a site evaluation from Rusty’s Animal Control.

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Before exclusion

After exclusion

Goose Roundup Season is Fast Approaching: Here’s How to Prepare

With goose roundup season just around the corner, the time to devise a plan is now. Here’s what you need to know to prepare.

Left uncontrolled, Canada geese can quickly become a nightmare for property owners and managers. Aggressive geese are known to attack people and pets and their unsightly waste may contaminate water and even carry parasitic diseases like Giardia.

While geese can threaten health and safety any time of year, it isn’t uncommon to notice an uptick in goose conflicts, loitering and waste accumulation in the spring through midsummer. Once goslings hatch in the spring, Canada geese go through a process called molting. During this time, (approximately June 3 to July 10) geese shed their flight feathers (and temporarily lose their ability to fly).

Flightless geese and their goslings tend to congregate in areas with open sightlines, cover and resources including food and water — like golf courses, business parks and office courtyards. Adult geese tend to exhibit increasingly aggressive behavior toward humans to protect their young during this time.

Molting season may trigger increased goose conflicts but does have an upside. During the brief season – and with some advanced planning – geese may be physically removed from properties with an effective solution: goose roundups.

How Goose Roundups Work

When large numbers of stubborn geese cannot be managed by alternative control strategies, goose roundups are recommended.

During a goose roundup, permitted property owners or certified Waterfowl Control Operators corral the birds and load them onto a trailer. Geese are then safely relocated to an approved fish and wildlife area or taken to a euthanasia site. This decision is made on an individual basis by the property owner or manager.

Goose roundup in action

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Remove Geese from Your Property

In Indiana, barring extenuating circumstances, goose roundups may only occur during their molting period. A permit is always required.

Although many people see Canada geese as a nuisance, it is important to remember they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Before geese are removed from a property, approval must be granted by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (INDNR).

The best practice is to partner with a professional wildlife control agency who understands INDNR permitting. Without a proper permit, geese may only be harassed – and not physically touched or removed. Doing so without a permit may result in a hefty fine.

Schedule Your Goose Roundup Today

Because goose roundups may only be conducted during their flightless period and a permit must be secured prior to the service, the time to act is now. Luckily, scheduling a roundup service is easy.

The seasoned professionals at Rusty’s Animal Control (RAC) will help you through every step of the roundup process. The team will help you complete permit application paperwork and answer any questions that arise about the process.

Once the permit application is approved, the team will work with you to remove geese on a day that aligns with their molting period and fits into your schedule. Once geese are rounded up, our team will relocate the geese or take them to a euthanasia site, depending on your preference.

For more information about goose roundup and other goose management services, reach out to speak to a member of our team.

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Indiana’s Most Common Nuisance Birds

Indiana is home to nearly 500 species of birds, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). While many of those birds pose little to no threat to humans and properties, a number do exhibit aggressive behavior, deposit unsightly, disease-causing waste and damage the structures they roost and nest in.

If you are a property manager, business or residential owner, or landlord, it’s wise to be aware of nuisance birds and the damage they cause. Here is a guide to the five peskiest birds in the state – and some (dis)honorable mentions to boot.

Indiana’s Top Five Pest Birds

1. Canada Goose

Canada Goose

The Canada Goose is an amazing conservation success story. In fact, they have been so successful at adapting to urban areas that they are the top nuisance bird nationwide and the bread and butter of the bird control industry. With their copious waste deposits and aggressive behavior, the Canada Goose comes in at number one for the most common nuisance bird.

2. Pigeon


Also known as the rock dove, the pigeon is a non-native resident of North America. After living closely with humans for thousands of years, these birds do not shy away from people, dwellings or cars. Able to nest year-round and sneak into small openings, pigeons quickly infest available barns, warehouses, overpasses, loading docks and city streets, leaving a mess of droppings, feathers and egg debris everywhere they go. And they go everywhere. It’s no surprise this adaptable bird occupies our second spot.

3. European Starling

European Starling

A small invader to our lands, the European starling causes a wide variety of damage both to humans and the local ecosystem. Flocks, sometimes numbering in the hundreds of thousands, decimate crops, eat and foul livestock feed, damage buildings by stuffing nesting material into crevices, and kill native birds to take over nesting space. A menace in every industry and environment, the European starling brazenly takes the bronze.

4. House Sparrow

House Sparrow

The house sparrow is another invasive species from Europe. Similar to European starlings, house sparrows love to nest in building crevices, stuffing anything remotely like nesting material in every nook and cranny they can find and aggressively removing native species like bluebirds from their birdhouses. Their nesting material can create a fire hazard and their droppings make a mess. No structure is safe from encroachment by house sparrow, whether residential, commercial, or industrial. Despite their diminutive size, these nettlesome birds come in at number four on our list.

5. Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vulture

Fast becoming a nuisance on taller buildings, turkey vultures have extremely acidic droppings that can quickly eat through paint. They also love to pick apart weatherstripping around windows and doors. They loaf on balconies and rooftops waiting for the scent of roadkill or a good thermal draft to soar on, especially along highways and near landfills. Nature’s garbage disposal, vultures do a lot of good cleaning up dead and decaying animals, but as more and more of their habitat is converted to urban sprawl, conflicts are rising. It’s easy to see how this species wedged into the final spot on our list.

Dishonorable Mentions

The following nuisance birds didn’t crack the top five but are well known to ruffle the feathers of property owners and managers in Indiana.



There are a few species of swallows here in Indiana that love to use human dwellings as nesting areas. Loading docks, garages and warehouses all make excellent nesting spots. Their droppings and nest debris make a mess, but they are beneficial as well, eating tens of thousands of insects like mosquitos.

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey

Wild turkeys moved into urban and suburban areas during the hushed months of COVID-19 lockdowns. These big and beautiful birds stop traffic, damage cars while pecking at their reflections, and even chase people and pets. Drawn to bird feeders, hand-feeding, and ornamental fruit and nut trees, turkeys are a fast-growing nuisance across the state.



Two closely related species, ring-billed and herring gulls, are common nuisance-causing birds, especially near landfills and along the Lake Michigan coastline. Aggressive colonies of gulls number in the tens of thousands in some areas. They nest on rooftops and blanket people, buildings, cars and beaches with their bacteria and acid-laden droppings.

Your Partner in Pest Bird Management

Pest birds can wreak havoc on structures and health (and sanity!). If you struggle to manage nuisance birds on your own – the professionals at Rusty’s Animal Control (RAC) can help.

Reach out to learn about our pest bird solutions – including egg addling, round-up services and removal of Canada geese – for ensuring the health and safety of your property and minimizing the risk of bird conflicts. Our tools and solutions are safe, humane and cost-effective.

Contact us to learn more about our bird control services

They’re Almost Here: Are You Ready for Goose Season?

You didn’t invite them exactly, but your property has everything they’re looking for to settle down and start raising this season’s crop of little geese…  Soon, like other property owners across the Midwest, you could be dealing with flocks of Canada geese settling in – sometimes where you least expect them.

It can be difficult to understand a goose family’s choice of location for building their nest; they frequently choose spots near busy retail and commercial entrances, seemingly undeterred by the presence of people moving in and out.

But as soon as they’ve chosen their spots, they make their feelings clear, with aggressive behavior and even attacks directed at anyone who comes near.

Get Help with the Chaos of Nesting Geese on Your Property

At Rusty’s Animal Control, our experience in preventing and managing the chaos of goose romance season keeps us very busy in the spring. By mid-March, the first pairs of Canada geese will have moved in and started to build their nests and lay their eggs.

Goose pairs nesting in areas with a lot of human traffic is the biggest conflict our clients face this time of year. Geese near a busy public entrance to a store or office building can pose a serious threat to customers, employees and anyone who gets too close in nesting season, especially once there are eggs in the nest.

It seems silly that they would get their feathers in such a ruffle after they chose the spot in the first place. What drives geese to make nests in places where they feel constantly threatened once their eggs are laid?

In order to understand such behavior, it helps to look at the world from a goose perspective. The nesting process does not happen all in one effort. Geese pass through different behavioral phases impacted by hormones and instinctive nesting drives.

The Four Phases of Nesting Canada Geese

Phase 1: Stake Out a Territory

This phase occurs in very early spring, mostly throughout February and March, though some pairs may start later due to specific circumstances. Older pairs prefer to nest in the same general spot every year, so they may spend less time looking for a territory and focus on staking their claim instead. A goose’s focus during Phase 1 includes:

  • Finding an area relatively close to water
  • Competing for space with other pairs of geese

Phase 2: Patrol & Hold Territory

Once a pair has chosen a neighborhood, they need to hold their territory against other pairs of geese and other waterfowl while also avoiding the attention of predators. The female will also check out potential spots to build her nest. During Phase 2, a goose’s instincts drive several key behaviors:

  • Patrolling regularly for competition from other birds
  • Fighting with other geese and waterfowl to drive them out of the territory
  • Surveying their territory from high vantage points (like rooftops)
  • Scouting potential nesting locations

Phase 3: Nesting

Once the female picks a spot, she will dig a shallow bowl and lay her eggs. This is where things get confusing for humans. Some places, like muskrat mounds, seem like a sensible spot to nest. They are surrounded by water that creates a barrier for predators like coyotes and foxes.  Other choices are harder to understand. They’re strange or full of apparent risks. But the thing is, the female goose isn’t thinking that far ahead. She’s only looking for what seems like a safe place to sit and incubate her eggs. During Phase 3, a female goose is seeking:

  • An area safe from land predators. This means off the ground, in the middle of water on a mound or island, or somewhere with some cover where she can easily escape to water: an area she can see well from, but not easily be seen.
  • Protection against the wind, in a spot where she can tuck in or put her back against a barrier. Corners are a favorite.
  • An area with little predator and scavenger activity. Spots near human dwellings or parking can seem like a good place to avoid coyotes, foxes, raccoons and other predators.

Phase 4: Defense of the Nest & Incubation

After the first egg is laid in the nest bowl, everything changes. Hormones shift and a goose’s first priority switches to defending that egg from any potential threat, even non-predators like humans and cars.

Geese attempting to defend their nest

Phases 3 and 4 are where things go wrong for some pairs of urban geese. The instincts that serve them well in their natural habitat can go a bit haywire in our city environments, leading geese to nest in odd, unsafe, or illogical places. A site that seemed safe and instinctively correct in phase 3 becomes confusing, stressful, and dangerous for both geese and the humans sharing their space.

Nesting near the entrance of a building may discourage coyotes, but now the geese are launching their defenses against shoppers just trying to hit the Easter sales. Or, what seemed like a nice, elevated and well-sheltered area may actually be inside an HVAC system on a three-story roof with only a parapet wall between geese and a drop that goslings can’t survive. That parking lot island looked like a real island but instead of safe water, it’s a dangerous spot surrounded by moving vehicles.

Here are some additional examples of nesting instincts gone wrong.


Prevent Nesting Geese Conflicts on Your Property

When geese nest too close to humans on foot or in cars, there are safety risks for all involved. Geese are fierce in their defense of their nests and can launch powerful attacks. Don’t wait until you’ve got a bigger problem on your hands, like a slip and fall or a parking lot crash.

The professionals at Rusty’s Animal Control can provide reliable, experienced help for your bird conflicts, with safe, humane and legal options for managing conflicts with Canada geese, in nesting season and year-round. Our services include egg addling, round-up services and the removal of aggressive geese.

Don’t wait! Managing nesting pairs early in the season is the best strategy. Our work starts with a careful assessment of your property and your situation to ensure a cost-effective solution.

Connect with one of our team members to learn more about the best solutions for your goose conflicts.

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It’s the Season of Raccoon Intruders: Take Steps to Protect Your Property and Your Health from these Messy Pests

Temperatures in the Midwest may be plummeting, but raccoon mating season is heating up.

During the season (which runs through March) houses and other buildings are vulnerable to these uninvited, ring-tailed pests.

Many raccoons – whose maternal instincts are now in high gear – will spend the coming months seeking out warmth and shelter.

Unfortunately, your attic, crawlspaces and walls can provide plenty of both. Expectant females will burrow in to establish a den where they will give birth and raise their kittens. Once the kittens are born, the family will generally remain in place for at least 60 days, until the young are old enough to venture outside on their own.

While evicting raccoons from your home may seem like a challenging task, it is important to act quickly if you suspect a furry family has moved in. Left unresolved, the mess raccoons leave in their wake can snowball into a dangerous and expensive issue.

The Mess: Rapidly Accumulating Waste

Raccoons are creatures of habit who deposit their waste in the same spot (or “latrine”) every time nature calls. Raccoon latrines are communal and can quickly become unmanageable if no action is taken. Once litters arrive, the new kittens (sometimes as many as six) contribute to the latrine and exponentially grow the mess.

Worse yet, because raccoon families nest in place after kittens are born, piles of waste are often left to accumulate for months.

The Risks: Disease and Home Damage

Raccoon droppings harbor organisms and parasites that can sicken humans. Their waste carries Baylisascaris procyonis, a roundworm that can infect humans (and pets) and cause ocular and neurological issues. Raccoon droppings also transmit histoplasmosis, which can trigger severe and/or chronic respiratory diseases.

Raccoons and their waste can also threaten the structural integrity of your home or building. They can damage insulation, wiring and woodwork. The longer raccoons are in your home, the worse (and more costly) cleaning and remediation efforts become. In severe cases, all insulation must be replaced, and entire attics must be remediated.

The Solution: Call Rusty’s Animal Control

Head off expensive renovations and health risks caused by raccoon interlopers by seeking professional help immediately. An experienced and licensed wildlife management company like Rusty’s Animal Control can safely evict your raccoons, prevent them from returning, and mitigate the damage and mess left behind.

With a decade of experience in wildlife removal, our team provides thorough and effective wildlife removal, sealing of entry points, cleaning and sanitizing, and the replacement of damaged or soiled insulation.

We offer a wide range of services to manage other common pests as well. To learn more about the solutions we can provide for your business or property, reach out to one of our team members.

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8 Reasons To Start Planning Your Bird Management Strategies for Spring

Winter only feels like it lasts forever… it’s time to start preparing your spring bird management plan.

At this time of year, the return of green grass and flowering trees can seem far away. But, as we like to remind our clients at this time of year, time flies!

Now is the time to begin preparing for the flocks of migrating birds that will soon be back for the spring months.

While there are many reasons to look forward to winter’s end, spring will bring all of the common, but potentially hazardous, bird related issues we know so well: sparrows nesting in your eaves, geese pooping all over your picnic areasbirds crashing into your windows, and dive-bombing gulls are on their way – along with the blooming flowers, and thawing temperatures.

While the RAC team loves being able to swoop in and save the day, it’s better and more cost-effective for your team if you start the planning process before you’re facing the newest season of Birds Gone Wild.

Here are eight reasons to start the process now, instead of waiting until your bird problems are upon you.

1. If you have had nesting in the past, you are almost guaranteed to have nesting again this year. Many birds exhibit “natal site fidelity,” returning every year to the site where they hatched or to the site of a previous year’s nest.

2. Once birds become established and successful at nesting and surviving on your property, getting them to leave becomes more difficult – and more costly.

3. A full site assessment will allow our biologists and experts to understand how and why birds are utilizing your property so that we can develop and customize an integrated management plan for your situation. This can take time but is the best way to ensure the right solution within your budget. If you wait until the problem is critical, your options get narrower and more expensive.

4. Most nuisance birds are protected and managing them on your property may require permits which can take time to acquire. Some species require permits from multiple organizations and others require specialized solutions not covered by permits.

5. Once eggs are laid, the situation can change rapidly. Sometimes one egg in the nest is all it takes for a bird to become hyper-aggressive. This increases your liability and the risk that someone will be injured. Also, if it’s a species not covered by permits, your control options can shrink significantly. It’s much more efficient to take steps to prevent nesting in the first place.

6. Spring is our peak season and manpower is limited. While we work hard to address our clients’ needs as soon as possible, there are many days where “normal” spring activity requires all hands on deck. Emergency nest removal is far more expensive than having your egg depredation contract in place right away, especially for species that require special permits.

7. Late is sometimes too late. We cannot touch or remove healthy chicks of protected native species, even nuisance species creating a problem. If you have a colony of gulls hatching on your roof with aggressive parents or swallows feeding babies in your loading dock, there is little we will be able to do to help you. We may be able to devise a way to limit the hazard and mess, but that would be an expensive and temporary solution at best.

8. Bird deterrents or other products may need to be ordered and shipped or installed under certain conditions. With ongoing supply-chain disruptions to shipping, the sooner we can prepare for your needs, the better.

The moral of this late winter story is that a plan is better than a reaction when it comes to bird management. You’ll save money, get better results and make our jobs easier too. Contact us today to discuss creating an integrated wildlife management plan customized to your property and situation.

Contact us to learn more about our proactive bird control services