Ransford is proud to offer Problem Animal Control in Massachusetts. We offer exclusion as well as trapping services. Exclusion involves identifying areas of animal activity and installing a one way door to allow the animal to leave and not get back into the structure. This may entail blocking multiple points of entry with various materials while always allowing the animal a way out but not back in. Exclusion is not an option when the animals have young since they are not capable of exiting on their own. Exclusion work is done for:
Trapping involves finding the best location for setting a trap for the target animal. Once set and baited with the proper bait each trap needs to be inspected at least once every 24 hours. Care is taken with placement of the trap to ensure the animal is not left out all day in the hot sun. It may take several days for the animal to overcome their hesitation of something new. Some animals may never enter a trap especially if trapped before. Non target animals like cats may enter and need to be released.
Massachusetts is home to many bat species but only two tend to cause problems inside structures. The Little Brown Bat and the Large Brown Bat like to roost in old barns, unused warehouses, and attics. They generally are not a problem until there are too many of them. Bat droppings can accumulate at an alarming rate or the Bats can invade your living space. This is when we usually get a frantic phone call. It is important to remember to stay calm and think before you act. Many people shoo or swat at the bat or open the windows. Before letting the bat out answer the following questions:
- Was anyone SLEEPING UNATTENDED with the bat in the room?
- Was there an UNATTENDED CHILD in the room with the bat?
If there was a sleeping person or a child in the room IMMEDIATE LIVE capture of the bat is necessary and the Local Board of Health needs to be notified to test the bat for rabies. If you let the bat out or it escapes you need to contact your Local Board of Health or Doctor immediately. Do not flatten the bat, but try to protect the head for examination.
Ransford will inspect your house to find Bat entry points and will install Bat Cones (one way doors) or screening to allow the bats to exit but not return. We will generally return a week later remove the doors and block the holes. As a general rule, make sure there are no open windows that don’t have tight fitting screens on them. Chimney caps may also be required as well as roof, chimney and siding repairs.
Remember bats are protected in Massachusetts and are beneficial in keeping insect populations down. No exclusion work can be performed from May-July when the bats form nursery colonies and are having offspring.
SQUIRRELS (RED AND GRAY)
Massachusetts is home to both Red and Gray Squirrels with the occasional Black in the western parts of the state. People most often have problems once the Squirrel has gained entry into their home or place of business. Some key ways to prevent squirrel problems are to keep your house in good repair and trim branches that are overhanging your house. Red Squirrels are smaller (sometime confused with Chipmunks) and can often do more damage than Gray Squirrels do. Exclusion usually involves finding the entry point and installing a one way door then after they are gone repairing the hole. If the squirrel came in thru an open door try leaving the door open and sprinkling baby powder or flour across the opening so you can verify they left by the footprints they left behind. Sometimes traps are needed to remove Squirrels from basements or attics. Chimney caps can be very helpful in keeping Squirrels out of your home as well as removing bird feeders which bring squirrels and other rodents closer to your home. Exclusion and trapping of nesting Squirrels cannot be performed February-April and June-August when they typically have young.
Massachusetts is home to many different mammals but the Opossum is not one of them. Opossums (sometimes referred to as Possum) are in fact a marsupial. They are generally the same size as a house cat with a pointy nose and a thin rat like tail. Opossums if frightened may faint and play dead with their teeth barred and may have a bad odor. Sometimes if cornered they will growl and may attack. Keeping your shed secured and tight to the ground helps reduce shelter areas. Trapping is the most effective method of removing unwanted Opossums.
Skunks in Massachusetts are generally about the size of a house cat. Most Skunks have Black fur with a White stripe but there are a few cream colored fur. It is generally best to give them a wide berth unless you like the smell. Skunks will forage for food in the ground and in your trash cans sometimes entering your open garage in the process. By eliminating the food source and harborage (under sheds etc.) most skunks will move on. It may be necessary to trap a skunk with a specially designed trap.
Raccoons are one of the most easily recognizable animals in Massachusetts. With their ringed tail and Black facial mask there is no doubt of their identity. Raccoons become a nuisance when they knock over garbage cans, steal pet food or damage your house or shed to find food or shelter. Raccoons are very strong and very dangerous and can sometimes be Rabid. Raccoon ring worm is another concern and care should be taken around their droppings (cover children’s sandboxes when not in use). Securing your trash in metal cans, keeping your garage doors closed, feeding pets inside, installing chimney caps, and keeping your home and shed in good repair will generally keep Raccoons from bothering you. Trapping works best to remove Raccoons since they can usually defeat one way doors with their strong front paws.