Archive for the ‘Trapping’ Category

Curiousity Almost Killed The Cat

We received a telephone call from a woman who claimed that she had a cat in the attic. “Did you say a rat?” I asked. “A cat!” she said..I still had to clarify..”A bat?”..”No, a cat and I think I heard it meowing” she said.

Well this was first for us, so we rushed straight to women’s house. If there really was a cat, he was in big trouble but I have to admit, I expected a raccoon.

We arrived, grabbed the ladder and flashlight and Brandon was in the attic in seconds. he was very cautious in case there was a raccoon in the attic. With moments I heard him say…”It’s a cat, dad!”

I warned my son to be very careful of his approach of the cat but he said the cat was very weak and wobbly on its feet. I climbed the ladder and stuck my fat head into the attic to see the cat “zip’ by me…..not too wobbly I thought.

It was a sight to see, my son chasing the cat all around the very low and very hot attic. Brandon disappeared behind some A/C ducts at the far end of the attic and I heard him say “Gotcha!”

I asked Brandon if the cat was vicious and he replied that the cat was now barely alive. Brandon cradled the cat all the way from the far end of the low attic, gently climbing over A/C ducts and coughing on “raised” dust and insulation.

At my first look at the cat, I thought, “This thing is dead”. It just hung there, lifelessly.

Brandon crawled out of the attic, down the ladder and out the front door with this poor exhausted, hungry and very dehydrated feline.

The cat laid in my son’s lap with very little movement. The cat could not even lift its head. After a few minutes, we gave the cat some water, being sure not to give it too much too fast. At first it did not want the water but then gradually started to drink. We offered it some sardines in a can (our raccoon bait) and the cat ate slowly but then increased as he ate.

Brandon had to actually put water on his finger and rub it on the cats mouth to get the poor animal to drink

After some more water and a little more food, the cat could finally make a meow sound, it was very weak and dry sounding but it was a meow.

Now we were faced with the next ordeal…what to do with this cat? I was afraid to take it anywhere that may put it to sleep due to its extreme weakness, it looked very pitiful with its bones protruding from it’s skin.

Brandon is actually holding the cat up, if he released of the cat, it would immediately collapse.

The homeowner stated that the only time the cat could have entered the attic was FIVE weeks ago when the A/C people were working in the attic. Apparently they removed the gable air vent for some reason and the cat must have wandered in. The A/C workers movements may have startled the cat and it must have hidden, that’s what a cat would normally do in this type of situation. unfortunately, the A/C workers sealed the attic back and went home, leaving the cat in the attic.

The woman was totally freaked out about the cat, she also said that there was a “missing cat” poster on the telephone pole in front of her house. I ran out to the telephone pole and the poster was ripped up with only a few remaining pieces of paper left hanging. I talked to several neighbors and they knew nothing about the missing cat.

 We refused to give up, this cat survived the hot Florida attic with no food or water for five weeks….it did not give up and neither were we!

Brandon sat on the front porch sidewalk, cradling the cat in his lap. He gave it little sips of water and food and then let it rest.

I drove all over the neighborhood looking for more posters of missing cats. finally I located a poster that was less damaged than the rest. The poster was still torn but had a better picture of the cat…but no phone number.

The picture looked exactly like the half dead cat in Brandon’s lap, things were looking up for us and the cat. I started knocking on doors and asking about the “missing cat” poster but no one knew anything. I saw a few kids on bicycles down the road and remembered an old saying from a when I was a private investigator, “If you want to know anything about a neighborhood, ask a kid…they see everything.”   I drove over to the kids, asked about a lost cat and they immediately pointed to a house farther down the block.

I went up to the house, knocked on the door and a women answered. I inquired about her lost cat and she bent down and picked up a cat and said that it had been found days ago. Directly in front of me was the perfect copy of the cat that was fighting for his life in Brandon’s lap….not  good news at all.

By the time I returned to Brandon, the cat was doing much better, it was holding its own head up and its eyes looked much clearer.

We knew things were not looking good for the cat but we refused to quit. I called several friends and finally hit pay dirt. We were directed to a woman who loved cats and was willing to nurse the little guy back to health.

Within thirty minutes, we were at a McDonalds parking lot and meeting the cats new owner. The woman almost cried when she saw the cat. It’s funny because to us, the cat looked damn good (compared to the non responsive attic cat we intially observed) ! It was purring and meowing so much better. It was still a little wobbly on its feet but all in all, it was going wonderful!

Break time for Brandon and the cat. Brandon ate french fries while the cat enjoyed more sardines.

She took the cat and the last we heard it was  recovering and doing very well. A happy ending all around!

Update: It’s been well over a week and the cat is GREAT!


Northern Manhattan Subway Riders Say Rats Abound

Fulton Street in Manhattan, June 2010.Marcus Yam/The New York Times The rats are downtown, too: Fulton Street in Manhattan in June.

Rodents, the traditional scourge of New York City, are having a rough year. The rise of the bedbug seems to have rendered rats a has-been pest, a mere nuisance to be ignored rather than read about in countless alarmist trend articles. The bedbug is a breakout media star; the rat is, well, still a rat.

But there is one realm where the rodent still rules, where rats play the stars of an underground theater with a captive audience in the millions. Where else but the subway?

Earlier this year, the city’s Board of Health, in what was called the first study of its kind, discovered that half the subway lines in Lower Manhattan exhibited signs of mild or severe infestation. At the time, many New Yorkers expressed a surprising fondness for the creatures.  Now, a new, slightly less scientific survey has found a similar rat takeover of 20 stations in Upper Manhattan, based on the observations of thousands of riders who say there is a “severe” rodent problem in the underground.

The Have You Seen a Rat Today? campaign, sponsored by State Senator Bill Perkins, a Democrat of Harlem, collected responses from about 5,000 New Yorkers who filled out surveys distributed by the senator’s office.

Because this type of survey is self-selecting, and because there was no way to verify the responses, the results of Mr. Perkins’s study (also see below) ought to be taken with a grain of rat poison. But the findings do seem to match up anecdotally with many New Yorkers’ experiences.

Nearly 9 in 10 respondents said they saw rats on a daily or weekly basis in the subway, with a majority of sightings on the tracks. (Far fewer rats appeared to make their way onto benches or into the trains themselves.) Only 1 percent of the respondents said they “never see rats.”

All 20 stations in Mr. Perkins’s district, the 30th, were cited. The worst offenders: the big 125th Street express stop at Saint Nicholas Avenue; the 145th Street station on the A, B, C and D lines; and the 163rd Street station in Washington Heights. Strangely, the new 96th Street station at Broadway was also cited, although perhaps all the recent construction sent rodents scurrying of late.

The point of the survey, Mr. Perkins said, was to prompt officials to examine new methods of attacking the rodent problem. He also proposed a ban on eating in the subway, similar to no-food policies used on transit systems in Chicago and Washington.

“What we know for sure is the rats are not growing the food they are eating, nor are they shopping at Whole Foods or McDonald’s,” Mr. Perkins said in an interview. He noted that discarded food and litter are the primary culprits that attract rats to the mass transit system: “If you feed ’em, you breed ’em.”

Mr. Perkins mailed his survey results to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Oct. 21, and he urged the agency to step up its eradication efforts. The agency has laid off station cleaners this year and acknowledged over the summer that it may not have the budget to pursue a more advanced attack against rodents.

“I know this is a challenging time for transit and for the M.T.A.,” Mr. Perkins wrote in his letter. “But rodents in the subway jeopardize the health of all those who travel and work underground.”

In the interview, Mr. Perkins emphasized the far-reaching effects of his cause.

“This system is so important to people,” he said. “It is an experience that determines significantly one’s daily life, not simply from a bread-and-butter go-to-work point of view, but from an emotional and psychic point of view.

“You’re on a subway and a rat is sitting next to you — that moment does not end for a while.”

Yes, You Have Rat’s, Heres How We Know!

We have been asked about a million times by prospective customers, “How did you know we have rats?”

We usually smile and just point to the most obvious clue that could ever be observed…that is if you knew what to look for.

Here it is…..

Rodent Rubmarks are a wonderful creation by greasy haired rodents everywhere! If looked at correctly, you can see the natural path that the rodent travels.

Entry into this residence  is mostly from the “wires” coming to the house as seen in the first arrow to the left, the rodents follow  the “wires” around the corner and into the hole that was created (and not sealed, very common) for the conduit.

Here is a close up of that hole! Yikes!

What causes the marks from the rodents? Rodents are a very dirty creature and Rubmarks  appear from contact with the rodent’s body. Rubmarks on walls appear as black smudges left by the rodent. New rubmarks are soft and will smudge. Old rubmarks are brittle and will flake when scratched. Rafters may show swing marks of roof rats.

This house had just about the most active rodent infestation that we have seen in a long time. But nothing is impossible…through a rigid program of trapping, baiting and exclusion the problem was easily solved.

Having rats in your attic is very bad for so many reasons, one of the most important reason is that  rodents gnaw every day in order to keep their teeth short and sharp. Rats also gnaw to gain entrance or to obtain food. Teeth marks on food, building materials, wire, and edges of beams are indications of gnawing. They will gnaw holes in wooden walls, pressed wood, and posts.  Many house fires have been attributed to the rodents chewing on wires.

Rodents will also destroy A/C ducts for the insulation (nesting) and also chew A/C water drain lines (water) which can also do serious water damge to your ceiling.

Of course lets not forget fleas, diseases and possible “biting”.

On a better note…

My son and I have had pet rats for many years and deeply enjoyed them. They are loving, curious and spontaneously funny. We have not had one since we obtained our best friend Mighty “Mullet” the Wonder Dog. He is a Jack Russell and is naturally rodent driven with four confirmed kills of wild rats, although he was done well (very nice) around our friend’s pet rat…I believe that  if the rat ever got out and we were not around, I think he would do what comes natural.

The squirrels endlessly tease Mullet everyday around our tree’s. The very moment he comes out of the house the squirrels come down from the tree tops and make him chase them. He will chase them for literally hours on end.

Got Rats? Call Us  Now 727-388-6759



Squirrel’s in the Attic

The squirrel can become a nuisance when it chews through the facia board or roof and gains access into your soffit and attic as this one did.

If you think you have a squirrel in your attic, think again. You have more than one, usually 4 or 5 or more. Squirrels are very social animals and will stay as a family unit. We caught three already!

Once we removed a small portion of the ceiling, we were able to be a better idea of what we were up against. Notice the “gnaw” marks around the pipes. these rascals have been doing some damage! squirrels can create tremendous damage in an attic.

If you try and resolve the squirrel problem yourself, you may end up enclosing a squirrel or squirrels in your attic which will cause major damage as the enclosed squirrel or squirrels will chew a, exit  hole to get out. If one or more of the squirrel family members are outside, they will assist the enclosed squirrel or squirrels in chewing the hole.

Here is a picture of some nesting material that was gathered up by the squirrel.

It is best to leave the squirrel removal and exclusion to a professional in the animal control or wildlife control field. Most of the time the problem can be corrected in a short time with no more damage caused. As a  wildlife professional, we  will also assist in preventative measures which will deter future problems with squirrels.

A squirrel can climb almost anything. If squirrels are determined to get somewhere, they will. There are devices that wildlife professionals use to help solve this problem and deter a squirrel or squirrels from climbing.

Remember, nuisance squirrels should be handled by a wildlife control professional.



I placed a squirrel Havahart Live Trap in the area of the attic cutout that was just previously made. This trap does not hurt the animal! Once captured, we will safely release it


This little fella and his friends will have a nice home away from this attic to lead a fun filled life. No squirrels were hurt during this whole operation, although I almost fell off the ladder, the squirrels were safe and happy!

Python Hunting: A Guide to Our New National Pastime

An article from

The first-ever public python hunting season wrapped up in Florida last month: Dozens of Floridians tooled around the state in their pick-ups, looking for oversized pet snakes which have escaped into the python hunting season. Python hunting is our new national pastime.

The Python hunting season—which lasted from March 8th to April 17—was the latest effort by Florida Fish and Wildlife authorities to deal with the Everglades’ truly terrifying Burmese Python infestation. This infestation is itself the result of a truly American brand of stupidity: Which is, buying absurd pets that one knows one can never hope to take care of. In a New Yorker article, an expert asked, by way of illustrating how poorly suited pythons are to being pets:

Do you want a snake that may grow more than twenty feet long, weigh two hundred pounds, urinate and defecate like a horse, live more than twenty-five years, and for whom you will have to provide mice, rats and eventually rabbits?

You had us at “defecate like a horse!” And so, in the early 90s everyone in Florida who either was or fancied themselves a cocaine dealer started buying these Burmese Pythons. Then they kept them in the spare bath tub until Hurricane Andrew destroyed their house and flung the animals into the Everglades, where they thrived. Then a toddler was killed by a her parents’ pet Burmese Python last year, which made everyone aware of the ecological impact these snakes have been having for decades. (If only global warming would kill a few toddlers.)

Now, people like Bob Freer—a python hunter profiled in today’s New York Times’—get to hunt them for sport! And if some random housewife in fly-over country counts as “Real America’ then these python hunters are, like, Real America in I-Max 3-D.

Here’s how you hunt pythons: First, you buy a special $26 permit, which allows you to hunt them on state land. Then, you may want to attend a special python-hunting workshop, where state-employed hunters teach you important tips like the fact that the first thing pythons do when captured is empty their bowels (see video). Wait until the weather is right: Pythons are either most active in cold weather or warm weather (the Miami Herald says Hot; the Daily Beast says cool).

Then you drive your truck up and down roads in the Everglades until you see the distinctive sheen of a python lying in a culvert. (In the Times article, they go hunting in an abandoned rocket-testing site.) You exit your truck. The law says you must kill the python when you capture it, and the method of dispatch varies: If you are a wimp, you may shoot it with a rifle. Wimp. If you a real man, you sneak up on the snake and wrangle it into a bag. A Daily Beast reporter witnessed one of these hardcore guys killing the snake by “Lopping off its head with his knife and penetrating the brain and spinal cord with a rod.” So, you can do that if you want to really show the python who’s boss.

Then you may eat the python, provided you sell it first to a licensed meat processor. Chowhound recommends a marinade of “soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, scallions, ginger, and honey”. We recommend not eating it, because tests have shown that many burmese pythons in the Everglades are contimnated with mercury. Instead, you should sell the snake to All American Gators in Hallandale, Beach, FL. They will buy it for $5/foot and make a beautiful pair of snakeskin pants out of it that you might give to your wife for your wedding anniversary. Or maybe just hang it on the wall, and every time your daughter brings a boy over point to it and say “See that? Killed that python with my bare hands.”

So, now you know everything you need to know for next year’s python hunt! Unfortunately, the six-week season this year led to zero python captures—probably because it was so cold in Florida this year. (State hunters have removed over 1,000 pythons since 2000.) However, global warming is real. And, according to a estimates in the New Yorker article, global warming could make New York a suitable environment for pythons by 2100. By that time we need to have a phalanx of trained python hunters ready to protect us. As python hunter Bob Hill told the Miami Herald (all python hunters are named Bob, apparently): “There’s really no predator, other than the occasional alligator. Sometimes the gator wins, sometimes the snake wins.”

Projected 2100 Python Range, Courtesy of USGS:
Python Hunting: A Guide to Our New National Pastime

Happy hunting!

Rat’s In The Attic

We were called to a residence that had a horrible problem with rats. The last owners moved out and left the new home owners with quite a mess.

 Sadly the pest company before us didn’t do their job very well.  Eighteen rats were caught by the tenants, not their pest control company!

Once there, entry the holes were closed and the snap traps were set. I was surprised that with so many rats in the attic, there was very little evidence.

Over a short period we pulled out a few rats in traps and it had been quiet  until yesterday. We were informed that there was a foul odor coming from the kitchen area.

When we arrived, all the windows were open as well as the doors. The stench of decaying rodents smacked us in the face immediately.

The kitchen had a drop ceiling and the smell appeared to be strongest there. Brandon climbed into the attic and started looking for a dead rodent(s) but could not find anything. The smell was faint, this puzzled us. Then as Brandon started digging through the  thick insulation I heard him say “Aha”!

Brandon had located a hole that led to the drop ceiling which was concealed by the heavy insulation.

A small opening in the insulation that was once unseen.

This hole was in such a position that Brandon could not look inside,  so we used our  T-mobile HTC-HD2 cell phone and took some pictures to get an idea of what was in the hole. The camera feature with its flash, worked very well.

As you can see, there is a heavy amount of rodent droppings just above their kitchen.

I guess T-mobile people can now say they have an Rodent Locater App. in their new HTC-HD2, lol.

The picture allowed us to locate the dead carcass and remove  it from its drop ceiling tomb.

Rodents in that attic can cause serious damage to your home and your health. Most people have openings around their home that they do not know even exist but the rat’s do!

Do you have a rat problem? Don’t want a rat problem? Call us 727-388-6759