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  The Wildlife page is still under construction

Arizona Fish & Game Department
Adobe Mountain Animal Refuge
 
Raccoons
Gophers
Bats
Coyotes
Wild Pigs
Skunks
Squirrels
Feral Cats
Wild Dogs
Snakes

  

   We all love seeing wildlife outside, but when they enter your attic or backyard and are destructive, they can become more than just a nuisance. Even Coyotes have moved into urban residential neighborhoods and are posing a threat to your pets and small children.

   We are experts at trapping, removal, and excluding all sorts of animals from Squirrels to Raccoons to Bats to Pigeons.

   We can in most cases HUMANELY LIVE TRAP and gently remove and relocate animals whenever possible. Our goal is simply to remove the animals from your home, business, or grounds where they may be causing damage and to move them to where they will be safe and happy.

We will assess the damage they have caused and repair or seal areas so that this problem won't happen again. Ask us about a Preventative Exclusion Service to keep out these unwanted pests now and in the future.

Squirrels are one of the top culprits for damage in Maricopa County. They love to nest in attics almost anytime of the year. Their chewing on household electrical wires is a potential fire hazard and their droppings and urine in an attic can create horrible odors as well. Squirrels and other types of pests can carry fleas and other parasites that may come down into your home where you and your family can then be bitten.

   Sometimes the destruction squirrels and other types of pests cause in an attic may require removal and replacement of insulation and ceiling drywall as part of the clean up. If you have squirrels or other pests...don't wait, Call us Today to live trap, remove, and relocate these critters.

Gophers

Call Us now for Professional Gopher Removal and Gopher Trapping

Gopher

 

 

 Typical trap set for gophers in a run way, some run ways can have a trap placed in each direction to catch the gopher as it passes along the run ways.

 

Pocket gophers (Thomomys spp.) are burrowing rodents that get their name from the fur-lined external cheek pouches, or pockets, that they use for carrying food and nesting materials. They are well equipped for a digging, tunneling lifestyle with powerfully built forequarters, large-clawed front paws, fine short fur that doesn't cake in wet soils, small eyes and small external ears, and highly sensitive facial whiskers to assist movements in the dark. An unusual adaptation is the gopher's lips, which can be closed behind the four large incisor teeth to keep dirt out of its mouth when it is using its teeth for digging.

IDENTIFICATION

 Depending on the species, they may range in length from 6 to 10 inches. Although they are sometimes seen feeding at the edge of an open burrow, pushing dirt out of a burrow, or moving to a new area, gophers for the most part remain underground in the burrow system.

Mounds of fresh soil are the best sign of gopher presence. Mounds are formed as the gopher digs its tunnel and pushes the loose dirt to the surface. Typically mounds are crescent- or horseshoe-shaped when viewed from above. The hole, which is off to one side of the mound, is usually plugged. Mole mounds are sometimes mistaken for gopher mounds. Mole mounds, however, appear circular and have a plug in the middle that may not be distinct; in profile they are volcano-shaped. Unlike gophers, moles commonly burrow just beneath the surface, leaving a raised ridge to mark their path.

One gopher may create several mounds in a day. In nonirrigated areas, mound building is most pronounced during spring or fall when the soil is moist and easy to dig. In irrigated areas such as lawns, flower beds, and gardens, digging conditions are usually optimal year round and mounds can appear at any time. In snowy regions, gophers create burrows in the snow, resulting in long, earthen cores on the surface when the snow melts

BIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR

Pocket gophers live in a burrow system that can cover an area of 200 to 2,000 square feet. The burrows are about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches in diameter; feeding burrows are usually 6 to 12 inches below ground, whereas the nest and food storage chamber may be as deep as 6 feet. Gophers seal the openings to the burrow system with earthen plugs. Short, sloping lateral tunnels connect the main burrow system to the surface and are created during construction of the main tunnel for pushing dirt to the surface.

Gophers do not hibernate and are active year-round, although fresh mounding may not be seen. They also can be active at all hours of the day. Gophers usually live alone within their burrow system, except for females with young or when breeding, and may occur in densities of up to 16 to 20 per acre.

Gophers reach sexual maturity at about 1 year of age and can live up to 3 years. Females produce one to three litters per year. In nonirrigated areas, breeding usually occurs in late winter and early spring, resulting in one litter per year, whereas in irrigated sites, up to three litters per year may be produced. Litters usually average five to six young.

Pocket gophers are herbivorous, feeding on a wide variety of vegetation, but generally preferring herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees. Gophers use their sense of smell to locate food. Most commonly they feed on roots and fleshy portions of plants they encounter while digging. However, sometimes they feed aboveground, venturing only a body length or so from their tunnel opening. Burrow openings used in this manner are called "feed holes." They are identified by the absence of a dirt mound and a circular band of clipped vegetation around the hole. Gophers will also pull entire plants into their tunnel from below. In snow-covered regions gophers may feed on bark several feet up a tree by burrowing through the snow.

DAMAGE

Pocket gophers often invade yards and gardens, and feed on many garden crops, ornamental plants, vines, shrubs, and trees. A single gopher moving down a garden row can inflict considerable damage in a very short time. Gophers also gnaw and damage plastic water lines and lawn sprinkler systems. Their tunnels can divert and carry off irrigation water and lead to soil erosion. Mounds on lawns interfere with mowing equipment and ruin the aesthetics of well-kept turfgrass.

LEGAL STATUS

Pocket gophers are classified as nongame mammals. This means that if they are found to be injuring growing crops or other property, including garden and landscape plants, they may be controlled at any time and in any legal manner by the owner or tenant of the premises.

MANAGEMENT

To successfully control gophers, the sooner you detect their presence and take control measures, the better. Most people control gophers in lawns, gardens, or small orchards by trapping and/or by using poison baits.

PROBING FOR GOPHERS

Successful trapping or baiting depends on accurately locating the gopher's main burrow. To locate the burrow, you need to use a gopher probe. Probes are commercially available or can be constructed from a pipe and metal rod. An enlarged tip that is wider than the shaft of the probe is an important design feature that increases the ease of locating burrows. Probes made from dowels or sticks may work in soft soil, but are difficult to use in hard or dry soils.

First, locate areas of recent gopher activity based on fresh mounds with dark, moist soil. Fresh mounds that are visible aboveground are the plugged openings of lateral tunnels. The main burrow can be found by probing about 8 to 12 inches from the plug side of the mound; it is usually located 6 to 12 inches deep. When the probe penetrates the gopher's burrow, there will be a sudden, noticeable drop of about 2 inches. You may have to probe repeatedly to locate the gopher's main burrow, but your skill will improve with experience. Because lateral tunnels may not be revisited by the gopher, trapping and baiting in them is not as successful as in the main burrow.

TRAPPING

Trapping is a safe and effective method to control pocket gophers. Several types and brands of gopher traps are available. The most commonly used is a two-pronged pincher trap, such as the Macabee trap, which is triggered when the gopher pushes against a flat vertical pan. Another popular trap is the choker-style box trap.

To set traps, locate the main tunnel with a probe, as previously described. Use a shovel or garden trowel to open the tunnel wide enough to set traps in pairs facing opposite directions. By placing traps with their openings facing opposite directions, a gopher coming from either end of the burrow can be intercepted. The box trap is easier to use if you've never set gopher traps before, but setting it requires more excavation than if you are using the Macabee trap, an important consideration in lawns and some gardens. Box traps are especially useful when the diameter of the gopher's main burrow is small (less than 3 inches) because to use the Macabee-type wire traps, small burrows must be enlarged to accommodate them.

It is not necessary to bait a gopher trap, although some claim baiting gives better results. Lettuce, carrots, apples, or alfalfa greens can be used as bait. Place the bait at the back of a box trap behind the wire trigger or behind the flat pan of a Macabee-type trap. Wire your traps to stakes so they can be easily retrieved from the burrow. After setting the traps, exclude light from the burrow by covering the opening with dirt clods, sod, cardboard, or some other material. Fine soil can be sifted around the edges to ensure a light-tight seal. If too much light enters, the gopher may plug the burrow with soil, filling the traps and making them ineffective. Check traps often and reset them when necessary. If a gopher is not caught within 3 days, reset the traps in a different location.

BAITING WITH TOXIC BAITS

The key to an effective toxic baiting program is bait placement. Always place pocket gopher bait in the main underground tunnel, not the lateral tunnels. After locating the main gopher burrow with a probe, enlarge the opening by rotating the probe or inserting a larger rod or stick. Following label directions, place the bait carefully in the opening using a spoon or other suitable implement that is used only for that purpose, taking care not to spill any on the ground surface. A funnel is useful for preventing spillage.

Strychnine-treated grain bait is the most common type used for pocket gopher control. This bait generally contains 0.5% strychnine and is lethal with a single feeding. Baits containing anticoagulants are also available. When using anticoagulant baits, a large amount of bait (about 10 times the amount needed when using strychnine baits) is required so that it is available for multiple feedings. Although generally less effective than strychnine baits, anticoagulant baits are preferred for use in areas where children and pets may be present. When using either type of bait, be sure to follow all label directions and precautions.

After placing the bait in the main burrow, close the probe hole with sod, rocks, or some other material to exclude light and prevent dirt from falling on the bait. Several bait placements within a burrow system will increase success. Tamp down existing mounds so you can distinguish new activity. If new mounds appear for more than 2 days after strychnine baiting or 7 to 10 days after anticoagulant baits have been used, you will need to rebait or try trapping.

If a large area is infested with gophers, a hand-held bait applicator will speed treatment. Bait applicators are a combination probe and bait reservoir. Once a burrow is located using the probe, a trigger releases a measured amount of bait into the tunnel. Generally, strychnine bait is used with such a bait applicator because the applicator dispenses only a small quantity of bait at a time.

EXCLUSION

Underground fencing might be justified for valuable ornamental shrubs or landscape trees. To protect existing plantings, bury hardware cloth or 3/4-inch mesh poultry wire 2 feet deep and extended at least 1 foot aboveground to deter gophers moving overland. This method is less than perfect, however, because gophers may burrow below the wire; also, the wire may restrict and damage root growth of trees. Small areas such as flower beds may be protected by complete underground screening of sides and bottoms. When constructing raised vegetable or flower beds, underlay the soil with wire to exclude gophers. Wire baskets to protect individual plants can be made at home or are commercially available and should be installed at the time of planting. If you use wire, use light-gauge wire for shrubs and trees that will need protection only while young. Leave enough room to allow for the roots to grow. Galvanized wire provides the longest lasting protection.

Six to 8 inches of coarse gravel 1 inch or more in diameter around underground sprinkler lines or utility cables may deter gophers.

NATURAL CONTROL

Because no population will increase indefinitely, one alternative to a gopher problem is to do nothing, letting the population limit itself. Experience has shown, however, that by the time gopher populations level off naturally, much damage has already been done around homes and gardens.

Predators, including owls, snakes, cats, dogs, and coyotes, eat pocket gophers. Predators rarely, however, remove every prey animal, but instead move on to hunt at more profitable locations. In addition, gophers have defenses against predators. For example, they can escape snakes in their burrows by rapidly pushing up an earthen plug to block the snake's advance.

The idea of attracting barn owls to an area for gopher control by installing nest boxes has been explored. Although barn owls prey on gophers, their habit of hunting over large areas, often far from their nest boxes, and their tendency to hunt areas with abundant prey, make them unreliable for gopher control. When a single gopher, which is capable of causing damage rapidly, invades a yard or garden, a gardener cannot afford to wait for an owl to arrive. Effective action, usually trapping or baiting, must be taken immediately.

HABITAT MODIFICATION

Reduction of gopher food sources using either chemical or mechanical methods may decrease immigration of gophers. If feasible, remove weedy areas adjacent to yards and gardens to create a buffer strip of unsuitable habitat.

OTHER CONTROL METHODS

Pocket gophers can easily withstand normal garden or home landscape irrigation, but flooding can sometimes be used to force them from their burrows where they can be dispatched with a shovel or caught by a dog. Fumigation with smoke or gas cartridges is usually not effective because gophers quickly seal off their burrow when they detect smoke or gas. But if you are persistent with and use repeated treatments, some success may be achieved.

No repellents currently available will successfully protect gardens or other plantings from pocket gophers. Plants such as gopher purge (Euphorbia lathyrus), castor bean (Ricinus communis), and garlic have been suggested as repellents but these claims have not been substantiated by research. Although there are many frightening devices commercially available to use on pocket gophers (vibrating stakes, ultrasonic devices, wind-powered pinwheels, etc.), pocket gophers do not frighten easily, probably because of their repeated exposure to noise and vibrations from sprinklers, lawnmowers, vehicles, and people moving about. Consequently, frightening devices have not proven to be effective. Another ineffective control method is placing chewing gum or laxatives in burrows in hopes of killing gophers

FOLLOW UP

Once pocket gophers have been controlled, monitor the area on a regular basis for reinfestation of the land. Level all existing mounds after the control program and clean away weeds and garden debris so fresh mounds can be seen easily. It is important to check regularly for reinfestation because pocket gophers may move in from other areas and damage can reoccur within a short time. If your property borders wildlands, vacant lots, or other areas that serve as a source of gophers, you can expect gophers to reinvade regularly. Be prepared to take immediate control action when they do; it is easier, cheaper, and less time-consuming to control one or two gophers than to wait until the population builds up to the point where the gophers are causing excessive damage.

REFERENCES

Case, R. M., and B. A. Jasch. 1994. Pocket gophers. In S. E. Hygnstrom, R. M. Timm, and G. E. Larson, eds. Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage. Vol. 1. Lincoln: Univ. Neb. Coop. Ext. pp. B.17-29.

Chase, J. D., W. E. Howard, and J. T. Roseberry. 1982. Pocket gophers. In J. A. Chapman and G. A. Feldhamer, eds. Wild Mammals of North America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. pp. 239-255.

Ingles, L. G. 1965. Mammals of the Pacific States: California, Oregon, Washington. Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press. 506 pp.

Salmon, T. P., and R. E. Lickliter. 1984. Wildlife Pest Control around Gardens and Homes. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 21385. 90 pp.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION  

Pest Notes: Pocket Gophers
UC ANR Publication 7433          

Authors: T. P. Salmon, Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, UC Davis and W. P. Gorenzel, Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, UC Davis
Editor: B. Ohlendorf
Technical Editor: M. L. Flint
Produced by IPM Education and Publications, University of California Statewide IPM Program

 

 

 

 

 

Bat Identification and Description

The only real flying mammals, bats have forelimbs that are developed as wings. Flying squirrels and other mammals that are credited with flight can only glide limited distances. Only bats are capable of actual flight.

Diet and Feeding Tendencies

North American bats are for the most part insectivorous, feeding largely on of flying insects, many of which are harmful to humans. While amounts vary greatly depending on the species the nightly consumption of insects by a bats colony can be extremely large.

Damage Possibilities

When bats take up residence in a building, they often enter through attic and roof vents chimneys, various conduits and even around windows. Discovery of a few bats in a house is frequently a problem, and can even decrease the value of the home.

There are several kinds of damage that bats can inflict on homes and buildings, including rub marks, and the presence of guano. Bat dropping cause an unpleasant smell, and is one that can even be detected outside of the structure that contains it. Smell is also a major problem when the animals die in hard to reach or inaccessible areas. Decomposition of both the guano and bodies can also attract insect and bug infestations as well.

Guano also provides perfect conditions for the development of microorganisms, many of which are harmful to humans. Accumulations can also result in stains on walls and ceilings, create safety hazards and collapse ceilings. Bat excrement may also contaminate stored food, commercial products, and work surfaces.

The presence of bat roosts near human living areas can result in excreta, animal dander, insect fragments, and various microorganisms entering air ducts. Such contaminants can result in airborne particles of public health significance (Frantz 1988).

When bats become a problem in your home or office building, it is often necessary to find professionals in your area with well established and safe techniques for removal in order to get rid of them.

 

 

Raccoon Control

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Raccoon Identification and Description

Highly intelligent animals, raccoons are mischievous and will eat nearly anything. Often additionally referred to as a coon, they are stocky mammals about 2 to 3 feet long, weighing between 10 to 30 pounds (although there are reported cases of raccoons being up to 40 or 50 pounds). Marked distinctively with a prominent black mask over the eyes and a heavily furred, ringed tail, raccoons' are typically salt-and-pepper gray, though some are actually yellow.

With the exception of higher elevations in the mountainous regions and some areas in the Southwest, raccoons are found all over the United States. They prefer hardwood forests, particularly those near bodies of water, however raccoons are adaptable and can also be found in human living areas like farmsteads and livestock watering areas. They create dens and nests in hollow trees, barns, abandoned buildings, haystacks and rock crevices.


Diet and Feeding Tendencies

Since raccoons are omnivorous, they adapt to the surroundings where food is readily available. When they begin to come into human territory, they gravitate toward areas where there is garbage or pet food left outside. They are known to consume poultry and birds when they are accessible, as well as their eggs. In garden and farming regions, raccoons feed on crops like watermelon and corn.

Damage Possibilities

Raccoons make nuisances of themselves and create damage in a variety of ways, and are fairly easily identified by their tracks. Damage to poultry farms by raccoons can be significant, as can the destruction of crops and gardens when raccoons find that food is easily attained.

Raccoons seek refuge in homes and businesses especially in attics or chimneys and in areas where garbage can be raided for food. In many urban or suburban areas, raccoons have adapted to make chimneys adequate substitutes for more traditional hollow trees. Often they will tear off shingles and destroy roofs so they can gain access to an attic or wall space.

To find earthworms and grubs, raccoons will even roll up freshly laid sod and may return repeatedly once they know the opportunity for food is in a specific area.

Recently identified as a significant host for rabies among wild life, reports of diseased animals have increased dramatically over the past 30 years. A lot of the increase in reports is directly related to a broadening of raccoon populations in the eastern United States.

When raccoons become a pest control problem in your area, it is important that professionals are located that are educated and practiced in their safe removal.

Click here for guidance in resolving your Raccoon Control problem in a professional, friendly and fast manner.


 

 

Skunk Control

Call today for Professional Skunk Trapping and Skunk Removal Services.

Skunk Identification and Description

Skunk Characteristics
The basic color of skunks is black and white. Other colors, such as brown and red, have been observed both in the wild and as a result of domestic breeding. The typical pattern seen in striped skunks is the white "V" down the back and a white bar running between the eyes from the forehead to the middle of the rostrum. Color pattern in wild skunks is highly variable and can range from completely black to completely white (non-albino).

Description
Skunks become a nuisance when their burrowing and feeding habits cause problems for humans. They may burrow under porches or buildings by entering foundation openings. Skunks dig holes in lawns, golf courses and gardens searching for grubs found in the soil. Skunk holes appear as small cone-shaped holes or patches of up-turned earth 3 to 4 inches in diameter. In agricultural areas, skunks damage can be identified in various ways. Skunk damage to corn is characterized by damage to lower ears while the stalks remain standing. When skunks kill poultry, they usually only take one or two individuals at a time and do not generally climb fences. Eggs are usually opened on one end with the edges crushed inward.

Control Tips
Only a hired professional should remove these animals safely and securely. Please contact us so we can assess the situation for proper removal.

 

 

 

Squirrel Control

Call today for Professional Squirrel Trapping and Squirrel Removal Services.

Squirrel Identification and Description

Known for their amazing climbing abilities, squirrels are rodents with large, bushy tails that vary in size and color depending on the species. Of the many species of squirrel most have natural habitats in all areas of the United States.

Squirrels prefer wooded areas where food is plentiful and easy to find. While they typically make nests in tree cavities, they also nest in leaves, twigs, bark and corn husks. As housing and commercial developments come closer to natural squirrel habitat, the animals take up residence in manmade living spaces and thrive as a result of readily available food sources.

Diet and Feeding Tendencies

Typically squirrels eat nuts, fruits and seeds, but in the event those foods are limited, they will also seek out bugs, bird eggs and even animal carcass. Squirrels are known to store nuts for later feedings in attics, wall cavities and chimneys. If they are living close to humans, dumpsters and garbage cans provide an easy and abundant form of food.

Damage Possibilities

When squirrels move into human territory, they make their way into homes, sheds, and businesses, under porches, decks, woodpiles and crawlspaces in order to nest. Squirrels will enter foundation openings to find nesting areas or even chew holes in foundations on their own. Damage occurs to chimneys, roofing vents and soffit areas when squirrels enter in order to have their young.

Squirrels often travel power lines in residential areas and end up shorting out transformers. They will gnaw through wires, and will occasionally damage lawns by burying and digging up nuts. They chew bark and clip twigs on trees and shrubbery. Squirrels are notorious for taking food at placed in feeders that is intended for birds. Sometimes they will chew larger openings in bird houses in order to prey on songbirds.

Squirrels are known to create power outages, and cause economic losses to homeowners forest managers and nut growers. There are squirrels that are vulnerable to numerous parasites and diseases. Ticks, mange mites, fleas, and internal parasites are common.

When squirrels become a pest control problem on your property, they can be both difficult to extract, and to discourage from returning. Professionals in your area that are trained with removal and deterrence techniques can help you to control populations and take steps so that they won't come back.

Click here for assistance in resolving your Squirrel Control situation in a humane, fast and safe manner.

  

 

   
           
   

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