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Mess Under House

06.30.2005 - My job as a wildlife removal specialist requires that I go where the animals go - in order to trap them, to find out how they are entering a house and repair those holes, and to remove dead animals where they lie.  Oftentimes, I work underneath homes.  Here in Florida, many buildings are elevated due to the high water table and the chance for flooding and water damage.  Thus, many buildings have crawl spaces underneath, and these areas are very attractive to wandering critters in search of a home.

I often set traps underneath homes.  I often perform repairs underneath homes.  Repairing holes under houses is challenging, because I have to crawl in the dirt, with limited space and no light, and perform repairs while lying on my back.  I often wear a Tyvek suit in order to keep clean, and a headlamp so that I can see, and always a dust mask so that I don't breathe in too much dirt, and eyewear to stop debris from falling in my eyes as I lie on my back and work above me.

In the above photo, I am under a law office building, an old converted house.  It's a real mess under this place.  This is just one photo of a huge area that was an absolute pigsty of clutter.  I was called because there was a horrible odor in the building, and thus likely a dead animal under the house.  I sniffed around, and got under the house, and had to sort through this mess as I searched in putrid conditions.  Sure enough, after a while I found a stinking maggoty opossum carcass.  I removed it, and then I fixed the holes that led under the house in the first place. 

Remember, the most important step in a total wildlife control solution is to stop the source of the problem - if you have wild critters in your attic or home, the only way to permanently solve the problem is to close all the entry points! This is a special skill, and it requires extensive knowledge of both architecture and animal behavior. Being a skilled repairman also helps. All repairs should be done in such a way that keeps animals out for good - this often means sealing with steel, and sealing openings so that they are airtight, with no trace of airflow for animals to detect. Remember, rodents can gnaw through almost anything, and raccoons can tear through almost anything. While it's important to trap and remove animals, and clean up the waste they leave behind, the most important step in solving the critter problem and in keeping animals out forever is to identify and repair every last critter access point into the building. Without this crucial step, the job isn't complete.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Do Wildlife Repairs page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.

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