A mouse in the house, a bird in the chimney, a bat in the bellfry – who do you call?

View from Campbell of Percolation Ponds and Coastal Hills

If you live near a creek, pond or lake, you may have more trouble with wild life

Recently I was in a Silicon Valley neighborhood forum where someone asked what to do about a mouse (“or something”) in the wall of a house.  For better or worse, I have a fair amount of experience with this both personally and professionally: birds in chimneys, mice and rats in homes (inside plus in the attics, walls, crawlspaces, and heating ducts) and even a bat that got into first an attic and then into the living area itself – that last story goes with the photo from a backyard in Campbell of a townhouse I sold some years ago.

Sometimes this can be a do-it-yourself project but often it’s better if you leave it to the professionals: a good termite & pest control company is normally going to be your best bet for removing rodents and other unwanted visitors and keeping them out.

What happens if you hire someone to get rid of your mouse, rat, bat, bird or other invading animal?

Usually it’s a 3-4 visit process over 3-4 weeks to catch the house guest, then do “exclusion work”, which means finding how it got in and making sure that or any other access points are cut off, then rechecking another time or two to make sure that the problem is taken care of.  (What you do not want to do is get a dead rat or mouse stuck in your wall, so the pros will usually use traps where they can retrieve them rather than poison in the house’s attic or crawl space.)  The cost is often a few hundred dollars for this multi-visit process. (more…)