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Archive for the ‘Rodent Problems’ Category

Rodents can cause plenty of problems in homes, yards and gardens.

Pesticide Poison Kills 2 Little Girls in Utah

Posted by animalcontrol on February 10, 2010

This article is about a tragic accident involving Fumitoxin, a fumigant used to kill pests such as voles.  The wrong combination of climate, moisture, and air pressure can force the toxin into places it shouldn’t go.  Like skunk odor, it can be pushed down or up with air flow.  In this case, it appears that the toxin was pushed into the home through cracks in the foundation or window wells or pipes or some other location, resulting in two deaths.

Family loses 2nd child in suspected pesticide poisoning

February 9th, 2010 @ 9:40pm

LAYTON — Three days after 4-year-old Rebecca Toone, of Layton, died from apparent exposure to a pesticide, her 15-month-old sister, Rachel, passed away. Both girls died after having similar symptoms just days after their home was treated to get rid of rodents.

Family heartbroken over loss of two daughters

“Heartbroken” is the word the Toone family used to describe their feelings Tuesday night. Rachel died despite what the family calls “heroic efforts to save her life following heart failure early Monday morning.

In a statement , the Toone family said: “We are heartbroken as we and our two older children mourn Rachel’s passing and that of her sister Rebecca, who died Saturday, February 6th. Their funeral will be held in the next few days, and we request the opportunity to quietly celebrate their lives with our friends and family at that time.”

The parents, Brenda and Nathan, along with two older siblings are mourning the loss of Rachel and Rebecca.

“They’re a great family, really great family. It’s really sad that this had to happen to them, because they’re just great,” said neighbor Jerry Lynn Smith.

Investigation hints at chemical application error

Both deaths come after a carbon-monoxide scare, followed by a realization that the problem most likely stemmed from toxic extermination pellets.

The family hired Bugman Pest and Lawn to treat their vole infestation on Friday. A Bugman technician used the chemical Fumitoxin in burrows around the Toone’s home.

The Fumitoxin applicator’s manual states that the pellets are not to be used within 15 feet of any building being occupied by people or animals, especially homes. But Lt. Col. Tyler Smith, of the Utah National Guard’s 85th Civil Support Team, says his team found remnants of the 1 and 1/2 pounds of the chemical, which translates into roughly 800 pellets, that was placed along the driveway and porch, coming within 3 feet of the garage door and about 7 feet of the front door.

According to Layton Fire Chief Kevin Ward, the pellets used mixed with water to release deadly phosphine gas. It apparently migrated from the soil into the home.

“There are some cracks in the foundation in the garage area. That’s where we suspect it had probably entered into the home in there. But we haven’t quite determined, we were unable to determine exactly where it went in,” Ward said.

Bugman has had problems with record keeping in the past


Extermination company defends technician, says manual is not law
According to the Fumitoxin manual, the chemical shouldn’t be used closer than 15 feet from any home or building; investigators detected it at 3 feet from the garage and 7 feet from the home. Still, the owner of the pest control company who deposited the chemical says the manual isn’t the law.

Exactly how many Fumitoxin pellets, and how many burrows they were placed, in isn’t known because the company president says the technician didn’t properly document it.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food says it has warned Bugman about bad record keeping in the past — leaving out important information in reports.

“[There’s] a list of a number of things they have to keep track of, and we did have that problem with them a couple of years ago,” said Clark Burgess, pesticide program manager for the Department of Agriculture.

Records indicate that both Bugman and the technician, Cole Nocks, have up-to-date licenses, which expire at the end of this year. Now, with two children dead, police have to figure out their next move. They say the district attorney’s office will likely be involved at some point in the discussion.

Lt. Quinn Moyes, of the Layton City Police Department, said, “Right now it’s a death investigation. We don’t know, and a decision hasn’t been made, whether there’s criminal charges or not. So right now it’s a death investigation.”

But Moyes did say there’s a potential for criminal charges in the future.

“Again, that has not been determined, but that’s a possibility,” he said.

Toone home declared safe; no word on when family will return

As for the Toone family’s home, hazmat crews have determined it is safe once again.

Crews dug up contaminated soil in the Toones’ lawn Monday and mixed it with water to get rid of the chemical they believe led to the tragedy.

The Toone family’s Layton home was declared safe by hazmat crews Tuesday

“We did excavate the area where the material had been placed, the area where the exterminator told us the material had been placed,” Ward said. “Our hazmat team took all the dirt from around that area to where they could see there was some residual from the pellets. So once we got all that out, we flooded the area with water because water helps it dissipate a lot quicker.”

They took readings Tuesday morning after letting the furnace operate normally overnight. No more traces of the gas turned up. Authorities say there’s no threat to the neighborhood or to the Toone family if they choose to return home.

We don’t know the family’s intentions. They’ve chosen to be very private in their grief and have asked to be left alone. The only family member we’ve seen was the little girls’ uncle. He briefly stopped at the home and then moved on without comment.


Story compiled with contributions from Nicole Gonzales, John Hollenhorst, Shara Park and Andrew Adams.


Posted in Animal Control, Rodent Problems, Vole Control, Wildlife Control, Wildlife Removal | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Beaver Damage

Posted by animalcontrol on August 6, 2009

F Minus
This comic by F-minus is a great illustration of the anger people feel over beaver damage and the lengths they will go to try to solve the problem.  I don’t know of anyone who has actually chained themselves to a tree, but waiting up all night isn’t unusual.  Actually, it is pretty easy to wait up all night when you are so worried about the beaver damage you will find in the morning that you CAN NOT sleep. 

And, since the “chain yourself to a tree” thing was practically invented by environmentalists, this comic illustrates a very real dilemma faced by many people who encounter beaver problems and beaver damage on their property. Do you save the trees?  Do you save the beavers?  What about when the animals’ activity floods your home?  Washes out bridges?  How far do you go?  

I can’t answer the question for each one of you, but I can tell you this.  I wouldn’t let a human vandal chop down my trees and shred the bushes.  Why would I let an animal vandal do the same thing?  Beaver damage can cost thousands of dollars and damage the habitat of other living things.  Who takes care of the birds that no longer have trees to nest in?  What about the trees themselves?  

It is OK to address beaver damage and work to get rid of the beavers.  You don’t have to let them destroy things, nor do you have to sacrifice yourself in the process.  Hire a professional beaver trapper who will get rid of the beavers on your property and prevent further beaver damage from destroying what you have worked to create, not to mention your peace of mind.

Nationwide Beaver Trapping Services: 1-888-488-1415

Posted in Animal Control, Beaver Control, Professional Trapping, Rodent Problems, Wildlife Control | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Gopher Golf in California

Posted by animalcontrol on June 16, 2009

Gopher digging and eating can destroy a lawn, garden or golf course.

Gopher digging and eating can destroy a lawn, garden or golf course.

What is it about gophers and golf?  Ever since the movie Caddyshack, and maybe before, people love to make jokes about gophers and golf.  There is a Gopher Golf video game and Gopher Golf Club Head covers from a variety of manufacturers.  But people with gopher problems know it is no joke.

My buddy Donald in California has been living with gopher problems for years.  His yard backs up to a golf course, which you might think was ideal, but the golf course sends him gophers and doesn’t want to take responsibility for it.  He has a yard full of migrant gophers and all his attempts to get rid of gophers on his own have failed.  He has tried to trap them, poison them and gas them, with limited success. 

The problem has grown worse through the years and now his once beautiful lawn, along with the shrubs and flowers, is destroyed.  He planted some new flowers this spring thinking that he got rid of gophers last fall, but no… the next morning the plants were sucked half-way into a hole and the next day the plant was gone–devoured by an insatiable gopher. 

He told me he is ready to try gas bombs, but I told him that without professional knowledge that really wasn’t safe, especially the Molotov Cocktail version he was planning on.  He agreed that maybe it was time to try professional help to get rid of the gophers.  What did he have to lose?  Well, if he uses a professional, all he has to lose is gophers.  If he tries the homemade bomb approach he could lose a whole lot more than that!

Posted in Animal Control, Animal Removal, Gopher Control, Rodent Problems, Wildlife Control, Wildlife Removal | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Raccoon Removal from Los Angeles Ceiling

Posted by animalcontrol on December 19, 2008

“I live in a trailer and have raccoons in my ceiling. I thought they were mice and have put mouse poison in my ceiling. I’m not sure if I have both up there but something has eaten a hole through my ceiling and my son said he saw huge feet and the snout of a coon peering through the hole.”

Here's the snoopy little critter who poked her nose where it didn't belong.

Here's the snoopy little critter who poked her nose where it didn't belong.

Rex W. of Los Angeles, California, described his problem to me this way:




These critters got so cozy in Rex’s home, he and his son felt like they were camping in the woods!  Raccoon removal became an urgent priority after they saw the animals’ feet and snout.


When Lance, an animal control technician whom I referred to Rex, arrived he set up a trap and caught two large rodents in less than 12 hours.  He then discovered something Rex and his son did not know—one of their animals was an expectant mother.  Had Rex waited a few more days, the problem would have been much more complicated.


Lance explained to Rex and his son that these animals, like rats and squirrels, often choose human homes when looking for a place to den up.  Our homes are attractive because they are warm, dry, safe, and food is in close proximity. 


This professional wildlife removal operator was able to clean up the mess, deodorize, sanitize, and repair the holes in the ceiling.  He also located the animals’ access points and sealed them off securely to prevent future squatters.  Fortunately the wiring had not been chewed up yet, so it was a relatively quick job.


Now Rex and his son are happy and comfortable in their home, which they have all to themselves.


It is a good idea to remove raccoons before they have babies, chew through your ceiling, or worse—start a fire.  Call me at 1-888-488-1415 to discuss a solution to your animal control problem. 

Posted in Animal Control, How to Get Rid of Raccoons, Professional Trapping, Rodent Problems, Wildlife Control, Wildlife Removal | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Attic Raccoon Control in Denver

Posted by animalcontrol on December 19, 2008

This guy probably just wanted to come in and warm up.

This guy probably just wanted to come in and warm up.

Here’s a letter I received from a couple in Denver, Colorado: 

Dear United Wildlife, 

We had a raccoon in our attic. We placed a live trap up there for two months and did not catch it. We put a radio in the attic to annoy it. We left the hole opened up hoping it would leave. We covered the hole hoping it would get hungry and get in the live trap. Nothing worked. To make matters worse, our house was for sale and we needed to really get rid of the raccoon fast.

We want you to know that when the technician you referred us to arrived, he answered all our questions about raccoon control.  He explained that this animal may have been caught before in a live trap and released, and was therefore trap shy.  He explained that when such rodents inhabit homes they hear music all the time, and that noise will not get rid of them. 

 He did an evaluation of the problem and determined the best location for a trap which, to our surprise, was not in the attic.  He knew exactly what to do and answered all our questions.

 Of course you know that people do not want to buy houses with animal problems.  Within 2 days of his initial visit, the wildlife control operator had the raccoon removed, the attic cleaned up and disinfected, and the access points sealed off.  We were able to sell our house 2 weeks later.  We want you to know that we appreciate and are very satisfied with the service, professionalism and courtesy we received from your company’s representative.


Luke and Tabitha H.



Posted in Animal Control, How to Get Rid of Raccoons, Professional Trapping, Rodent Problems, Wildlife Control | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

“Is there help for me?”– Rat Infestation in L.A.

Posted by animalcontrol on December 15, 2008

urats-in-bucketThat’s the question I sent Lance, an independent animal control technician in L.A., out to answer.  The question came from a woman with a rat infestation problem in Los Angeles, California.  Lance reported that he found the service address easily; an older home in an urban part of the city.  The woman of the house (I’ll call her May) met him on the porch and told him that she was slowly but surely being crowded out of her house by roof rats.


Lance did a quick inspection of the property and found that, indeed, the rats had pretty much taken over.  There were hundreds of them, and in every part of the house.  This poor woman was living in intolerable, unsanitary, and very dangerous conditions.


May went on to explain that she is a vegetarian animal lover, and she simply did not know how to handle the encroachment.  She still did not wish to kill the animals, but she was no longer able to tolerate their presence. She also indicated that she had several pets and so there was ample food and water available for the wild rats.


Lance could easily see that May’s house, being old and not wonderfully maintained, had many available entrances (which the rats apparently saw no reason to employ as exits!)  He outlined a plan with May to remove the roof rats from her house, and then to make modifications to the structure by way of sealing off all those access points.  He echoed May’s concern that the rodents’ gnawing would cause electrical damage and burn the place down.  He also made a plan to clean up the mess.


To make a long story short, Lance ultimately was successful at removing all the wild rats (he lost count after 30) and was able to seal up May’s home.  He got the house cleaned up, including the attic which was a total disaster of rat crap and nests.  Much of the insulation will have to be replaced, but at last May’s home is safe, sanitary, and rat free.








Posted in Animal Control, Professional Trapping, Rodent Problems | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Sewer Rats in Salt Lake City, Utah

Posted by animalcontrol on December 11, 2008

Me with one of my wildlife control technicians.

Me with one of my wildlife control technicians.

When you think of a sewer rat, do you think of wisdom and dry wit, like the rat had on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  If only all rodents were like Master Splinter (yes, sensei), I wouldn’t have to get rid of the little vermin.  If you have these creatures living anywhere on your property, you are definitely well aware that the cartoon Splinter character was the complete opposite of what you are dealing with.  


Sewer rats are called that because—you guessed it—they thrive in sewers.  They also do very well in dumps, canals, and rivers.  They are excellent swimmers and their long, coarse fur protects them from dampness and cold.  They have poor vision, sharp hearing and an advanced sense of smell.  What do rats eat?  Anything they can find.  Adult rats are usually between 7 and 11 inches long (tip to tail) and are a bronzy or tannish-brown color.  These particular rats are nasty, ugly, wild, and ridden with filth and disease.  Take action to get rid of them, or the problem will get worse.  They do not go away on their own.


I was hired recently to get rid of rats by man in Salt Lake who had sewer rats come up from the sewer line right into his toilet.  Yes, that’s right, HIS TOILET.  This guy was a tough-looking biker type, with tattoos and everything, the king of person that you’d expect could eat nails, you know?  He was so totally freaked out by seeing rats in his toilet, he had gone outside or to the neighbor’s place for a few days when he needed facilities.  After I trapped them and brought out the dead rats, he looked like he could breathe easier.  Rats and mice will do that to people.  I can’t really say I blame him.  I see a lot of gross stuff in my line of work, but rats in my home toilet would creep me out, too.


Don’t let that kind of scenario become yours!  Get rid of your pests NOW.  My company has dealt with all kinds of animals in all kinds of places, both urban and suburban environments.  Really, rats are all over the planet, literally everywhere but the arctic caps, and we will go to any lengths to exterminate them.  They arrived in America on ships with the early settlers and explorers and we have been waging war against them ever since, with their numbers only growing.  We get calls for rat control in Weber County, Davis County and Salt Lake County all the time, especially on the East Bench.  Our services are unmatched.


Our skilled technicians can perform an inspection for you to see if rats are your problem.  We provide safe, expert animal removal.  Call us as soon as possible so we can help you eliminate rats from your property. 








Posted in Animal Control, Professional Trapping, Rodent Problems | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »