What’s that noise in the attic? Could be rats, bats, squirrels or raccoons. Who knows? But don’t just cross your fingers and hope they’ll go away or try to catch them yourself.
“It’s not as simple as setting a trap,” says Stefan Kuhlman, CFO, and co-founder of Houston-based Urban Jungle Wildlife Removal, LLC. “You have to know the critter you’re dealing with.”
Kuhlman knows his critters. A Houston native, he grew up fishing and trapping animals. He has a master’s degree in Biology from Baylor University. Urban Jungle consists of a team of wildlife biologists and each specialist has a bachelor’s degree or higher in wildlife biology or other related fields. Kuhlman started the company five years ago with two friends and they now have five offices in three states (Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma).
And it’s not just about knowing the animals and their patterns, wildlife removal companies should be licensed and bonded, and know the laws. There are state and federal laws protecting certain wildlife. Like bats.
“You may not even know you have bats in your attic until you’re out walking your dog one night and a neighbor says he saw a colony of bats fly out of your house that evening. Bats are federally protected,” he says, “if they are roosting in the walls or attic, we have to install one-way bat valves and seal up all other entrances and exits. Wait for them to leave and then seal the final openings and then we’ll clean and sanitize the area and we can do most repairs to any damage they’ve done.”
But there is one instance where they can do more.
“I got a call at midnight for three to four dozen bats flying around in this man’s living space,” says Kuhlman, who not only handles the administrative part of the company but also does wildlife removal himself. “Once they are in the living space, they are a direct threat to human health and safety, at that point, they are fair game.” Kuhlman spent the next hour with a net capturing all the bats.
But you might have any kind of animal issue, depending on the season and where you live.
“Squirrels can be a problem anytime,” says Kuhlman. “And springtime most animals are active. In Houston it’s often racoons, squirrels, bats, and snakes. In San Antonio and Austin, we have ringtail cats, and in Oklahoma we have ground hog problems.”
Urban Jungle can handle almost all of them, as well as removing dead animals, sealing and repairing the entry points, clean up and sanitizations, and even installing insulation to replace what was damaged by animals.
Often times A/C and plumbing companies won’t do repairs caused by animals in a home until they are removed. But Kuhlman remembers one case where the A/C duct was replaced before they were called.
“By the time we got there and caught the animals, they had eaten through the new work, and it had to be replaced again,” he says.
His best advice?
“Call sooner rather than later,” he advises. “Some animals have multiple nesting places. You may not hear them for a few days and think they are gone, but they’ll come back. They can do a lot of damage to insulation and ac lines. Don’t wait because it’s only going to get worse.”
For more information on Urban Jungle Wildlife Removal, call -833-732-0439 visit urbanjunglewildliferemoval.com.