South Bend / Elkhart 574-825-1079 - Fort Wayne 260-632-5106
South Bend/Elkhart
(855) 500-4395
Fort Wayne
(855) 500-4395
South Bend/Elkhart
(855) 500-4395
Fort Wayne
(855) 632-5106

Spring has a reputation for fertility that isn’t just limited to plants. It’s also a time you can expect to see critters of all sorts giving birth and proliferating in large numbers. Unfortunately, a mild winter this year means some critters are getting amorous a little early, with babies already being born and numbers rising quickly. This can spell out big problems if they’ve chosen your home, office or property as the spot to raise their little (or not-so-little) family.

Mating Habits and The Weather

Baby raccoon in barn

Baby raccoon in barn with mom

Some creatures adhere to a strict mating season to add to their numbers – squirrels and raccoons, for example. Others can breed year-round if conditions are right. And while critter mating seasons can be tracked on our calendars, a more reliable predictor is the weather.

Critters that hibernate – squirrels, for example, typically start their breeding season upon awakening after the winter. In years where a mild winter occurs – like the winter experienced this past year (2018-2019) – you can expect them to awaken earlier and start breeding earlier.

Other critters rely on warm temperatures and longer daylight hours to trigger mating season; it’s a rather nifty biological feature that affords their offspring the best chance of not freezing to death. Critters like raccoons and rats are taking the warmer weather as an opportunity to go ahead and start adding to their numbers.

What This Means for Pest Populations

Pest populations during a mild winter can grow out of control early and very quickly. Because of unseasonably warm temperatures, some areas are already experiencing problems with squirrels, raccoons and even rabbits who have decided to start mating.

While this isn’t normally an issue in the wild, when these critters we call pests decide your home, office or other property is the ideal place to make a home and raise their young, problems arise. And since the little baby critters are coming earlier than expected, many people are at a loss as to what to do. If you’d intended to seal up cracks, crevices and points of entry before most critters started breeding, you might find yourself unexpectedly behind schedule.

How to Handle Sudden Population Explosions

Most critter infestations require a multifaceted approach. Because of the mild winter and early breeding season for some critters, you’ll need to trap and remove any parents and offspring first. Depending on the critter, this can be dangerous or even illegal for an untrained professional to undertake alone. You’ll then need to identify any points of entry and exit that let these unwanted roommates enter your space — a task that takes a keen eye and an ability to think like whatever pest you’re dealing with. You can also take steps to make your space as uninviting as possible for future pests who might see your attic, crawlspace or shed as their new digs.

How Critter Control Can Help

If a critter family have already decided to become unwanted tenants on your property, you may be at a loss as to how to handle them. Critter Control can help. Our wildlife specialists can help humanely, safely and legally trap and remove pests from your home. We can also help you identify the main points of egress – and the best way to seal up those spaces – to keep them from coming back. In addition to removal and exclusion, our pest control experts can also help deter others from seeing your space as their new spot.

Give us a call today at (574) 825-1079 to speak to someone about your early winter critter population boom and learn what we can do to help.