Raccoons in the attic, et al

Spring is here and the phone is jumping. Young of the year are born and almost ready to venture out into the world. Calls for baby woodchucks (groundhogs) have started as well as raccoons in the attic or chimney. Juvenile gray squirrels have been keeping me busy for a couple of weeks. Birds, especially sparrows, are getting into every hole imaginable. From now on, throughout the summer, bats and every other wild animal that reside in houses will be making themselves known. I haven’t seen any “juvie” skunks yet, but I know they are ready to follow their mothers on nightly foraging trips.

Today I removed three raccoon pups from a box in an attic in East Lyme. The mother ran off into an inaccessible corner of the attic and would not be prodded out. Traps await her exit.  I set some traps for gray squirrels in an attic too. I closed up a skunk job, that produced an opossum but no skunks. And a follow up visit to a customer that had raccoons in her attic last week, but the “footsteps” she heard turned out to be some loose vinyl siding that was slapping the soffet in the wind. The raccoons drove her crazy and she was terribly concerned that they had come back.

Tomorrow is another busy day, setting for more gray squirrels, two sparrow services, and hopefully picking up the mama coon and gray squirrels from today’s jobs. If anything interesting comes up, I’ll try to remember to take some pictures.



Wood Duck in the Fireplace

Over the years, I have removed a variety of birds from chimneys, fireplaces and wood stoves. Today the call was for a Crow in a fireplace. Once I arrived on site, the homeowner corrected his identification and said it was a Mourning Dove. At first I was disappointed, because I haven’t taken a Crow from a chimney yet. But Mourning Doves are cool too. As I approached the fireplace, I could see a bird bigger than a Dove, which quickly brought a smile to my face. It was a Wood Duck hen. I love removing Woodies. They are a beautiful bird, and in my experience, the only duck that goes into a chimney. As a tree nesting duck, I’m sure they just confuse an open chimney top with a hollow tree. This duck was quite alive and hissed at me a little as I tried to grab it. Once caught, I took a couple extra photos and released it on site. She didn’t stick around, and quickly navigated through the trees on her way to freedom.


F. A. Q.

Almost without fail, I’m asked some questions, over and over. I thought I would put some of the most asked in print.

1) How did I get into this business, and for how long?

Answer: Back in 1997, a friend of mine that worked at a Pest Control Co. asked if I would be interested in being a trapper for his area (eastern CT). I jumped in with both feet. Depleted our meager savings to purchase equipment, then waited for the calls to come. It took about four months to get the first two calls. It slowly grew from there to where I am today, sixteen years later.

2) How do you handle skunks without them spraying?

Answer: VERY CAREFULLY!  Some are more jumpy than others. I’d prefer to handle large, fall skunks. They seem to be more docile than any other time of the year. The winter breeders are unpredictable, with some being real agitated. The spring kits are cute as can be and really have no essence to spray. The worst are the summer time “teenagers”. They would rather spray anything that moves.

3) What is the worst or hardest animal I’ve had to deal with?

Answer: I don’t find any of them particularly off the wall hard. Obviously, the skunk will make me stink sometimes. Any day that I don’t get bit or sprayed is usually a good day. There are times when ladder work can be difficult though. High, steep roofs, power lines and hot summer temps will drain the life out of me.

4) What is the most unusual animal I’ve caught?

Answer: A weasel in a ceiling. I was 100% sure that the target animal was a red squirrel, but to my surprise, a weasel was caught about a week into the service. Problem solved.

5) What do you do with the animals you catch?

Answer: I follow state law and guidelines. Some animals such as raccoons and skunks, must be humanely euthanized once removed from the site. This is to prevent the spread of rabies, distemper and other potential diseases common to those two animals. Squirrels, opossums and woodchucks may be released in suitable habitat, or euthanized humanely. I try to release healthy animals whenever possible, but it depends on the type of traps I use, or if the animal is too young to survive on it’s own. I also don’t want to over saturate a release area, since there are already animals there to compete with.


Skunks Smell Bad

Only a couple weeks into the skunk breeding season, and I’ve been sprayed at least three times this week. The striped weasel is an unpredictable opponent at times. Covered, uncovered, doesn’t seem to matter sometimes. Some are so docile, they could care less if dropped. Others, they act harmless until I’m within range. Then they strike with a stream of yellow oily mist, precisely, but without warning or movement. Cunning little creatures.

The catch count is at 18 since the last week of January, with three to four weeks to go before they go back to sleep until spring. I hope for a scentless remainder of the season.


Love is in the air…

From mid January to late March, the breeding seasons are in full swing. Squirrels, raccoons, fox and coyotes, and especially skunks are looking for mates.

By now, the squirrels should be bred, but the skunk calls are really picking up. The peak breeding for skunks should be right around Valentine’s Day, continuing into mid March. You may be seeing tracks in the snow, as the males seek out the females that are still in the burrows. Fighting between males, females not quite ready, and possibly the act of mating itself, may produce some awful smell coming from under your steps, porch or deck, and shed.

After an 8 week gestation, the females will give birth and will stay with the litter non-stop for a week or two. Then they will venture out at ANY time of day to refuel in order to feed the young kits, usually late April or early May. At this time, we get calls from concerned people thinking that a skunk seen during the day must be rabid. Not necessarily true. Skunks, like other nocturnal animals may be seen during the day all year long, but especially during the raising of young.

When the young animals start coming out, I will update more frequently as I can.


Welcome to our new blog

Welcome to our new website. My name is Brian Mongeau. I started this family owned and operated Wildlife Removal / Wildlife Control business, in May 1998, while working full time at a regular job. My full time hours allowed me enough time to work with the wildlife after my shift ended. For the first year, it was a part time endeavor, but it was enough to get my feet wet and learn all I could about wildlife native to Connecticut, and also to Rhode Island. Since I’m also an avid outdoorsman, the learning curve was not too difficult.

To read more, go to my website …  http://www.animalevictions.com