Critter Control franchise can eliminate pest insects and wildlife

Do you have a stray bug in your house? Thanks to a new service, residents have another option to ensure nuisance wildlife is removed safely and humanely.

Critter Control’s Mansfield franchise became operational last week, according to local business owner Laucke Hooper.

The franchise will serve Richland, Ashland, Holmes, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties.

“Ohio is teeming with wildlife and we want to do our part to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable,” Hooper said. “I am honored and excited to lead Critter Control’s operations in Mansfield and surrounding counties. I look forward to handling wildlife issues and keeping the community safe.”

From armadillos to mountain beavers

Critter Control was founded in 1983 and is an industry leader in eliminating rodents, raccoons, bats, birds and other pests, according to Alex Deckard, director of search engine optimization at the company.

“We’re across the country,” Deckard said. “We are in 38 states and Canada.”

Guests across the country all have issues with raccoons, squirrels, rats, mice, and bats, but there are animals unique to each region and, in some cases, each state.

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South Florida regularly has problems with iguanas and the entire southwest region of the country sees a lot of armadillos. Los Angeles tends to be a hot spot for rabbits.

“Seattle has something called mountain beavers,” Deckard said. “It’s something very unique in this region.”

Ohioans might not see animals unique to the region, but Hooper pointed out that some animals are illegal to handle if not done properly.

Laucke Hooper opened a Critter Control franchise in Mansfield.

“We have Canada geese and bats, and they’re federally regulated,” Hooper said. “There are laws we have to follow.”

Lifelong interest in animals

Wildlife has been a lifelong passion for Hooper. He lived between Wooster and Akron most of his life.

“My dad in the Marine Corps was a tracker,” Hooper said. “He and I used to go out when I was a kid and do trail riding. I’ve always been into animals.”

He caught a raccoon when he was little and kept it as a pet, long before he knew about the regulations that govern certain wild animals.

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“If I could catch him, I tried to make him my pet,” Hooper said.

Now he’s a professional who can help homeowners ensure that all stray creatures are disposed of safely, humanely and legally.

He can also ensure that the infested area is disinfected and assess and seal buildings so that no future break-ins occur.

Wild animals can be dangerous to untrained people

The local office takes care of all insects and animals in Ohio, before and after they enter a building.

The company recommends that customers call before harmful creatures are discovered to put a plan in place in advance.

“We are sealing off all possible entrances that animals can enter,” Hooper said. “If he has legs and lives in Ohio, Critter Control takes care of that.”

Pretreating a home or other building could help prevent a lot of future stress.

“You have to understand that a female mouse in your house, as long as there’s a male, can deliver 360 babies a year,” Hooper said. “If you have two females, you can have over 700 mice in your house in a year.”

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If insects or animals are already inside a building, the company will remove them and then assess the location.

“We have systems where we’re not only able to take them out of the facility, but also make sure they can’t come back in,” Hooper said.

The company also inspects the property after a wild animal has been removed to ensure there are no diseases or other infections left behind.

“The majority of all your wildlife carry mites or fleas, if they have fur,” Hooper said.

He remembers a house where a bat had been removed, then later discovered that there were five buckets of guano inside the walls that needed to be removed. Bat droppings were poisonous to humans and required special handling.

Animals themselves can even be dangerous to humans if not handled properly.

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“Squirrels are aggressive,” Hooper said. “They have little sharp teeth.”

And of course, everyone knows that skunks can leave behind an unpleasant odor for days if disturbed.

Even if an animal looks good, it can still have the potential to transmit dangerous diseases if it bites a human.

“If I have to remove a bat from a house right now, I’ll send it in for testing,” Hooper said. “Rabies is certainly one of those diseases that is transmitted through populations.”

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Twitter: @zachtuggle

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