This page contains a list of wildlife we are able to manage as well as those that we must refer to local animal control, Colorado Division of Wildlife, and those protected by Colorado state law.
CritterGitterz does not promote nor participate in any kind of illegal or harmful activities towards wild animals. All solutions and recommendations in the treatment of wild life will be for the best option that the animal will have to survive and thrive in a new environment away from population.
The Skunk: There are four species of skunks in Colorado: striped, hog-nosed, eastern and western spotted. The most common in the Denver metro area is the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). All four skunks are armed with a musk gland that can spray mucus like liquid from under their tail. Most of us in Colorado are familiar with this animal and know to stay away.
The Skunk has adapted well in the city and will raid garbage cans, cat bowls and even go after the fish in personal ponds. Being nocturnal, they are good at going after mice and are rarely seen. However they never go unnoticed when they’ve sprayed the neighborhood dog. Because they are not good at climbing they make their home under ground. Sheds, concrete patios and detached garages are often homes for skunks. When a skunk makes a home, they will fight to keep it. Many people erroneously attempt to rid themselves of a skunk by using moth balls and ammonia. A skunk has to be physically removed. If given a chance the female will give birth to four to six young. During this period the mother can stay dormant for several weeks giving care to her young and will make an appearance soon after. It is easy to forget about the skunk during this period of time, but do not be fooled into thinking the skunks have vacated.
No matter the type of skunk, all types can carry rabies and/or fleas which can carry the plague. Having these animal removed is important to keep the community safe and disease free.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an omnivore nocturnal mammal. This mammal weights around 20 lbs fully grown and lives an average of 2-3 years. It will eat a wide variety of food, including: frogs, earthworms, mice, eggs of any kind and almost anything organic that is left outside in the garbage cans. Their habitats range from Canada, the continental U.S. and Mexico.
Raccoons will make a home in any place big enough for them to get comfortable. Places such as; hollowed out logs, large trees, attics of any building. When it comes to giving birth, a wood burning fire place is the place of choice for the mom. The female will give birth to 1-7 young after being pregnant for over 60 days. The” Cubs” or “Kits” are completely dependent on the mother. Blind and hairless they will nurse for several months before venturing out with mom to learn how to survive. They will stay with the female for 4-10 months before leaving to start their own family.
Raccoons in the attic of a home can be very disturbing when trying to sleep. They will walk around above head and have been described as sounding like an elephant on the roof. While in the attic they will make specific areas to sleep, play and even go to the bathroom. They, like squirrels, will mat the attic insulation down to nest, leaving the attic less efficient. Although raccoons are excellent at chewing they tend to stay away from the wiring.
Having them removed immediately will help save a house from a large amount of damage and help keep families safe from rabies, fleas or even getting bit. All of these illnesses/afflictions are possible when raccoons are living in and around a home. Trapping will take several days because the process of making sure all of the raccoons are out is difficult and takes time. After the traps are removed, repairing the area where they got in is of great importance in order to keep any more from coming back in.
The Fox squirrels(Sciurus niger) are very common in the Denver metro area. Because these cute animals are fun to watch and feed, they can mislead people into thinking that they are harmless. These mischievous critters will get into any bird feeder, dog dish, trash can or even an open door to the house if given the chance They prefer to raid the nearest bird feeder and live in a warm attic over a cold tree near by. The more we, as humans, interact with the squirrels, the more they get use to us and feel comfortable enough to stay. They will find any way possible to get into the attic of a house. Once they find a gap in the roof line, they can chew until the gap is big enough to enter. Gaps in the gutter line or pushing through screens in attic vents are other methods of entry for these animals. The Fox Squirrel is the largest squirrel in Colorado but, can still climb almost any surface that it faces. Brick, stucco, wood and concrete aren’t a problem for them to scale up. All homes can be a target, regardless of their construction.
The female Fox Squirrel will have two litters a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Conception generally happens in January to early February. A few weeks later, 1 to 6 pups can be expected with 4 pups delivered being the most common occurrence. After being nursed for two months, the pups venture out and will leave to start their own families.
Once the squirrel finds a new home in the attic of a house, it will make noise early in the morning and as late as 11 PM. This is very disruptive and can wake sleeping children. The insulation will be flattened down and moved out of place. This will lead to inefficient homes and expose wires to the electrical outlets and light switches. Once the wires are exposed, the pups as well as the adults can chew on them causing a potential fire hazard.
Having the squirrels removed as soon as possible is highly recommended but, this process can sometimes take several weeks. Incorporating live traps and relocating these squirrels to a new “squirrel friendly” environment is part of what we do at CritterzGitterz Inc.
The grasshopper mouse is a meat-eater, hunting insects, worms, lizards and other mice. In spite of its very distinguishable eating habits as opposed to other mice , the grasshopper mouse looks like a common mouse, just a little larger. The body is generally about five inches long with a two-inch hairy tail, big ears and grayish-brown fur with white underparts. Grasshopper mice are common nearly statewide in dry grassland, sagebrush and scrub habitats.
The deer mouse is the most common mammal in North America. In Colorado, this mouse is found in almost every habitat wherever a little bit of cover and some sort of food are available. Seeds make up about three-quarters of the deer mouse diet, but these mice will eat almost anything, including fungi, leaves, and insects. The deer mouse provides food for all sorts of predators, from owls to foxes to coyotes, and even to the grasshopper mouse.
Voles don’t look like the typical rodent with a pointed nose, slim body and long tail. Their heads almost merge with their bodies into one plump, round form. Their eyes and ears are very small seeming to disappear in their fur, and their tails are short and stubby. Voles are larger than the house mouse with adults measuring up to five inches in head and body length. These rodents are blackish-brown to grayish-brown. Voles are also known as meadow mice. Because they do not climb well, voles are almost always found around the lower levels of buildings. They make a well-defined system of tunnels that most often are found under vegetation. Sometimes these tunnels are found just below the surface. Voles are also known to surround the trunks of fruit trees, which very often results in the death of the tree.
The Wood Rat is a big-eared, bushy-tailed rodent that dwells in the mountains of Colorado. It is found in Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine and aspen forests and even on rocky slopes above timberline. It is better known as the pack rat because of its drive to collect things, particularly shiny items, and store them in its big, messy nest.
Ord’s Kangaroo Rat
These rats are found on dry prairies, shrub-land, pastures or other dry habitats. Sometimes in the moonlight you may be able to see busy kangaroo rats bouncing around on their hind legs like tiny kangaroos. They have soft brown coats and big brown eyes, along with long tails. They harvest seeds from grasses and plants, using their tiny paws to put the seeds into their cheek pouches.
All rodents can carry many diseases and will urinate and defecate in any and all areas that they are found.
Norway or Sewer Rat
The Norway or sewer rats commonly carry fleas and can live in or around houses that are close to water. These rodents are nocturnal and are rarely seen by humans. They are very cautious animals and will steer clear from anything new placed in there living areas.
Dealing with rodents immediately will keep pets and humans safe and healthy.
The Cottontail is a common small rabbit of North America which is about 15 to 19 inches in length and weighs two to four pounds. Males and females are basically the same size and color, appearing gray or brownish with a short tail and big ears. Cottontails tend to live in bushy fence rows, brush or junk piles, thickets, field edges or landscaped backyards where food and water are suitable. Underground dens are generally used only in extreme cold or wet weather and to escape predators. They survive well in the suburbs and get all they need for food, water, and shelter there.Cottontails are most active at dawn and dusk. In the spring and summer they eat grasses and leafy plants and in the fall and winter they eat buds, twigs, bark, and young trees. Rabbits spend their entire lives in as area of 10 acres of less. They breed from April to September and usually have three to four litters of about five babies during that time period.
Rabbits can get rabies, or even be hosts to ticks that carry Lyme disease, although this is not extremely common. The most common conflict between humans and rabbits comes from damage to gardens and shrubbery. Rabbit damage is characterized by a sharp 45-degree angle feeding cut. In winter, rabbits will feed on fruit tree bark and ornamental plants, including evergreens, which are a favorite. Tulips, roses, apple, raspberry, cherry, plum and mountain ash, are eaten regularly in spring and summer. Rabbits can be excluded from gardens with wire fencing buried shallowly in the soil. Holes in fencing should be no larger than ½ inch.
CritterGitterz no longer offers live trapping but continues to provide habitat modification and exclusion work in and around the area/s where rabbits visit.
Prairie dogs are a type of squirrel, not dogs as the name would suggest. Three species live in Colorado; the black-tailed prairie dog, the white-tailed prairie dog and Gunnison’s prairie dog. These species are identifiable by their respective black, white and gray tails. They are smaller than marmots, but larger than any other short-tailed ground squirrels.
Prairie dogs are 16 to 20 inches long and may weigh up to two pounds in the fall, when they are the heaviest. Predators include badgers, coyotes, hawks, eagles and black-footed ferrets. Their burrows are up to 13 feet deep and 80 feet long with one or more volcano-shaped entrances. Some prairie dog “towns” can cover several hundred acres, distinguished by hundreds of the volcano-shaped entrances, and noisy territorial barking. Prairie dogs eat grasses and other vegetation, sometimes causing range land damage.
White-tailed and Gunnison’s prairie dogs are deep hibernators, but black-tails in Colorado simply go dormant in cold winter weather and arouse to feed in warm spells. Prairie dogs mate in early spring and have two to ten pups after a gestation period of four to five weeks. Prairie dogs have been known to carry fleas and fleas can carry the plague. Having the animals removed or treated will help keep many pets and people safe when these animals start to live to close to housing developments.
Call CritterGitterz for ways we can help with any size prairie dog town.
There are eighteen species of bats known in Colorado. Sixteen of these are in the family Vespertilionidae, or the so-called common bats, which has over 300 species. It is the largest family of bats in the world. Almost all members of this family are insect-eaters, and most those are also cave-dwellers. The other two species of bats in Colorado come from the Molossidae family, which has over 80 species worldwide, most of which are in tropical and subtropical regions. The tails of these bats extend further than the edge of the uropatagium, which is the rear end of the animal between the two hind limbs. That is why this family of bats is commonly called free-tailed bats. Some species have short, velvety hair and congregate in groups of millions.
Some bats are not opposed to living in buildings and even homes. The most frequent human encounters with bats is their uninvited appearance in houses, usually entering through un-screened windows or chimneys. If noises in the attic or chimney are coming from bats, the best long-term solution is exclusion. To exclude bats from a structure, all holes must be located and sealed with siding, screen, or caulking. Bats are smaller than they may seem and can wiggle their bodies in anywhere their head will fit. This means that cracks as narrow as one-quarter inch will allow even medium sized bats in. Some of bats favorite ways to enter structures are through loose, warped or shrunk boards, through loose vents, eaves, cracks under loose flashing, spaces around water pipes and electrical wiring, beneath corrugated roofing, and around poor-fitting doors and windows.
Bats do help us keep our insect populations in check, but keeping them around also comes with some potentially dangerous risks. Some bats carry rabies. You should especially avoid grounded bats, or ones that will allow you to easily handle them, for these are most likely sick or injured and should be avoided by untrained people, as should all wild animals. If you find piles of mouse like fecal material in your attic or on the ground outside your house, then you probably have bats. Bat guano, or droppings, can carry a fungus known to cause Histoplasmosis, an infectious disease caught by inhaling the spores of the fungus. Do not breathe in the feces and avoid contact with them. You can distinguish between bat droppings and mouse droppings in two ways. First, bat droppings are generally clustered together, piled up below where the bat is roosting. The second way to distinguish them is, bat droppings have a shiny spotted appearance from all the insect wings they have digested, and will crumble when touched. Mouse droppings on the other hand, are generally scattered about and become hard when dry.
CritterGitterz offers many ways to deal with bats, many ways do not involve any chemical impact on the environment. We can remove the bats and keep them out of most areas under 30′ without any harm to them. Please call or e-mail to email@example.com for more information.