Our latest blog takes a look at which animals call for specialized removal from organisations that don't fall under common pest control services.
The distinction between what is considered a pest and what isn’t has - in the past - been quite confusing for me, and I know many that share the same sentiment. (Find out more on how we classify a pest in the blog post: The definition of a pest). How do you know when to call pest control?
We have often received calls asking us to remove certain “pests” from people’s homes, only for the caller to find out that the particular pest animal is protected and therefore pest control operators aren’t the best people to call in that situation.
In this blog we hope to shed some light on the subject and provide some insight as to which critters call for specialized removal from organisations that aren’t necessarily pest control services.
Bats in Your Belfry?
The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) states that South Africa has 56 recorded species of bats; 20 of those species of insectivorous bats and 2 species of fruit-eating bats are listed as threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Of these 9 are listed as either Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable, meaning that they face a high risk of extinction in the wild.
In addition to being a threatened species, bats are more gentle than you think. Read our blog “Bat basics: dispelling some myths about these gentle mammals”. Bats don’t hunt humans, nor do they eat your hair like urban myth would have you believe!
Hiring a pest control company that claims to catch and release bats doesn't really solve a bat problem, as bats have been noted to travel as far as 600 km to return to their home. It would be better to simply seal off entry to wherever they are nesting, while providing an alternative nesting place by placing a bat box in your garden. And the bonus is that if you do that, bats will even help solve your real pest control problems by eating certain insects.
Should bats invade your home, please do not call a pest control company but rather call any of these organizations below:
- Your local SPCA
- Rewild Bat Rehabilitation Centre: 082 457 7297
- Friends of Free Wildlife: 082 561 3681
- Wildlife in Crisis: 072 124 4156
- Wild and Free: 079 988 5748
Snakes In My Garden!
Snakes are shy creatures, which is why they aren’t commonly found in residential areas. If you see one, it’s likely that they are simply passing-by as quickly as possible. Snakes tend to avoid contact with people and will therefore steer clear of you and your pets.
On the off chance you do encounter a snake, we advise that you seek assistance from an organisation dedicated to reptiles, as they will help remove them humanely and have the specialized skills to do so.
Here are organisations you can call for assistance with snakes:
- Your local SPCA
- African Snakebite Institution +27 82 494 2039
When dealing with a snake we advise that you remain calm as most South African snakes are harmless and not aggressive unless provoked.
Other Critters Mistaken For Pests
Other critters that we think should be removed without killing or calling a pest control company include:
- Reptiles (such as lizards, geckos, chameleons etc.)
- Any domestic pet (you’d be horrified at just how many people poison pets that invade their premises)
Should you encounter any of these animals your safest option is to call your local NSPCA or any of the contacts listed in the blog instead of calling your local pest control service or killing them. Find out about our prices and services here.
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