Wildlife Resolutions was founded by Mike Merchant in 2009 and during this timeframe has assisted some “500” clients in removing unwanted guests from their home. I had the pleasure to work with Mike on two occasions this year as our home was invaded twice by Groundhogs. The final score was….Wildlife Resolutions 2 Groundhogs 0 as the critters found a new home in rural Lafayette County.
HottyToddy.com—Mike, squirrels are extremely visible in Oxford. Describe the species that we are mostly dealing with here.
Mike Merchant — The Eastern Gray Squirrel is the smallest species in the state. They are typically 8 to 10 inches long and have a 7 inch tail. They weigh a pound or slightly more. These critters have two litters each year with an average of three born between January and March and then again June through August.
HottyToddy.com — What is the potential damage they can cause for the homeowner?
Mike Merchant — The number one complaint is the noise factor. They are intense chewers and attack woodwork; siding; roofing and deface the property. They can chew pipes and electrical wires which can cause house fires. They can carry disease and create unwanted odors. Ticks and fleas often accompany them.
HottyToddy.com — Why do they target our homes and commercial buildings?
Mike Merchant — They are opportunists and seek out accessibility. The shelter the houses and buildings provide them from their predators such as hawks; owls; fox; raccoons; cats and dogs.
HottyToddy.comWhat about raccoons?
Mike Merchant—These animals are known to be carriers of rabies and can move into a home or building. They produce terrible odors from common latrines. They are also known for worm disease. They breed throughout the year with April,May the most common timeframe. They typically have 3-4 in a litter. They are highly aggressive and weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. They are able to use their front paws as human hands.
HottyToddy.com—Will a homeowner’s insurance policy be protection against these invasions?
Mike Merchant — Most policies will cover raccoons, but not squirrels as they are considered rodents.
HottyToddy.com—Do you ever get calls involving rats?
Mike Merchant — There are two different species…the Roof Rat and the Sewer Rat. The former is European and the the latter originated in Norway. The Roof Rat is slightly bigger than a squirrel. A homeowner can be alerted by noise and droppings. They like to tunnel through insulation.
HottyToddy.com—Mike, provide us with a recent story of one of your interesting successes.
Mike Merchant —In the Grand Oaks area the owners had been on vacation and had returned at night. They had been doing some work in their basement prior. The homeowner had gone into the basement and felt like he had stepped on an extension chord. It was actually a five foot snake. I was able to catch it using glue traps. The “peace of mind” for the family was significant.
HottyToddy.com— Mike, I keep forgetting all of the critters that you go after. Looking at the total picture from a 100% perspective, can you break down the calls for us?
Mike Merchant — I would say squirrels top the list at 35% with raccoons next at 25%. These two are followed by moles (20%); armadillos (5%); beaver (5%); groundhogs (4%); flying squirrels (3%); opossums (2%); and snakes (1%).
HottyToddy.com—Mike, please summarize what Wildlife Resolutions can do for us property owners.
Mike Merchant —We deliver a “quick response” to limit the damage. Our deliverables include peace of mind and safety for families and their pets. We also provide education to better protect the home and are proud of our reasonable approach in pricing and follow-up. We can perform insurance evaluations. And we are best associated with the humane removal/relocation of critters and controlling the population of undesirable animals.
HottyToddy.com— For those of us in need, how best to reach you?
Mike Merchant —Call me at 662-832-WILD (9453) or via email at wildliferesolutions@ yahoo.com.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford. Steve’s lifelong dream has been to live in Oxford full-time. “I am now living my dream daily as is my wife Rosie, who works with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce,” Steve said. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.