Wildlife is all around us. Whether you live in Glen Burnie, Bethesda, or Rockville, not a day goes by without seeing at least one representative of the animal kingdom. It’s often fascinating and even awe-inspiring to run into them in the wild, but it can be scary and unsettling if the encounter happens inside your own home. Today, we want to talk about 2 Maryland animals that are common in our state and are beneficial to the environment but can wreak havoc on your home if they decide to move in.
Maryland is home to 10 species of bats. Bats are nocturnal creatures that leave their roost after the sun goes down and go hunting for insects. Each bat can consume over 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in just one hour! If you leave near a pond, a swamp or near woods, having bats in your neighborhood can be a huge blessing. They are the reason you can stargaze from your deck without being bothered. And the reason you can take your dog out before bed without coming back with 10 itchy bumps. Take a look at this video highlighting the importance of bats not only for your personal comfort but for the global agriculture and economy: www.youtube.com
However, bats can also become a nuisance when they take an opportunity to move into our attics. They use the attic during the daytime to rest and digest, which inevitably leads to piles of guano (bat poop). Now, considering that each bat can eat as much as their own weight in insects each night, imagine how much guano you will have from a colony of 50 bats. This guano can ruin your attic insulation, soak through the ceiling, and harbor dangerous bacteria. If you have bats in your attic, contact a bat removal professional to have them safely and humanely relocated. Remember, bats are protected by Maryland law, and killing them is illegal.
Yes, snakes! As menacing as they can look, some snakes are actually good to have on your property. For one, they help control the mice population, which means fewer mice thinking about moving into your home. Snakes can also be beneficial for your garden, as they eat slugs and small insects, helping keep your crops healthy and whole. Here is a great video showing a garter snake and explaining what it does for the environment: www.youtube.com
Unfortunately, not all snakes are this helpful and some are actually venomous. On occasion, a snake may chase after a mouse and get inside your home where it may decide to stay. Snakes are known to live inside walls, ceilings, and even air ducts. Large colonies of snakes can cause thousands of dollars in damage, because drywall generally has to be removed to clean out their nest. If you’ve encountered a snake in your home on more than one occasion, this could be the first sign of trouble. It could be a lost wanderer, but it’s also possible that you have an infestation. Contact us right away if you think you have snakes or bats in your home!