Protecting Your Home From Wildlife This Spring

Protecting Your Home From Wildlife This Spring

Spring is getting closer, along with the warmer weather and the mating season for many animals. Birds, squirrels, groundhogs and many other animals mate in spring. Others like bats and raccoons have mated during fall or winter and are now ready to welcome new family members. What does this mean? The term “nesting” describes it all. Also applicable to humans, this term essentially means to ensure safe and suitable conditions for the babies. And for animals this often means setting up a nest in your attic, under porch, in the shed or elsewhere on your property. How do you prevent this? Here are a few tips from our Maryland wildlife removal specialists.

Don’t Disturb Existing Nests

If you keep up to date with home maintenance, soon you will probably dedicate a weekend to cleaning up your yard from winter debris, pruning trees and taking out your patio furniture. As you move things around, watch out for existing animal nests under brush, in the trees or in the ground under your firewood stack or the pile of lawn chairs. If you disturb a nest, for one you may endanger the family living there. And you could also send the animals looking for an emergency shelter, which could happen to be your attic or your shed.

Check Chimneys and Vents

All sorts of critters like to nest in chimneys and vents. Birds are some of the most common offenders, but squirrels and raccoons can also get comfortable in these tight spaces on occasion. Walk around your home and check your dryer vent, gable vent or other appliance vents for any visible damage. It’s possible there are already nests in there. If not, make sure that all vent covers are intact. If you don’t have vent covers installed, now is the time to install them! There are also vents on your roof. Be careful if you decide to check those yourself. Or you could always hire a roofer—it’s probably about time to inspect the whole roof to make sure there is no damage from snow and ice.

Inspect Your Attic

As you climb up to your attic this spring to take out Easter decorations, carefully look around. See if you find animal droppings or see a pair of shiny eyes in a corner. Don’t try to approach an animal if you find one—it’s best to call an animal removal expert like Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control. If you don’t find any wildlife in your attic, that’s good—let’s keep it that way. Examine the roof from the inside and look for gaps where light comes through. While all attics are ventilated, you shouldn’t see any visible holes or gaps, especially on the top portion of the roof. If they are present, this could mean that either your roof has deteriorated or it was damaged by wildlife or the elements. Get it fixed as soon as possible! Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the backyard wildlife in the wild this spring. And if you do encounter a problem, you know you can always rely on us to remove the nuisance wildlife from your property safely and humanely!

Preventing Problems With Nesting Birds

Preventing Problems With Nesting Birds

March is just around the corner, which means birds are about to start building nests and laying eggs. Many birds are fine living in trees, but others prefer cavities or look for more secure dwellings, such as your gutters, vents, etc. Allow our Maryland bird removal specialists to show you how you can keep the nuisance birds away this spring. But first let’s go over why this is even necessary.

Why Nesting Birds Can Be Dangerous

When a bird like a sparrow or a starling builds a nest, it gathers twigs, leaves, feathers and other materials in can find. Now imagine if these twigs and leaves are stuffed inside your dryer vent. This will restrict the airflow and may even cause your appliance to overheat and break down. In rare cases, clogged dryer vents may result in a fire, especially if the vent was already packed with lint which is extremely flammable.

How to Keep Birds out of Vents

The first thing you need to do is inspect the exterior of your home. Look inside the vents, such appliance and plumbing vents on the roof or the side of your house. Also check the tops of gutters and downspouts as well as your attic. If you find a nest, it could be one left from last year or it may be newly built. Either way, now you know where birds are likely to be a problem. Once you determine that there are no birds present in a particular vent, it’s time to install a vent cover. There are plenty of commercial vent covers available in stores and online, or you could use a wire mesh.

Signs of Nesting Birds

If you didn’t take any of the precautions and now you think you may have bird nests in your vents, here are a few ways to confirm. Leave your bedroom window open overnight and see if you get woken up early in the morning by birds. If you have birds in vents or gutters, right after sunrise you would hear tweeting, as well as scratching noises. The sound of bird nails clutching to the metal gutters is hard to miss. But what if the birds are mostly quiet and you can’t tell for sure whether you got a problem or not? Walk around the outside of your house and visually inspect the vents. Look for any nesting materials sticking out of vents or bird poop on the ground under the vent. Need help getting rid of nuisance birds? Give Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control a call today for bird removal in Maryland!

A Better Way to Solve Your Bat Problem

A Better Way to Solve Your Bat Problem

Many people get scared, scream and sometimes even panic when they see bats coming out of their attic. Indeed, this can be an unsettling spectacle. However, picking up a tennis racket or a BB gun and starting to shoot or smack the bats down is not the way to go. At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we always advocate for humane and safe animal removal, especially when it comes to bats. And here is why we do this and how you should solve your bat problem.

Bats Are Good to Have Around

Do you enjoy spending summer evenings and nights outside? Would you like to continue doing this without becoming a meal for mosquitoes? Bats can help. They eat thousands of insects every night they fly out to feed. It’s truly incredible how many insects they can consume in one night—anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 for a single bat! Bats are also natural insecticides for crops grown both commercially and residentially. Farmers love having bats around as they help keep the pest insects at bay.

Bats Are a Protected Species

All 10 species of bats that call Maryland home are protected by the Maryland law. This means you are not allowed to harm or remove bats unless you’ve been licensed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. In fact, in the most recent 10-year action plan draft for wildlife conservation in Maryland, all local bat species are listed as in need of protection. Many bats are dying on their own because of the deadly white nose syndrome rampant throughout the East Cost and the mid-Atlantic region. Conservation of bats is in everyone’s best interest, even if they took up a residence in your attic. So how should you approach bat removal then? We recommend bat exclusion.

What is Bat Exclusion?

Rather than physically removing bats from your attic, our Maryland technicians prefer to allow the bats to exit on their own. They fly out to feed every night anyway, so why not use this natural habit? We use special exclusion devises that attach to the bat entrance points. These devices are designed to allow the bats to exit but not return. When a bat tries to enter your attic after returning from its feeding frenzy, it simply can’t find the way to do it and is eventually forced to leave. However, there are rules regarding bat exclusion and it should only be done during certain times of year. When bats have babies, these little bats can’t fly for a few weeks. Flightless bats won’t exit the attic with the rest of the colony, and you risk sealing them in if you are not careful. That’s why it pays to hire a professional for a smooth and stress-free bat exclusion both for you and the bats. If you want to keep the bats around but not inside your home, consider installing bat boxes or bat houses. These are low-profile wooden structures that provide plenty of room for bats to roost during the day. Contact us today for professional bat removal in Maryland!

Groundhogs Are Waking Up in Maryland

Groundhogs Are Waking Up in Maryland

Groundhog Day is behind us, which means groundhogs are starting to wake up throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania. Although they don’t have their alarm clocks set for February 2nd, beginning of February is generally when groundhogs first emerge from their hibernation. You may be asking what it has to do with you, besides the early spring predictions. If you have a large property, grow a garden and notice groundhogs in February, this should definitely concern you. Let our Maryland groundhog removal experts explain why!

Groundhogs Looking for Love

As they first emerge in February, male groundhogs venture out to locate a female they can later mate with. They may show up by the female’s nest a few times “courting” her, but then they go back to hibernation because it’s too early to mate. Mating happens in early March through April, and just one month later the female gives birth to 2-6 baby groundhogs. By the end of summer, these babies are typically independent enough to make their own burrows.

Why Groundhogs Are a Nuisance

Some people don’t mind groundhogs, but for many Maryland residents, these animals are a nuisance when the choose to build a burrow nearby. It mostly has to do with where they live and what they eat. As groundhogs dig their underground tunnels, they can damage wiring, plumbing and other infrastructure. The entrances of their tunnels are basically holes in the ground, which can easily make you or your farm animals trip and break something. Not to mention that a yard riddled with holes is not a very attractive site! Groundhogs are mostly herbivores, which means they eat grass, berries, as well as whatever you are growing in your garden. Having a fenced-in garden is often not enough to protect your crops from groundhogs, because they can easily get underneath and destroy the fruits of your labor. Besides vegetables, groundhogs may also go after certain types of trees, stripping their bark at the bottom. They have sharp incisors, and the damage they cause often looks like beaver damage. Fortunately, most mature trees are usually able to recover after losing some of their bark.

Groundhog Population Boom

If you are seeing groundhogs now, in February, by the end of March you may have 8 of them instead of 2. And by the end of summer, you could have 8 different groundhog burrows on your property. Even if you don’t have a garden or trees to protect, that’s a lot of holes in your back yard! Each groundhog burrow typically has several entrances, which means several mounds of dirt on your perfect lawn. Groundhogs can also become aggressive and defensive when approached, and may even attack pets who try to chase them. The best time to contact a professional Maryland groundhog removal company is now, before the groundhogs mate and reproduce. And before you plant your garden! You can rely on Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control to remove groundhogs from your property safely and humanely. Our technicians will also make sure to fill and level any existing burrow entrances, so that they can’t be used by other animals in the future. Give us a call or contact online today for professional groundhog removal in Maryland!