Why Raccoons Aren’t Afraid of Your Tricks

Why Raccoons Aren’t Afraid of Your Tricks

At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we often get calls from Maryland homeowners who tried to solve their raccoon problem on their own. As you can tell, they were unsuccessful—often repeatedly unsuccessful—but eventually they realized that they need professional Maryland raccoon removal help. While we are always happy to assist, we’d much rather save you the trouble of spending weeks trying to get those raccoons out of your attic or from under your deck. The truth is, when it comes to raccoons, it’s unlikely that you can simply scare them away, and here is why.

Raccoons Are Smart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqaeSqz4uUk Among all other Maryland wildlife most likely to invade your home, raccoons are probably the smartest. They have wonderfully adapted to the urban environment, both in terms of finding food and avoiding being caught. The above video shows a raccoon that instinctively knows not to enter the cage, even though it contains food. Watch how he reaches the bait from the side, fooling the homeowner.

Raccoons Know Where to Find Food

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUVq0JoyGME One of the reasons raccoons may be attracted to your home is because you have food. This could be trash cans filled with spoiled leftovers, a bag of dog food sitting on the porch, or even your pet’s food dish in the kitchen. Raccoons are omnivores and have a great sense of smell. They may act scared when you shoo them away, but they will keep coming back unless you take serious measures.

Raccoons Are Excellent Climbers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjXfxeN6tSg If you think your home is safe from raccoons, you are wrong. Just because you have brick walls, new roof or slick siding, doesn’t mean raccoons can’t find a way in. Take a look at this video explaining how a raccoon climbed a brick wall and entered the attic though a light fixture he pulled out of the soffit. If that’s not a proof of this animal’s amazing skills, we don’t know what is!

Raccoons Are Very Strong

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuRgiG7HY5Q For their small size, raccoons are extremely strong. They also possess fantastic dexterity for an animal that doesn’t have opposable thumbs. When they are really determined, raccoons are capable of ripping off shingles, loose boards, pieces of flashing and whatever else is in the way between them and food or shelter. In this video, you can see how a raccoon trapped in a garage not only ignores the cage, but also manages to open the garage door from the inside!

There is No “One Easy Trick”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRp2dclwbFo If you have a raccoon problem, you have probably searched online for a quick and easy solution. The thing is, there is no quick and easy solution to get rid of raccoons. You might have read about using ammonia, loud noises, scare devices, sonic fences, dish soap and cayenne pepper, etc. They may work initially, but soon raccoons learn how to avoid, disable or ignore them. If you want a long-term solution, your best bet is hiring a professional Maryland raccoon removal company. We will come out right away, assess your problem, capture and relocate raccoons, repair any damage they caused, and help you prevent any future issues. Remember that raccoons are after something, whether it’s tasty grubs in your yard or the warmth of your attic. In many cases, we are able to help you modify the environment, so that it is less attractive to raccoons. Call us if you have any questions or need help removing raccoons from your Maryland property.

What to Do About Birds Nesting in Chimneys

What to Do About Birds Nesting in Chimneys

Spring is in full swing in Maryland! And you’ve probably seen a bird or two near your home, picking up twigs from the ground for their new nests. But where are they taking those twigs? Knowing where your neighborhood birds are building their nests is more than a question of curiosity. You want to make sure birds don’t nest in your dryer vents, gutters or chimneys. And from our experience as a Maryland bird removal specialists, chimneys are in the top 3 of favorite places for birds to nest.

Why Birds in Chimneys Are a Problem

The obvious thing to consider is that whatever birds use to build their nests is a fire hazard. These materials can easily ignite next time you start a fire. What’s the harm of a fire in a chimney, you ask? Well, chimneys are not designed to contain fire—their job is to direct smoke out of your house. Chimney fires are dangerous because they can reach high temperatures, damage the chimney and even spread to the roof and attic. So if you think there is already a bird nest in your chimney, it’s a good idea to have the chimney cleaned by a professional before the next use. Sometimes, birds nesting in chimneys may become stuck. You can often tell a bird is stuck if it’s making constant loud noises or flapping its wings inside the chimney. One way to remove a stuck bird is to open the damper, open a window, close off the room and wait till the bird finds its way out. If it’s seriously stuck, you may need to call a professional to conduct an extraction like the below video shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEZThFX-ljg Another problem with birds in your chimney is the noise. The chirping and scratching starts early in the morning and continues until sundown. And since birds are at the bottom of the chimney, the noise they make can be clearly heard in the house. If the fireplace is in your bedroom, expect to be rudely awaken in the wee hours. And, lastly, don’t forget that bird droppings are extremely unsanitary and can be a source of histoplasmosis, a dangerous lung disease.

How to Keep Birds Out of the Chimney

Keeping birds out of your chimney is fairly easy. All you need is a quality chimney cap. Some older homes may be missing chimney caps entirely. And newer homes may have chimney caps that protect against larger wildlife like raccoons and squirrels. However, birds are rather small and can often get inside very small openings. And because a chimney cap has to vent, it must have some openings. You need a chimney cap that has mesh screens to protect from intruders like birds. Sometimes we find that homeowners who already have chimney caps are not aware that the cap is damaged. Just because it’s made of metal, doesn’t mean it will last forever. The cap itself could have become rusted and failed. Or the concrete chimney crown around the cap could have cracked, crumbled and created an opening. If you think you may have birds in your chimney, give Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control a call! We will investigate the problem and install the perfect chimney cap to keep the birds away.

How to Keep Animal Pests Out of Your Garden

How to Keep Animal Pests Out of Your Garden

Whether you have a flower garden or a vegetable one, you probably feel very protective about it. Your dog is not allowed to walk on your precious tulip flower beds. And your vegetable garden is a fortress, or so you think! The reality is, there are many animals out there that are after your juicy lettuce and even your flower bulbs. And it’s best to take measures before you wake up to a vandalized flowery mess or half-eaten tomatoes. Here are a few tips from our Maryland wildlife removal and pest control experts on how to keep the garden animal pests away.

Know Who You Are Up Against

There are quite a few animals that may be interested in what you are growing. Here is the list of the usual suspects and how to identify them:

Raccoons in the Garden

Among other things, raccoons eat worms and bugs found in the soil. And what’s a better place to look for this kind of food than your flower beds? Raccoons may also eat some flower bulbs, but if the bulbs were dug up and left untouched, it’s clear that the animal is after something else. Sometimes, they may be attracted by the smell of your fertilizer, especially if it’s fishy. Raccoons think you buried something delicious and will dig until they find it. So if you are using a fertilizer on your flower beds, go with the smell that is not similar to something raccoons would eat.

Deer in the Garden

White-tail deer are very common in Maryland. And although they appear graceful and majestic, you don’t want those animals anywhere near your garden. They eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and flower plants, consuming all leafy parts and leaving naked stems. You can tell that a deer visited your garden by checking the ground for hoof prints. You may also find that some of your plants have been trampled as deer went through your garden as if it was a buffet.

Groundhogs in the Garden

Groundhogs live in borrows deep under the ground and use tunnels to travel unnoticed. They can easily tunnel into your garden even if it’s fenced, and take a bite of your fruits and veggies. Groundhogs essentially live to feed and reproduce. They hibernate in winter, so in summer they want to make sure they have enough fat stored to last until spring. Your garden comes very handy, especially if other food supplies are low.

Rabbits in the Garden

Rabbits may be small, but they can do quite a bit of damage in your garden. They often go for new, tender growth, which is probably the best part of every plant. And for younger plants, that’s all they’ve got! Rabbit damage is always at ground level and typically on the outskirts of the garden.

How to Keep Your Garden Safe

Install a Fence

A fence is the most basic protection against animal pests. If you are worried about groundhogs and other underground animals, make sure that your fence extends a few feet underneath the surface. Try not to plant anything too close to the edge of the fence, especially if it’s a wire mesh fence, because some animals may still be able to nibble on your greens from the other side.

Eliminate Hiding Spots

Most animals are rather careful and won’t risk being out in the open for a long time. Make sure there is nothing around your garden that offers a hiding spot. Eliminate any wood and brush piles and keep the grass short.

Use Repellents

Depending on the type of animal pest you are dealing with, certain repellents may be effective in keeping them away from your garden. For example, motion-activated devices can scare rabbits and deer. And certain smaller animals and birds may be scared by an owl scarecrow. When it comes to deer repellents, there is a whole range of products we use that help deter deer from gardens and landscapes.

Diversion Tactics

To protect your main garden, you could plant a small patch of lettuce (or whatever plant suffers the most damage in your garden) on the outskirts of your property. This may be enough to keep the animal pests happy and away from you garden.

Capture and Remove

If you are looking for a more serious, long-term solution, capturing and removing offending animals is the way to go. At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we can set live traps and safely relocate the animals we capture, so that everyone is happy. Of course, this doesn’t work for deer, but some smaller animals like raccoons and groundhogs can be removed using this method. Call us or contact online today to talk about how we can help you protect your garden from nuisance wildlife.

What to Know Before Hiring a Pest Control Company

What to Know Before Hiring a Pest Control Company

Spring can be a beautiful time of year, but it is also the time when lots of insects and wildlife awaken from hibernation. It seems like every creature, big and small, is looking for a spot in or around your home where they can safely start a family. Spring is a good time for pest control to make sure you deal with an infestation on early stages. But finding and hiring a good Maryland pest control company can be a problem in itself. Not sure how to make this important decision? Check out these tips from our Maryland pest animal control experts.

Verify That They Can Solve Your Problem

Of course, it’s hard to say how successful your pest removal company will be, but at least you can do your part to make sure they can help you. Pest control is a broad term that covers many different pests and many approaches to pest removal. For example, not all pest control companies deal with wildlife like raccoon and bat removal. Some may refuse to work in attics. Others will remove your pest but won’t clean up the area or repair the damage. The sales person you initially speak with may give you promises the field technicians can’t deliver. Make sure to describe your issue as detailed as possible and get at least a verbal confirmation that this pest control company has done these kind of jobs in the past. List everything you want done and have the company representative agree with every point.

Avoid Pushy Salesmen

If you immediately get bombarded with offers to sign up for a monthly or annual contract, maybe you should walk away from this company. A well-respected pest control company won’t try to upsell you at least until the job is done and they’ve proven their effectiveness. For certain types of issues like insect or rodent problems, a contract may indeed make sense. These pests may keep coming back year after year, so keeping an eye on them and controlling their populations can be useful. On the other hand, wildlife pests like squirrels, snakes or raccoon’s typically don’t require year-round management. After your home is animal-proofed once, it usually remains that way for a long time. If you have a commercial property that for some reason can’t be 100% secured from wildlife, then a contract may make sense for you to take the headache out of animal removal. Either way, if a contract is offered to you, ask your pest control company how they justify that it’s necessary.

Ask Them About Their Methods

If you care about humane or eco-friendly pest control, then be sure to speak to your pest control company about their methods. If their idea of ridding your attic of squirrels is to pump it full of toxic fumes, then you should probably look for another pest control service. At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we use many wildlife trapping and removal strategies, but we are proud to say that in most cases no animal is hurt in the process. Whenever necessary, we take the animals we’ve removed to a wildlife rehabilitator, so that they can be nursed to health and safely released back into the wild. If you follow these three tips, you have a great chance of hiring a Maryland pest control company that will do a good job the first time around. And your pests are of the furry animal kind, feel free to reach out to us!

How to Get Help With Birds in Dryer Vents in Columbia

How to Get Help With Birds in Dryer Vents in Columbia

Every spring bird removal from dryer vents in Columbia becomes a high-demand service. Frightened Columbia residents call local exterminators and government animal control services seeking help with evicting the birds from their dryer vents, as well as removing bird droppings, lice, debris or nesting material that the birds brought into the vent. Unfortunately, the residents of Columbia find little to no help from exterminators because they specialize in bugs, not birds. And local government animal control services help mostly with domestic animals, not birds in vents. What you need is a professional Columbia wildlife removal company!

Wildlife control professionals that specialize in the humane eviction of birds from dryer vents and other vents on homes and buildings are the right people to contact. Birds of different species build their nests and lay eggs at different times of year, starting in late February and ending in early August. The two species of birds most often found nesting in dryer vents in Columbia are the starling and the house sparrow. Starlings usually only lay one round of 1 to 6 eggs per year. House sparrows can lay between 1 and 8 eggs (5 is the average) 2 to 4 (usually 3) times per year. House sparrows reproduce so quickly, that sometimes they will lay a new round of eggs before the last round of babies leaves the nest. Since the house sparrow uses the same nest up to 6 times, that would be an average of about 15 baby birds born and raised in your dryer vent per year. And if the house sparrow decides to rebuild in the same area, then there could be many, many more baby birds in the future years. Columbia bird control professionals like Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control offer full-service humane bird removal and bird control that works year after year. The first step is to evict the adult birds from the vent and then removal any babies (all baby birds are transported to local wildlife rehabilitators who will raise them until they are old enough to survive on their own). After the birds are out of the vent, all bird droppings and nesting materials must be removed. The vent should then be inspected for lice. The final step is to install a bird-proof vent cover to prevent any birds from nesting there in the future. This is the approach we take, and if you like it, feel free to give us a call for bird removal in Columbia!