Signs of Squirrel Damage in Montgomery County

Signs of Squirrel Damage in Montgomery County

If your area of Montgomery County has trees, it has squirrels. If you see a squirrel on your roof, it could be the first sign of trouble. Be proactive and watch out for the telltale signs of squirrel damage in Montgomery County.

Our Montgomery County squirrel removal technicians take these little furry critters seriously. Identify a squirrel problem fast by knowing how to tell if they are in your house. Then, read on to learn the signs of squirrel damage.

Signs of Squirrel Presence In Your Home

  • Scratching noise and racket during the entry process and den construction
  • Loud noises during early morning hours and before the sun sets (or late at night for flying squirrels)
  • Pieces of attic insulation on the ground next to the home
  • Flickering lights due to squirrels chewing on wires
  • Unpleasant smells or visible ceiling staining from squirrel urine and feces
  • Mold or water damage due to rain dripping through the entry holes

Signs of Squirrel Damage in Montgomery County

Squirrels are notorious for chewing. They have enormous front teeth that keep growing, kept in check by gnawing. Squirrels will thusly chew on almost anything, even if it’s not edible. Squirrels also use their teeth to make entry holes and open nuts. Here are some of the places around your home where you could see signs of squirrel damage:

  • Holes Along the Roof Line: Squirrels rip off asphalt shingles or chew holes through fascia boards and PVC pipes. To enter your attic, squirrels first look for an existing gap to exploit. One of the significant signs of squirrel damage is plumbing vents. A lack of proper sealing allows squirrels inside with ease.
  • Chewed-up Wood Siding: If you have wooden siding or a wooden shed, squirrels could chew it. Hanging a squirrel feeder may keep them from chewing your wood. For guaranteed freedom from squirrel infestation, contact your local Montgomery County squirrel removal company.
  • Chewed-up Trees: Squirrels will gnaw on tree bark if there is nothing better to gnaw on. Squirrels strip bark from portions of trees, leaving an unsightly raw surface. If you grow fruit or nut trees, squirrels can be a big issue. In severe cases, squirrels stripping bark dries out the tree, causing it to die.
  • Dug-up Flower Bulbs: Unlike other pests that dig up bulbs for leisure, squirrels eat flower bulbs. Squirrels especially favor tulips and crocus bulbs. Squirrels also dig up mulched beds to bury nuts.
  • Damaged Deck and Deck Furniture: Squirrels will chew on anything wooden. If your deck is wooden or has wooden furniture, railings, or window casings, squirrels will gnaw. Squirrels also rip open mesh screens. Make sure to check your deck for signs of squirrel damage.
  • Damaged Wiring and Hoses: Wire damage is the most severe type of damage squirrels cause. Chewed-up wires cause house fires, which is why squirrels nesting in your attic is dangerous. Squirrels also chew on patio and Christmas lights, and even the wiring and irrigation tubing in your car. 

Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Removal Can Help

Don’t let squirrels cost you thousands in repair costs for your home or car. Learn the signs of squirrel damage and call 866.784.8058 or contact us online to get professional help.

Get Rid of Raccoons in Attics and Other Hiding Places

Get Rid of Raccoons in Attics and Other Hiding Places

Raccoons like to hide in attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces. They use their strong hands to pull apart rotting wood or loose shingles so they can live in your warm attic. Since attics make great nesting sites for raccoons, you could eventually have a whole litter of raccoons calling your attic home. Raccoons can ruin your insulation and air ducts, and they’ll chew on wires. Not only will your attic smell bad, but it will become hazardous to you and your family. Constant loud noises are an indicator of a raccoon presence in your attic. If you’re hearing loud noises from above the fireplace instead, that means the raccoons are in the chimney. Raccoons prefer to give birth in chimneys. Baby raccoons will need to be professionally removed because they can’t climb out by themselves. Even raccoons hiding in your outside crawl spaces can be a nuisance. They leave a stench and can destroy property.

Raccoons Feast on Trash

Hungry raccoons will visit your property if they think they have a good chance of being fed. Often, homeowners will leave bird food, pet food, or trash outside. For a hungry raccoon, this is an invitation to dinner. Raccoons knock over unsecured trash cans and spill garbage all over the ground while foraging for food. Not only does this create an unsightly mess for you to clean up in the morning, but it might even attract other pests like skunks and cockroaches. This could mean you may need skunk removal services in addition to raccoon removal services. Even screened porches aren’t safe from raccoons. Leftovers and pet food on a screened porch can be feasted on by raccoons after they tear through the screen and break-in. Since raccoons are always looking for a safe, warm home with plentiful food, trash foraging could be a preliminary step to them moving into your house permanently. Dogs and cats on the property might also get into confrontations with raccoons.

Raccoons Can Be Disease Carriers

Raccoons are known carriers of rabies. Your pets can become infected from contact with a rabid raccoon. Raccoons also spread a parasitic disease known as roundworm. Roundworm comes from eggs expelled with the raccoon’s feces. In humans, they can grow and develop from eggs to larvae and then to adult worms. People can catch roundworms from only one encounter with raccoon feces or indirectly if pets, mice, or cockroaches come into contact with the eggs and become carriers. Roundworm is known to cause death and developmental disabilities in small children as well as permanent disabilities such as blindness. That’s why hosting raccoons in your attic can be hazardous to the health of the entire household. Call wildlife control immediately to rid your home of raccoons if you have small children who may be harmed.

Our Raccoons in Attics Removal Services

We provide raccoon removal services in Maryland that residents can depend on. Once we’ve trapped and removed the live raccoons in your attic, we’ll search your home for dead animals and provide dead animal removal services if necessary. All of our trapping and removal techniques are humane. Some of the methods we use include barriers and fluid treatment. If you had raccoons in your attic or crawl space, we’ll clean it out and restore it to its previous condition. Once your home is raccoon-free, we’ll start preventive measures to keep raccoons away. This could mean installing vent covers or chimney caps. Animal-proof trash containers will also keep raccoons away from your garbage. You can still do your part to stop raccoons from coming back after their removal. Install motion lights, and don’t leave pet food outside. Despite all your best efforts, raccoons might still come back. If they do, call Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control at [Direct], and we’ll be there to assist with raccoon in attic removal.

Did Winter Make Your Home Vulnerable to Wildlife?

Did Winter Make Your Home Vulnerable to Wildlife?

March has been teasing us with the warm weather, but it’s not yet clear if it’s going to stick around. Meanwhile, birds, groundhogs, raccoons and many other animals have taken the warmth as a signal to start their mating season. And guess what? They will be looking for a perfect spot to build that nest or den to rear their young. Make sure they don’t pick your attic, chimney or crawlspace! During winter, these areas of your home could have suffered some damage and are now an easy target for nuisance wildlife. Here are a few places our Maryland wildlife removal experts recommend checking this spring.

Examine the Roof Line

Depending on the size of your home, this is something you may be able to do on your own. Just get a ladder and keep moving it until you inspect every side of your home. Look carefully at the fascia board, which is a board right behind the gutter. Notice if it feels rotten, has holes or is otherwise broken or weakened. Sometimes when you get ice dams in your gutters, the ice may push hard enough to damage the fascia. If you find signs of damage, consider replacing this board to protect your home from wildlife critters.

Check the Roof Itself

Depending on your handyman skills, this may be something you should leave to a roofing contractor. Roof inspection will require getting on top of the roof and looking for missing shingles, damaged flashing and areas where leaves may have accumulated and caused rot. Animals like squirrels and raccoons often take advantage of these sorts of damage, ripping or chewing the weak area to create a hole. Roof plumbing vents and chimneys should also be checked for damage as well as for existing wildlife that may have overwintered there.

Inspect the Foundation

The frequent freeze and thaw cycles that happen in winter can put stress on your home’s foundation. As a result, new cracks may develop. While these cracks may be too small for an animal to use, they can serve as access points for pest insects. And if you have pest insects such as cockroaches, they in turn may attract snakes and other wildlife.

Check the Vents

We’ve talked a bit about the plumbing vents, but there are also other vents around your home, such as dryer vent, kitchen exhaust vent, attic vents, etc. Many of these vents are made of PVC or plastic, which is durable but not ever-lasting. If your vents have animal-proof caps (which they should), check the caps too. Cold temperatures, snow and ice may cause unprotected metal parts to rust, which could lead to the cap failure.

Clean the Backyard

Does your backyard have piles of firewood, stacks of lawn chairs or other items that could serve as a shelter for an animal? During the windy winter months, dead leaves and twigs gather around these bulky objects, creating the perfect hideaway spots for snakes, mice and other small wildlife. Try to eliminate all piles and rake the dead leaves, making your backyard as open as possible. This and keeping the grass short will discourage many animals from building a den on your property. And if during all these inspections you notice that you may already have a wildlife intruder, feel free to contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control for professional and humane wildlife removal in Maryland.

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!

How Squirrel Removal Works

How Squirrel Removal Works

If you’ve never had to deal with wildlife critters in your attic, it’s understandable why you may have no idea about how it works. Most people know that traps are usually placed to eliminate mice, but what about bigger rodents like squirrels? Are they also caught in traps? This is true to an extent, but the traps used are different and their purpose is different as well. Let our Maryland squirrel removal experts show you how this works.

This video is actually from our Georgia colleagues, but it illustrates well how squirrel exclusion works. As you can see, this squirrel family has been getting into the attic through a hole in the soffit. You can count a total of 4 squirrels inhabiting this attic, but there could be more. Imagine how much damage they did to all the wooden beams, insulation and wiring! To evict the squirrels, a mesh is installed over the entrance home. Keep in mind, this is not your chicken wire—squirrels can chew through that with no problems. The mesh is screwed in safely and forms a sort of a tunnel that narrows. Squirrels are not nocturnal, so they come out during the day to look for food. While they are hesitant at first, you can see them eventually exiting the mesh tunnel one by one. Because the exit is so narrow, they have to literally squeeze through. They hang around for a bit, exploring the odd structure, but soon they leave to go about their business. They can’t enter back through the same narrow hole, and before they try the hole is sealed shut. Mind you, this strategy will work only if there are no other holes squirrels might be using to get into the attic. While this loose soffit board is the obvious culprit, the entire perimeter of the roof needs to be inspected. Otherwise, the squirrels will always find their way back in and your efforts will be wasted.

How Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control Removes Squirrels

At our Maryland animal removal company we use the same approach, but execution is a bit different. Instead of letting the squirrels pass through the exit hole and leave, we actually trap them with one-way door traps and then relocate far away from your home. Below is the photo of the type of trap we use. We do this to ensure that squirrels don’t come back and chew a new hole in your roof.

Also, extra precautions need to be taken if squirrels are removed in late winter-early spring or in late summer-early fall. These are the times when squirrels are likely to give birth. Baby squirrels remain dependent on their mother for a long time. They are likely to stay in the nest for several weeks, so you won’t catch them in the trap when the mother exists. To improve everyone’s chances of survival, baby squirrels should be manually removed from the attic at the same time as the mother is captured, and then relocated to a wildlife rehabilitation facility. These are some of the reasons why you may want a professional to conduct squirrel removal from your Maryland attic. Although traps can be easy to purchase and install, it doesn’t mean you will do it the right way. Our goal at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control is humane wildlife removal, and we’ll help you clean up your attic too! Give us a call or contact online with any questions.

Watch Out: Squirrels Are on the Move in Maryland

Watch Out: Squirrels Are on the Move in Maryland

This time of year, most animals are getting ready for winter, and squirrels are not an exception. However, their idea of “getting ready for winter” may include finding a way to get into your attic. Around September – October, we usually get a lot of calls about squirrel removal in Gaithersburg, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and many other areas throughout Maryland. Here are a few tips on how to prevent squirrel invasion in fall, as well as how to address the problem if they already got in.

Your Squirrel Invader is a Nesting Female

In fall, you are most likely dealing with a female squirrel looking to build a nest to rear her young. Squirrels mate and give birth twice a year to around 2-4 babies. The first time is in late winter and the second time is around June – August. The babies are born in just 45 days after mating, which means a squirrel that mated in August may have her babies as early as September. Males are not really present or active in taking care of their young. A mother-squirrel, however, will make the best use of all available resources, even if it means chewing a hole in your fascia board to build a warm and secure nest for her young.

Signs of Squirrel Activity in Your Attic

If you think you might have a squirrel in your attic, it’s likely there are actually 4-6 of them. Most squirrels already gave birth and are working tirelessly on gathering enough supplies to support their little squirrel family in winter. You may not hear the babies, as they are small and don’t leave the nest yet. However, you should check for the following signs of a mother-squirrel:

  • Day-time scampering as the squirrel makes multiple trips to forage for food.
  • Scratching noise behind walls if a squirrel has a misfortune to fall.
  • Holes along your roof line or sawdust-like debris on the ground.

How to Deal With Nesting Squirrels

Whatever you do, don’t separate the mother squirrel from her young. At this young age, they are not yet ready to fend for themselves, so they will likely die in mother’s absence. You also don’t want them to start looking for their mother, wander off and fall in the gap behind a wall. A dead animal behind your living room wall will cause unbearable stench and you may end up having to cut into the wall to remove it. To avoid all this trouble, it’s best when the babies are removed at the same time as the mother. This can be done by your Maryland squirrel removal professional in a safe and humane manner. A big mistake we see some homeowners make is sealing the squirrel’s entrance hole while the mother squirrel is away. If the babies are still in the attic, the mother could rip off your seal or make a new hole to get to them.

Inspecting Your Roof

If you think your home is so far free of squirrels, you’d probably want to keep it that way. Squirrels and other nuisance wildlife often choose homes with existing damage to roof, flashing or trim boards. Now is a good time to inspect your home’s exterior, specifically roof, to make sure there are no weak spots. Even if squirrels are not an issue, patching holes and replacing rotten boards will help with insulation in winter. And if you ever need assistance of a squirrel removal professional, you can rely on our experienced technicians at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control. Just call us or contact online today.