Navigating Wildlife Removal – Laws and Considerations

Photograph of a skunk sitting on a log

Central Pennsylvania boasts stunning landscapes and a wide array of wildlife, but sometimes these animals can become a nuisance when they venture into human spaces. When it comes to dealing with these unwanted guests, understanding the rules and doing things the right way is super important. Let’s talk about the laws and rules about wildlife removal in Central Pennsylvania!

Rules and Regulations

Here in Central Pennsylvania, laws from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and other local authorities look after both the animals and people. For instance, you can’t just move certain animals without permission. The PGC regulates trapping, moving, and removing these critters to make sure it’s done legally and ethically.

If you’re dealing with critter trouble, it’s smart to get in touch with licensed professionals who know these rules inside out. That’s where we come in – as certified animal removal experts in Central PA, we’ve got the expertise and insurance to handle the job right.

Permits and How Things Work

Sometimes, special critters like bats, birds of prey, or endangered animals need extra care. That means getting specific permits and following certain steps to do things properly which includes using approved methods and having the right gear.

Did you know that relocating certain animals without permission is against the law? These animals might carry germs that can spread if they’re moved incorrectly. That’s why it’s best to let a professional handle wildlife removal and relocation – it keeps everyone and everything safe.

Doing the Right Thing

Besides following the rules, it’s important to do what’s right for these animals. Respecting these animals and their homes matters a lot! However, when they infringe upon your home or property, they need to be removed or relocated to a safe place. Usually, if they’re not causing trouble, they’ll leave you alone if you leave them alone.

To sum it up, when it comes to handling critters in Central Pennsylvania, it’s best to call in a certified wildlife removal pro. With over 15 years of experience, we know the right way to do things – legally and ethically. Reach out to us, and let’s chat about how we can help you out!

Roundworms in Raccoons

The raccoon roundworm is a common parasite found in raccoons and is transmissible to other animals and people. In Pennsylvania, 38% of raccoons are estimated to be infected with roundworm according to the PA Game Commission.

What is it?

The scientific name, Baylisascaris procyonis, is found in the small intestinal tract of raccoons. The worms can measure from 15-20cm in length and 1cm in width. They’re a tan/white color, round, and taper at both edges.

The disease is also known as Larval Migrans (LM) which can result in skin irritation, vision problems, or neurological disease that can be fatal. Millions of eggs can be shed by an infected animal each day.

Who can get it and what are the symptoms?

The animals that can get LM are:

Usually, there are no signs that a raccoon is infected, however, other animals present symptoms. Most commonly, changes in behavior are noticeable due to damage to the brain and spinal cord caused by larvae. These behaviors usually consist of a head tilt and an inability to walk or climb properly. The animal may also lose its fear of humans, circle, roll on the ground, fall over, lay on its side, and paddle its feet.

People can also get LM. In humans, the larvae primarily migrate to the eyes and the brain. The most common symptoms are lesions with skin irritation and eye/brain tissue damage. An infected person may experience nausea, lethargy, incoordination, and loss of eyesight. The disease is more common in younger children who may put soil or animal droppings in their mouths.


Raccoons can be treated with dewormers to kill adult works, however, there are no drugs that can effectively kill the migrating larvae in the body. Laser surgery has successfully killed larvae in the retina, but the damage is irreversible.

Recommendations for Prevention

It’s recommended that people, especially children, wash their hands after working or playing outdoors. Moreover, research shows that it’s unlikely the disease will be eliminated because the eggs are highly resistant to the environment. However, focus on minimizing the transmission to humans and pet animals.

Avoid contact with areas inhabited by raccoons due to potentially infected animal droppings, and leave it to an animal removal professional to handle raccoon removal and clean up! We follow all recommendations by the PA Game Commission when removing and cleaning up raccoon damage.

Give us a call or contact us for raccoon removal and other animals!


Skunks in Central PA

The striped skunk is most commonly found in Pennsylvania and belongs to the mustelid family which also includes weasels, ferrets, martens, fishers, mink, otters, and badgers.

About Skunks

Adult skunks are about 2 feet long including their 7-10 inch tail. They can weigh between 3-12 lbs depending on age, sex, physical condition, and time of the year.

Moreover, males are about 15% heavier than female skunks. They have small heads with small eyes and ears, pointed noses, short legs, and wide rear ends. The claws of the skunk’s forefeet are long and sharp, well-adapted to digging. The striped skunk is most commonly found in Pennsylvania.

What do they do?

Skunks make a variety of sounds including hisses, growls, squeals, cooing, and churring. Skunks are placid and sluggish; they walk in a slow and clumsy gallop, and they can swim but are poor climbers. Their senses of sight, smell, and sound have been judged poor to fair.

Their defense mechanism is their potent scent that sprays from 2 large scent glands. Musk, or their spray, is an oily liquid that is highly repellent to all mammals. Their musk can spray up to 12 feet but is their last resort in the line of defense. They will drum their forefeet on the ground while growling, hissing, arching their back, and filling their tails.

Striped skunks are omnivores! In summer, they feed heavily on insects; grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and wasps. They also dig out bumblebee nests and scratch at the entrance of beehives, catching and eating honeybees that fly out. They often leave remnants of their feeding; small cone-shaped holes in the soil, pine needles, leaf duff, or suburban lawns mark where they’ve dug for grubs. They also eat spiders, toads, frogs, lizards, snakes, mice, chipmunks, turtle eggs, and ground-nesting birds. In fall and winter, skunks eat fruits such as wild grapes, cherries, moles, mice, voles, shrews, grasses, leaves, buds, mast, and carrion.

They are nocturnal animals, they hunt from dusk until dawn. They den in ground burrows, beneath buildings, stumps, wood, rock piles, and overhanging creek banks. Skunks will use abandoned woodchuck burrows. They like sloped spaces for dens, most likely because they drain well. Their breeding season runs from February to March.

Skunks do not hibernate although they might remain dormant underground all winter. Skunks like to live in a variety of habitats. They like mixed woods and brushland, rolling weedy fields, fencerows, wooded ravines, and rocky outcrops in or near agricultural areas. They use hayfields, pastures, fencerows, and brush borders of waterways. Corn fields are ideal feeding habitats.

What Damage Do They Cause?

Skunks are burrowers and diggers, using these skills to find any weak spots in your foundation and crawl spaces they can use to find an entrance to their new home. They can damage electrical wiring and plumbing. Due to skunks preferring to den together, there may be a family living in your home. They also like areas under sheds and decks.

How To Get Rid of Skunks

We offer skunk removal! We start all jobs with an interior and exterior inspection of the home so we can determine where the animals are entering and living. Physical removal is the best approach as we only use traps and methods approved by the PA Game Commission. We also offer exclusion services to prevent skunks from coming back.

We’re your licensed and insured skunk removal experts in Pennsylvania, give us a call or use our contact form if you believe you have skunks living near your home!

Rabbits in Pennsylvania

About Rabbits 

Rabbits are a part of the Leporidae, including all rabbit and hare species. There are 60 different species of mammals in this family! While they look cute and cuddly, they damage your property and carry infectious diseases.

What do they do?

Rabbits are most known for hopping and foraging in gardens. However, they can jump to high heights and long distances! Rabbits can jump up to 3 feet high and 10 feet in distance. Rabbits can almost see 360 degrees due to their eye positioning. Moreover, rabbits spend most of their time grooming, eating, digging, foraging, and playing. Around mid to late morning, they retreat to their dens to relax.

Rabbits in Pennsylvania do not hibernate in the winter; they’re active year-round! They usually spend more time in the winter searching for their food due to greens not being available. They’ll typically eat bark, twigs, and pine needles.

On the contrary, rabbits leave droppings everywhere they go, and can be destructive. During the colder months, rabbits search for shelter from the elements and predators. They prefer to live under decks, in sheds, in crawl spaces, really anywhere accessible, and close to foraging spots!

Preventing Rabbits from making your home their home

Installing fencing that extends below the ground can protect rabbits from gaining entry to your property. It prevents rabbits from digging below the surface as well as other animals like moles and groundhogs.

Performing regular yard clean-up, even in the winter, can make your property less attractive to rabbits. By clearing fallen twigs and branches throughout the winter, rabbits will likely choose a more convenient location for their homes.

Furthermore, having a nuisance wildlife control expert seal any potential entry points prevents rabbits and other animals from entering your home.

What diseases do they carry?

Rabbits carry a variety of viruses including tularemia, salmonella, ringworm, e. cuniculi, tetanus, and sniffles. Most recently in 2020, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD), was detected for the first time in wild hares and rabbits in the United States. In August 2022, RHDV2 was detected for the first time in Pennsylvania in a domestic rabbit facility in Fayette County. 

How does it spread?

It is highly contagious and spreads between hares and rabbits through direct contact with an infected live or dead individual, ingesting contaminated food or water, through infected flies, birds, biting insects, predators, and scavengers, and contact with urine, droppings, and respiratory discharges. This virus can survive on clothing, shoes, plant material, or any other items that come in contact with an infected animal.

How does RHD affect rabbits in Pennsylvania?

RHD is fatal, with between 75%-100% of infected animals resulting in death. Infected animals will present poor appetites, lethargy, and blood emitting from their mouths or noses. RHD is not infectious to other domestic animals or people.

Multiple dead or sick rabbits or hares can signify tularemia or plague; diseases that can cause serious illness in people. It is extremely important that an animal removal professional handle the potentially infected animals. With over 15 years of experience, we follow the safest practices for animal removal outlined by the PA Game Commission. 

What can we do to prevent RHD?

The PA Department of Agriculture believes that early detection of the disease and removal of the suspected animal is the best method to mitigate the RHD outbreak. 

As a home or business owner, avoid touching any dead hares or rabbits. Clean and disinfect all surfaces and equipment that may have contacted RHD-positive animals. We handle many types of animal removal, including dead animals. Call or contact us for safe and effective animal removal! 

Foxes in Pennsylvania

Foxes are very intelligent predators with sharp senses. They can hear a mouse squeal up to 150 feet away! They’re usually known for their nighttime barking in the winter and large bushy tails. Furthermore, males are referred to as “dog” foxes, and females are known as “vixens”. 

What do they look like?

There are two types of foxes found in Pennsylvania; the red and gray fox. Red foxes have a vibrant red coat and a thick bushy tail with a white tip. Gray foxes have a speckled coat and a black tail tip. Both types are typically 2 feet long, with gray foxes being slightly larger than red. 

What do they eat? 

They are carnivores and will essentially eat any game that’s easily obtained. This usually includes field mice, rats, rabbits, groundhogs, opossums, cats, chickens, squirrels, insects, gamebirds, bird eggs, fruits, and grasses. 

They will also scavenge for food including roadkill and winter kills. Additionally, foxes are frequent visitors to the wild game or free-range farm operations. 

What do they do?

Foxes are usually nocturnal animals aside from summertime when they hunt full-time to provide for their young. They’re usually found in open meadows, small woodlots, and around the edges of fences and neighborhoods. 

They make their den sites in abandoned groundhog holes, rock piles, under concrete slabs, sheds, and decks. The entry point for their den is about the size of a basketball and animal bones are usually found nearby. 

Although foxes prey on other animals, they should not be considered a threat as long as they look healthy and usually react to external stimuli like human activity. 

Typical signs of their presence include missing animals, fences, sheds, or decks dug under. 

What diseases do they carry? 

Foxes can be infected and carry rabies so if a fox is not reacting appropriately to human presence, they should be perceived as a threat. Additionally, foxes carry mange, a skin burrowing mite, lose their hair, and exhibit obsessive scratching. Mange can be passed onto other foxes as well as domestic dogs.

Fox Removal

Currently, we do not offer fox removal as one of our services but we may be able to recommend another animal technician that does! Give us a call or contact us for more information about a fox removal referral.