Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania

Spotted Lanternflies on a Tree Trunk

We’re sure you’ve heard about the spotted lanternfly and the damage they cause. While we don’t handle bug issues, we’ll highlight a few facts about them and what you should be doing to protect your trees and plants!

What does the spotted lanternfly look like?

Spotted lanternflies appear different depending on their stages of growth. There are 3 stages of growth for a spotted lanternfly: early nymphs, late nymphs, and adults.

The early nymphs are very small, they are all black with white spots. A late nymph is slightly larger in size and begins to show the vibrant red color on its body.

Adult spotted lanternflies are the only ones that can fly; they are extremely noticeable due to their colorful wings. These adults emerge in July and stick around until winter.

Where did they come from and what do they do?

The spotted lantern fly is an invasive plant hopper from Asia. They negatively impact crops such as grapes, hopes, and hardwoods. They are technically a plant stressor-they do not kill all plants or trees.

Moreover, their eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. Egg masses are laid on hard surfaces like trees, decks, houses, et cetera.

Signs of spotted lanternflies include oozing sap from trees, wilting, leaf curling, and tree dieback.

What should I do if I see them?

Penn State University states 5 steps for spotted lanternfly control:

  1. Stop the spread
  2. Scrape egg masses
  3. Use tree traps to catch nymphs
  4. Remove host plants
  5. Apply insecticides

Scraping and destroying their egg masses will prevent 30-50 eggs from being hatched per mass. Furthermore, we highly recommend using bands or traps on trees with a screening system in place to prevent squirrels or other animals from being stuck to the strips.

Look out for their host plants and trees! Their preferred tree is the tree of heaven. They also like pine trees, apple trees, grapevines, and other various fruit-producing trees. A full list can be found here.

Registered insecticides are also available. All insecticides used must be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. We do not use pesticides or repellant sprays, so a pest control company would be the best to contact for spotted lanternfly control.

Vent Guards and Gutter Guards

Custom Screening

We are finally into the warmer months of the year which are active seasons of most animals in Central Pennsylvania. We offer custom solutions to seal and protect your home.

Some animals search from top to bottom for any weak spots. Once they find one, they will turn it into their new front door!

We’ll highlight the benefits of our gutter cleaning services, custom vent screening, vent guards, and gutter guards. Additionally, we also install chimney caps that protect your home from a variety of issues.

Vent Guards and Custom Screening

Some vents come with built-in screening. However, most of these built-in screens are not strong enough, allowing animals to chew through them.

The vent guards we use cover typical vents such as dryer vents and bathroom vents. For other vents that are custom to each home like dormer and gable vents, we create a custom screening solution that prevents animals from entering your home. We craft a cover out of heavy gauge wire and aluminum for a perfect fit and protection.

Standard Vent Guards
Custom Screening
Custom Screening

Different Animals that Exploit Vents

Birds find vents to be optimal nesting areas due to the protection and warmth. Raccoons, squirrels, and mice are excellent climbers. Moreover, mice use brick, stucco, stone, and other textured exterior elements to scale your home. Bats will often use vents and other small openings to gain access to your attic or living space.

Our custom screening solutions not only seal your home, but match your home’s aesthetics to create a unified, finished look.

Gutter Cleaning and Gutter Guards

Gutter Guards
Gutter Guard Installation

Typically, without any gutter guards, gutters should be cleaned out a few times a year. Gutter guards are not a permanent solution, but they significantly reduce the number of cleanings. With gutter guards, gutters should be cleaned once every 1-2 years. They act as a filter that are installed over your gutters that prevent debris from entering your gutters. Ultimately, this prevents clogging and allows rainwater to be drawn away from the roof.

We offer regular gutter cleaning services as well as gutter guard installations.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions has over 15 years of experience installing chimney caps, gutter guards, and custom vent screening. Please give us a call or use our contact form to find out more about our exclusion methods!

Woodpeckers in Pennsylvania

Woodpecker-On-Tree

While woodpeckers are beautiful and majestic birds, they cause serious damage to homes. At Backyard Wildlife Solutions, we offer preventative methods to keep woodpeckers from drilling into your home.

What do they look like?

In Pennsylvania, we see seven different species of woodpeckers that range from 6 to 18 inches long. They also have a chiseled-like beak used for drilling into trees and other structures.

Furthermore, most male woodpeckers have red markings on the tops of their heads. A lot of woodpeckers have a mixture of white and brown feathers on their body.

What do they do?

Woodpeckers are most commonly known for drumming and their undulating flight. While woodpeckers drill into trees to find food, “drumming” is a rhythmic pecking where they drill into wood while no insects are present. This process is used to establish territory, nest, and communicate with other members of their species.

Moreover, drumming is performed on wooden components of a home, such as siding, shingles, and trim. They will also go after wooden decks and fences.

Surprisingly, woodpeckers will choose unhealthy trees to drill into. They strip bark from dead or dying trees which prevents pests from spreading to nearby healthy trees. However, if the area has a low amount of unhealthy trees, they have to drill into healthy ones.

What Diseases Do They Carry?

As we have highlighted before, birds make very large messes. They leave nesting debris and their droppings contain many diseases. Histoplasmosis, which is fatal to humans, is found in their droppings. West Nile Virus, E.Coli, and Salmonella is also found in their droppings.

How Do We Deal with Woodpeckers?

Woodpeckers are a protected species. If they are in your home, we can use one-way doors to flush them out when eggs or young aren’t present. Once they have left, we are able to seal the home to prevent reentry. Moreover, we also offer custom solutions to cover wood elements of your home. In some cases, we also use a visual deterrent to discourage them from returning.

If you are hearing a woodpecker drilling on your home or you believe they may be in your home, please call 717-419-0781 or use our contact form. Backyard Wildlife Solutions are your licensed wildlife control technicians for woodpeckers and other animals. We are currently serving all of Central PA: ‎Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, York, and surrounding counties.

Chimney Cap Installation

Chimney Cap on Brick Chimney

You may ask, “What are the benefits of having a chimney cap?” There are multiple benefits of having one installed onto your home. While chimney caps keep animals out of your chimney, they reduce moisture damage, block downdrafts, and prevent sparks from landing onto your roof.

Critter Control

First and foremost, it keeps animals out of your chimney. If you have had experience with a squirrel, bird, or raccoon falling or flying into your home, a chimney cap is a preventative measure our technicians strongly recommend. If you haven’t yet experienced this, the installation would prevent any future animal issues with the chimney.

Moisture Damage

Moreover, it prevents rainwater from entering the chimney and sheds water off the chimney top to prevent mortar damage. Rainwater also damages stainless steel liners, dampers, and mortar joints. Ultimately, built-up moisture from rain creates expensive damage. They also prevent branches, leaves, and other debris from falling into your chimney.

Downdrafts

Has your living room ever filled with smoke while using the fireplace? This is usually caused by a downdraft. Depending which way the wind is blowing, it causes a gust of air that sends the smoke down the chimney and into the fireplace. The design of a chimney cap also blocks wind.

Fire Hazards

Additionally, it stops sparks and embers from landing on the roof. Smoke easily carries these up the chimney; however, a chimney cap is designed to block these. It prevents a fire on your roof.

If these benefits sound appealing, don’t hesitate to give us a call 717-419-0781 or use our contact form! We safely remove any animals and install stainless steel chimney caps with a lifetime warranty. We have access to a full range of standard and custom caps. Backyard Wildlife Solutions has over 15 years of experience in animal removal and installing chimney caps. We currently serve all of Central PA including Lebanon, York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, and surrounding counties.

About an Opossum

Opossum on a Fence

A Few Facts About an Opossum

‘Opossum’ not ‘Possum’

Opossums are North America’s only marsupial. When their young are very small, they are carried in the mother’s pouch. Once they are too large for the pouch, they hang onto their mothers back. They are often confused with Australia’s tree climbing marsupial, the possum.

Playing Dead

Opossums are most commonly known for faking their death. It is actually an involuntary response similar to our “fight or flight” response. Because they are slow movers, their bodies become limp and unresponsive when a threat is present. Additionally, they even secrete a foul smelling odor to mislead their predators.

The Good and Bad About Opossums

Opossums will mostly eat anything. This includes ticks, cockroaches, and rats. Even though those meals are beneficial, it also means they raid your trash cans, pet food, and yard. Finding your garbage scattered all over your driveway or lawn is not the most pleasant way to start your day!

Furthermore, they are also excellent climbers. This means they will find a way into your attic, and turn it into their bathroom. This can be a lengthy and expensive cleaning process. Opossums also like to live under your deck, shed, or crawlspace.

While they aren’t known for carrying rabies, they carry a variety of parasites. If you own horses, they can potentially spread EPM which is fatal.

If you believe an opossum is under your deck, shed, or living in your attic, please call 717-419-0781 or use our contact form. Backyard Wildlife Solutions are your licensed wildlife control technicians for opossum removal and other animals. We are currently serving all of Central PA: ‎Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, York, and surrounding counties.