Mice Removal from Your Home


When the temperature drops, mice find their way into homes. Searching for warmer areas, they create nests in attics, basements, or low-traffic areas. While traps are sold at common stores, mice removal can be tricky.

The Differences in Mice

There are two types of mice; the house mouse and the field mouse.

The house mouse ranges from two to three inches in length. Their triangular noses are complemented by long whiskers and large, floppy ears. Their tails are hairy but also long and thin.

The most noticeable difference between these two is their fur color. House mice have gray fur while field mice are brown with white bellies. The field mouse has similar features to the house mouse but is slightly larger in size.

Why are they a nuisance?

Mice make nests anywhere they see fit. Contrary to their name, field mice will also live in homes.

They are nocturnal and very social, it’s not uncommon to see them. On the contrary, they are very territorial.

Common signs of mice in a home include scratching within walls or ceilings and rustling noises in living areas. Their nests include any scraps of material or trash that can be dragged with their tiny bodies. Once in your home, they can create structural damage from chewing. In some instances, they generate fires from chewed wiring.

Moreover, a very bad sign is a foul odor, it can indicate dead mice in your walls. Other signs include urine stains on ceilings and droppings on flat surfaces.

Mice Removal and Clean Up

Setting a few traps should get the job done, right? Well, mice can be difficult. Traps must be placed at appropriate locations in order to be successful. House mice are very smart, often they can eat the bait without setting off the traps. If not placed correctly, they will set off the trap while getting away.

As wildlife professionals, we have over 15 years of experience with mice. With proper trapping methods, we remove the mice quickly and efficiently.

Most diseases you could receive from mice are present in their droppings. Additionally, using improper cleanup methods will cause diseases to go airborne. We offer clean-up services to minimize the risk of spreading any diseases.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions are the professionals you need for mice removal in Hershey, York, Lebanon, Lancaster, and other surrounding areas. If you live in or nearby these locations, please call or contact us.

Animals in Chimneys

Open Chimney Flues

In a previous blog, we wrote about chimney caps which provide a variety of benefits from keeping unwanted animals out to house fire prevention. We’ll go over different types of chimneys and how animals exploit them. 

About Chimneys

We always recommend open and unused chimneys should be closed with a cap to prevent energy loss and unwanted animal tenants among other benefits. Often, most older homes had water heaters and furnaces, stoves, or fireplaces that were vented through chimneys. Newer homes that include furnaces and water heaters often ventilate through updated methods. With over 15 years of experience in animal removal and repair, we can easily inspect and identify the best solutions.

Animals in Chimneys

Often, animals will enter chimneys and find damage inside due to age or weather issues. Common animals that exploit chimneys include raccoons, squirrels, bats, and birds. From the chimney, they can find a way into walls or attics through missing spots of brick and mortar. Homes and chimneys built with stone are optimal opportunities for critters that love to climb. 

Older chimneys often allow critters to easily crawl in and out, which permits them to make your home, their home! Additionally, we have had a few customers that have had animals climb down their chimneys and enter their living spaces. In these cases, animals are able to crawl down but unable to crawl back up. 

Chimneys with Dampers

In some other cases, chimneys with dampers also provide access. Chimneys with dampers more often than not can get stuck.

A few years ago, a homeowner experienced this issue and ended up with two squirrels in their living room within a week. After we removed the second squirrel, we recommended the installation of a stainless steel chimney cap to prevent any other animals from entering their chimney.

The Bottom Line

Our stainless chimney caps include a lifetime warranty and include a variety of benefits, keeping animals out first and foremost. If there is more serious damage, we can recommend a consultation with a chimney company for repair.

Give us a call or contact us to identify the best solution for your chimney!

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 look different depending on their stages of growth. There are three 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 their vibrant red color on its body.

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

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

Signs of an infected tree or plant include oozing sap from trees, wilting, leaf curling, and tree dieback.

What should I do if I see them?

Penn State University states five 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 an egg mass prevents 30-50 eggs from being hatched. 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

As of Summer 2021, Penn State also recommends an effective trapping method that operates by trapping immature lanternflies. By studying their behavior patterns for a few years, they are able to predict where the nymphs will fly out. 

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.

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!

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