Flying Squirrels

Flying Squirrel in Air

The term “flying squirrel” is a misnomer. They don’t fly; they glide from tree to tree or other higher structures. Flying squirrels also create a lot of noise, especially inside attics.

How are they different?

Flying squirrels are very different compared to other squirrels. They have a patagium which is basically a furry-like parachute that allows them to glide. Moreover, the membrane extends from their wrists to their ankles. Their broad, flattened tail provides stability, while the limbs allow them to steer during flight.

They are much smaller than a typical squirrel. Additionally, their fur ranges from a tan to rust color and their bellies feature white fur. Because of their smaller size, their eyes appear to be more prominent.

What Do They Do?

Their diet is very similar to other squirrels. They munch on acorns, seeds, and bird eggs. At only five weeks old, gliding is practiced. By ten weeks, they are ready to explore their surroundings.

Flying squirrels launch themselves from a high branch and spread their limbs to catch air. Furthermore, their slight movements are what allow them to steer. The wide tail is used for braking during landing. Surprisingly, they glide up to 150 feet in a single launch!

As nocturnal rodents, they are also active throughout the year. They prefer to live in colonies, which can contain up to 30 squirrels! Big hollow trees shield their colonies from extreme weather. Furthermore, mature trees that provide nuts and seeds are also ideal.

Common Damage Caused by Flying Squirrels

The smallest entry points are as big as a quarter. Often, entry is found through construction gaps, dormer and louver vents, chimneys, and fascia boards. Like most rodents, they will also chew through electrical wiring and cause fires.

Flying squirrels are some of the messiest rodents. They leave black stains on walls, ceilings, and soffit panels. Moreover, droppings are a noticeable sign of entry. Furthermore, their chewing and rustling creates a lot of noise. Outdoors, they strip bark from trees, dig holes, raid bird feeders and gardens.

Removal and Exclusion

Trapping is the most effective way to get rid of flying squirrels. Due to their communal living habits, it takes time and patience of an experienced wildlife professional. In some instances, we use one-way doors so the squirrels leave, but are unable to return.

After removal is complete, we seal all entry points and offer methods of safe clean up. Droppings can contain a wide variety of bacteria and should be handled by a wildlife technician.

If you believe flying squirrels are living in your attic, feel free to call us at 717-419-0781 or use our contact form.

Moles in Lancaster, PA

Eastern Mole on Molehill

Moles and Your Yard

Although you pay the most attention to lawn damage in the warmer months, moles are active year round. During winter, they burrow further into the soil. Meanwhile, mating season spans from March to June.

We typically see two types of moles in Central Pennsylvania; the star-nosed and the eastern. Star-nosed prefer to live near water and damp areas; they are semi-aquatic. Eastern moles like well-drained soil including your lawn and garden. Moreover, they are categorized as insectivores; mainly eating earth worms, grubs, and other underground arthropods.

Their Appearance

Their cylindrical-shaped bodies are covered by brown or gray fur. They range from four to nine inches including their tail length. The feet, nose, and tail are all pink, flesh-like features. While the eastern has a conventional snout, the star nosed has tentacle-like appendages. In short, they use their noses as a touch organ to identify their dinner and other moles.

front view of star nosed mole
Star Nosed Mole

Lawn and Garden Damage

In ideal conditions, moles can tunnel up to eighteen feet per hour. That’s a lot of tunneling even with a moderately sized yard! When soil is pushed forward ahead of the mole, it creates mounds or mole hills. These mounds are a telltale sign of your new resident. As they create their expansive system of tunneling, they disconnect roots and uproot new plants. They don’t actually eat the roots, but these are often in the way of their dinner!

Common Mole Myths

“Moles are Blind” – Although their eyes aren’t always visible, they are not blind! They do have poorly developed eyesight.

“Poisons are Effective” – We haven’t seen any successful mole poisons. Trapping assures that they stay away.

“Flattening their tunnels will make them leave” – They will keep digging regardless. It’s what they’re born to do!

Mole Removal Process

First, we assess the area using our knowledge and experience. Once we form a plan, we can then begin trapping. All traps we use are approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. In order to be effective, traps must be placed in their tunneling systems. Once we have caught the offenders, you may implement repair. Depending on the damage, flattening the tunnels is an ideal solution. If damage is extensive, we will recommend other solutions for lawn aftercare.

If you believe you have unwanted lawn residents, don’t hesitate to call 717-419-0781 or contact us.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions performs mole removal in Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Carlisle, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, York, Reading, and surrounding areas.

DIY Animal Removal Mistakes

When an unexpected visitor enters your home, there are many ways to react.  Unless you have had professional training, you may make some typical mistakes when removing animals.

Here are some common mistakes many homeowners make while attempting nuisance animal removal:

About our professional removal process

At Backyard Wildlife Solutions, we find trapping to be the most effective method of removal for most animals. Furthermore, all of our traps and methods are approved by the Pennsylvania State Game Commission. We also use proper equipment and techniques during clean up to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. During repair, we use a practical approach which includes matching materials to your home’s aesthetic.

Overall, DIY methods of animal removal can be dangerous. Feel free to call us at 717-419-0781 or use our contact form to receive assistance from a licensed wildlife technician.

 

EPM Threat to Horses from Opossums

Opossums and your horse’s health

Many horse owners have some awareness of diseases that can be contracted by horses and an understanding of steps to take to keep them healthy.  One disease that horse owners in North America (particularly on the east coast) should be aware of is EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis).

EPM is a neurologic disease which can be subtle and difficult to diagnose but no less distressing for the horse and its owner.  Moreover, it is important that owners are aware of the disease as it can be fatal, particularly if it goes untreated.

EPM is caused by a parasite called Sarcocystis Neurona. The nasty parasite attacks the brain and spinal cord. In addition, it can cause devastating and long lasting damage to the nervous system.

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis can be treated and horses can recover well, if diagnosed and treated quickly. Furthermore, horses usually show improvement after a few of weeks of treatment.

How is EPM Contracted?

The primary cause of EPM is from opossum feces.  Consequently, horses contract the disease from eating contaminated feed or grazing.

What are the symptoms?

EPM can present itself subtly and severely.  It can present symptoms similar to several other equine neurological diseases. Symptoms include:

  • Changes in gait, lameness
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Problems balancing with lifted hoof
  • Incoordination (worse going up or down slopes)
  • Muscle atrophy, usually over shoulders
  • Paralysis of muscles of the eyes, face or mouth, evident by drooping eyes, ears or lips.
  • Mild depression
  • Trouble swallowing, dropping feed.
  • Leaning on a wall for balance
  • Loss of sensation along the face, neck or body.
  • A drooping lip or repeated facial twitch
  • Change in vision
  • Dropped feed or trouble swallowing
  • Head tilt
  • Drooping ear
  • Changes in behavior, including throwing the rider

How to prevent EPM?

As there are no preventable vaccines the best defense is to keep opossums away from horses and their feed. Keep exposed feed covered and remove garbage as soon as possible.

If you have a problem with opossums on your property, particularly if they pose a threat to your horse’s safety, don’t hesitate to call us for professional opossum removal, we serve most of central Pennsylvania.

Snake Removal Harrisburg

Snake Removal/Black Rat Snake

Snake Removal in Harrisburg, PA

The most common snakes in our area are black snakes and garter snakes. These snakes primarily feed on rodents and bugs. While those benefits are appealing, snakes living inside your home isn’t ideal.

About Snakes

Snakes are cold blooded meaning they can’t maintain a body temperature higher than the environments temperature. Some snakes prefer to hang out around rocks; they lounge on top of the rock to warm up or slither underneath it for shade. Most prefer environments around 55 degrees. Furthermore, they can survive in a 45-degree environment. Comparatively, at 32 degrees they will freeze to death.

Black Snakes

The average black rat snake ranges from forty to seventy inches. These snakes are the ones responsible for keeping mice and rats away. Moreover, they often hibernate in basements during the winter months. During the spring and summer, they like areas with loose soil, sandy habitats, or decaying leaves.

A large rat snake, around six to seven feet, can actually eat a raccoon or opossum.

Garter Snake

Common garter snakes range from twenty to twenty-eight inches long. They are found in a variety of places; cultivated fields, swamps, lawns, and gardens. Additionally, the eastern garter snake is the most common in Pennsylvania.

Their colors range from green to dark brown with prominent yellow stripes. Contrary to the popular belief, these snakes do have venom. However, it is not toxic to humans; it only slows down their prey.

What do they do?

Snakes enter homes and structures through small gaps around the perimeter. This also includes open basement windows or cracks in the foundation. Moreover, they enter in search of shelter, food, or both.

While entry points near ground level are ideal, black snakes are excellent climbers. They often climb brick, siding, or other rough surfaces to gain access to gaps along the roofline.

Are they dangerous?

Many non-venomous snakes are often mistaken for venomous snakes. The wide range of patterns and colors causes a lot of misidentification. In the Susquehanna Valley, the majority of our snakes are non-venomous.

About the Snake Removal Process

All snakes in PA are protected by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. For more information about local breeds of snakes, click here to be taken to their official website.

First, we fully inspect the perimeter of your home during the initial site visit. From there, we discuss trapping and removal options. We can then place traps and physically remove snakes without harm. Additionally, we relocate them to more suitable locations. Moreover, a range of exclusion techniques are available to prevent future issues.

If you have a snake in your home, call (717) 419-0781, or use our contact form.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions offers snake removal service in Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Carlisle, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, York, Reading, and surrounding areas.

Bird Removal

bird removal in Lancaster Pa

Bird Removal

In the springtime when birds are returning from the southern homes, they search for places to nest. Like humans, birds look for places that offer sufficient shelter from the weather. Moreover, they look for a higher place that will protect their young. Sometimes a place in your home becomes their home. Spring is the busiest season for bird removal in Lancaster, PA and surrounding counties. We have addressed many prominent bird issues in blogs, such as birds behind shutters, and birds in vents.

Birds nest in your attic, garage, chimney or anywhere else where they can find protection from the elements. Removal should be a priority. Furthermore, birds carry diseases such as Encephalitis, Salmonellas, Pullorum, Transmissible Gastroenteritis, and Tuberculosis.

Bird removal should only be conducted by an experienced and licensed professional. Backyard Wildlife Solutions can offer you the best methods for permanently removing your birds and prevent them from gaining entry in the future.

As licensed professionals in PA, we can provide you with solutions to your current issues with birds or any other unwanted wildlife. We will identify and make recommendations to resolve other potential issues that may arise once the current area is addressed. Birds will often exploit another area on your home if available.

Most birds in Pennsylvania are protected by federal law with the exception of a few nuisance species, such as: house sparrows, starlings, and pigeons. This prevents many species from being trapped, shot, and poisoned. If you have birds in your home, don’t hesitate to call717-419-0781 or use our contact form.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions provides bird removal in Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, Reading, York, and surrounding areas.

 

Squirrel Removal in Denver Pa

squirrel removal in Denver Pa

Squirrel removal in Denver Pa-We recently performed squirrel removal in Denver Pa. A customer called on a Sunday evening to report a squirrel that had become trapped in their fireplace. Upon our arrival, the customer explained to us that the squirrel had been able to access the chimney flue through an open damper cap after they had a fire in the fireplace. The damper cap was not functioning properly, and the customer had been unable to close it completely. The squirrel came down the chimney flue, but was unable to climb out.

When squirrels end up in a chimney, they are often unable to get back out. Older chimneys that were built completely from brick or stone provide squirrels, who are excellent climbers and jumpers, with adequate surfaces to climb out. Chimneys that are lined with clay tile flues, which your home is likely to have if it was built in the 1940’s or later, are generally too smooth for the squirrels to climb out. If they are unable to climb out, they will end up down in the fireplace, looking for another way out.

We removed this particular squirrel from the fireplace, and were able to close the existing cap sufficiently, with a recommendation that the customer have it replaced. A week later, we received a call from the same customer-with another squirrel in the same fireplace! They had used the fireplace again, and the cap had remained open. Once again, we removed the squirrel, and closed the damper.

This particular cap/damper system, known as a Lyemance damper, is a cap and damper system all-in-one, that is closed by a cable inside the fireplace. They are generally installed on a chimney if either the damper above the fireplace is broken, or if a damper was never installed. Lyemance caps must be closed each time after use, once the fire has been completely extinguished. If they remain open, animals have access to enter the chimney and fireplace.

At Backyard Wildlife Solutions, we install all stainless steel standard and custom chimney caps to suit your wildlife prevention needs. We also inspect and seal chimney crowns to protect your chimney against water damage.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions provides squirrel removal in Denver Pa, and surrounding Lancaster County. We provide all animal removal and exclusion services in Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, York, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, and Harrisburg, Pa.

Squirrel Removal in Lancaster Pa

squirrel removal in Lancaster Pa

We are experts in squirrel removal in Lancaster PA and vicinity

Squirrel removal in Lancaster Pa is common year round, but during the winter months, inside activity is at it’s height. As the temperature drops, squirrels seek out shelter from the cold nights, and often enter chimneys and the attic and crawl spaces of homes. Squirrels can enter these spaces of your home by accessing a variety of vents, or by exploiting a “weak point” on your home. Proper exclusion work done by an experienced professional in conjunction with trapping and removal of the offending animal will insure your home against repeated squirrel issues.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions recently performed squirrel removal in Lancaster Pa. We received a call from a customer who was experiencing noise in their fireplace. They suspected a squirrel. After inspecting the fireplace and chimney flues, we were able to confirm that a squirrel had accessed the open chimney.

Quite often a squirrel that enters a flue lined chimney is unable to crawl back out, due to the smooth texture of the flue tiles. After removing the trapped squirrel from the fireplace, we were able to verify that there were no additional blockages in the chimney. We then installed properly fitted chimney caps on both of the open flues to prevent future issues for the homeowner. Aside from keeping out additional squirrels, the new chimney caps will keep out birds and raccoons, as well as rain, which will help prevent weather damage.

For help with squirrel removal in Lancaster Pa, call Backyard Wildlife Solutions at 717-419-0781 today!

Learn about our other Lancaster animal removal services.

We offer squirrel removal in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Lebanon, York, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, and Reading, PA.

Squirrel Removal in Harrisburg Pa

Squirrel removal in Harrisburg Pa-Squirrel problems are extremely common in Harrisburg and surrounding areas. The squirrel population is high, and squirrels can do significant damage to your home and property. Backyard Wildlife Solutions offers trapping and removal of squirrels both inside and outside of your home, as well as damage repair and preventative work to keep squirrels out of your home in the future.

Squirrels typically have two litters per year, one in the spring, and one in late summer. Young squirrels from the first litter will generally disperse, but squirrels from the second litter may stay with their mother. As fall and winter approach, squirrels that have nested outside begin to look for warmer places.

Being excellent climbers allows squirrels to explore and investigate your home from top to bottom. They will exploit any “weakness” on your home’s exterior. This includes all types of vents, which may or may not have factory screening systems, but are no match for a squirrel. Chimneys are another highly probable area for squirrel entry, and if there is no damper in place, they could end up in your living room. Squirrels can also chew through a variety of materials, including wood, vinyl, and aluminum. They will quickly turn a small hole or gap into their new front door.

When squirrels are living in your attic, the damage continues to increase. They nest in the insulation, move it around, flatten it out, and destroy the “R” value. They also chew on electric wires, causing the risk of fire. In some cases, they will scratch and chew through walls and ceilings, and enter your living spaces. We have seen severe and costly damage to window and door trim from squirrels who are stuck inside trying to escape.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions will solve your squirrel problems and we offer repair and exclusion work on all exterior components of your home. We will repair holes and seal them properly, screen vents, and install chimney caps. We offer squirrel removal in Harrisburg Pa, and surrounding areas such as Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, and Reading.

Call us today at (717) 419-0781 to schedule your service appointment for squirrel removal in Harrisburg Pa.

 

 

Skunk Removal in Lancaster Pa

Skunk Removal in Lancaster, PA is being performed at many homes right now. Backyard Wildlife Solutions has been removing skunks at locations such as Lancaster, Manheim Township, Akron, Lititz, and more.

Skunks typically breed in February and March and will often spray during these activities. Their young will emerge in late Spring and generally remain with their mother until the following breeding season. Often during the summer and fall months, multiple skunks will be present at a den site. Den sites can be present under patios, decks, sheds, or any other suitable location that will offer the skunks cover and protection. Skunks are nocturnal, but are sometimes seen during the day. When they travel at night, they generally tend to move along edges, such as along the side of your home, fence, or tree line to offer themselves some cover and protection.

The skunk removal we recently performed in Akron was for a local property management group. They had received a call from a tenant who had seen several skunks at a property they are responsible for. The skunks had been seen moving in and out from under the home. Once we were contracted to perform the skunk removal, we began the process to assess the structure and set up a removal program. The skunks had exploited a loosely constructed foundation and were living under the home. We removed nine skunks total, all from the same litter. We have also offered the property owner a solution for permanent exclusion and repair work to prevent this issue in the future. All of the skunks were removed without any incident of spraying.

Skunk removal in Lancaster Pa should only be performed by a licensed professional wildlife control operator. Call Backyard Wildlife Solutions today at 717-419-0781 or use our contact form for skunk removal in Lancaster Pa and surrounding areas. We offer skunk removal and control and all animal removal and control in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Lebanon, York, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, Reading, and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania.