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.

The Rabies Vaccine

Receiving the rabies vaccine is not the most pleasant experience. Len, our owner and operator, has experienced these vaccines.

Rabies is an overwhelming topic, so we’ll start with the basics. Rabies is a disease caused by a virus. Furthermore, it attacks the brain and the central nervous system. We’ll explain how the disease is transmitted, what to do if you’re exposed, symptoms of rabies, and the rabies vaccine.

How is it Transmitted?

Infected saliva must touch a break in the skin. This can occur multiple ways: being bitten by an animal or an animal licking a break in the skin. Additionally, if an animal licks one’s nose, mouth, or eyes it can be transmitted. Extremely common carriers of rabies include groundhogs, skunks, raccoons, bats, dogs, cats, coyotes, and foxes.

Potential Exposure

If you have been bitten, immediately clean the wound with soap and water. If possible, try to observe the animal. Moreover, observation should take place for ten days to see if it exhibits unusual behavior. If the animal does not act strange, you may not need the vaccine. On the other hand, it is always better to be safe.

Additionally, if the animal has been or can be captured, it can be tested. Contact the PA State Game Commission for help when capturing a potentially rabid animal. The Department of Agriculture provides more information about testing.

If no one is familiar with the animal and it can’t be observed, contact your local health department or an infectious disease expert. The disease expert can often be reached at your local hospital. The CDC should also be contacted.

Symptoms of Rabies

After exposure, rabies has a very long incubation period. This period can range anywhere from two weeks to two months. Once the symptoms start, there is no stopping them. Not getting the vaccine isn’t worth the risk. Ultimately, it’s always fatal and non reversible.

Early Signs of Rabies:

  • Fatigue
  • Sore Throat
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

 
More Advanced Signs:

  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty Swallowing

 
Final symptoms of rabies consist of paralysis, coma, and death.

The Rabies Vaccine

If you think that you may be exposed, consult with your doctor. Only hospitals carry the two-part vaccine, so an ER visit is necessary.

The exposure vaccine is completed in 4 doses:

First, one dose is given right away which is paired with the immune globulin. The globulin kick-starts the immune system and provides protection before the vaccine works.

Next, another dose is given at the third day. It is followed by a dose the seventh day. Finally, the last dose is given on the fourteenth day.

Comparatively, a preventative vaccine is another option. It’s extremely beneficial for people who work around animals such as a veterinarian or an animal control expert.

Vaccine Symptoms

Furthermore, there is a wide list of side effects and complications that can occur with the vaccine. As with any shot, soreness, redness, swelling or itching is very common near the injection site. In addition, a lower percentage of recipients experience headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle aches, and dizziness.

Keep an eye out for symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction:

  • High Fever
  • Behavior Changes
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the Face and Throat
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Elevated Heart Rate

Mice Removal from Your Home

mouse_on_ground

While the temperature continues to drop, 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 complimented with long whiskers and large, floppy ears. Their tails are hairy but also long and thin.

The most noticeable difference from these two are 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 717-419-0781 or contact us.

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