If you are familiar with the state of Virginia and all of its natural wonders, you know that with a beautiful outdoor scene, comes some not-so-beautiful wild life that sometimes creeps into your home or business. When you’ve got an unwanted animal in the attic like a nest of baby raccoons or you keep hearing bats in the chimney, but can’t figure out how to get rid of them, you can start to feel like a prisoner in your own home. To get a full understanding of what types of pests could be making themselves at home in your home, we’ve put together some signs to look for that you might need wildlife removal services in Richmond VA.
No other mammals in the Northeastern United States are as misunderstood as bats. There are tons of myths and misconceptions surrounding these small, nocturnal, flying mammals; including vampire behavior like blood sucking and attacking. On the other hand, some people have an odd fascination with these small animals and think they are cuddly, friendly animals that could make good pets. The fact is both of these images are misguided. See our Richmond Bat Removal page for additional information on getting rid of bats.
Bat Behavior and Habits
Bats live in a variety of habitats, including, fields, forests, wetlands, cities, suburbs, and agricultural areas, basically they gravitate towards areas where insects are abundant. They feed on insects and bugs and will focus on areas where there are swarms of food for easy access at night. They are very efficient night predators and may consume nearly 50% of its body weight in a single night. During the day, they roost in narrow cracks and crevices found in tree trunks, barns, cracks found in buildings or houses, attics, chimneys, anywhere they can sleep during the day and stay out of site from predators. They are most active in the spring, summer and fall because they tend to hibernate during the winter months.
Depending upon the species of bat, a female gives birth to one to three pups during the months of May through August. A pregnant female will choose a safe and comfortable roost to give birth to her pups. During the evenings the mother leaves her pups in the roost or home that it has picked for the babies while she goes hunting for insects and returns periodically to nurse the babies. As the pups grow older, they begin to fly usually in mid-July; around 5 weeks old.
If You Are Housing a Bat Colony
If you suspect you are sharing your house with a colony of bats, the best way to confirm this theory is to simply look for roosting bats during the day. Check narrow crevices in your attic, between rafters, in the space between your rafters and roofing material, or walls (if that is where you hear them). Be as quiet as possible as when you enter the attic, they will scurry out of site. If you can’t see them, keep your ears open and listen for squeaking or scurrying sounds, especially at night. Spaces that have been used for a while will sometimes have brown markings (staining) around the entrances. If you are uncomfortable looking for the bats themselves, look for bat droppings. They are dry, black, and usually larger than the size of a grain of rice but will accumulate in piles below the bats roosting spot (the piles are how you can tell the difference between bat and mouse droppings). Always remember that bat droppings are hazardous and contain a fungus that causes a lung illness called Histoplasmosis. The removal and clean-up of bat feces should only be performed by a trained professional with the proper equipment to do the job safely. Once you have identified the need for bat control services, you should call a wildlife removal service for help with removal.
Sometimes, when homeowners have bats in the attic, they understand the important role bats play in controlling the insect population around their home, they will decide to let the colony remain in the attic (not recommended because bats can carry rabies and their droppings are hazardous). If this is the case, the focus of the homeowners should be sealing off any spaces that could allow the bats to get into the actual living space of the home especially for homes with small children or pets. A wildlife pest control service that is NWCOA Bat Standard Compliant can help with this type of bat control whether you allow them to stay or not.
Another possible uninvited guest in your home could be a squirrel and her babies. If you have squirrels in the chimney or in your attic, you could be seeing and hearing a few different signs. Since these creatures aren’t nocturnal nor do they hibernate, they are active all year round and are no fun to try and remove on your own (they have very sharp teeth and their bite is extremely painful). Whether you need flying squirrel control services or grey squirrel control services, it’s important to know what to look for before you call your Richmond, VA animal control specialists.
While squirrels don’t hibernate in the winter, they don’t like the bitter cold. They will do whatever it takes to stay hunkered down in their den site (your home) whenever it’s cold out. They will use boxes and small areas in attics to make a cozy den for themselves and their family. Early winter and late spring is also mating season, so come spring and summer, you might be hearing baby squirrels in your attic. During the winter, on a warmer day they will venture out and get some of the years worth of food they have hidden during the summer and fall months. The main way squirrels stay warm in the winter is by sleeping with their family members to generate the most body heat. This is a learned behavior that they were taught as babies. They are most active in the morning and early afternoons.
Signs You’re Living With a Squirrel
As we spoke about earlier, squirrels will use a variety of materials from fabric scraps, to twigs and leaves, to hair to make a “nest” for themselves. Keep an eye out for missing materials or nests in your attic or chimney. Look for damaged entry points around your home. Squirrels, like mice and raccoons have h2 teeth and can chew through any material used to make a home, even metal. They can fit through very small holes so check for small holes and teeth marks if you are hearing strange sounds in your attic or garage. Look for your gardens plants and food being eaten; squirrels love to nibble on veggies, fruits, and nuts. If you need help with squirrel control services, call a professional wildlife control or animal removal service to help you take care of your problem.
These nocturnal, destructive pests like to spend their winters in your attics or chimneys to stay warm. Raccoons in the attic can be a very loud and pesky problem, especially at night when they are most active. Raccoons in the chimney can also be a huge disruption to your family home. In the wild though, raccoons will live in tree cavities or burrows. They will also gravitate towards barns and sheds, especially in the cold months. They don’t discriminate between the city and the country; wherever there is an abundance of human or pet food, raccoons will try and make their home around there. They mate during the first half of the year, and give birth in the late spring, summer, and fall. Raccoon babies will stay with their mom throughout their first winter, so a raccoon nest in your home could be an annoyance for a very long time if not handled properly.
If you have a raccoon problem and need help to remove raccoons from your attic, first look for a nest, like with squirrels. Keep a look out for droppings a lot larger than squirrels and mice. Listen at night, since they are nocturnal and will leave during the night to forage for food. You’ll hear the babies making little squeaking noises too.
Other Rodents and Signs You’re Sharing Your Home
Mice, especially during the cold winter months, can be a huge problem if not addressed. Mice will be more of a pests in areas of your home like the attic, and rodents like rats will focus more on the garden and crawlspace of a home. Rat control and mouse control can sometimes be dealt with by yourself, without having to call a rodent control company. There are natural rodent control methods like simple mouse and rat traps that work quite well to humanely get rid of these rodents. Signs you are dealing with mice and other small rodents are:
- Greasy fur marks on the walls or floors
- Gnaw marks on wires or parts of the home
- A funky smell
- Scurrying noises
Call a professional
If you think you are in need of wildlife removal in Richmond, VA, look for the signs. A wildlife removal specialist can help you look at these signs and figure out which animal is in your attic, and how to get rid of those squirrels in the chimney. If you need the best animal control specialists in Richmond, look no further: Richmond Animal Removal Service is the number one animal removal service in Richmond, VA. We provide top-notch animal control services from professionals who have years of experience in Virginia wildlife removal. We specialize in rodent control, pest removal, wildlife control, and keeping your home safe and comfortable all year round. When you are in need of a Virginia animal control company who you can truly depend on, you can feel confident when you call Richmond Animal Removal Service at (804) 729-0048. Let us handle your rodent or pest problem today!