Category: Blog

What Attracts Mice To Your Home in Westchester?

What Attracts Mice To Your Home in Westchester?

Mice are tiny, destructive pests known for spreading diseases, raiding pantries, gnawing on everything in sight, and leaving behind their urine and droppings wherever they go. But what actually creates the conditions that allow mice to thrive? What brings mice to your house, and what keeps them coming back? Mice are attracted to vulnerable food sources, ample shelter, moisture, and plenty of nesting material. If you have mice infesting your home in Westchester County, don’t worry – Westchester Wildlife can help. We offer the best mice control solutions in the Westchester County area.   

Foods That Attract Mice

Mice love dry, prepackaged food like cereal, grains, rice, nuts and seeds. If you have this kind of food stored in paper or soft plastic bags, mice will easily chew right through it to get at the food inside. The best way to keep mice away from these products is to store them within a sealed, airtight, hard plastic container. Mice are also often attracted to the home because of left-out pet food. Dog or cat kibble left out in a bowl for long periods of time provide the perfect quick snack for a mouse, so always make sure you put away and store pet food properly. 

Prepackaged dry food isn’t the only kind of food that attracts mice, however. Mice love foods high in fat, protein and sugar, so they will go after deli meat, chocolate, bacon, butter, and fruit that have been left out. Grease stains, spills and crumbs in the kitchen also can bring in rodents like mice. 

When mice get into your food supplies or crawl around on your food preparation surfaces, they will often leave behind urine, droppings and other contaminants which can spread illnesses like hantavirus, salmonella, E. coli and tularemia. Keeping all food products stored in sealed, airtight containers and immediately cleaning up all crumbs and spills can aid greatly in keeping rodents away from your home.

Clutter and Tall Grass

Mice are natural prey animals, hunted by other animals like snakes, cats, birds of prey and more. Because they have so many predators, mice are not comfortable being out in the open. Mice are much more likely to hang out inside tall grass and heavy areas of clutter, because they feel protected. If your grass is tall and uncut, this can make your yard a safe haven for mice. If your basement is full of clutter, this can also make your home more valuable to mice who want to live somewhere they feel protected. 

Keeping your grass trimmed short can create these wide-open areas that mice hate, and can discourage these rodents from deciding to set up shop on your property. Keeping storage areas of your home like basements, attics and closets clean and well-organized can also discourage mice, as they will feel unsafe with no place to hide.

Water Leaks and Moisture

Mice, like all living creatures, need water to survive. Since you aren’t exactly leaving out bowls of water for them, they have to get creative and search for other areas of moisture within the home. If you have a leak somewhere in your house, from the roof or from a faulty pipe, this can provide a source of water for the mice infesting your property. Crawl spaces are also an often-overlooked source of humidity and moisture within the home, as groundwater will rise from the dirt floor of a crawl space, leading to puddles that these rodents can drink from. Getting any leaks fixed immediately and your crawl space sealed with a vapor barrier can reduce moisture in your home and make your home more uninhabitable to mice.

Insulation, Cardboard and Paper

Mice are known to get inside attics, where they will rip up your insulation to make their nests. Mice will also tunnel deep within the insulation, and both of these activities will severely lower your insulation’s r-value, which is the measurement of its heat resistance. Mice are also known to bring paper and cardboard from inside the home to their nests, which can confuse homeowners who are finding chewed up paper or cardboard and thinking that the mice are actually eating this material. Mice do not eat paper or cellulose material, but will chew it up to add to their nests, and they might chew on cardboard to whittle down their teeth. Mice are constantly chewing and gnawing on things to keep the constant growth of their teeth manageable, and they will even gnaw on the rubber covering around electrical wires, which can expose the bare wiring and lead to a house fire. 

Mice will begin looking for things to build nests with once they invade your home, so keeping cardboard and paper products stored and out of sight will aid in discouraging mice looking for a home on your property.

How Do I Get Rid of Mice in Westchester?

Mice are drawn to food, clutter, water leaks and insulation inside the home, and they can contaminate your food supply, create fire hazards with their gnawing habits and lower the effectiveness of your insulation. Westchester Wildlife can help. We offer effective mice control solutions in Westchester County, NY as well as Putnam County, Dutchess County, and Fairfield County, CT. We will use a combination of mice control techniques including snap traps, bait stations and exclusion work to eliminate your current mice problem and keep any more from popping up. Contact us today at 800-273-6673

The Two Squirrel Nesting Seasons

The Two Squirrel Nesting Seasons

Squirrels are one of the most persistently annoying nuisance animals in the Westchester County area, known for scratching and gnawing their way into attics to build their nests, often ripping up and soiling your insulation in the process. Squirrels are drawn to your home’s attic because it provides them with a safe, warm place shielded from predators and the elements to raise their babies, but did you know squirrels actually have babies TWO times a year? Don’t worry, Westchester Wildlife can help. We can safely and humanely remove both the mother and baby squirrels from your attic space.

When Do Squirrels Have Babies?

Squirrels have two mating seasons, the first stretching from December to February, and the second from June through August. The mother squirrel has  a gestation period of around 38 to 46 days, so a month and a half after mating they will give birth to a litter of pups. The first litters of squirrel babies are born between February and April, and then the second litters are born in August or September. 

When Do Baby Squirrels Leave the Nest?

Baby squirrels, sometimes called squirrel pups, are born helpless with their eyes closed. At four weeks old, squirrel babies will open their eyes, then explore outside the nest at about six weeks. Once squirrels are 10 weeks old, they are fully ready to be on their own, and the mother squirrel kicks them out of the nest so she can start the mating cycle again.  There is a slight difference in this cycle between the first and second litter of the year. The first litter of the year will leave the nest right at 10 weeks, whereas the second litter, born in the late summer, will stay with the mother a bit longer, as they will typically hit maturity in the winter and will need to stay by their mother’s side to survive longer. 

Squirrel Nests in Attic

There are two main types of squirrel nests: a drey and a cavity nest. Dreys are the balls of dead leaves, twigs and grass that you often see high up in the bare branches of trees during the winter. Cavity nests are squirrel nests built inside a hollowed-out tree. The tree provides the squirrel with safety and comfort, and sometimes even a food source. Squirrels also have “vacation homes” which are a third type of nest that is used to rest and store food along their scavenging route. Squirrels will often build their nests inside your attic, as your attic provides a very safe, secure place where squirrels can rest and raise their babies in peace, without fear of harsh weather or predators. Squirrel nests inside your attic may be a main nest or a vacation home, but either way, they can cause a lot of damage. 

It might sound nice to let a family of squirrels stay in your attic, but in actuality, squirrels are dangerous wild animals, and nesting in your attic can pose a danger to both you and them. Squirrels will chew on wires and wood, rip up your attic insulation, and soil it with their urine and feces. Squirrels might also bring in outside nesting materials, which can react with chewed wires and torn insulation and cause a fire. Squirrels also carry parasites like mites, fleas and ticks, and can spread illnesses like leptospirosis, tularemia and salmonella

Humane Squirrel Removal in Westchester County

If you have squirrel nests inside your attic, don’t worry, Westchester Wildlife can help. We offer squirrel removal as well as seal-outs and exclusions to prevent the squirrels from re-entering the property. Never attempt to remove baby squirrels yourself, as mother squirrels are very adept at hiding their babies, and you might accidentally leave one in your attic space. Our technicians are trained to safely and carefully remove all squirrels from your attic, and we will set up a trapping program and a one way door to make sure the entire squirrel population is removed before we begin the seal out process. 

Contact Westchester Wildlife today for the best squirrel removal and squirrel nest removal in Westchester County. We also service Dutchess County, NY, Putnam County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT.  

Bird Proofing Your Home This Spring

Bird Proofing Your Home This Spring

Spring is almost here, and birds have already been causing issues in homes across Westchester County. Birds like pigeons, starlings and sparrows are known to nest inside attic spaces and exterior dryer vents, where they can cause extensive damage to your attic insulation and pose a fire hazard with their nests. Westchester Wildlife can help, we can remove birds from your property as well as provide deterrents to keep these birds away in the future.

Bird in Attic Damage

If your roof or soffit has a crack or gap that birds can exploit, they will use it to get inside your home and build a nest in your attic. Birds will often rip up your attic insulation to make their nest, which can lower the effectiveness of the insulation, leading to temperature dysregulation in the home. Birds may also rip out electrical wiring, which can cause a fire hazard. Birds also love to bring in outside nesting material like dead leaves, dead grass, pine needles, straw and twigs, which can also create a major fire hazard. Birds will also leave behind their droppings, which can contain uric acid, which will damage and corrode buildings over long periods of time. Bird droppings are also known to spread the spores that cause the fungal lung infection histoplasmosis. Birds also carry parasites like bird mites, which they can spread to the rest of the house. Birds inside your attic might also make a lot of noise, which can become a real nuisance while you are trying to sleep. 

Bird in Dryer Vent Damage

Most homes contain a clothes dryer, equipped with a vent to the outside that blows out hot air. Dryer lint is often caught and blown out this vent in the process. Birds are attracted to the enclosed space that these vents provide, protected from predators and the elements. Unfortunately, birds like pigeons, sparrows and starlings will bring in their dry nesting material, made of dead leaves and twigs. The dry nesting material can block the lint from being blown out and cause a buildup, and the hot air from the dryer reacting with the built-up lint and the dead leaves and twigs can create a major fire hazard. Pigeons, starlings and sparrows will leave behind droppings in these vents, which can corrode the structure over time and spread diseases like histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis.

Dryer Vent Bird Guards

Spring is on the way, so now is the best time to start bird-proofing your home. Your first step should be getting a heavy duty bird-guard installed on your dryer vent. Dryer vents are one of the biggest target areas for pigeons, sparrows and starlings, so installing one of these guards on your home now can save you the trouble of digging out nesting material from this vent later. Don’t worry about installing a bird guard yourself – Westchester Wildlife has you covered. We can install bird guards on your home in Westchester County, Putnam County and Dutchess County NY, as well as Fairfield County and Litchfield County, CT.

Bird Exclusions and Deterrents

Another great way to bird proof your home this spring is to have a licensed wildlife removal expert like Westchester Wildlife inspect your home for any potential entry points on your roof or soffit. After the entry points have been identified and all birds have been removed, then one of our licensed experts can seal off any cracks or gaps in your roof or soffit, preventing any birds from getting inside. 

For even further protection against birds, you can use commercial products like bird netting and spike strips, which will prevent these birds from even landing on target areas like roofs.

Best Bird Control Near Me

Bird proofing your home this spring is important, as when birds gain entry to the home, they can rip up your insulation, create fire hazards with their nesting material, and spread illnesses like histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis. Westchester Wildlife can help with your bird proofing projects this spring, we can provide you with bird guard installation and our expert technicians can identify and seal any entry points that birds are using to get inside your attic. If birds have soiled or ripped up your insulation, we also offer attic insulation remediation services. Contact us today to get started!

How to Prevent Groundhogs This Spring

How to Prevent Groundhogs This Spring

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are one of the most notorious wildlife you can have in your yard, as once these critters exit hibernation in the spring, they will rip up your lawn, hollow out the ground underneath structures like sheds and decks, and raid your garden for any fresh vegetables you may have. Westchester Wildlife can help, we offer groundhog trapping and removal, as well as wildlife fencing and exclusions to keep these troublesome critters from causing real damage to your property. 

When Does Groundhog Hibernation End?

Groundhogs hibernate for longer than most mammals in New York. Groundhogs will dig themselves deep into their burrow and curl up into a ball, dropping their metabolism,  slowing their heart rate and breathing down, and lowering their body temperature significantly. Groundhogs will put on extra fat layers as they prepare for hibernation, usually entering this state around late October, staying dormant until they emerge from hibernation in early March. During the early springtime, it is essential to begin preparing for the arrival of groundhogs, as they will soon be searching for places to build dens for their babies.  

Groundhog Damage

Groundhogs are burrowing animals, and they are known to dig out their extensive burrow systems inside your yard, which can hollow out the ground, making it weak and vulnerable to caving in, especially if a lot of weight is placed on it. Groundhogs can also dig their tunnels underneath decks, porches and sheds, which can compromise their structural integrity and lead to these structures sinking into the earth. Groundhogs can even dig their tunnels underneath your home’s foundation, which can cause lead to your foundation cracking and sinking into the ground. 

Groundhogs can chew through buried electrical wire, and they can also chew on your outdoor patio tile, which can cause it to crack and break. Groundhogs are also known to dig inside vegetable gardens, to feast on the crops growing inside.  When groundhogs dig through your yard and garden, they can disrupt root systems of both your vegetable plants and fruit trees, which can kill these plants. 

How To Prevent Groundhog Under Sheds, Decks, Porches and Foundations

Groundhogs are extremely clever animals that will quickly wizen up to most wildlife harassment techniques, so the most effective method of groundhog prevention is to install wildlife fencing around the areas that you need protected, like a shed, deck, porch or foundation. Wildlife fences can also be installed around the perimeter of the entire yard. Groundhogs are burrowing animals, so making sure these fences are buried at least a foot into the ground is essential. 

Don’t stress about building these wildlife fences yourself, contact Westchester Wildlife. We offer groundhog seal-outs, exclusions, and wildlife barriers/wildlife fencing to prevent these large rodents from damaging your home. 

How To Prevent Groundhogs from Eating Your Garden

Groundhogs will often dig up and eat the fresh vegetables and fruit from your garden, often killing the plants in the process. If you have a green thumb and take an active interest in keeping up your garden, this can be very frustrating. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent groundhogs from getting inside your garden. Burying a wildlife fence at least a foot deep in the ground around the perimeter of your garden can deter these groundhogs from getting inside. Groundhogs are also drawn to yards with tall grasses and heavy vegetation, so keeping the grass outside your garden cut short and clear of excess plants will keep groundhogs from digging in your yard, as it won’t feel safe. 

Cost of Groundhog Removal

Westchester Wildlife offers groundhog trapping and removal in the Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam counties of New York, as well as in Fairfield County, CT. The cost of groundhog removal is variable, based on various factors including the size of your property and the extent of your groundhog problem. We’d love to hear from you, so contact us today to get started at 800.273.6673

Groundhog Removal Services Near Me

Groundhogs can be very clever, and can easily avoid traps if you aren’t acutely aware of their patterns and behavior. Thankfully, Westchester Wildlife can help. We offer the best groundhog trapping and removal services for both residential and commercial properties in Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, NY as well as Fairfield County, CT.  

What Happens To House Sparrows In Winter?

There are many different species of sparrows in the US, but the house sparrow is the most widespread. These little brown birds are also most often found to be in conflict with humans. They happily live in towns and cities as they are very adaptable and skilled at taking advantage of the opportunities we provide to them.

Keep reading to learn more about the habits of house sparrows in the winter and the conseqences of their cohabitation with humans.


How Do Sparrows Survive The Winter?

During the cold months, house sparrows find their way into all sorts of man-made habitats. We create perfect habitat for them and they thrive on the shelter and food we supply.

The house sparrow stays all winter in the US. These birds may occupy their old nesting sites from previous years, establish new ones, or take over their chosen sites before the arrival of migrating birds in spring, and even usurp nests that the migrating birds have built.

In winter, house sparrows feed on a huge range of foods, from various types of seeds and grains, to discarded food scraps and agricultural crops.


Do House Sparrows Nest In Winter?

House sparrows will most likely build their nests between February and May, and use them throughout the year. In spring and summer, the nest is used to raise young, while in fall and winter, it serves as a place to rest and sleep.

Typically, the nesting season starts in April and lasts until August, but nesting may continue in other months, too.


Where Do Sparrows Nest In Winter?

House sparrows like to make their homes in, on, or near buildings. They prefer to nest in cavities, hollows, dryer and other vents, attic vent louvers, and crevices such as around window-mounted AC units.

Also, awnings, street signs, eaves of the roof, or underneath tiles are their favorite nesting locations.

Wherever they find some space to squeeze in and can make the most of the shelter, house sparrows will move in. They can also take over other birds nests.

What Problems Do House Sparrows Cause?

Despite their small size, house sparrows are very aggressive. They can cause many problems for native birds as they will attack, harass, and kill them when competing for nesting sites. Sparrows can also destroy their eggs and hatchlings, and take over their food sources from bird feeders.

While on your property, it is only the manner in which these birds accommodate themselves in your home that can cause a problem for you.

Like all birds, sparrows have the ability to cause significant damage to your house, both outside and inside. They seek shelter in enclosed or protected areas and like to build nests that are large and act as a link for their colony and activities.

Their habit of stuffing nesting material in dryer, stove, and fan vents may cause the vents not function properly and prevent further use of the vents, which is a more serious problem.

In addition, sparrows nesting in your house structure could result in the following:

– Damage to roof tiles. Nesting sparrows can dislodge the tiles.

– Bird droppings. Their feces can carry harmful diseases.

– Filthy, unhygienic waste and foul odor. Their old nests may contain rotten eggs and decaying chicks that failed to survive.

– Insects and pests. The material they use to build nests can contain insects and other small pests that can then find their way into your attic and home, causing more problems for you.


How Can You Keep Sparrows Away From Your House?

Therefore, getting rid of house sparrows and their nests from places you don’t want and preventing these birds from building new nests in your house, is the first and best approach.

For this, it’s good to install covers over vents to keep sparrows and other birds out, and check screening over louvers before the birds make their way in. Exclusion methods are particularly useful, such as nets, sheet metal, or hardware cloth in order to block any openings that could serve as potential nesting areas. You may use various deterrents or tactile gels that help prevent roosting and perching.

Always remember to remove the nesting material and make sure that there are no chicks present in the nest before excluding the birds.


If you notice sparrows, or any other nuisance birds nesting or flying on your property, it’s best to have them eliminated immediately.

If your home is located in one of our service areas of Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, NY, or Fairfield County, CT, reach out to us for help with our bird removal services. Westchester Wildlife is a top-rated bird removal company in your local area.

Call us today to schedule a bird removal inspection and get a quote with a member of our expert wildlife control team.

Can Noises Scare Deer Away From Your Yard?

Deer are majestic animals that are pretty to look at if you manage to catch a glimpse of them galloping through the forest. But they can quickly turn into an invasive pest once set loose in your yard. They will destroy your tender crops, leaving plenty of vegetation damage.

This wildlife doesn’t gather and store food for winter, but consumes whatever is available throughout the year. In winter, deer feed on the lower branches of evergreen trees and shrubs, while in summer they forage mainly on garden crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, bulbs, and flowers.

Keep reading as we share a bit of insight into their habits, which you may take advantage of to keep deer out of your property and save your garden from becoming a free buffet.

The best starting point for keeping nuisance deer away is to use scare tactics. There are plenty of ways to deter deer but the perfect place to start is by using sound and targeting their sense of hearing. Try to frighten them using loud noises or whistles, just be careful not to disturb your neighbors.


Are Deer Scared Of Noises?

Deer are shy and skittish but also smart and highly adaptable animals, so you must skillfully target their senses if you want to keep your yard safe from deer.

Their ability to distinguish between natural and unnatural noises in the forest gives them an advantage. Most loud noises that are not the usual everyday sounds of wild animals, will startle deer. Anything that’s unfamiliar to them can throw them off and make them too nervous to come near.

These creatures have funnel-shaped ears that are designed to pinpoint the source and exact direction from which the sound is coming. And it’s not only an advantage for them, but it also allows homeowners to use the precision of deer ears to deter them from the yard and garden.


What Noises Are Deer Scared Of?

If you have a really persistent deer turning your garden into its next feeding spot, using noises as deterrents might work for you.

They will be afraid of loud, banging noises, yelling, or barking dogs. To keep deer from ravaging your property, try using auditory deterrents such as bells, whistles, radios, alarms, and ultrasonic devices to scare them away when you notice them. Introduce motion-activated devices that create startling sounds, preferably in combination with movement or bright light.

Scare deer off before they do too much damage in your yard. Use metal cans, pie pans, or wind chimes suspended by strings as they make noise when they rattle in the wind.

Pinwheels can also repel deer with their noise when they’re attached to branches, fences, or dowels around your yard. The noise, movements, and colors should be enough to startle any deer, at least until it learns there is no real threat. Noise-making deterrents like gas or propane exploders produce loud noises that frighten deer away, and have been used to help protect gardens and crops.

In addition, deer are known to hate ultrasonic pest control devices as they emit high-frequency sounds. Such repellents are a humane and noninvasive option to get rid of deer. Some devices even combine ultrasonic technology with motion sensors and lights, and they work best.

What Frequency Scares Deer Off?

Ultrasonic devices work on deer as these animals are able to hear ultrasonic sounds. Deer can hear at almost the same frequencies as humans, but they are better at determining the direction and cause of each sound they hear.

They can hear high frequency soundwaves, between about 250 and 30,000 hertz, which means they can hear tones that are well above what humans can detect. Their hearing however is most sensitive to moderate frequencies, from 4 to 8,000 hertz. A frequency of 15-25,000 herz is still silent to most people, but it can successfully repel deer from your yard.


Will Deer Come Back After Being Spooked?

Spooked deer will come back to their bedding area, but how soon they return depends on how much something has frightened them. If they can’t identify any danger, they won’t hesitate and will return sooner than if they saw or sensed a human.

On the other hand, the loud noises you use to scare them off will definitely work, but keeping this wildlife away is the hardest part. If they find food scarce in winter, or they liked the veggies you grow in your garden and they designate your yard as their feeding ground, they will be back again.

So if you plan on using sound to keep deer out of your yard, it is advised to change your strategies frequently. These animals can easily adapt to new methods of deterring them, which makes you work overtime to ensure the safety of your property.


Are you experiencing constant problems on your property with wild animals such as deer? To protect your garden and lawn from deer damage, droppings, and mess, it is best to get professional help by contacting a wildlife control specialist.

Westchester Wildlife company can help you choose the right strategy to prevent deer from destroying your garden or yard. You can rely on our wildlife removal and control services, whether you live in Fairfield County CT, or Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties NY. What’s more, at Westchester Wildlife we are focused on humane and least stressful methods of wild animal removal. So call us today!

Does A Shrew Make Noise?

If you’ve never had a problem with shrews on your property, you will think these tiny mouse-like animals scurrying around are cute. But when a lot of them show up in your home or yard, they quickly become not so cute, especially when you realize that their bites are actually quite venomous.

Shrews are very vocal mammals. They make a lot of noise as they go about their daily routine. When they get into your home where you can hear them all the time, you will soon grow to hate their sounds.

Therefore, if you spot a shrew in your house or yard, you must act promptly to get rid of it. Keep reading to learn in detail about the sounds that shrews make and how to recognize them.

What Kind Of Sounds Do Shrews Make?

Shrews are noisy little creatures that have a diverse repertoire of communication sounds. Their vocalizations are their way of communicating.

By nature, unlike bat sounds, the shrew sounds are low-amplitude, multi-harmonic, broadband, and often modulated.

They make a range of squeaking and chirping calls, as well as faint high-pitched laryngeal twittering calls. Shrews also emit sounds such as clicks, hisses, churls, whistles, barks, buzzes, and short screams.

Shrews usually run along, making short ‘brrrrr’ noises. However, during the wintertime, you won’t be able to hear them that much in the snow on the ground.

Why Do Shrews Make Noise?

Since shrews are active both during the day and night, you will usually be able to notice the noises they emit. They communicate with a series of different sounds such as squeaks and clicks.

However, just like bats, shrews also make very high-pitched sounds that are beyond the range of human hearing. Especially if you’ve lost some of your ability to hear high frequencies, you may struggle to hear some of their sounds.

High-pitched sounds serve for communication purposes, to converse and communicate within families, and for interactions between mother and young.

Just like bats, shrews use an echo‐based orientation system. But it is simpler, and instead of using it for finding food, they use it to explore their surroundings.

Shrews are animals digging in the ground, so they need to produce a variety of sounds to communicate, navigate, and locate objects and other obstacles in their tunnels. When moving about, especially in new places, they find their way by making high-pitched twittering sounds that bounce off of their nearby surroundings. Their calls are for identifying routes through the new environment, for obtaining information from their surroundings, and for probing habitat types. These are ultrasonic sounds that are emitted for echolocation purposes.

Besides the ultrasonic echolocation sounds made by shrews, there are several other sounds that humans are able to hear, especially when these pests are being territorial. Because shrews are very territorial and aggressive, they can sometimes be heard fighting, and their squeaks and chirps are particularly noticeable in the summer.

Their loud sounds can show fear and aggression when fighting or interacting with other individuals. They also act as an alarm to defend themselves, ward off potential threats, and when the animal is panicking and feels threatened.

Other shrew sounds such as clicks, may occur during courtship. Male shrews will make these noises to attract and court females.

Up to 17 different types of calls have been identified, suggesting that shrews need to communicate something on a regular basis. Otherwise, if they make too much noise for no apparent reason, they risk being found by predators and eaten as they are tiny animals. Most often, the shrews make noise when they are encountering other animals or marking their territory with calls.

Meanwhile, some shrews can be heard making repetitive, low, squeaking noises while they’re lying still in their nests on their own and doing absolutely nothing.

If you frequently hear or notice small creatures running around your landscape, you might have a problem with shrews. Keep in mind that controlling shrews can be a challenge for homeowners, therefore implementing an integrated pest management approach, along with methods such as trapping, baiting, and habitat modification can guarantee the best chance of success.

If you’ve been experiencing issues with shrews on your property, you might need professional help with your shrew trapping and removal. Give our Westchester Wildlife team a call, whether you’re located in Westchester County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, NY, or Fairfield County, CT.

Our exterminators are highly skilled and knowledgeable, and specialize in a wide range of pest and wildlife control services, including getting rid of shrews. Contact us today and let us know how we can assist you!

What Attracts Opossums To Your House?

If you keep hearing noises like fast screeching or hissing coming from your garbage can, then it’s likely to be an opossum or one of many other small wild animals. You can frequently find opossums in urban areas as they are used to seeing humans.

Under normal circumstances, opossums will occasionally meander through the yard in search of food and water, before moving on somewhere else. This is how they end up in your house. Typically, these animals don’t stick around for too long, unless the female makes your home her home for her newborn babies.

Opossums are nocturnal creatures that come out shortly after sunset. This is why you may encounter one, or more of them in your house at night. But that’s not always the case as sick opossums can sometimes be seen in the afternoon as well. Anyhow, these mammals are typically bad news for homeowners and gardeners.

However, opossums are not likely to make their way into people’s homes unless there is an easy entry point and a good reason for them to come in, that is, food, water, and shelter.

Food and water sources are the same reasons why they come indoors as they come to your yard. These are scavengers that like to go around in constant search of food and water, and they will pay return visits to places that offer them what they need. They have an acute sense of smell and are able to pick up the smell of food from far away. So they’ll go around sniffing until they find the source. Therefore, remember not to make your living spaces inviting for opossums.


There are a few things that will attract opossums to your house:

Filled Up Garbage Cans
These can definitely attract opossums to your home. A trash can that’s stuffed with all kinds of discarded food is an invitation for opossums to come over. The marsupials will have very easy access to the contents of the bin, if it’s not sealed properly.


Pet Food
You will definitely attract them to make their way indoors if there is a bowl of water and pet food beside the front door. If you’re someone who feeds your cat or dog at the door or outside, then it’s highly possible that an opossum will sniff out the scraps at night.

As these pests lead a nocturnal lifestyle, if the leftover food is not consumed quickly by your pet, or even worse, if it’s left to sit out overnight, you may find that it’s missing by the morning.


Partially Rotten Fruit
Opossums are opportunistic omnivores, and they feed primarily on various plants, insects, and carrion outside, but they will also eat fruits and flowers indoors.

Sweet fruits such as berries, pineapples, or mangos, are their favorites. You might have a bowl of partially rotten pieces of fruit left out on the kitchen table. If you don’t throw them away in time, these little scavengers can pick up the smell and come.

They could have a take on your fragrant pot plants at home, too.

How To Get Rid Of Opossums In Your House?

Once you have identified the culprit, you can now start getting rid of them. If you realize that the opossum is overstaying its welcome on your property, there are some methods to eliminate the problem.

First of all, seal off all entry points, and remember to close and secure pet doors at night. Make sure they don’t find their way inside.

To keep opossums out, turn on the radio or TV, or hang wind chimes. These animals are scared of unusual noises, particularly when they are not sure of the source. But it’s crucial to change the radio or TV station once in a while, and alternate between the wind chimes and radio stations.

Another good way to deal with the opossum on your own, without harming them, is to sprinkle chili powder in various areas of your house. Opossums clearly don’t like the smell or taste of chili powder and will stay away.

Finally, an effective way to get rid of opossums is to set up live traps in and around your house. However, because the trap can only take one animals at a time, using traps to remove this wildlife is only effective when you’re dealing with a single animal. Since opossums are slow creatures that can’t see very well, placing traps around your property makes it easy to get rid of them.

It’s also important to remember that they possess a special skill, which is their ability to play dead. That’s why you should be extra careful when approaching a captured opossum. Even though they don’t usually attack people, opossums are riddled with transmittable diseases, such as tuberculosis, leptospirosis, coccidiosis, or toxoplasmosis. As such, they can be dangerous if they manage to scratch or bite you, or if you make contact with their urine or feces.


If you’re not someone to face an opossum in your house, it’s best to hire a wildlife control expert to handle that for you. The professional will know exactly what to do as they have a lot of experience eradicating wildlife of all sorts.

So don’t hesitate to call your local Westchester Wildlife team, and someone will come out and help you remove the critter. We safely and humanely trap and eliminate wildlife in Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, NY, as well as in Fairfield County, CT.

Do Chipmunks Hibernate In Winter?

Whenever there is cold weather, chipmunks spend most of their time hibernating and simply sleeping or resting in their dens. They are known to be quite occupied, and just one of them will quickly gather up to 165 acorns per day.

In as little as two days, the chipmunk will have managed to collect enough food to take them through the whole winter season. However, they are also known to store up more food than is necessary, so they will typically have collected more than they need for the cold months.

Even though they are known to hibernate during the winter, chipmunks will not be asleep for the entire season as most other hibernators do. They will typically retreat back to their burrows. Occasionally, they wake up to bring their body temperature back to normal.

When they are on these awake breaks, the chipmunks will feed on the food stored over time to build up their fat reserves. This is very important for the cold season aa it allows them to stay protected from the cold. Every few days, the chipmunk wakes up for temperature adjustment, has a few more nuts, and quietly goes back to sleep for some more days.


What Months Do Chipmunks Hibernate?

The typical period for chipmunk hibernation lies between October and the middle of March. This is usually when the weather outside is harsh and the temperatures have dropped to deficient levels.

The chipmunks in the southern parts of the US have better weather, as it is much warmer in these places. As such, they will hibernate for a shorter amount of time, between December and late January. Their bodies also undergo essential changes that enable them to survive the winter.

These are all important as they ensure that the chipmunk can survive the harsh, cold months and get them through safely and as intact as possible. The months of hibernation are generally uneventful, and not many things happen during that time for chipmunks.

At What Temperature Do Chipmunks Hibernate?

At around 40°F is when the chipmunk starts to hibernate. Once it has gotten cold enough, it will retreat to its burrow to spend the winter.

Other things also happen when the chipmunk is undergoing the hibernation process. These enable them to spend as little energy as possible, and as such, they will easily manage to get through the winter with much ease. For instance, their body temperature will start to lower to match them with their surroundings. As such, they will not lose heat quickly, allowing them to maintain a constant temperature for the rest of the winter.

They will also slow their heart rate down from the usual 350 beats per minute to a mere four beats per minute. This is several magnitudes slower and indicates the changes the chipmunk has to undergo to stay safe and warm for the winter. When their hearts are beating this slow, they can sleep out the rest of the winter and get the rest they have worked so hard for.


Where Do Chipmunks Sleep In The Winter?

The most excellent chipmunk preference is to live alone in an underground hole or burrow, referred to as a den. They like to hibernate when the weather is cold, and this is where they will spend most of their time, staying insulated from the harsh cold temperatures outside.

They are usually relaxed when in hibernation, and most of their body functions are significantly slower to enable them to get through the cold winters. Most of the time a chipmunk spends in hibernation goes to sleep while a portion is reserved for feeding, urinating, and defecating.

What Do Chipmunks Eat When They Hibernate?

Inside a chipmunk’s den is enough storage space for their nuts and seeds. These nuts and seeds are essential as they are a food source for the chipmunk that lasts through the entire winter. They love to eat and will wake up occasionally to get fed and get the break they need from the enormous amount of rest they have had.

Chipmunks usually gather enough nuts and seeds to eat throughout the winter, which is what the rest of the year is meant for. They are very hardworking creatures and, as such, will work through all kinds of challenges to get the much-needed supplies in storage and ready for the cold winter months.


Our experts are trained to remove all types of nuisance wildlife, including chipmunks. We provide effective trapping and removal services in Westchester County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT. So if you’re having chipmunk issues on your property at any time of the year, call Westchester Wildlife to get rid of them!

Is It Bad To Have Bats In Your Chimney?

While bats are considered to be beneficial to the environment, having them in your chimney and home is anything but pleasant.

Typically, chimneys can be a way for bats to get in by mistake. This wildlife can accidentally enter your house through the chimney. Whatever the case, there are multiple issues and dangers associated with having bats in the chimney and you should therefore deal with the infestation as soon as possible.

Bats can cause serious annoyance and a real danger to your chimney. Many bat species tend to colonize, and the chimney is a great place for bats to build their nest. The nesting material can go up flames when a fire is burning in your fireplace and cause a chimney fire if not taken care of immediately.

When bats roost in chimneys, their urine and droppings accumulate on roof shingles and bricks. This results in a musty odor and dirty runoff when it rains.

The whole house will start to smell, making it unbearable to live in.

Bats living in the chimney also create unsightly, dark, greasy stains that look similar to those left by rodents.

If you spot a bat trapped in your chimney, you should not touch or go near it, even when it’s dead. Bats are dangerous animals as they spread numerous diseases that can be deadly to humans. Whenever bats live near humans, there is a high risk of contracting rabies from their bite. Even a dead bat may carry the disease.

In addition, bat urine and droppings can also be harmful to the health of those who live in the house. Airborne spores that develop in guano, i.e. bat feces, can transmit Histoplasmosis to people.


Can Bats Get In Through The Chimney?

Bats can quickly fly down and up the chimney. If you go outside and watch their flight direction, you may see them heading out to feed at dusk or getting back at dawn.

These pests will infest homes by slipping around metal flashing around the chimney. They have the ability to fit into very small openings and can enter the chimney through a gap as small as 3/8 of an inch.

If you have bats in your chimney chances there is likely some damage to the  chimney or a missing cap in the structure. Bats tend to enter chimneys through loose mortar joints or tuck points.

The chimney is a convenient place for bats to find entry into your home. As you probably don’t have a fire burning in your fireplace 24/7, these mammals will easily access the interior of your home.

The chimney is a logical path to choose as its structure is basically a large passageway that leads from your home’s warm interior to the cold outside world. The protected shaft provides a safe haven for wildlife to build nests and a quiet place for them to shelter from the elements. However, bats roosting in the chimney is bad news for you.

Do Bats Roost And Live In Chimneys?

Typically, bats are found living in attics and crawl spaces, but it is very common to encounter them living inside chimneys as well.

Bats love to live in the chimneys of residential and commercial buildings. Chimneys can be a great home for critters as they offer all of the roosting requirements for bat colonies. They are dark and secluded, and give enough space for them to hang upside down.

The shelter and warmth of the heat coming up from your house through the chimney makes it a very attractive nesting area.

These animals generally enter chimneys to reproduce and hibernate. Female bats particularly need a warm and safe place in which to raise their young. Therefore, if you have a maternity colony of bats living in your chimney, it can mean a long-lasting problem for your home. This wildlife has strong homing instincts and usually returns to the same roosting site to breed every season.


How To Tell If You Have Bats In Your Chimney?

There are some signs that indicate that you have bats living in your chimney.

Do an inspection to find out exactly where the bats are going in and out. They tend to choose small horizontal openings. If you do a night watch, you might observe the bat swarm flying out of areas near your chimney around dusk or dawn. This is when they are leaving as a group or are returning as a group.

Bats make distinctive sounds in the chimney, which can differentiate them from birds or other wildlife. You may hear high-pitched squeaking, cheeping, and rapid wing movements coming from inside the flue. These sounds are particularly noticeable at dusk and dawn when they are awake and moving around.

Bat droppings can be found around the inside and outside of the chimney. You might smell a strong, unusual ammonia-like odor that’s similar to a dirty litter box.


What To Do If You Have Bats In Your Chimney?

If there are bats infesting your chimney, various methods can be helpful.

First of all, it is important to block their entry by sealing all entrances except one and then installing exclusion tubes. This is a device that is a one-way exit so that the bats can fly out but can’t get back in.

Placing wire mesh screens over a chimney deters bats from roosting, however, make sure you don’t accidentally trap any animal inside.

Chimney caps are another easy method to keep bats and other forms of wildlife from gaining access to your home. Galvanized steel is the best option for sealing holes around chimneys.


Lastly, remember to never attempt to remove a bat from your chimney yourself. Always seek the help of a licensed professional.

If you believe you have unwanted guests in your chimney, don’t panic. Bats in chimneys do not have to be a headache.

At Westchester Wildlife, our experts understand the risks associated with bat removal and know how to safely, humanely, and legally remove these pests from chimneys. Call us today to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our bat removal services in Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, NY, or in Fairfield County, CT.

Two brown hibernating bats