Licensed and Insured



Licensed and Insured

Are Beavers Friendly To Humans?

No matter if you live in the suburbs, in a rural area, or decide to go hiking or camping, you may encounter a beaver. Whether you become frightened or think the animal is cute, you may wonder if beavers are timid, friendly to humans, or dangerous. In short, while beavers are rarely aggressive, they are not necessarily friendly, either.


Do Beavers Like Humans Or Are They Afraid?

Beavers are wild animals and they prefer to be left alone in their natural habitat. You should not expect a beaver to walk up to you, pose quietly as you take pictures, or show other signs of friendliness.

While you will not encounter friendly beavers, they may actually be afraid of you. If you happen to be too close to a beaver, do not be surprised if he scurries away. As beavers do not like to be around people, these rodents simply want to get back to a safer environment.


Are Beavers Dangerous To Humans?

In most cases, beavers are not dangerous to people. The best way to avoid unnecessary problems with beavers is to leave them alone. Whether beavers live near your home, or you see them when you are out and about, they will generally not bother you if you do not bother them.

Are Beavers Gentle Or Aggressive Towards People?

In most instances, the answer to this question is “neither.” As beavers rarely approach humans, they are neither gentle nor aggressive. You can coexist peacefully with these animals if you keep a distance between them and yourself.

However, there are some circumstances in which beavers can become aggressive. One example is if a beaver feels threatened. If you are coming too close, and it perceives your behavior as threatening, it can react in an aggressive manner. This is why you should never corner a beaver.

A second example involves a beaver’s territorial nature. A beaver’s dam is not its home. It is a beaver’s protection against predators. There are numerous wild animals that prey on beavers, such as coyotes or foxes. The dam also ensures that beavers can access food in the wintertime.

As a dam has a purpose for beavers, it is only logical that they need to protect it. Dams are not meant for human enjoyment or entertainment. Never approach a dam out of curiosity or to take pictures, and never allow children to play near it. Otherwise, the beavers can become aggressive.

A third example is a beaver that has rabies. While rabies infections show symptoms, stay alert to behaviors that are not common in beavers. Any kind of agitated behavior is the reason for concern.

If you think a beaver may have rabies, do not get near the animal. Immediately call a wildlife control company in your area so that they can safely remove it from your property. Not only can rabies be deadly to a beaver, but it can be a life-threatening situation for you, too, if you are bitten. The same possibility applies to domestic animals. You should keep your pets away from beaver dams, and other areas where beavers are common.

Fourth, beavers can attack when they are afraid. As they are nocturnal animals, it can be as basic as disorientation during the daytime. A beaver can feel fear even when there is no other reason.


Can A Beaver Attack, Kill, Or Bite You?

Yes, beavers can bite, attack, and even kill people. Although it is not common, it is occurring more and more frequently. One reason there are more attacks is people fail to use logic. If you intrude into a beaver’s territory, do not expect a welcome response.

If you are bitten by a beaver, it can result in a dangerous infection or a serious injury. Although bites themselves are rarely fatal, at least one reported fatality has occurred. A bite severed a man’s artery, and the man bled to death. The smartest way to deal with beavers is to enjoy them from a distance.

However, a beaver will not usually attack without warning. If it is on land, it will stand on its hind legs. If it is in the water, it will slap its tail. Before it attacks a human or an animal, it will start hissing and growling. If a beaver shows any of these signs that it is preparing to attack, do not wait to see what happens. Take it as a warning to get out of the area as quickly as possible.

If you encounter a beaver on your property, get in touch with a wildlife professional who is experienced in trapping and removing wild animals. At Westchester Wildlife, we are your beaver control specialist! Contact us today if you require beaver control or removal services in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, or Fairfield counties.

Do Opossums In Roof Cause Damage?

Any wildlife invading the roof, including opossums, can cause damage to the structure of your house. Opossums are known to invade man-made buildings for a variety of reasons, such as shelter and food. If you have discovered an opossum living in your roof, take the necessary precautions to get rid of the animal.

The primary cause of opossum damage is their need for finding shelter. Opossums that stay outside will look for a suitable place to shelter.

If the opossum gets in your house, they will look search for a location to live in your attic or crawlspace. The animal may gnaw on wires and support beams, causing damage to the building structure. Wires that are chewed can cause electrical fires or cause an animal to be electrocuted. Support beams are important in keeping the structure of your house intact. If chewed, severe damage or even collapse can occur.

Opossums are also known to cause damage through their need for food. These marsupials will look for openings in which they can enter homes to find food. They are omnivores and may go after insulation, carpet, vinyl flooring, and drywall for food. Opossums also feast on insects such as termites and carpenter ants, which they consume while scratching the foundation of your house.

If you find an opossum in your roof, try to make the animal leave on its own accord. Often, the animal is seeking shelter or looking for food; it may not explore your home for very long. Leave the animal a well-lit exit to use, such as an open door or window. If you want to remove the opossum from your home yourself, make sure to do it safely. The last thing you want is a fight between an opossum and a human.

Opossums are generally not harmful to people, with rare exceptions. They might become dangerous with their ability to transmit many diseases such as tuberculosis leptospirosis, spotted fever, coccidiosis, tularemia, and others, thus, posing a serious health threat to humans and pets.

If you do not want opossums in your roof or anywhere on your property, contact a wildlife removal specialist to help remove the animal.


How Do Opossums Get In Your Roof?

Opossums get on the roof by climbing the trees surrounding the house. Once they’re on top of a tree beside your house, they can jump onto your roof. They may also climb a house’s corner, stairs, drain spout, or porch railing.

Once at the top of your house, the opossum will find a way inside to eat their favorite foods – insects, fruits, pet food, and garbage. They’ll leave smelly droppings behind as well. You will start noticing some exterior damage around the place it is residing.

To prevent a possum from climbing and getting in your roof and attic, trim large trees and branches back at least 5 feet away from the house. Wrap tree trunks to prevent scratching by sharp claws as they climb. Trim any exposed tree roots to keep opossums from using them as a foothold. Keep your porch, stairs, and other “hard-toed” areas free of grease, oil, or sticky substances that they could get stuck to. Clear away brush piles and dense ground foliage so they will not be an easy spot for the opossum to hide.

Can Opossums Live In Your Roof, And Why?

Opossums can live on your roof, and they surely will if you’re not careful. They can climb nearly any surface, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to live on top of your house.

They’ll only go up there when forced out of their territory, and this typically happens during the mating season. Since they can’t get very far, they’ll usually start looking for a place to sleep, which is often your roof. They may even have a den already set up in one of your gable vents or soffits! Once they find a comfortable spot, safe from predators and without too much noise, their new home will be hard to evict.


What To Do When You Have Opossums In Your Roof?

Opossums are shy creatures, so you need to give them a safe route to get out without being exposed. The best way is to have a cover on the ground below the roof. If this isn’t possible, place boards or anything opossums can use as a bridge between your roof and another structure nearby. After the opossum has left the roof, clean the areas thoroughly with disinfectant to get rid of the bad odor.

Once you have got the possum out of your roof, make sure to check the area for entrance points. An opossum is known to be a great climber, so it may have left through a window, or other opening, that should be easily closed and sealed with caulk around the frame. It is important to close all access points to the attic, which the wildlife may use to get inside.

If an opossum is currently living in your roof, do not attempt to go up and get it out. They may bite and scratch and the risk of contracting a disease through their teeth or claws is high. Do not approach the animal and call a professional pest and wildlife control company for assistance. The experienced technicians will humanely trap it and remove it from your house.

If you have an opossum problem or any problem regarding wildlife that has invaded your home, contact our team of experts at Westchester Wildlife right away. We serve Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, NY, and Fairfield County, CT.

Do Voles Infest Houses Or Just Lawns?

Voles are small mammals that look cute and harmless, but they are also known for causing damage due to their tendency to dig. They are often confused with either moles or mice, but they are neither of them. The meadow vole, also known as the meadow mouse, is a rodent closely related to a mouse but not quite the same.

These small animals are not aggressive but lead a very active life and are known for their great digging abilities. Although they do not infest houses often or on purpose, they can sometimes be found indoors. One or two of them may find their way into your house by accident.

Voles are not the kind of animals that sleep when it is dark, and therefore, they can be active whether it is day and at night. Being active all year round and their ability to dig makes voles very destructive whenever they invade your outdoor property. These rodents can do a lot of damage to your lawn and garden when they dig tunnels in the soil.

They enjoy eating plants and gnawing stems of plants, and they also like feasting on grass blades. That is why they can be very destructive to grass as well as crops. When voles come to your property, you will notice some previously healthy plants are damaged or dead because the voles have feasted on the roots.


Why Do Voles Go Into Houses And How Do They Get Inside?

Typically, voles are not indoor pests and are not interested in getting into your home. They spend most of their time outdoors, even when they end up in your home. Their greatest interest is the plants in your yard as they feed on them.

Voles are not very afraid of snow but may want to seek shelter by burrowing through it to get to a warmer place. During winter, the voles may let the snow cover them and protect them from their predators.

But sometimes they may want to seek some heat and thus dig a tunnel in the lawn searching for a warm space. These tunnels may lead them into the house without knowing, depending on where they begin their burrowing. For example, they may start digging from underneath your patio and find themselves ending into the warm space of your house. Their main intention may not be to get into your house, but the tunnels may lead to the house.

Voles are very skilled at digging, and if they infest your yard, you will immediately know when you find some holes that look like a series of raised tunnels on the surface of your lawn. The voles make these underground tunnels as they dig in the turf. They also wear down the grass with their feces as they move along their runways that they have created in the lawn.

These animals are poor climbers and do not like to infest buildings, but they sometimes find themselves in the house without planning. The digging behavior of voles leads them to make burrows, especially when they feel that it has become colder outside. But all they want is to get into a warmer place, not realizing that sometimes the tunnels may lead into a house.

Can Voles Damage Houses And What Damage Can They Do To Your Property?

When voles get into your outdoor property, most of which they will do as they seek watered lawns during the dry season, they can damage your lawn and trees in your yard.

These small animals like running around in the tunnels they create in your landscape. They will do that by feeding on your lawn and any garden plants in your yard. You will notice extensive vole damage around your home’s foundation plantings. The animals can also gnaw through all the way around the base of young trees and other woody vegetation.

This can be very frustrating because they like concentrating more on the roots of the plants and this is what causes most of the plants to die. In addition, voles live in colonies, and as the colonies keep growing, they eventually increase the number of tunnels and spread them all over the lawn.

However, that does not mean that you should let them stay in your house if they happen to get inside, just because they don’t do much with your property. When they get into your house, they might bring parasites like ticks, mites, and fleas that are harmful to you and your pets. Also, their feces and urine are not safe and can spread some serious diseases. Therefore, as much as voles may not bite you, you should not tolerate them and live with them in the house.

Voles are known to dig through the fence into your garden. To protect your vegetation from a vole infestation, you can install a special vole-proof, woven wire or hardware cloth fence around small gardens and flower beds to keep those rodents away.

You can also use vole repellant products to spray in your yard, but your best bet is to call professional exterminators once you find these animals have entered before using any home remedies.

Our vole removal experts at Westchester Wildlife know best how to deal with the rodents and how to eliminate them from your property. So protect your home, call us today for more information and to make an appointment.

Are Chipmunks Smarter Than Squirrels?

Animals tend to have intelligent capabilities that are far advanced beyond what we think about them. Animals have improved their habits based on the influence of the environment, and most of the things they do indicate that they are bright and intelligent.

When we compare a chipmunk and a squirrel, we find the chipmunk to be smarter than a squirrel. This might come as a surprise, but it is a fact observed from their nature. Both animals are smart and intelligent, but the chipmunk is a bit smarter than the squirrel. Let us break it down.


How Intelligent Is A Chipmunk And A Squirrel?

Chipmunks are known to make homes for themselves by creating complex tunnel systems in their burrows. They can create a system up to 30 feet long, which is evidence of their great IQ. They can also make nests in bushes and logs and only interact during the mating season. They also have a complicated communication system that uses various calls, which all have different meanings.

Squirrels are always obsessed with nuts. They can always be seen burying them and seem always to remember precisely where they had buried their stash. Instead of storing all their nuts in one place to prepare for the winter, the squirrels are scatter-hoarders and will keep nuts in several places.

This shows that they are organized creatures that are always meticulous about how they store their food. They also have a strong sense of smell which helps them find food.

However, in terms of IQ, the chipmunks exceed the squirrels since they have been known to create more complex systems for their habitat.

How Do Chipmunks And Squirrels Communicate?

Chipmunks have vocal communication, which is primarily made up of a series of high-pitched “chip” noises that are similar to the chirping of birds. The repeated sounds can last for up to 30 minutes and make claims on their territories. If these calls are challenged, it can sometimes lead to aggression. The vocalizations are also quite complex and are all used to pass different information to the other chipmunks within hearing distance.

To respond to a danger on the ground, such as when a chipmunk is being chased by a predator, it will use deep clucking sounds or trills that are much shorter than chips. They are a warning to other chipmunks to be more alert and vigilant.

In addition, body language is used when one chipmunk comes across other chipmunks. These are visual cues implying their intention and can be accompanied by chemical communication through smells.

Squirrels make use of a vast number of complex signals to communicate with each other. These include complex vocalizations, scent, and visual cues. Vocalizations can be categorized into warnings, mating, nesting, and aggressive calls. A male pursuing a female squirrel will use a series of calls similar to sneezes to get her attention. A frightened squirrel will let out a small shrill scream.

Squirrels also use the tail for communication, and it can be shaken or waved depending on the message. Moreover, body language is used by the squirrels to convey their emotional state. Scents are also part of their communication, and they use them to mark their territory.


Can Chipmunks And Squirrels Understand, Remember, Or Recognize Humans?

Squirrels have, over time, adapted to living with people and have been proven to have an excellent memory. They can remember humans and can recognize the people that can be trusted as a source of food. Their memory is evident in studies where they were able to navigate a maze.

Chipmunks are not social and friendly. They would not even make a good pet and always try to stay hidden. Only chipmunks raised from an early age will be accustomed to human contact, and they can learn to play and tolerate petting.

Do Chipmunks And Squirrels Bite?

By nature, squirrels are not known to be aggressive, they are usually frightened of humans and will not attack them. Their natural defense is to bite whenever they feel threatened, but they will not bite their owners hard. The biting habit is a natural trait of the squirrels, and they cannot stop it. A pet squirrel will only bite playfully, and it will not hurt you.

Chipmunks are harmless unless they are feeling threatened. In such a scenario, the chipmunk will bite you hard and run off as fast as it can. When stressed, chipmunks become a lot more aggressive, and in this case, they will scratch or bite you.

When you see a distressed chipmunk, be sure to keep your hands away from it as it has very sharp teeth, and the bite will hurt. If it bites deeply, you might even start to bleed, and you must be treated immediately to avoid the risk of infection or even a septic reaction.

Treating the wound as soon as possible is the recommended course of action when a chipmunk has bitten you. Although they do not carry rabies, chipmunks can transmit other diseases such as Lyme disease, plague, and La Crosse encephalitis.


Our Westchester Wildlife technicians are highly trained and experienced in eliminating squirrels and chipmunks from your property. If you’re seeking squirrel or chipmunk control services in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam Counties, NY, and Fairfield County, CT, contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation or an appointment with our qualified team of pest and wildlife exterminators.

Why Do Deer Sleep In My Yard?

As deer are hoofed animals, they are the poorest sleepers of all species of wildlife. One of the reasons is that they are easy prey for predators. Another reason is that their bodies, unlike those of smaller prey, are too large to take refuge in protective burrows.

Deer and other wild ungulates spend all their time either awake or barely asleep. This is due to the threat that being deep in sleep can lead to a situation in which they are vulnerable to attack. Their alertness and speed are the only defense against predators.

When you notice a deer sleeping in your yard and try to approach it, it may be startled by your presence in their sleeping area. So if you spot a deer or several deer leap away, don’t get nervous. Try to remain calm and carefully step back in the direction from which you originally came from. You wouldn’t want to scare the deer into moving to another place on your property!

Read on to learn more as we talk about deer sleep habits.


Where Do Deer Normally Sleep And Rest?

On average, deer will sleep anywhere as long as they feel very safe and the place has a good supply of food resources.

Areas with thicker plant growth are selected most often as their bedding (sleeping) areas. Deer usually sleep hidden in the underbrush.

Also, as their bedding site, deer choose a flattened place that has a shape similar to their body.

Deer often bed in standing corn and graze on the clover. They can sometimes be seen venturing into food plots during the day, but even though they’re resting, they are extremely wary.

What’s more, ponds attract all kinds of wildlife, including deer. So if you have a small pond in your backyard, deer may stay close to the water source. In particularly cold or dry weather, deer need to drink more often, thus, they will visit your pond to get water. They also like the vegetation that grows around the pond. This provides them with a cover and shelter to rest and sleep.


Do Deer Sleep In The Same Place Every Night?

Deer do not sleep in a single location all year round. Most of them have a limited number of potential bedding sites within their home range. These locations are most likely determined by the degree of shading, slope and aspect of the ground, wind speed and direction, and proximity to sources of food.

By having several sleeping sites in a home range, these animals might change which ones they use whenever they change their feeding location. Female deer are particularly prone to using specific bedding sites during the fawning season.


Where Do Deer Sleep When It Rains?

Deer can sense when a storm or rain is coming, which allows them to find a suitable location in advance, where they can rest until the rain is over. These animals will rest and sleep in the same way as any other wild animals do during rain.

However, depending on the intensity of the rainfall, their habits may differ slightly. They usually feel safer making movements when the rain is steady, with very little or no wind. The moisture and raindrops on the vegetation allow them to move through the forest without making any noise.

Deer are able to adapt in the rain and are not much affected by the rain due to certain characteristics. The rain stimulates their senses and confidence, for example, they have a stronger sense of smell in the rain. Their thick fur keeps them warm, even in harsh and very cold weather conditions.

Additionally, deer bedding sites can be found in locations with a thermal cover. These areas are sheltered from the rain and wind, usually in thick shrubs, stands of conifer trees and other very tall trees.

Do Deer Lay Down To Sleep?

Deer usually lie down when they want to sleep. This is because they lose muscle control while sleeping and are not able to lock their legs to remain standing, the same way that elephants do. This usually makes the sleeping down on the ground serve a dual function – as a place to sleep or rest, and to ruminate their food.

While the deer is lying down during sleep, it typically folds its legs upwards beside its body. Its head is left raised so that the deer is able to smell and hear as much as possible. In this position, the deer will chew their food, groom themselves, rest, and sleep.


How Long Do Deer Sleep Per Day?

Deer do not spend a lot of time sleeping. This wildlife sleep in stretches of only a few minutes at a time.

Young deer play all day and sleep the night through. Adult deer try to snooze during the day as well and do their deer duties like foraging for food and feeding mainly at night.

Because deer fall prey to many carnivores, they are usually alert, especially when bedded down. Studies have shown that deer sleep an average of around 4.5 hours a day and only 30 minutes in a deep sleep state (REM). Some researchers confirm that the best description of how deer sleep is drowsiness, which means that they are neither completely awake nor fully asleep.

Deer do not restrict their sleeping periods to nighttime, but alternate bedding with feeding and ruminating (i.e. chewing their food) throughout the 24-hour cycle.


Do Deer Sleep Together?

Deer are social animals that travel, rest, and sleep together as a family. Does (female deer) stay and sleep with their offspring. Sometimes a doe that has no fawns might be spotted alone, and also bucks (male deer) can often go their separate ways, especially during the rut. But overall, it is far more common to see deer in groups, especially does which typically travel in family groups.

During the cold season, particularly in winter, does often form into larger bands with their offspring, and sometimes even the offspring of the offspring for a multi-generation family group, where they sleep together to keep them warm. Bucks, on the other hand, stick in bachelor groups for the most part of the year.

During the winter and times of deep snow cover, multiple deer will bed together. They create mass bedding sites where there is sufficient protection from the elements.



The highly skilled and experienced technicians at Westchester Wildlife can get rid of deer on your property using safe, quick, and effective methods of trapping and removal. So if you have a deer problem, contact our wildlife specialists today for a free quote!

Is It Normal For Coyotes To Come Out During The Day?

Are you wondering whether coyotes come out during daylight hours? Well, contrary to what many people believe, coyotes are diurnal by nature, which means they are active during the day.

More and more coyotes are creeping into people’s neighborhoods to search for food, and coyote sightings are frequent, especially during the wintertime. Thus, it is not bad, but it’s perfectly normal to see coyotes come out in the daytime.

However, the nocturnal or crepuscular type of coyotes is active at night, dawn, and dusk). They have altered their circadian rhythm and have more nocturnal habits to evade human conflict whenever they reside in close proximity to humans in cities and urban areas. They will lie in caves, trenches, or rock crevices throughout the day and only come out when it’s dark.

Read on to explore more on the behavior of coyotes.


What Time Do Coyotes Come Out And When Are They Most Active?

Coyotes could be seen at any hour of the day and night. However, they are most active between dawn and sunset. At night, when they engage with other coyotes, you will hear them howl incredibly loud.

As there is less daylight during the winter, they are most active, and this is when most juvenile coyotes depart their parents and seek new homes.

They do not have a predetermined time when they will appear. This period will vary based on the amount of sunlight and the habitat of the coyote. They could emerge significantly earlier at dawn and dusk in regions receiving less daylight. In other areas, they begin appearing in the early evening as the sun starts to set.

Coyotes found in urban spaces tend to have fewer opportunities during the daytime, as they are close to humans. Those that have their habitat in rural areas, however, are highly active throughout the day as the limited human population offers greater hunting opportunities.


When And Where Do Coyotes Sleep?

Unlike most animals, coyotes are unbothered even if it rains while they are asleep. This is, however, dependent on the location and weather conditions at the time of rain.

During summer, they stay in place and do not take shelter. Male coyotes select a bedding site that has proper drainage and is elevated. As defensive cover for their dens, mother coyotes usually prefer shrubs and thick leaves.

Coyotes sleep in dens in urban areas, primarily in parks, golf courses, old building ruins, drainage pipes, and more. These dens are usually ones that other creatures like badgers and skunks have already dug out. They take it over and enlarge it to accommodate themselves inside.

Coyotes love desert climate because of plenty of prey, including snakes, raccoons, rodents, birds, and land for shelter. To outline their territory, they spray urine. The coyotes make burrows in the damp sand and sleep there.

Owing to the hard winter climate, coyotes love sleeping in covered spaces but go out to search for food. Winter is a mating and breeding season for this wildlife, thus, they seem to be more active and conspicuous.

Summer is the coyote’s best season since it provides abundant shelter, food, and hunting potential. During summer, these animals prefer to sleep in open spaces, under direct sunlight, to escape bugs and capitalize on the cooling breezes. As the temperature becomes hotter, they seek shelter in shaded areas.

However, when a coyote sleeps, it moves around a lot, lifting its head to look around before spreading out to sleep again. It constantly evaluates the surroundings for any threat or movements and takes appropriate action.

Where Can Coyotes Hide During The Day?

Coyotes hide in covered open areas, raised grounds, or in dens during the day. Dens are most commonly seen in parks and forest areas, shrubbery, preserves, golf courses, and other such regions. These are difficult to come by in urban areas.

These animals also rest in rocky areas and locations where there are fewer humans or predators like wolves throughout the day. They can also use their dens throughout the breeding season. Otherwise, a coyote may rest in a shelter or out in the open during the day.


How Can You Tell If Coyotes Are Nearby?


– Howling

Coyotes tend to announce their presence by howling at night, or sometimes during the day. They howl in packs to alert other groups that their area has been conquered. The same sounds may also aid in their bonding, or, who knows, it may just feel great for them.

Other noises, including barking and whining like a small dog, could also be observed when coyotes are nearby.


– Scats

Like other animals, when coyotes are nearby, they often leave unwelcome gifts behind – feces on the ground. Unlike feces from a dog or another animal, the coyote scats are often filled with hair and bones from their meal. These droppings are usually formed like ropes and are used to establish territorial limits.


– Tracks

You can spot coyote tracks in the muddy terrain as well as dry sand. Although you can easily confuse their tracks with those of a large dog, the coyote strides are relatively longer. What’s more, they move in more direct lines.


– Dead Animals

Lastly, coyotes do not always consume the entire animal. The meal remnants that coyotes leave behind are usually strong evidence of coyote presence. These can include rabbit or rat carcasses, as well as sheep and domestic goats.



Even though coyotes do not usually pose much of a threat to people, it is advised to call a wildlife control professional as soon as you spot a coyote on your property.

Our experienced technicians at Westchester Wildlife will assess your coyote problem, and then quickly and safely trap and remove the animal.

Don’t wait – call our experts for all of your coyote control needs in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam Counties, NY, and Fairfield County, CT.

Can Raccoons Live In Trees In Your Yard?

Have you ever noticed scratch marks made by animal claws on the trees in your backyard? Raccoons are most likely the animals responsible for these marks.

They are known for being nocturnal creatures that are active at night, so you might not see one climbing a tree during the day. They might have made your trees their home and only come out to hunt at night.


Can Raccoons Climb Trees? Are They Good Tree Climbers?

Raccoons are very good at climbing and they have many reasons for climbing trees. For instance, a raccoon might climb a tree to rest there for a while and look out for prey simultaneously. The raccoons are able to climb the tree very quickly and are known to be excellent tree climbers.

However, raccoons do not make their long-term homes in the tree branches but are very likely to make a hollow tree trunk their home. As a shelter, the tree trunk will protect the raccoon from predators and harsh weather conditions.

Raccoons have also been known to dig their dens at the base of trees and only occasionally climb the tree to get temporary rest and hunt for prey.

Anytime you notice a raccoon climbing a tree on your property, it is a sign that the raccoon has made a den nearby.

If the raccoon seems to disappear before it reaches the branches, it has its home in the tree trunk. Even if you do not see the animals physically moving up the tree, they are known to leave other signs as they climb, such as scratches and claw marks on the bark of the tree.


Why Do Raccoons Climb Trees At Night?

Being nocturnal creatures, raccoons will spend most of their days resting and sleeping. If your tree bark is not protected, they will climb up at night when they are more active and playful. If they have made their home in the tree trunk, they will come out at night to enjoy nature while hunting for their prey such as rats and other small animals.

If you have bird nests on the trees, the raccoons will climb right up to them and throw away the nests. The raccoons will stay up all night, and this is when they will be climbing the trees more frequently.

These animals also climb the trees to explore their territory and ensure that they are in a place where they can easily access food. Their fingers resemble those of a human, and with them, they can do a lot of tasks.

The raccoons like to climb the trees at night to find a spot that is high up in the tree. While in this spot, they will be able to find food more efficiently. At times, they will climb so high to escape predators and ensure that they can survive the dangerous creatures that roam at night.

Do Raccoons Sleep In Trees?

Raccoons prefer to stay in places with a source of water nearby and plenty of tree cover. However, they are also adapted to various urban and suburban settings, and you will find evidence of these animals everywhere. During the day, this wildlife will climb the tree to get a safe place to rest and sleep.

The raccoons prefer to sleep in large holes in the trees and the hollow parts of the fallen logs. However, they will stay inside their den when they are not outside hunting, and simply relaxing. Mothers taking care of their young ones will also find a large tree hole far away from predators to ensure that they raise their babies in a safe place.

Apart from the occasional rest, the raccoon will not spend their sleeping time exposed to the outside world since they are adapted to staying in dens. The young ones that have been left in the tree nests will also spend most of their time sleeping.


Do Raccoons Make Nests In Trees?

Raccoons will make their nests just about anywhere they can find a comfortable and safe place to live in. They can make their nests in tree cavities, abandoned burrows, chimneys, barns, and attics.

They have a knack for spotting ideal places to make their homes, and the trees that are already hollowed out are the ideal spot for the raccoons to make their nests. They are skilled and can be able to dig, given their sturdy claws.

As such, nothing can deter them from making their nests in trees which means that they can make their homes anywhere they prefer.

Their habitats are temporary and usually used during the feeding season. Once they are done with feeding the young ones, they will move on to another place and temporarily stay in their dens.

The nests in the trees are some of the best means of defense against predators and the elements. As the raccoons climb the tree, they will leave marks in the bark given their sharp claws.

These animals will quickly make their nests in the trees if it is tall and wide enough to create a nest that’s big enough for them to live in. The mothers that are raising young ones will also prefer the trees as a place to stay safe and bring up their babies in a healthy and conducive environment.


Getting rid of raccoons can be a challenging task as there are numerous factors that contribute to your raccoon problem. If you think you currently have a raccoon problem in or around your property, then you’re in need of a professional wildlife trapper who can eliminate your raccoons.

So call Westchester Wildlife today and let our experienced and highly qualified trappers help with all your raccoon removal needs.

Why Do Squirrels Chew On Roofs?

Squirrels are a significant rodent nuisance in most states, and the damage they cause can be a costly expense for homeowners. The great news is that it is possible to keep squirrels far away from your roof!

Your roof is a substantial investment that you must safeguard. Whenever squirrels cause damage to your roof due to their chewing, roof repairs are inevitable.


How Do Squirrels Get Into Your Roof?

Squirrels could invade a roof for a variety of reasons. Mating, a surge in predators, a reduction in habitat upon which to establish dens or even cold weather are examples of these.

The following are some of the most typical ways for squirrels to gain access to your roof:

– Roof vents

– Roof edges

– Roof-Soffit crisscrossing

– Gable vents

– Wall vents

– Plumbing mats

– Open, uncapped chimneys


Squirrels On Roof Sounds

Many times you’ll be able to hear squirrels running on your roof, particularly in the evenings and early mornings when they are most active.

Squirrels produce a variety of sounds to match their various actions. Whereas any noise coming from your roof is a telltale sign that a living creature has made its way into your home, learning the kinds of sounds squirrels commonly produce will assist you in identifying if they are to blame. These include:


– Rolling sounds

While they collect acorns, nuts, and other tiny objects, Squirrels tend to make rolling sounds. If they are on your roof, you will most probably hear them sliding these objects all across the flooring of your roof into various spots for safekeeping.


– Scurrying noises

Light dashing and scratching sounds over your roof surface indicate that squirrels on the roof are moving back and forth.


– Squeaking sounds

Squirrels make high-pitched squeaks that are unpleasant to the human ear. Residents could have difficulty sleeping at night if such disturbing sounds reverberate within their walls.


– Rustling sounds

Squirrels are always on the move during the day, building nests, keeping food, and scampering around. This type of activity will produce a lot of shuffling and rustling sounds.


Is It Bad To Have Squirrels In Your Roof? Can They Damage It?

Put simply, these frizzy-tailed creatures might appear adorable from the outside, but their inside is a whole different thing altogether.

They have been observed scratching and gnawing at rooftops, and their razor-like claws and teeth can tear down your roof. They will cut a new hole via the roof shingles or rip through a current one to gain access into your house.

Squirrel teeth are among the hardest of rodents. From polyethylene to the copper sheathing, there isn’t anything that can impede them. Squirrels nibble and eat away at roof shingles to gain access to the decking and underlayment. Defective shingles expose your house to dampness and water damage. Besides, cut roofing tiles provide entry points for water leaks into your home.

Also, the squirrel is likely to chew on roof cables and electrical wiring.

How Can You Keep Squirrels Away From Your Roof?

If you could somehow hear it rustling around and sense the stink of animal urine, you realize you have at minimum one squirrel residing on your roof.

Follow these simple techniques to permanently eliminate squirrels from your roof before they cause significant damage:


– Prune trees surrounding your home

Squirrels can climb trees, and if the trees are close to your roof, they can have easy entry to your house. Trim any trees with branches that droop close to your roof to deter squirrels. Because these rodents could leap rather far, leave at least eight yards of space between your roof and the trees.


– Set up a drip edge

A drip edge is a metal piece that goes beneath your first set of shingles and extends over the edge of your fascia. It is also known as a drip cap because it allows water to run into your downspouts and from the house.

A drip edge is an excellent solution for keeping bothersome squirrels out of your property and off your roof. It renders it harder for a squirrel to burrow between the fascia and shingles on your roof.

Whenever a drip edge is placed, it is coated with a layer of roofing cement and frequently fastened on either end to keep it firm. The good news is that you could get a drip edge fixed without replacing your whole roof.


– Cover any openings on your home’s exterior

Close any loopholes in your house that enable squirrels entry. Keep the siding solid to deter these pests from entering. Construct a chimney cap to prevent them from falling into the chimney.


– Remove any squirrel smells

Even though the previous squirrels have left, their residual stench could prompt new ones. Use an antibacterial fogging agent to wash your roof.


– Provide the squirrels a reason to leave

Perhaps use roof-mounted cage traps to catch all the squirrels or install repeater traps or single-channel exclusion doors on the central exit/entry opening.

You could also buy squirrel repellent and apply it to their refuge. Most sprays incorporate the urine of a predator, such as a fox, and might even prompt the squirrel to flee your roof in a panic.


– Routinely check your roof

Climb your roof several times per year to visually inspect it. Check for ripped insulation, wetness, and animal droppings. If you realize there are missing or defective gutters and shingles, you should have them repaired as soon as possible.


If you hear noises and are under the impression there might be a squirrel running on your roof, give us a call today!

Our exterminators at Westchester Wildlife will do a thorough inspection of your property to determine the severity of the problem and whether there is one squirrel or a family of squirrels that has invaded your home.

Are Shrews Bad For Your House?

Shrews look like moles or mice due to their small eyes, elongated snout, and dense brown fur. However, they are not rodents as most people think. They are tiny mammals measuring only about 3.5 inches in length.

Despite their small size, they can be bad if they happen to take residence in your house.


Do Shrews Invade Houses?

Even though these tiny aggressive predators rarely invade houses, they still can, and when they do, they cause a big mess.

Shrews are very aggressive predators that can attack your pets. They also have a scent gland that produces an awful stench that makes everyone around uncomfortable.

Additionally, they can also contaminate food and water with their urine and feces. This is dangerous because they may expose you and other house occupants to deadly bacteria and parasites that cause deadly infections.

They also have a venomous bite that they use to subdue their prey. Although their venomous bite is not harmful to humans, their bite is very painful and could take time to heal if the proper medication is not administered.

Shrews have a voracious appetite and one can consume almost twice their body size in one sitting.

They primarily feed on insects but they have also been known to feed on birds, snakes ice, and sometimes, other shrews when an opportunity presents itself. They also feed on seeds, plant bulbs, vegetables, fruits, food remains, and all kinds of flowers. Their voracious appetite and vast diet make them a menace when they invade your home.

Shrews mostly enter a house through holes like the drainage pipes, attic screen, eaves, spaces between windows, and other places in the house where there are gaps.

When they invade your house, they will cause mayhem including emitting a pungent smell that makes the house a very uncomfortable place to live. Although they have very weak eyes, they have an incredible sense of smell and are also very fast and difficult to catch when found in the house.

They are also very aggressive and could bite you if you lack the skill and equipment needed to catch and eliminate them from your house.


Why Do Shrews Come In The House?

Shrews invade homes mainly to seek shelter and find food and water. They normally live outdoors where they forage for food in dense vegetation. However, when food is scarce or if their natural habitat is destroyed by humans or wildfire, they sometimes invade homes.

They mostly come in homes that have birds and pets because presents them an opportunity to find easy food and they can attack and feed on these pets.

How Can You Find Out If You Have Shrews?

When shrews invade your house, it will not take long before you notice their presence as is the case with other pests. This is because of their aggressive nature, voracious appetite, and poor eyesight. In fact, you will notice their presence almost immediately when they invade your house.

However, getting rid of these pests is not easy and requires the help of an expert.


Below are signs that indicate shrews have invaded your home:


Shrew droppings

One of the common signs that indicate that you have a shrew infestation is if you spot their feces in almost every corner of your house.

Shrew feces are about 2mm in diameter and about 6mm long. They are dark in color and corkscrew or curled in shape.

Like the animals themselves, shrew droppings usually have a distinctly unpleasant smell. Therefore, if you notice a pile of droppings in your house with a pungent smell, then that is a sign that shrews have invaded your house.


Unpleasant pungent smell

Another sign of shrew invasion in your house is a pungent smell that does not seem to go away. Shrews have a scent gland that produces an awful stench. They will leave their unpleasant smell in almost every corner of your house, making your home very uncomfortable.


Death or bad injuries on your pets

Shrews feed on birds and other small pets. So, if you notice that your pet is injured or has died and most body parts are missing, then that is a clear sign that shrews have invaded your house.

Shrews are also known to bite large pets such as dogs, causing life-threatening injuries. So, if you have noticed that your pet is suddenly injured and the wound keeps getting worse, then that is a sign that you have shrews in your home.


Family members getting sick

If you or someone in your family suddenly gets sick, then it could be because of food contamination caused by shrews. These pests usually contaminate food and in the process transmit deadly bacteria and parasites that cause illness.


Other signs of shrew invasion in your house include being bitten while sleeping and missing stored food.


Can Shrews Cause Damage To Your House?

In general, shrews do not cause property damage even though they are known to dig holes.

However, they cause other serious damages such as emitting an unpleasant smell, feeding on your pet and any stored food, biting people, and cause illness through food contamination.


If you believe you may have a shrew problem in your house, and need shrew removal and control services, feel free to give us a call.

Westchester Wildlife provides professional shrew trapping and removal services in Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, NY, as well as in Fairfield County, CT.

What Attracts Skunks To Your Yard At Night?

Keeping skunks away from your yard and home may feel like a daunting task. Thus, you need to figure out the things that could be attracting them to your yard at night in the first place.

Some of the things that can draw skunks to your property include food sources in your birdseed or feeder and garbage. In addition, these animals feed on earthworms, grubs, and other larvae that they may easily find in your yard’s soil during nightime. Also, they are always looking for an opportunity to dig under porches and crawl spaces.

Read on to learn more about skunk infestation and how to keep them from your yard.

Will Skunks Dig Holes In Your Yard At Night?

You are most likely spending a lot of time trying to make your yard look attractive. So it can be disappointing when you wake up and see unsightly holes in it. If you’ve experienced this, you might be wondering what’s digging your lawn.

Well, skunks are one of those wild animals that can dig holes in the yard at night.

Typically, these holes are shallow and have loosened soil. Skunks mainly dig in the ground to look for food or shelter. If you see huge grass chunks that look like they’ve been pulled from the dirt, it could be as a result of skunks eating grubs found underneath the ground.

These animals pull the grass to try and access the grubs that are on the dirt’s top layer. If there are many skunks in your yard, they could tear a huge portion over a single night to access grubs and other insects in the ground.

However, note that digging isn’t the only issue these animals cause. They can also damage your plants as they burrow looking for food. Plus, skunks can spray pets or people in the yard, causing a huge mess. Again, they might be carrying diseases, which could spread to the house occupants.


What Are Skunks Eating In Your Lawn?

Skunks dig the ground to feed on larvae of hornworms, cutworms, Japanese beetles, and other insects in the crops.

But, apart from insects, they also eat small games grasses, grains, leaves, garbage, and any fruit that they can reach.

Also, they can eat sweet corn but only the lower ears. So planting tall corn varieties could control this problem.

What Does It Look Like When A Skunk Digs In The Yard?

In fact, skunks are not the only animals that dig holes in the yard. Raccoons and rabbits are culprits too. So you need to identify the animal that’s doing the damage first before thinking of a prevention measure.

Skunks dig two holes, small holes they use to find food, and burrows they sleep and nest in. It’s usually advisable that you wait for a wildlife removal professional to tell you about the animal on your property rather than risking getting too close to the animal as it can defend itself.

But, there are some ways you can tell whether or not it’s a skunk’s burrow.

One is the size and location. Skunks will have a burrow entrance of about 8 inches wide and it’ll be so deep that you may not be able to see the nest.

Also, these animals mostly dig their holes under a sound and protective object. So you’ll mostly see holes on a large rock or fallen log which could be an outdoor structure like patio, deck, etc. in your yard.

Besides, look for the hair on the entrance. Skunks leave only a few hairs compared to raccoons.


What Does Skunk Lawn Damage Look Like?

Skunks have a stronger sense of smell than humans. They usually walk on the lawn with their noses close to the ground. Once they smell some grubs, they tear up that lawn apart and pull chunks of turf to search for food.

If you see small circular holes about 3 to 5 inches with loosened soil, you might be having a skunk problem.


How Do You Fix A Skunk Damaged Lawn?

In general, it can be hard to push back the pulled turf. And the animals might come back to check whether they exhausted the grubs.

However, you can try smoothing the destroyed area and overseed it. Additionally, make sure that you water the area as it can help the grass to regrow. You can also try to apply insecticide to the damaged areas, although this isn’t a quick-fix method.


How To Keep Skunks From Digging Up Your Lawn And Out Of Your Yard At Night?

The first thing is to make sure that you have a skunk problem. And this you can tell from the unpleasant smell that skunks release. Then use these tips:


Buy Sensor Lights

Skunks can’t stand bright lights as they are nocturnal. Therefore, installing a motion sensor light can help keep them away from your garden. This device startles most animals, and it is effective.

However, note that this isn’t a long-term solution. Eventually, skunks will realize that these lights cannot do anything.


Invest In A Scarecrow

Skunks fear people. So they’ll likely be terrified by a mechanical scarecrow. There are different scarecrows to choose from, including those that look like people or predators such as owls or wolves.


Use Household Scents

Skunks do not like strong scents like those of citrus, soap, or paprika. Spread them around your yard to keep this wildlife away. You can also try stronger odors like detergents and the smell of mothballs.


Spray Predator Urine

Dog or coyote urine can help keep skunks from your lawn. You can spray it around your yard’s perimeter or purchase flakes dipped in coyote urine at the garden store.


Compost With Caution

Composting is good for the environment but it can attract skunks and other wild animals. So avoid putting fish, meat, or other tempting sources in the compost bin. Also, ensure that your garbage bins are properly sealed.


Remove Grubs From Grass

Skunks dig in yards trying to look for food. Since most yards have grubs, it’s no wonder many have skunks visiting them. Apply nematodes that eat grubs on your lawn. You can buy them from garden stores and apply during early spring or late summer.


However, if you need the help of an expert, call Westchester Wildlife today! We will effectively, safely, and humanely trap and remove nuisance skunks from your yard where they are not wanted!