Are Starlings Bad For Your Lawn?
European starlings are considered one of the most common nuisance and invasive bird species found throughout the United States.
No matter which area you live in, whether it’s a rural or urban area, starlings can be a real problem for residential as well as for commercial properties. Starlings can be a nuisance due to their nesting, eating, and roosting habits.
These purplish-green birds with yellow beaks and white spots are quite pretty to look at, however, they are despised by lawn owners, ecologists, and bird watchers alike. Starlings are loud, talkative, annoying, very aggressive, and they are just about everywhere!
They can be a pain to clean up after, not to mention the damage caused to your house and the appearance of your lawn.
Why Are Starlings Bad For Your Lawn And Yard?
When European starlings are in the flocking phase and congregate in large numbers, they can become a nuisance. Thousands of them will overwhelm structures, trees, and lawns. Starlings roosting in urban locations can cause health concerns, waste contaminated ground, odors, and noises.
Their droppings are hazardous and can spread diseases to humans and pets. When walking on the lawn, you or your dog can accidentally bring the bird waste into the home.
Dried droppings release dust that can cause bad health issues such as Histoplasmosis (fungal respiratory disease), or other illnesses particularly in those suffering from asthma. Bacteria and parasites in the bird droppings also pose a health risk.
If many starlings are foraging around your yard, they might bring in pests as these birds often carry ticks and mites, or other parasites. The pests can then transfer to people and their pets.
Do Starlings Damage Lawns?
Starlings can damage grass turf as they search for food. The root systems of the grass might be torn due to pulled roots while the birds are looking for worms.
Large flocks can destroy crops in your garden and disturb your newly seeded lawn when the birds feed on seeds and berries.
Also, their waste can possibly spread invasive weed seeds around your yard.
On the other hand, starlings can also be beneficial to your lawn.
Homeowners usually complain about starlings settling in numbers onto lawns. But these birds are actually helping the lawn by eating harmful pests, and thus, acting as a natural form of pest control.
Starlings love to eat leatherjacket bugs, which are the larvae of crane flies or daddy long legs. Leatherjackets are considered a pest as they damage crops, eat plant roots, and make the lawn look unsightly. So, the more starlings in your yard, the better off your lawn will be in terms of pest control.
In addition to getting rid of destructive pests, starlings will also naturally aerate the soil while poking holes in your lawn.
Why Do Starlings Peck Your Lawn?
Starlings are mostly ground foragers that feed on a variety of critters living in the soil. They tend to prefer open spaces and surroundings with not too many trees or shrubs. These birds also avoid high grass.
If you notice many starlings pecking your lawn, this could indicate that you have a pest problem in the lawn.
Starlings are commonly found feeding on grubs, cutworms, sod webworms, armyworms, and chinch bugs. When these worms are active, birds will happily feed on them.
If you don’t deal with the pest issues, the pests are most likely to do more damage than the starlings.
What Do Starlings Eat Out Of The Grass?
Starlings primarily forage on the ground in open areas, probing in soil and grass with their beaks.
Starlings are known to consume a varied diet including many types of bugs, larvae, seeds, corn, grains, and berries. However, they prefer catching insects, if available.
During summer, they prefer eating flies, caterpillars, beetles, spiders, snails, grasshoppers, earthworms, and other invertebrates.
In the fall and winter months, they will choose a wide variety of fruits in trees, berries, and seeds. At this time, they will often come to bird feeders as well.
Starlings often flock shortly after grass mowing as they are attracted to all the bugs and seeds that get exposed in the short, freshly cut grass. When you stir up the lawn with the lawnmower, it’s easier for these birds to reach the worms and insects that they’re after.
It is advised to be persistent in starling control and start working on controlling these obnoxious birds before they have gained a strong attraction to your yard. This way, you will be more successful in eradicating them.
Starlings are a very invasive species that require the help of a professional to get rid of them for good. So, contact Westchester Wildlife to learn more about our bird control services, which include bird proofing, removal, and trapping.
Our experienced technicians at Westchester Wildlife will humanely trap and remove the invading starlings from your property. We are servicing Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties in New York, as well as Fairfield County in Connecticut.
Can a Baby Deer Jump a Fence On Your Property?
The movements of a baby deer can differ from that of an adult deer. This is due to the small body size of the baby deer and also because it may be still learning from its mom how to successfully overcome physical barriers such as fences.
Deer have no choice but to jump over fences, and most of the time, they are successful at this when they have some practice.
Can Fawns Jump Fences?
A baby deer, also referred to as fawn, has little experience with jumping over fences compared to its mom who has a much higher success at crossing barriers. Instead, fawns often pass under the fence due to their smaller size and lack of experience in jumping.
Deer are likely to jump fences mostly during summer when they go to forage more. At this time, the doe, which is an adult female deer, is teaching its offspring how to jump and successfully cross barriers. However, it will be quite some time before the fawn can jump over the fence properly.
At What Age Can a Fawn Jump a Fence and How High Can It Jump?
As the fawn is so small, it certainly cannot jump over a fence that is 6 or even 4 feet high. This is until the deer is at least 2 months old when it is able to jump a 3.5 or 4 feet fence (42-48 inches high).
So if the fence in your yard is no higher than 4 feet, a little deer will jump out with mom when it’s 2 months old. It will not be able to do so at an earlier age.
If there is a space under the fence of at least 1.3 feet (16 inches) from the ground, it will allow the fawn to cross underneath. It can be heartbreaking to watch the baby run up and down a fence that its mom has already jumped over.
Do Deer Jump Over Fences?
Adult deer can jump over common yard fences. They’re more likely to clear a barrier if they are able to sense how high it is. Under normal conditions, they will not attempt a fence that’s 6 feet tall. However, if they’re being chased or threatened, deer have the ability to jump even an 8-foot fence on level ground.
The best solution to keep these animals away from your yard is to install a deer-proof fence. It’s important to check the height of your fence to make sure the deer is not able to jump over it and get onto your property. Higher fences act as a great physical barrier to this wildlife because they prevent the deer from jumping over and force them to go somewhere else.
Thus, the fence should be a minimum of 7 feet in height for a typical size yard. But for a very small garden area, like a 2×2 feet (25×25 inches), a 6-foot high fence should be sufficient in some locations with light deer activity.
What To Do With a Fawn In Your Yard?
Knowing that a baby deer can’t jump barriers, you may be wondering how a fawn ends up inside your fenced yard. During springtime, the mom jumps over the fence while she is still pregnant and delivers one or two babies inside the yard. After the first 24 hours of their birth, the doe jumps out and leaves them alone in your yard while she goes off to find some food.
Since a newborn fawn is too weak to keep up with its mom for the first few weeks of life, it will lie down motionless and nap nearly all the time hidden in deep grass where it cannot be found by predators.
Many people who spot a tiny fawn lying in the grass, make this critical mistake and try to care for it, thinking that it has been abandoned by its mom. But the doe follows her routine and will come back to feed and care for her baby at the end of the day. Unfortunately, despite your good intentions to help, it can be deadly for the fawn.
If the baby deer is a bit older, wait until you notice it is trying to get out. In this case, open the gate and let it out so that it can have the freedom to go wherever it wants.
In certain circumstances, if you see a lone fawn and a dead doe in the vicinity, or if the fawn has been in the same place for more than a day with no sign of his mom, or it’s walking around crying or visibly injured, call wildlife control company in your area for the best course of action before you interfere.
If they determine the fawn is really abandoned, they will know just how to deal with this situation. Contact Westchester Wildlife for humane, live and dead deer removal services in Westchester, Putnam, or Dutchess County, NY, as well as in Fairfield and Litchfield County, CT.
Are Moles Bad To Have In Your Yard?
You cannot be mistaken to know that a mole has invaded your lawn or garden. You’ll quickly notice multiple piles of soil – mounds that resemble a small volcano where the soil clumps are thrown out through the center and rolled down on all sides.
Moles, the extraordinary small mammals, spend half of their lives underground searching for food, beneath those annoying mounds of soil. In nature, they are woodland animals but can quickly take over and spread through adjacent lawns in residential properties. And the longer you allow moles to tunnel in your yard, the more difficult they become to control.
Although it’s not very likely to see them above ground, the hills and tunnels a mole leaves behind can be real eyesores in your yard. Not only will the molehills look like an unsightly lawn mess, but will also devastate your landscaping. The hills, however, are just a by-product of the animal’s industrious digging. The tunnels can do major damage to your lawn.
Mole burrowing activity varies throughout the seasons. The lawn damage is usually most noticeable during spring and early summer, but also in the fall. This is when moles are most active and are closest to the surface. In summer, the damage usually subsides when the soil dries out and moles excavate mostly at a deeper level.
Luckily, a mole is mostly a solitary, unsocial, and highly territorial animal, so if you eliminate one mole, most likely there isn’t another one nearby. If you find an elaborate sequence of tunnels, it probably is just one mole that is a very active builder. However, new moles can move into existing, abandoned tunnels within 24 hours.
How Long Will Moles Live in the Yard?
In general, moles have small home ranges and the animal will rarely stay in the same area for a longer period of time. Their activity in a particular area may only last one or two weeks until there’s no more food to be found. So, once all the local soil insects have been eaten, the mole will move on to a better hunting ground.
Are Moles Bad To Have in Your Yard?
Despite the damage that moles cause to a yard, they are not that bad. In fact, they are mostly good, bringing lots of benefits to your lawn.
In terms of damage done to your yard, moles are usually blamed for eating bulbs and the roots of ornamental plants. Although they can cause havoc with their burrowing and mounding, moles do not gorge on homegrown produce.
In fact, voles, chipmunks, and mice are the real culprits. Mole runways can be used by rodents that feed on bulbs, seeds, and roots, and these rodents will cause direct damage to your lawn, garden, or fruit orchard.
What Do Moles Eat?
Moles are insect eaters. Their diet consists primarily of earthworms, but grubs, beetles, snails, slugs, spiders, centipedes, and other bugs are also on the menu. On average, a mole consumes 40 pounds of insects per year. The mole’s main food source are earthworms, and the animal will eat about six big worms every day.
Do Moles Damage Your Yard?
Without a doubt, moles can locally be destructive.
They push mounds of soil to the surface and their tunnels create holes and weak spots in the lawn. The burrowing results in lines of raised ridges in the ground and ugly-looking mounds of soil.
They create easily noticeable trails of dead grass throughout the yard. When moles burrow close to the surface, it can cause harm to grass roots, leaving behind brown patches.
While tunneling for insects, moles can disrupt the roots of vegetables and other plants, and uproot turf. Their shallow tunnels will lift the soil and allow plant roots to dry out. Their digging through root systems of plants can kill the seedlings and expose bulbs and roots to the surface.
Their runways provide underground routes for other rodents searching for food. Their tunnels may suit other pests that will go after plant roots.
The molehills can be dangerous to walk over and might result in trips and falls. Mole burrowing activity will create holes in the lawn and a tunnel can easily cave in when accidentally stepped on, which might lead to your injury.
Benefits of Moles in Yard
On the other hand, we must not forget that moles are great contributors to the ecosystem.
If you have moles in your yard, it means you have healthy, rich soil, as these animals will feed on any earthworms and pest insect larvae found in the soil.
Moles will also eat grubs that are harmful because they destroy grass roots, and also beetles that feed on decorative plants. They effectively eliminate ants, snails, and termites.
Moles are known as natural aerators. They dig underground tunnels which loosen soil and form channels for air and water to move freely through the soil, which helps plant growth. Thus, mole tunnels promote the health of the soil by turning, aerating, and draining it, and fertilizing and mixing its nutrients.
Trapping moles can be labor-intensive even if there’s just one mole to catch. There is no one-time solution to control moles, it is a process that requires continuous maintenance.
So if you’re not willing to battle the moles by yourself, your best bet is to hire an experienced exterminator in your area. You’ll want someone who can provide expert advice and can create a mole removal strategy that is effective and humane.
Give Westchester Wildlife an opportunity to prove what a professional mole control company can do for you. And all you’ll have to do is relax and let us deal with your mole problem.
What Attracts Opossums to Your Yard?
Opossums are nocturnal marsupial species that mostly dwell in North America. Being related to kangaroos, opossums behave like them since they have an outside porch for developing young ones.
These animals are omnivores and therefore, feed on almost everything edible. However, they can be so hectic in neighborhoods because they like foraging through trash cans.
Regardless of their adaptability, these animals are slow runners and have poor eyesight. While active, possums can cause a lot of disturbance to pets and make a lot of noise while foraging through garbage cans. But, what attracts them to a yard?
They are attracted to your yard whenever food is plentiful, so leaving food scraps in your garbage will definitely keep them around. In most cases, these animals get attracted by odorous and overflowing garbage cans, any containers left outdoors, or uncovered compost heaps. Since opossums are scavengers, they can feed on anything they find.
They like moist areas, that is why they prefer inhabiting near water areas. Yards near a sewer, a drainage ditch, or a pond are likely to attract even more of these animals.
What Kinds of Food Attract Opossums?
Opossums are opportunists and they want mainly what is easy to find and eat. Since they have a lot of teeth, they are able to feed on various food sources, including fish, insects, birds, vegetables, garbage, crustaceans, rodents, dead animals, snakes, mushrooms, eggs with shells, grass, and all kinds of fruit.
The primary substance source of food includes rodents, worms, frogs, snails, and slugs. Additionally, these animals will feed on birdseed, nuts, berries, and even dry and canned cat and food.
Which Foods Do Opossums Like to Eat in Particular?
As opossums are not choosy, they like to feed on almost anything, even carrion. They will not turn their nose up at various plants, vegetables, tree fruits, meat and bone scraps exclusively.
However, possums need high amounts of calcium in their diet and this explains why they love eating skeletal remains of road kills and rodents. Also, if sweet potatoes and yams, which are rich in nutrients, are available, opossums will love eating them.
Moreover, possums enjoy feeding on sweet things, and particularly on marshmallows and peanut butter.
What Smells Attract Possums?
There are some smells that opossums find very inviting. They often get attracted to cinnamon scents, so if you have such scents lingering in your yard, be ready to receive these animals to your property. This explains why most people who wish to eliminate them from their yards use these scents to lure possums to baits.
Is It Bad to Have Possums in Your Yard?
Most people believe that opossums are nasty and dirty animals, which might pose a dangerous risk to their lives. In fact, it is not true.
Opossums are gentle and clean animals. They prefer not to fight, they may growl, hit, or even in some rare cases, bite, but they are peaceful animals. Opossums can choose to play dead or faint if you confront them, thus, they might not harm you. Therefore possums are beneficial animals that provide much value.
As already mentioned, opossums will feed on almost everything they can find on your property, they forage through garbage, eat the waste, dead carcasses, and even pests. Due to this, they help clean the yard and keep it free from dangerous pests and subsequent problems.
However, some people believe that these creatures are unclean and cause disease, which is somehow contrary.
Opossums are scavengers who help balance the ecosystem by cleaning up the area as they feed on a variety of pests that are found in yards, such as small rodents, beetles, snakes, cockroaches, snails, or slugs. Thus, they are a natural pest control method.
Opossums help fight against Lyme disease in your household. Even though they can also get bitten by ticks and get infected with Lyme disease, these animals are exceptional at finding and eliminating ticks. Scientists claim that opossums are natural vacuum cleaners for ticks as they are able to consume 5,000 ticks in a season and even more if ticks are plentiful.
Besides killing ticks, opossums can help cure snake bites. These animals feed on snakes, including the poisonous species, and have become immune to the snake poison. Scientists use the peptide found in possums, thus providing cheap snake antivenom treatments.
Opossums are North American natives who live and roam through the garbage in both urban and suburban settings. They feed on a variety of unpleasant things such as debris, vegetables, birds, and more. Since they eat vegetables and fruits, they might destroy fruit and vegetable gardens.
If you are in need of eliminating a possum from your yard, contact Westchester Wildlife today. We will humanely trap and remove the opossum from your property, and then relocate it to a safe place where it is able to thrive.
However, despite being such a nuisance, the animals come along with a lot of benefits. So don’t forget about the environmental benefits they bring before you send them away.
Why Do Raccoons Eat My Garbage?
Urban raccoons are on the rise and currently, they are forced to coexist with humans. You might view raccoons as adorable animals with small cute faces but don’t be fooled by their appearance. When they are hungry, they can rummage through the trash in your yard and leave a mess in your garbage bins.
So, do you wonder why raccoons raid your trash cans and scavenge through your garbage? This article will answer that.
Do Raccoons Eat Garbage and Why?
When not in the wild, raccoons will eat garbage that humans leave outside. But why do they eat trash? The simplest answer to this is because they have no choice. In an urban setting, your trash can is the easiest place they can get food.
Raccoons are also lazy, there is no doubt about it and the closer and more accessible food is to them, the better. Now that garbage bins and trash cans are available in abundance, especially in urban places, they make their lives so much easier.
Can Raccoons Get into Garbage Cans?
Raccoons are agile and can open garbage cans and bins easily and quickly scavenge the food in there. What’s more, they are also known as the expert garbage divers, they can climb, or jump up, and they will do anything to access food in a bin or can.
If they are unable to jump in, they can even knock over garbage cans for food. When they finally make it into your garbage can, they will dig through the items in there in search of food scraps. Garbage cans are also the unconventional places where they can get a wide variety of foods.
What Do Raccoons Like to Eat the Most in the Trash?
Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will scavenge on pretty any kind of food found in your trash. They are omnivores and love eating meat scraps and freshly disposed of veggies. They are particularly fond of eating grapes. In addition, these wild animals have also been spotted eating a wide variety of fruits like melons or berries, sweetcorn, bread, and eggs.
Despite their scavenging nature, raccoons will try to avoid rotten food unless they have no other place to get food. Since getting the same garbage can food is hard in the world, they would rather spend the whole day knocking over garbage cans or jumping from your garbage can to your neighbor’s.
Why Don’t Raccoons Easily Get Sick on Eating Garbage?
It’s hard for a raccoon to get sick because of eating garbage foods, and there are reasons for that.
First, they have long intestinal tracts. This means that they are able to get rid of most of the toxins in the garbage food during the digestion process. Secondly, their stomach is highly acidic and will kill most of the harmful bacteria before they have a chance to work on them.
Lastly, most raccoons have evolved to know what foods can be harmful to them. They will avoid such foods in most cases and with this, they will hardly get sick.
What Foods in the Trash Are Toxic to Raccoons?
Even with these evolutions and resistance, there are some foods containing bacteria that are toxic to raccoons and can make them sick. Most of these bacteria will be present in rotten foods that they try as much to avoid.
Common toxic food to raccoons include nuts like macadamia, chocolate, and raisins. Onions and garlic are also known to cause anemia in raccoons. Thus, you should be careful what you are tossing in the trash as some items might be toxic to this wildlife. Luckily, there is no toxic agent that will wipe out the entire raccoon population.
Do Raccoons Carry Diseases?
Raccoons can carry and transmit a few illnesses to humans, the common one being a virulent strain of rabies. Their furry body can also carry infected ticks, lice, and fleas. Due to this, you should avoid engaging and cornering them but instead make loud noises from afar; this is often enough to scare them off.
However, if raccoons are a nuisance on your property, you can always reach out to a local wildlife control specialist for further guidance on how to deal with them.
Hopefully, now you understand why garbage food is so desirable to raccoons and why they are a common sight in areas with trashed food matter. In case you don’t want them making a mess in your garbage cans, you can always secure them with rubber bungee cords.
Also, it is best to contact our Westchester Wildlife team in your area for help on the humane removal of raccoons from your home if they make it their favorable eating spot.
When Are Coyotes Most Active and Aggressive?
Coyotes have often been depicted as cunning, sly characters that are untrustworthy. Unfortunately, public perception of these wild animals has not changed much with the connotations of coyotes remaining largely negative. But is it justified?
Coyotes are a species of canine native to the United States where they naturally inhabit the vast areas of deserts, mountains, and forests. However, due to increased human expansion into their native habitats, coyotes have had to learn how to navigate these new suburban terrains. They are intelligent animals that know how to adapt to different environments with ease and skill. It has become common to spot coyotes in major cities, even being seen in New York City.
Unlike their close relatives, the wolf, coyotes are solitary animals but when hunting large prey, such as deer, they can choose to work as a pack. Coyotes are nocturnal animals (meaning they sleep in the day and are most active at night) that come out to hunt at night. Though, it is not uncommon to see them scavenging for food during daylight hours.
Are Coyotes More Active in Winter?
As winter closes in, coyotes become more active during the day in their search for food. They will also travel together more in the winter than they do in the summer months.
Despite what you would assume, coyotes are not purely carnivores but rather omnivores with 10% of their diet being made up from non-meat sources. They are unfussy animals that will happily eat a variety of things such as fish, frogs, rodents, and larger prey like deer. Snakes, grass, fruit, and insects are also on the menu.
However, when food sources are scarce, coyotes will happily turn to scavenging for any source of food in suburban and urban areas of cities and in small towns. They are known to get into garbage and dig in trash cans to pull out any leftovers.
What Month Do Coyotes Mate and Have Pups?
Coyotes start mating from mid-January. The breeding season for coyotes is in the spring months, peaking in late February and early March. The gestation period is 58 to 63 days on average. Spring marks the start for females to begin preparing their dens for new pups. A mom coyote awaits her pups to be born somewhere between mid-March to mid-May.
Are Coyotes More Dangerous During Their Mating Season?
Coyotes can become more dangerous during their breeding season as the males will want to protect their territory from other males. Also, female coyotes will protect their pups and make sure they are not seen by any predators, thus they can get dangerous in some circumstances.
During this time of year, coyotes will pose a major risk to smaller pets, and the risk increases even more during their mating season.
When Are Coyotes Most Aggressive?
As coyotes populations continue to expand at a steady rate, human encounters have become more frequent. Even with this, attacks on humans are rare and highly unlikely.
Like most wild animals, coyotes have no desire for conflict with humans. They would prefer to avoid us and get on with their lives interruption-free. They are of very little risk to you or your family if the right precautions are put in place. But coyotes are more of a risk to family pets than humans.
There are a few simple ways to avoid conflict with coyotes. Firstly, do not under any circumstances feed them. This leads to overconfidence in these animals as they lose their natural fear of humans. Even leaving garbage and pet food where coyotes can have easy access is considered feeding.
Next is to fence your yard and ensure that your pets are not roaming loose. While coyotes can jump fences, if they are built high enough they will deter the predators.
More and more coyotes have been observed living in developed areas and often, people are unknowingly in close contact with them each day. These wild animals are watching and learning from humans who influence their behavior. Coyotes also play a vital role in the ecosystem by providing a great deal of rodent control, and if we respect them, they will do the same in return.
One option that might be used as a compromise in lessening coyote conflicts with humans is to humanely trap them and then relocate them to a distant site.
If you need help to deter coyotes from your property, contact Westchester Wildlife. We are an experienced wildlife control company serving Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam Counties, NY, and Fairfield County, CT.
Do Groundhogs Burrow Under a House and Can They Damage It?
Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are a large species of rodents. These wild animals are only found in North America, and can live as far south as Alabama and have lived as far north as Alaska.
They are referred to as “edge dwellers” and prefer to live in areas such as woodlands and forests in winter and fall, and in open fields, grasslands, and suburban backyards in summer and spring. It is rare that a groundhog will move more than 0.5 miles from its burrow.
However, as urbanization is affecting the natural habitats of wildlife, including groundhogs, these animals made our towns and cities their home. They are getting more adapted to urban settings, are less and less frightened of humans and keep burrowing even when humans are around.
Do Groundhogs Live in the Ground?
As the name would suggest, groundhogs live inside the ground. Their holes lead to the underground burrows that they call home. This is where they spend most of their time. Groundhogs use these tunnels as a place to stay safe from predators, and as an ideal place for hibernation and raising their kits.
Are Groundhogs Problematic?
Just like other rodents, the groundhog’s teeth never stop growing. Their two chisel-shaped, long incisors can grow up to 1/16th of an inch per week. To keep these teeth at a reasonable length, groundhogs need to consume a large volume of food to wear their teeth down.
However, this isn’t usually the main problem for homeowners. The primary nuisance concern in regards to groundhogs involves their tendency to dig.
Groundhogs have muscular bodies, powerful short legs, and sharp claws which enables them to dig deep burrows. They accomplish building their burrows extremely well, and this is why they are sometimes called the “underground architects”.
If you want to learn more about what exactly attracts groundhogs to your yard and what damage they can cause, check out our blog post.
What Do Groundhog Holes Look Like?
All groundhog burrows are laid out in practically the same way. Typically, these burrows will have one and sometimes two main entrances with up to six exits. These entrances look like large crescent-shaped mounds of excavated soil and dirt that’s placed right outside the entrance hole. A groundhog hole will appear roughly ten to twelve inches in diameter. The burrow also has one up to four secondary entrances.
The burrows can reach up to 50 feet in length but tend to be no deeper than 6 feet. When a groundhog starts building its burrow, it digs inward for several feet, and then it inclines the tunnel upward for a few more feet. After that, it will continue digging horizontally for another 15 to 25 feet.
These burrows are extensive, with numerous chambers used separately as a latrine as well as for sleeping, hibernating, and nesting.
Can Groundhogs Damage Your Property?
Groundhogs are definitely something that homeowners need to worry about. Their tunneling systems might lead to significant damage to your property.
These animals are able to dig and move a great amount of dirt, and when this activity happens near a house structure, for example under a concrete deck or a patio, the absence of supporting dirt might cause a vulnerable foundation that is prone to cracking.
They feel safe building homes under or around houses as the structure provides overhead stability for them. However, due to the tunneling nature of groundhog burrows, water damage and erosion can become a serious issue for the homeowner.
With rainy weather, these tunnels can fill with water and lead to water flowing directly underneath the house. This can lead to issues with the foundation, i.e. disruption of the existing water balance, and drainage problems during severe weather conditions.
You may find increased moisture in the basement which can, in turn, lead to mold developing throughout the building. The water-logged tunnels can cause the soil to become eroded, which may lead to the entire failure of the house’s foundation.
Due to their powerful teeth and big appetites, groundhogs can also do damage to crops and plants in your garden. For this reason, you may want to get rid of this wildlife before your garden gets destroyed.
Fortunately, there are ways that a homeowner can deter groundhogs from their property. The only thing that’s effective is to humanly trap and release the wildlife further away. DIY groundhog control methods are proven to not be working most of the time. Thus, your best option is to hire an experienced wildlife control company.
Contact Westchester Wildlife for more information on humane trapping and removal of groundhogs from your property. We offer our services in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam Counties, NY, and in Fairfield County, CT.
Ok, this is definitely not something you want too close to you! These pictures were taken by Westchester Wildlife LLC during a Rattlesnake removal.
Rattlesnakes are poisonous and considered very dangerous. If you notice one getting too comfortable around your home, Westchester Wildlife LLC has the experience to remove these snakes with ease.
Honey Bee Removal
Honey bees are an incredible insect. Being a favorite of ours, Jim Dreisacker has kept honey bees and extracted honey for health food stores and local markets long before it became another pest for Westchester Wildlife LLC to remove.
They are are better kept outside of your home, of course but when bees are desperate they find a way to make your wall a suitable hive! (See photos)
As a protected species and a very important insect for our environment, we use a special vacuum to remove and relocate the bees safely.