Licensed and Insured



Licensed and Insured

How to Prevent Rats From Entering In Your Home or Business

Rat Prevention:

It is important to protect your property from rodents such as mice and rats. Rats can invade even the most well-maintained properties if they find easy entry access. Crawl spaces and decks are a common place for a population to live until damage and signs are noticed by homeowner. Once rats have invaded your garden or landscaping, unless your house is truly rodent proof, it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them indoors.

Rats can squeeze beneath a door with only a 1/2-inch gap. If the door is made of wood, the rat may gnaw to enlarge the gap, but this may not be necessary. Rats consume and contaminate foodstuffs and animal feed. They also damage containers and packaging materials in which foods and feed are stored. Rats cause problems by gnawing on electrical wires and wooden structures (doors, ledges, in corners, and in wall material) and tearing up insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting.

Rats may undermine building foundations and slabs with their burrowing activities. They may also gnaw on all types of materials, including soft metals such as copper and lead as well as plastic and wood. If roof rats are living in the attic of a residence, they can cause considerable damage with their gnawing and nest-building activities. They also damage garden crops and ornamental plantings. Among the diseases rats may transmit to humans or livestock are murine typhus, leptospirosis, trichinosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), and ratbite fever.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with Rat Removal and you are in one of our service counties, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, or Fairfield: Please Contact Westchester Wildlife LLC to schedule an inspection today!
914-760-5713 or 800-273-6673

The American Red Squirrel: Best Practices to Prevent Potential Problems

Best Practices to Prevent Potential Problems:

Red Squirrels are the only squirrels that enter at the ground, not just the roofline compared to other squirrel species. They can be active both day and night, as opposed to other squirrel species that are active either during the morning only or at night only. In residential areas, squirrels will travel along power lines and short out transformers. They gnaw on wires, enter buildings, and build nests in attics. Squirrels can cause a fire hazard in homes by bringing in nesting material, and by chewing on power lines. Squirrels can leave behind a lot of droppings and urine in the attic. The droppings not only smell bad, but they pose a bio-hazardous risk, and the smell attracts new squirrels. Occasionally, squirrels will cause damage to lawns by burying or searching for and digging up nuts. They will chew bark and clip twigs on ornamental trees or shrubbery planted in yards. Often squirrels take food at feeders intended for birds.

Best practices to prevent potential squirrel problems include:

Remove artificial food sources (bird seed, pet food).

Move your bird feeder twenty or more feet from the house.

Close or cover garbage cans, and if possible make them inaccessible.

If you have a barbecue near the house, keep it clean and covered. (Squirrels have been know to eat the drippings and sometimes build a nest if they can get inside).

If you or someone you know needs assistance with Squirrel Removal and you are in one of our service counties: Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, or Fairfield
Please Contact Westchester Wildlife LLC to schedule an inspection today!
914-760-5713 or 800-273-6673

How To Remove Mice From Your Home

Mice Droppings and Health Awareness:

The most common problem that posed for humans is related to mice droppings. Mice have the tendency to leave droppings and urinate frequently. (Hantavirus) is a disease carried by rodents prevalent in their feces. Symptoms are common to influenza. Proper sanitary precautions should be taken to clean any infested areas. Particularly, keep kitchens and food access areas clean.

How to Remove Mice From Your Home:

Do you have signs of mice in your home? Have you seen droppings or gnawed wires? Have you heard scratching or scurry sounds coming from attic or inside your walls?

Westchester Wildlife LLC offers the most humane and best practices required by law to remove mice from your home or business of mice. We take care to screen and seal around any potential entry points. Our mouse-proofing services offer an alternative to poison and are proven to be effective.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with Mice Removal and you are in one of our service counties: Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, or Fairfield
Please Contact Westchester Wildlife LLC to schedule an inspection today!
914-760-5713 or 800-273-6673

Northern Flying Squirrel: Feeding Habits and Nesting

Feeding Habits:

A major food source for flying squirrels is mushroom fungi, or truffles of various species. They also eat lichens, mushrooms, all mast-crop nuts, tree sap, insects, carrion, bird eggs and nestlings, buds and flowers. The squirrels are able to locate truffles by olfaction (or smell), though they also seem to use cues such as the presence of coarse woody debris, indicating a decaying log and spatial memory of locations where truffles were found in the past. The northern flying squirrel is also known to cache food (hoard or hide food from other animals) when food supplies are lower. These caches can be found in tree cavities and as in the squirrels’ nest. Lichens and seeds are commonly stored by these creatures.

Nests made by Northern Flying Squirrels:

The nests of Northern Flying Squirrels are typically found in holes of trees. These creatures prefer a large-diameter trunk and dead trees and will also build outside leaf nests called dreys. They sometimes use cavities created by woodpeckers. Suitable nest sites tend to be more abundant in old-growth forests, leading to an increased population is such areas. However, harvested forests can be managed in such ways that are likely to increase squirrel numbers as well. Except when rearing young, the squirrels will shift from nest to nest frequently and often share nests. In one nest, over 50 individual squirrels can be found cohabiting, although more commonly nests contain 2-5 individual squirrels. The sharing of nests by flying squirrels is important in maintaining body temperature in the winter as flying squirrels do not hibernate and are active year-round.

Northern Flying Squirrel: Mating Season

Mating Season:

The mating season begins late March and early April. It is common for the male to be driven off by their mate before their young are born since the female northern flying squirrel is territorial, whereas the male is not (Mammath and Mulheisen, 1996). At night the adults may feed and play together, but there is no evidence that the males ever get to be with their offspring. The squirrels give birth in late April to June, and one litter is born a year. The average litter size is three, but the range is from as little as one to as many as six (Malamuth and Mulheisen 1996). The gestation period is 37-42 days, and the newborns are naked, deaf, blind, hairless and weigh about 5-6 grams. In about a month they have grown some fur, and may weigh four times as much as when they were born. At about nine weeks they are weaned and become more and more independent. By the twelfth week they try gliding. At four months they become good gliders and are able to take care of themselves.

Northern Flying Squirrels moult once a year in autumn. They are clean animals and spend part of their day grooming. Their active period is pretty short, just a couple of hours after sunset and the last hour or so before sunrise (Savage, 1981). They have a call that is typical for squirrels a “chuck chuck,” but sometimes they chirp notes like a bird. Their main predator is the Great Horned Owl, but the marten, lynx, bobcat, weasel, fox, ermine, and fisher are also their predators (Woods, 1980).

Rats: Character Traits and Facts

Behavior and Prevention

Rats are medium sized rodents (non-flying mammal) whose origins can be traced back nearly 56 million years ago. Rats are a diverse species but share a common feature: single paired jaw incisors and large jaw. They are active all year round and mate up to four times a year (average litter size of 8, peaking in summer and autumn). Particularly, during the colder months is when rats will enter various types of structures to seek warmth and food. It is widely known that rats live in densely populated areas, but this varies depending on climate, living conditions and other factors. If their nest is where a concentrated food supply is available, rats will often stay in that area for extended amount of time. New York City is susceptible to rat infestation due to the aging infrastructure, high moisture, sewers, and alleyways. There is a higher rate of survival in a mild climate.

The most problematic and prevalent to our area are the Norway Rat and Roof Rat. Norway Rats, or sewer rats, are stocky rodents that are larger than Roof Rats. They are known to burrow in order to create shelter, store food, and protect themselves from environmental hazards. Rats can be found beneath building foundations, rubbish, wood piles, garbage and most areas such as gardens and fields. They invade buildings and remains on ground floor and in basements. Roof Rats, or black rats, are slightly smaller than Norway rats. They are agile climbers residing above ground in shrubs, trees, and in dense vegetation like ivy, for example. People don’t often see rats, but signs are easy to detect. Rats are most often found in enclosed or elevated spaces such as attics, walls, ceilings, and cabinets.

Some interesting facts about rats: they have poor vision and cannot see in color. They will sometimes wag their head from side to side, using motion to get a better look at what’s in front of them. A group of rats is known as a “mischeif.” Rats will sometimes lay on their back and “sweat” through their feet to regulate their body temperature. They are omnivores and tend to feed on trash as well as livestock. Rats are foragers, stocking up of fruit, grain and other plant material. They are primarily nocturnal and social.

The American Red Squirrel: Behavior and Traits

The North American Red Squirrel can also be referred to as pine squirrels and chickarees. Red Squirrels differ from other North American tree squirrels in that they are smaller in size and have reddish fur with a white belly. They are actually not much bigger than chipmunks. They can also be much more territorial than the Eastern Gray Squirrel. Red Squirrels are found primarily in hardwood areas. Their diet is specialized on the seeds of conifer cones. A unique behavior trait is that they will eat the seeds of conifer cones and will pile them up against trees, marking the presence of red squirrels.

Red Squirrels nest above ground inside tree cavities, as well as, underground in excavated chambers. Nests can also be made in log piles, bird-houses, rock walls and buildings. They like to nest inside eaves and attics of homes and commercial buildings. It is also known that red squirrels with return to the same location a year later for nesting. They are a somewhat nomadic, sedentary species and often are quite defensive of their territory. It is only during breeding season red squirrels allow some infringement to their habitat. The males tend to wander and females permit males to enter their territory.

The House Mouse: Behavior and Traits

The “house mouse” belongs to the rodent family. They commonly dwell in close distance to humans. These small, furry mammals adapt in a variety of environmental conditions and can be found seeking residence (especially in colder months) in homes, commercial structures, and open fields.

The House Mouse:

They are known to be good swimmers, jumpers, climbers. Mice breed in dark areas, and reproduce nearly year round with the average litter size of 10-12 pups. Females have up to six litters with a life spanning three to four months.

Mice Around the Home: What Do They Eat, Where Do They Enter, and Why?

House mice are uniform grey of course are small creatures (7.5-10 centimeters in length and weight less than one pound). They are considered nocturnal mammals, active mostly at night. As far as the senses go, they have poor eyesight, exceptional hearing, and incredible sense of smell. Their strengths enable them to avoid predators and find food. These creatures are primarily omnivores, feeding on grains, fruit, and plants. Also, mice will easily adapt to food sources that are available. Mice seek hidden places near source of food and make nests out of soft materials. Mice will seek out entrance points as small as the size of a dime! They squeeze through the smallest openings around foundations, cracks, and utility pipes. Be aware that during the Fall and Winter months these furry little rodents seek a warm place to retreat out of the cold. They scurry through small cracks in search of something to eat, crawl through holes, chew on wood and gnaw on electrical wires. Yes, they can be quite a nuisance… causing safety hazards and structural damage to your home and even damage to crops and domestic gardens.

Skunks & Raccoons: Behaviors and Seasonal Lawn Damage

Skunks are widely recognized for their unique black and white striped markings and foul odor they can leave behind. Their notorious defensive mechanism is to spray when threatened.


These creatures belong to the weasel family and are typically 15 to 37 inches long. Skunks weight ranges from 1.1 pound up to 18 pounds. Their short, well muscled legs and long claws are ideal for digging. Skunks are solitary, nocturnal animals, spending the day sleeping in dark places such as porches and burrows. Skunks are known to dig up lawns and make their own burrows that can be 3-4 feet deep, 6-20 feet long. Most commonly, they dig in search of grubs and worms. Skunks have excellent smell and hearing, but poor vision. They are vulnerable to road traffic as they cannot see clearly more than about 10 feet away. Skunks have a short lifespan in the wild (no longer than three years). In captivity, it has been documented that skunks may live up to ten to fifteen years.


Raccoons are medium, well-rounded mammals with reddish brown grey fur. Their unique black “mask” facial pattern is a recognizable physical trait. Raccoons on average weigh 15 pounds. They are strong, fierce creatures and possess extremely dexterous front paws. When threatened, raccoons will use their agility, strength, sharp teeth and claws to defend themselves. Racoons, originally thought to be solitary mammals, are in fact social beings. Females have been documented to share common grounds for feeding and resting. Raccoons have remarkable sensory perception. Their paws lack and opposable thumb, but this creates no hindrance of their agile hands. Their sense of smell is vital for communication at night, as well as incredible hearing sense. Raccoons, similar to skunks, have poor vision and are color blind.


Skunks and Raccoons possess similar behavior traits. They are both nocturnal (active at night) creatures. They share common feeding and dwelling habits and can contract and spread rabies. Raccoons and Skunks are both known to cause seasonal lawn damage. Both can dig up lawns in search of grubs to eat. This usually happens at night. Skunk yard damage can be recognized by divots and quarter-sized holes, whereas Raccoon damage can leave huge chunks of grass missing and completely tear apart a lawn. This is a common activity during the Fall months.


Westchester Wildlife LLC offers an array of preventive services related to Skunks and Raccoons. Whether its trapping and relocating, removal, or property inspection, Westchester Wildlife can help resolve the nuisance the animal has caused. For lawn damage, we can refer a landscaper to treat grubs and prevent future damage.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with Skunk or Raccoon Removal and you are in one of our service counties, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, or Fairfield:
Please Contact Westchester Wildlife LLC to schedule an inspection today!
914-760-5713 or 800-273-6673




Common Snake Species in New York State

New York Snakes: Garter Snake

It could be a common belief amongst many people that snakes are a feared species. Of the 17 species known in New York State, these scaly, legless, carnivorous creatures have an esteemed purpose to our habitat. Snakes are also another part of our wildlife chain that can be found around our homes seeking food, shelter or mates.  Also addressed are the reasons you may find snakes in your home, problems they can cause and how Westchester Wildlife LLC can assist in Snake Removal.

New York’s most common snake is the garter snake. Like all snakes, they are carnivores. They can be seen as a valued creature for their ability to kill insect pests and rodents. Garter snakes are known to feed on slugs, leeches, lizards, frog eggs, and toads. These snakes can be found in an array of habitats such as woodlands, fields, marshes, and yards. Garter snakes may reach up to two feet in length but are usually smaller. Their colors and patterns can vary but most often recognized as dark brown or green with three yellowish stripes on their sides and back. Garter snakes are harmless to people. It is likely most snakes will hide and retreat when approached but can strike at large prey and threatening humans.

New York Snakes: Black Rat Snake

The longest snake in New York is the Black Rat Snake, reaching six feet in length. These non-venomous, constrictor snakes are mostly black patterned with white and grey. They are typically found in wooded areas (near barns, farmyards, cool, dark places) and feed primarily on rodents and birds. These snakes have the impressive ability to attack their prey by coiling small animals by means of constriction. Black Rat Snakes are known to hatch their eggs in late summer. Recent studies have shown that this species may in fact possess a small amount of venom. However, still pose no threat to humans.

Snakes Removal From Your Home:

You may encounter Garter or Black Rat Snakes around or in your home for the main reason that they are seeking food and shelter. Snakes can come into houses during sudden weather changes especially when temperatures drop and they seek a warm place. If the space and food are desirable, they will return. It is important to seal openings that are accessible at ground level. For example, water pipes, electrical outlets, gas/oil pipes, windows and doors should be properly sealed.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with Snake Removal and you are in one of our service counties, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, or Fairfield please contact Westchester Wildlife to schedule an inspection today!
Please call: 914-760-5713 or 800-273-6673