What Are the Major Wildlife Removal Concerns in Annapolis, Maryland?
Annapolis has been a well-renowned seaport celebrated for its hospitality and culture since its early roots as a colonial city. Though not a major commercial seaport like its neighbor Baltimore, Annapolis is home to plenty of recreational boating, fishing, sailing, and racing activities. The city lies along the Severn River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
Proximity to the coast makes Annapolis an area prone to nuisance wildlife. Animals such as birds, raccoons, and rodents all thrive by the ocean on a delicious diet of clams, snails, crabs, and other small, but tasty creatures of the sea.
Annapolis has been synonymous with the United States Naval Academy, but it is also a tourist destination that attracts more than four million visitors a year who come to enjoy the city's historic district, seafood restaurants, pubs, and more.
Unlike most American cities built on a grid, Annapolis was designed in circles with radiating streets that call attention to important structures such as the State House. Annapolis' historic district is still thriving and has more 18th-century structures than any other city in the nation. While beautiful to walk and admire, the old residential, commercial, and government buildings are filled with gaps that come with age, providing easy access to potential critter infestations.
Raccoon Removal in Maryland
Raccoons are prevalent throughout the United States, and Annapolis is no exception. These animals are omnivores which means they will eat almost anything they find, from small crustaceans along the shore to whatever you put into your trash can. Also, because the Annapolis shore is built up with marinas, marine services, and restaurants, raccoons have lost their fear of being near people.
While great for raccoon dining, the commerce and activity near the shore do not provide the safe denning places these critters need to raise their young. Raccoons look for man-made structures to supply safe locations. As nocturnal mammals, they will venture out to scavenge food at night, but sleep and raise their young in Annapolis attics and chimneys.
Although very cute, raccoons are also very destructive. They will rip open a hole in a roof to get inside. Once they claim your attic for their den, they will designate a space there as their latrine. By urinating and defecating in this same spot, beams and insulation will become soiled and contaminated, and a foul smell will develop.
Raccoons cannot be chased away using DIY methods, as they are aggressive when confronted. Since raccoons are carriers of rabies and other diseases, homeowners should not risk getting scratched or bitten.
Bat Control Near Annapolis
Maryland is home to ten species of bats, all of which are insectivores. We don't often recognize the good they do, but a single bat can eat up to 4,000 insects (including mosquitoes) in a single night!
Loss of habitats such as caves and trees has made it necessary for them to find other places to roost, spend the winter, and raise their young. Bats are often found in the attics of residential homes and commercial buildings, having gotten in through gaps in gables, vents, soffits, and chimney caps. Once inside, a bat colony will stay and grow larger each year.
Because bats are mostly quiet except for a squeaking noise, many homeowners are unaware of their presence until the ammonia smell from their droppings spreads throughout the house. This guano will accumulate quickly, soiling insulation and rotting beams. This guano also poses a health risk. A fungus that grows in bat guano can release spores which, when breathed in, may result in histoplasmosis, a serious lung disease.
All bats are federally protected and cannot be harmed. They should also never be handled without proper equipment. Because they hang upside down, they defecate on themselves, making them a health risk for handling. Bats should always be gotten rid of by professionals in a safe, humane manner.
Remove Squirrels Safely From Maryland Homes
A squirrel is adorable when scurrying about outside, but a squirrel in your home should never be tolerated. Squirrels are rodents and share many of the same traits. They will squeeze through small gaps and holes in your roof or soffits to gain entry. Once inside, they can create a lot of serious damage.
Inside your attic, squirrels will use whatever they can find to create a nest—insulation, items you store there, and other materials they bring in from the outside. Their incisor teeth grow throughout their lives, so they need to chew and gnaw to keep those teeth at a manageable length. Squirrels will chew beams and even electrical wires, and they will also urinate and defecate.
Squirrels live all around us and are categorized into three types: ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels. It's the flying and tree squirrels that can easily jump from branch to roof to invade your home. Additionally, because Annapolis has cold winters, your attic is a much more attractive place to call home than a nest of leaves in the crook of a tree where these agile animals are still exposed to the elements.
Squirrels have one difference from other rodents, such as mice or rats, that can provide a clue as to who is in your attic. Squirrels are not nocturnal, so if you hear scampering noises in the morning and again at dusk, that is a good indication that a squirrel might be in the attic.
Like most nuisance animals, squirrels harbor parasites like fleas and ticks, as well as diseases like leptospirosis. Critter Control live-traps squirrels, along with their young (if there are any present), to humanely remove them.
Rodent Removal in Annapolis
Rodents are one of the most disliked pests of homeowners, and with good reason—they are destructive, transmit disease, and multiply rapidly. Rats and mice are crafty little creatures that will fit through the tiniest of cracks in a house, looking for a cozy place to nest. Once inside, they pose a serious problem to your home, health, and happiness.
Unlike cartoon mice, rodents don't really love cheese, but they are omnivores and will eat almost anything they find, including the bait and waste from Annapolis fishing boats and almost anything found in your pantry.
Rodents can reproduce anywhere from five to ten times per year with up to 14 babies at a time. What's more, they can get pregnant again immediately after giving birth. This means that a few rodents can quickly turn into a huge infestation. The longer you wait to get rid of them, the more damage they can wreak in your home.
One characteristic of rodents is that their incisor teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. They are voracious gnawers because that is their way of keeping these teeth at a manageable length. This trait is what makes them so successful at gnawing their way into homes. However, once inside, they continue to gnaw on beams, walls, and even electrical wires, which creates a fire hazard.
You may not see a rat or mouse until the infestation is large, but you will see feces in your pantry, cabinets, and counters. Also, be on the lookout for greasy smudge marks along walls and baseboards that are made as these critters travel throughout your house.
Depending on the size of the infestation and where the rats or mice are nesting, your wildlife technician will put together a custom plan for eradication. The process can take anywhere from seven to ten days. Once the rats and mice are gone, the gaps where these rodents entered will be sealed. Then indoor repairs and sanitation can take place.
Bird Control in Maryland Homes
Unlike other nuisance animals that can be trapped and removed or self-evicted through one-way doors, birds cannot be captured and removed. Pigeons, seagulls, starlings, and even sparrows are common species that cause problems on the East Coast. It's not surprising—where there is a fishing industry, there will be lots of birds.
Most birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Act, but not starlings, rock pigeons, or house sparrows. Homeowners with bird problems should still be mindful because there are also eagles and osprey that live near the shore and may take up residence in your home.
Because birds cannot be caught, bird control consists predominantly of eliminating places for them to land and build nests. Deterrents such as netting and bird spikes are installed by Critter Control to keep birds from landing on your property.
While birds are an important part of our natural world because they disperse seeds and remove some of the other pests we dislike, the accumulation of their feces is a health hazard and a source of damage to buildings.
After an inspection by Critter Control, a plan can be created for excluding and deterring the birds from your property.