Birthplace of Colonial America, nearly 2 million people live in Hampton Roads.
Residents enjoy mild winters, warm summers, and thriving economy. One of the largest natural habors in the world incorporates the mouths of Elizabeth, Nansemond, and James River. The abundance of water, mild temperatures, and limited land can lead to nuisance wildlife problems.
Encountering wildlife in this area is a daily adventure. Getting rid of them is not a simple task, however.If you see wildlife on your property, it means they are searching for food, water, and shelter. The best way to prevent wildlife from staying on your property is to reduce food resources. If wildlife inhabits your property, you can expect them to become nuisances at some point.
The Department of Wildlife Resources recommends hiring experts to eliminate nuisance wildlife for your safety and the animals' safety. Plus, experts know the laws regarding removing each animal, helping you avoid expensive fines or other punishments. The most common wildlife in this area known to become a nuisance include raccoons, squirrels, beavers, woodchucks, otters, rabbits, bats, rats, mice, snakes, lizards, frogs, toads, shrews, and nutria. Below are examples of how wildlife is a nuisance in Hampton Roads.
Raccoons in Hampton Roads
like to fish in backyard ponds, raid trash cans, steal pet feed, dig holes in your yard searching for insects, and swim in local swimming pools. These behaviors sound cute until they happen on your property. That's when you learn raccoons leave feces on swimming pools' steps after enjoying a dip. They will also enter a pet door to gain access to pet feed. Further, they will climb outside your chimney to access the inside, where they will build a nest, creating a fire hazard. Raccoons have nimble hands that help them scratch, shred, tear, rip, and destroy the inside of your home. They also use their hands to open doors, containers, bins, and other types of storage.
Raccoons are very clever and create unique ways to steal food. Being omnivorous, they dumpster-dive in search of table scraps and raid gardens and chicken coops for food. They leave mounds of feces and urine in a spot called a latrine. The weight of their waste can cause damage to your beams and structure. Raccoons will travel several miles each night for food if necessary, creating multiple dens along the way. They are filthy animals with greasy fur that leaves smudge marks on whatever it touches.
Raccoons carry diseases, and recent reports in this area note the detection of rabies in ones found in neighborhoods like Hampton
, and others. Unfortunately, raccoons carry other diseases and parasites that can spread to pets and humans. Seeing a raccoon during the day does not mean it has rabies. Raccoons may seek food and water at various times throughout the day. If it is behaving strangely, like staggering or coming towards you, it is likely rabid and should be avoided.
Because getting rid of raccoons
requires following permitting and licensing laws
set by the state, calling an expert for help is a great idea.
Rat and Mice Pest Control
No one likes to think they may have rats or mice in their homes
, but it happens. Instead of being in denial, call a professional to help you get rid of the rodents before you have an infestation exposing you to diseases, parasites, and damage to your property.
Common rats and mice in Hampton Roads include the Norway rat, the roof rat, and the house mouse. Recent news reports from Virginia Beach
show residents complaining about the rats and the droppings they find in their yards. Residents also complained of chew marks on the corners of their homes, noises on their roofs at night, and burrows in the ground.
Roof rats have been a problem in Hampton Roads
for quite some time. Residents fear the problem will grow if nothing is done, and they are right. Rats and mice multiply at alarming rates, producing six or more litters a year, with six or more rodents delivered each time.
Rats and mice can destroy your property by chewing through wires, siding, mesh screens, cabinets, and groceries. They contaminate food, costing you a lot of money. They also build nests in areas that create safety hazards, like vents, ducts, and heaters.
that 21 million homes are affected in the United States by rodents annually. They carry up to 200 pathogens that can spread through their saliva, feces, and urine. Some rodents eat 15 to 20 times a day. That's a lot of trips back and forth from their nest, which is usually less than fifty feet away. Although rodents only live a year or two, they can cause much damage in that short period.
Calling an expert to get rid of rats and mice is essential. They can match the correct bait and trap with the removed rat or mouse. Getting this step wrong can lead to much bigger rodent problems.
Remember when a squirrel chewed through wires at Norfolk High School, causing a power outage
and sending happy students home early? That is just one problem squirrels create. They also chew holes through siding, walls, beams, floors, and screens. They can chew through almost any material due to their strong teeth, which continually grow as they age.
Having squirrels in your yard can be fun to watch, but as nuisance wildlife, they will dig holes in your yard, chew bird or bat boxes, steal birdseed, rip bark from trees, break roof shingles, and leave feces and urine in every area they travel.
Squirrels in Hampton Roads can be seen throughout the day in urban and rural environments. While it sometimes appears they cannot decide which way they want to go, they have a purpose. They aim to collect as many foods and materials as possible to store for later use. Squirrels collect nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, berries, vegetables, leaves, flowers, bird eggs, bark, and more. Squirrels may choose the inside of your home to store their treasures.
You can get rid of nuisance squirrels
with the correct permits from the conservation police officer. You may also be required to obtain a license since squirrels are game animals
It is illegal to transport, release, or relocate any bat in Virginia. Six of the seventeen bat species in Virginia are on state and federal endangered or threatened lists, making it illegal for you
to capture, taunt, harass, hunt, kill, capture, or harm any bat. In extreme nuisance cases, there are options for getting rid of a bat. However, strict laws must be followed. Hiring a wildlife control operator who knows the rules is recommended.
Just because a bat is present on your property, it does not mean they are a nuisance. Bats are rarely a nuisance. They are beneficial in keeping the insect population under control and are an asset in balancing our ecosystem. Bat guano, however, can destroy property and affect the health of humans. For example, if humans inhale fungi spores that grow on guano, they may develop breathing problems like histoplasmosis
Like raccoons and skunks, opossums will eat most anything they can catch, including insects nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables, small rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.
Opossums don't usually stay in one place too long unless you have an excellent resource for food. Backyard ponds and outdoor night lights attract insects. Also, unfenced gardens, birdseed, free-range chickens and unprotected eggs, open trash cans, and accessible pet or livestock feed.
Opossums do not hibernate, so you may find them creating a den under your porch, deck, or in your basement or crawlspace throughout the year. They can carry diseases that can be transmitted to you or your pets.
Both spotted and striped skunks are found in the state of Virginia. While the less common eastern spotted skunk is found in the western part of the state, the striped skunk is commonly found in the eastern part of the state and is the species Virginia Beach homeowners could encounter. These adaptable, nocturnal creatures known for their pungent spray can wreak havoc if one too many discover a consistent food source on your property. If you smell a skunk on your property
, please do not attempt to remove it yourself, as these animals can become aggressive and spray when threatened.
Birds are an important part of our natural environment in the area.
- As predators, they feed on insects, rodents, worms, fish and countless other animals.
- Game birds, song birds, hawks and other bird species contribute to outdoor recreation and the overall enjoyment of nature.
Birds may be beneficial, neutral, or harmful to man's interests, depending upon time, location and activity, and certain birds (sparrows, woodpeckers, waterfowl, pigeons and black birds) are more likely to become pests and require bird-proofing and bird control. Pest bird situations that require bird control and bird proofing include:
- Feeding on agricultural products
- Roosting or nesting around human habitations
- Destroying vegetation and contaminating foods
- Noise, droppings, odor and feathers
- Diseases or ectoparasites affecting man including histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis
- Unpleasant or hazardous working conditions
According to news reports
, living in the Hampton Roads area can mean seeing a lot of Canadian Geese droppings on the sidewalks, streets, driveways, and rooftops of homes. Geese can release a pound of dropping every day. If you have 20 geese in your area, that's 20 pounds of waste daily. Where are residents supposed to put all this waste, and how do they keep up with getting rid of it?
Unlike some other animal feces, goose excrement is not a good fertilizer. It can contaminate water sources. Geese can spread diseases and parasites, destroy landscaping, and deter people from visiting an area overrun with them.
Currently, there are 180,000 Canadian geese in Virginia
. They exist in four populations: the Atlantic Flyway Resident, North Atlantic, Southern James Bay, and the Atlantic.
Virginia adopted depredation orders, like hunting seasons, the Nest and Egg, or the Agricultural orders, but only if you register with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. For many, these actions seem cruel and unnecessary. Other options include hiring a wildlife control services expert to teach you how to exclude Canadian geese from your property.