In July, the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association named Hampton the Resilient Virginia Community of the Year. Specifically noted as a success are Hampton’s efforts to maintain native habitats, improve water quality, and effectively prepare for the effects of climate change.Climate change affects wildlife just as much as it does humans. Animals in the sea and on land must learn to adapt to the changes or migrate to a different area. The Chesapeake Bay Program reports that we are seeing higher evening temperatures, increases in annual rainfalls, and more flooding episodes.

Events like these push wildlife out of their habitats, forcing them to find food, water, and shelter in Hampton neighborhoods. You can see the effects of climate change, deforestation, and land development each time you see deer, squirrels, bats, raccoons, skunks, opossums, snakes, groundhogs, rats, mice, rabbits, etc.

What Are the Wildlife Concerns in Hampton, Virginia?

Each animal has the potential to become a nuisance if the animal threatens you, annoys you, or damages your property. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources recommends calling a licensed trapper for assistance in removing wildlife from your home or property for many reasons, but especially for the safety of you and the animal. Also, laws exist that, if not followed, could lead to legal trouble and fines.

Below are examples of common nuisance wildlife issues in Hampton.

Raccoon Removal

Raccoons are likely the most well-adapted species to urban Hampton lifestyles. One reason may be that they are omnivorous, meaning they eat just about anything. They dumpster dive for table scraps and junk food, steal fruits and vegetables from your garden, snatch fish from a pond, dig holes in your lawn for insects, and help themselves to pet feed.

Raccoons, with their bandit-like mask, typically scavenge at night, but it is not unusual to see them during the day if they are hungry or thirsty. If they find a good source of food on your property, they will build a nest nearby. Some raccoons travel miles every night, building multiple nests for resting along their path.

Raccoons climb, rip, tear, open, dig, and shred with human-like hands. They often build nests in attics and chimneys by breaking through screens, caps, and slats that need repair. Once inside, raccoons will create a toilet area, called a latrine, where they pile their feces and urine. They then destroy everything from drywall to insulation. Some females have babies after breeding season, from February to June.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, raccoons harbor Baylis Ascaris. This roundworm parasite can be transmitted to humans if egg spores on raccoon feces are handled and accidentally inhaled. For example, you clean a pile of feces that has dried. As the waste crumbles, the spores, which look like dust, float into the air and are inhaled. Raccoons in Virginia are also a leading carrier of rabies.

To prevent spreading diseases like this, transporting or relocating a raccoon is illegal in Virginia. Hire a wildlife expert to get rid of a raccoon. They know the laws regarding trapping furbearers, have safe and humane trapping systems, and know where to take a raccoon for disease testing. A fun fact about raccoons is that they love to swim in swimming pools. When done, they usually leave a “present,” their feces, by the steps on their way out of the pool.

Rats and Mice Pest Control

In Hampton, Norway, roof rats, and the house mouse are everywhere. With more than ten diseases directly and fifteen indirectly spread by rodents, you must call for help at the first sign of activity. You may notice rat or mouse droppings or greasy smudges on your baseboards or countertops. They gnaw marks on flooring, walls, cabinets, and furniture. You may see holes in grocery products, carpets, or pipes.

Rats and mice can chew almost all materials, including thin metals. They do this to keep their teeth filed to a manageable and painless size. Getting rid of rats and mice can be tricky. Each species may take a different type of trap and bait. Using the wrong type can lead to more rodents in your home.

Rodents are keenly aware of their environment. They make multiple trips between their nests and about 300 feet away. They know if something is out of place, like a newly placed trap, and will avoid the area. It doesn’t take long for one rat or mouse to become an infestation. Females are ready for reproduction within six weeks of being born. Each female can have six or more litters annually. Within 48 hours, a female can be ready to breed again.

Interesting facts about rats and mice are that they can squeeze through holes the size of a quarter, swim up your toilet, and leap up to two feet in the air.

Squirrel Removal

Squirrels are members of the rodent family and likely the wildlife you see the most in Hampton. Whether you catch them raiding the bird feeder or dashing across the street just as you drive by, squirrels are abundant in this area. Flying, gray, and fox squirrels exist in Hampton. However, it is the flying squirrel that is the one most likely to succeed at breaking into your attic. If they build a nest in your attic, you can expect to find the following:

  • Noises reflect their emotions, like screeches when aggressive and barks to alarm other squirrels.
  • Shredded insulation and drywall, nests in ductwork, large collections of foods, and other treasures.
  • Feces and urine that can grow mold spores
  • Fleas, ticks, lice, and mites can be transmitted from squirrels to humans, each of which can harbor bacteria
  • Hoards of food, twigs, and other materials

It is illegal in Virginia to trap and relocate a squirrel to another property. There are plenty of ways to protect your home and yard from squirrel damage. You can use netting to prevent squirrels from stripping bark, repellents, and deterrents. Wildlife control experts have numerous tips and tricks they can share with you. For instance, the primary way to keep squirrels away includes limiting their access to foods they love, like nuts, grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, bird eggs, berries, and bark.

Bat Removal

Bats are the only mammal that can fly, and they do so after dark after roosting all day. The bats that may be roosting in your attic, barn, shed, or other outbuildings are the big and little brown bat, evening bat, or Brazilian free-tailed bat.

Bats are amazing. They can live for more than sixty years and fly at a rate of 60 mph. They also eat thousands of bugs a night. While bats are usually blind, their eyesight is limited, so they use their hearing to guide them. Noises bounce off objects, telling them which direction to fly. Bat guano is both an asset and a nuisance. It is one of the best fertilizers for crops. At the same time, it is heavy, can grow mold spores, stain your floors and walls, and erode metals.

Unfortunately, diseases like the white-nose syndrome are threatening bat species. Most bats are on the endangered or threatened species roster. Virginia laws state you cannot harass, kill, relocate, capture, collect, hunt, or shoot, especially during their maternity season from April to October.

Wildlife control experts know the steps to remove bats safely and humanely from your property and keep them away. They also know all the laws regarding each species of bat.

Rabbit Removal

Rabbits, especially baby rabbits, are cute and fun to spot in your yard. You want to hug them but will never catch them since they can move at speeds up to 18 mph. You smile as they hop and then stop to pose like a statue trying to go undetected by predators. They are the most heavily preyed upon among wildlife.

The Eastern cottontail is the one you see the most in Hampton neighborhoods, but we also have the marsh rabbit and the Appalachian cottontail. Rabbits can be hunted in a specific season with proper licensing. However, it’s essential to know that rabbits can harbor bacteria that can be transmitted to humans. It is called tularemia, and while it will kill the rabbit, humans can overcome it with antibiotics.

Female rabbits, or does, usually give birth to a litter of three to six babies. They reproduce soon after giving birth and can deliver up to seven litters annually. Whether you have one or two rabbits, or 30, you can expect damages like missing or ruined garden and field crops, damaged trees, and vegetation.

Rabbits sometimes create a nest in the middle of a lawn if the grass is high enough. This poses a danger to the babies when summer arrives, and it is time to start mowing again. Call an expert to get rid of rabbits. They understand the local ordinances and have safe and humane trapping systems.

Woodpecker Control

The Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects woodpeckers. You cannot trap, harass, kill, or bother a woodpecker. Fortunately, wildlife control experts have many things you can do to exclude woodpeckers from your property. It is essential to do so because woodpeckers can ruin trees and homes with their constant pecking, which is usually related to searching for and consuming insects. A wildlife expert can also help you determine if you have an insect problem.

Eight species of woodpeckers live in Virginia. The downy, the red-bellied, the red-headed, and the pileated woodpecker are the most you will see at your Hampton home. Do not wait to call for help if you see a pileated woodpecker. A wildlife expert can help you resolve a nuisance problem quickly and efficiently.

How Professional Wildlife Control Services Can Help You

You deserve to enjoy your indoor and outdoor living space. That’s hard to do if most of your spare time is spent locating, removing, and cleaning up after nuisance wildlife. Professional wildlife control service technicians can do the job for you. They offer

  • Quick and efficient response times.
  • Proven techniques that eliminate and exclude nuisances.
  • Services protected by insurance.
  • Extensive knowledge of wildlife habits and habitats.