Q&A with District Manager
What are some of the most common wildlife issues that homeowners face in your area?
Rats and squirrels will chew into attics and destroy insulation, electrical wires, and duct work. Raccoons will pull down soffit and gable vents in order to access attic spaces and nest in insulation. Bats will access gable vents, construction gap, open rake board and fascia boards, and often find their way inside the living space. Bat droppings will accumulate beneath roosting sites and is hazardous to our health when breathed-in. Lastly, birds will access microwave and dryer exhaust vents and build nests inside them. This will completely block exhaust flow and becomes a fire hazard.
How do the seasons affect wildlife activity in your area?
Spring and summer are the busiest times of the year for pest activity. This is the most common time for wildlife to reproduce which ultimately leads to even more pest problems for homeowners. Most pests are active and as a result we deal with squirrels, rats, snakes, raccoons, birds, moles/voles, ground hogs, opossum, skunks, otters, muskrats, and bugs. During the fall and winter, there is less activity due to the colder weather and therefore we deal with fewer pests. However, because of the colder weather, more pests push into homes for warmth. This is the most common time of the year to have squirrels and rats chew into attics and seek harborage in insulation. We also deal with raccoons causing damage to the home seeking warmth in attics, soffit lines, and dormer voids.
What are some common signs of nuisance wildlife activity?
Common signs for nuisance wildlife activity are hearing chewing and scratching in the walls, ceiling, and attic. If you hear squirrels regularly running on the roof, it’s only a matter of time before they “explore” their way into your attic. Be proactive and call Critter Control before they chew their way inside, causing damage to your home. Other signs are visual. You may see chew holes on the exterior of your home along the roof line or on gable vents. You may also see droppings in the attic or gable vents when you are putting Christmas decorations away. Call Critter Control at the first sign of any type of pest problem.
Any prevention tips for residents in your area?
It’s best to be proactive and have your home undergo a full home exclusion before the issues arise. This is a cheaper alternative to dealing with the damages that pests cause. We offer free home inspections for this service.
When should homeowners call Critter Control?Call Critter Control at the first sign of any pest problems. If you hear or see something unusual, call right away.
Wildlife Problems in Virginia Beach, VA
Many neighborhoods make up the city of Virginia Beach, VA. Residents enjoy mild winters, warm summers, and ocean life. Combine great weather and man-made shelter with proximity to local wildlife refuges, and it's no wonder that animal encounters are common in Virginia Beach.
Swallows seek shelter from the elements and predators in Virginia Beach buildings. As a result, it is fairly common for homeowners to find these birds in barns, around eaves, and inside chimneys. Since swallows live near people and often travel in flocks, their noise and droppings can be a nuisance.
Blackbirds are a problem in the fields, gardens, and yards of Virginia Beach. The pests tend to roost in large numbers and can transmit diseases like salmonellosis through their waste. Because this group of birds is protected by law, it's safest to consult wildlife professionals for prevention tips.
Virginia residents who keep chickens often deal with weasels in the yard. Holes in poultry houses give the pests the chance to injure and feed on livestock. While weasels rarely turn hostile towards humans, they will defend themselves with their sharp claws and teeth.
Rats and Contamination
Rats are abundant in Virginia and home infestations are frequent. Once indoors, these pests leave urine and droppings throughout kitchens. This behavior is dangerous, as rat waste can pass illnesses to people. Rodents can also spread disease through the fleas, mites, and ticks in their fur.
Virginia Beach Bats
There are about 16 bat species in Virginia. Outdoors, the animals control insects, eating hundreds per evening. However, bats present a serious issue in homes. After entering through holes as small as a half-inch in diameter, colonies leave behind foul-smelling feces. Their waste can contain harmful mold and bacteria.
Squirrels are a nuisance when they enter Virginia Beach houses. Seeking a safe nesting spot, these pests will make or enlarge openings to enter attics and vents. Before sealing any holes, be sure all animals are gone. A mother squirrel can cause extensive damage trying to get to her young.
Raccoon problems are frequent in areas of Virginia Beach with trash to provide meals. As the pests rummage through garbage cans, they often leave porches, driveways, and yards in disarray. Raccoons may also be carriers of health risks like rabies and roundworm.
Other Virginia Beach Pests
Residents see snakes and foxes within city limits as well. Both animals are predators that, while rarely hostile towards people, will act in self-defense. It's also important to note that, along with many harmless snake species, venomous copperheads, cottonmouths, and timber rattlesnakes live in the area.