Species

Groundhogs (Woodchucks, Whistle Pigs)

Groundhogs are extremely disruptive little bulldozers that will excavate large holes and tunnels underneath decking, sheds, barns or open fields. In our experience we have seen groundhogs unearth tombstones with their caverns!

Groundhogs have 3-5 pups in the spring. The groundhogs favorite types of food include flowers, fruit and vegetables. This appetite leads to the destruction of many home gardens. It is not uncommon for one groundhog to occupy a network of up to 8 holes. Each hole usually has an entrance and an exit. My customers often tell of putting bricks, broken glass, mothballs or bubble gum as an attempt to get the groundhog to leave. I have seen these pests tunnel right next to the closed hole. The only successful method is to have them trapped and removed.

WARNING: Groundhogs are recognized by the Pennsylvania Game Commission as a rabies vector species. This means they are a hazard to both people and pets. Therefore, extreme caution must be taken when handling these animals as they pose a significant health risk. 

Our service provides trapping and removal of the groundhogs along with repairing the damage created to the property by the groundhog (filling up the holes and or structural fencing).



Starlings, Sparrows, Pigeons or Other Birds

Birds are a wonderful creature of nature to watch or feed. However, they can cause health hazards and a mess with their droppings. I receive calls to remove unwanted bird nests, remove pigeons from buildings or place exclusion barriers to keep unwanted birds out of designated areas. I have also transported orphan young birds to wildlife rehabilitation personnel. I have used for live trapping and humane techniques to solve bird and human conflicts.









Opossums (Possum, Grinners)

Opossums are primarily nocturnal omnivores who seem to have a bad habit of winding up in doghouses, underneath decking or raiding your pet's food supply or your home garbage cans. Opossums have up to 15 young per litter; however, an opossum may have more than one litter throughout the year. Once born, the opossum carries its young in its front pouch like a true marsupial. 

WARNING: Opossums carry EPM and Sarcosytic Neatral. Both of the aforementioned are threats to horses and can have crippling effects followed by thousands of dollars of veterinary bills. Opossums are not bright animals; however, they are able to fool their predators by acting like they are dead, hence the phrase "playing possum". Our service provides live trapping and removal along with educating our customers about deterring future possum infestations. 





Striped Skunk (Pole Cat)

Skunks can cause a great deal of havoc with their extremely offensive odor, which can last for weeks if not properly removed. The skunk order comes from glands and once sprayed these odors can reach targets to distances of 12 feet, usually the household dog. A skunk's favorite habitat in suburbia is underneath decking, sheds or barns. This timid animal is mostly nocturnal and tries to avoid human conflict. During the late winter months (February and March) is the skunks mating season; the problem occurs when the female skunk sprays the male because she is not receptive to him. This usually takes place near a populated dwelling causing significant discomfort.

Our service provides live trapping and removal of these volatile time bombs. Not only will the immediate problem be taken care of, but also future deterrents will be used to keep skunks from further disrupting the household.

WARNING: Skunks are recognized by the Pennsylvania Game Commission as a rabies vector species. This means they are a hazard to both people and pets. Therefore, extreme 
caution must be taken when handling these animals as they pose a significant health risk.




Squirrels

In our part of the state you will find gray squirrels, red squirrels and flying squirrels. Each species of squirrel brings their own problems to homeowners including entering attics, chewing on wiring or crawling around in walls during the middle of the night. The flying squirrel is nocturnal and rarely seen. It is smaller than a gray squirrel and has skin between its front and hind legs, which allow it to glide between trees. They live in colonies, which can be up to two dozen members. I was called to residence that kept hearing scratching sounds, scampering and nuts being rolled in the middle of night. These sounds could be heard in the walls and the attic. After investigating and researching the mystery animal, I caught 14 flying squirrels on the roof and in the attic. In most situations squirrels can be live trapped and relocated to wild places.  However, certain situations warrant the use of humane techniques. Exclusion barriers and habitat modification are available.







Beavers

Beavers are becoming more common in our area. An adult beaver can weigh up to 50lbs and can easily fell a tree with a 2-foot diameter. They create their own ecosystem by damming up stream and waterways often causing unwanted flooding. Beavers have acclimated themselves to living close to people which unfortunately causes significant damage to local trees and the landscape.

I have successfully used live traps to capture beavers and relocated them to wild areas. These projects warrant the approval of the Pennsylvania game commission who designates the location of their new home.





Foxes and Coyotes

In our part of the state we have both red and gray foxes. The fox population has recently increased drastically in our area. This has resulted in foxes living in close proximity to people, foxes feeding on domestic animals and an increase in cases of mange. Mange is a horrible skin disease that leaves the animal with large patches of missing fur and scabs on the skin. It is extremely contagious by direct or indirect contact and can be passed onto domestic animals. 

Coyote sightings have also increased in our area along with numerous accounts of them feeding on domestic animals. A resident of the Haycock area had a guinea hen snatched and taken right in front of him by a coyote at 2 O'clock in the afternoon.


WARNING: Both of these species are on the rabies vector species list and pose a significant risk to people and domestic animals. There are two documented cases of people being attacked by a rabid fox and a coyote in our area over the past 6 months. Due to the extremely alert and cautious nature of these species, leg hold traps and cable restraints are the most effective means to capture them. The use of predator calling and firearms are also effective methods.




White-tailed Deer (Virginia Deer)

The Pennsylvania game commission does not allow a wildlife pest control operator to remove this species under our current guidelines. However, as a licensed hunter I am able to hunt and remove deer during the designated season and by following all other regulations. 

There is no fee for this service as I am often looking for hunting locations and hope to reduce the number of deer in over populated areas. In residential areas we use archery equipment so that we do not cause alarm to the public. 

Deer over population, the transfer of Lyme Disease ticks, and the destruction of thousands of dollars of ornamental horticultural has left homeowners extremely frustrated. Hunting has been proven to be the most effective means to deal with this problem.







Snapping Turtles (Loggerheads)

These prehistoric creatures live in ponds, streams and ornamental waterworks. I have once removed a 20lbs snapper from a pond no 
bigger than a handicapped parking space! Even though 60% of their diet is vegetation, I have witnessed a snapping turtle who was only about the size of a softball holding an adult female wood duck by the foot and attempting to pull it under the water. We intervened and the duck suffered little damage. However, it took significaneffort to get the turtles jaws apart. 

Ducklings and goslings are no match for the Great Whites of fresh water and will pick them off one at a time. I use specifically designed floating turtle traps that can catch several turtles at time. Smaller turtles are relocated to wetland areas in Center Valley, PA. The larger turtles are the main ingredient for our special turtle cakes, somewhat like crab cakes.
















Rabbits

The eastern cotton tailed rabbit is a prolific breeder who will reproduce several times a year. Even though they are cute and fluffy, the can cause severe damage to gardens and flowerbeds. I have have success live-trapping and relocating these cute critters to wild places since they are not on the rabies vector species list. 

Please contact me if you find orphaned young rabbits to discuss options or just for information.








Bats

Pennsylvania has nine different species of bats; the most common to our area is the small brown bat. Bats are nocturnal and shy animals that try to avoid human contact in the majority of situations. Unfortunately they often reside in man-made structures which results in conflict either by proximity, odor, droppings or giving the landowners the scare of their lives when one flies though the living room at a New Year's Eve party! 

During the summer months, colonies of female bats often roost in attics or barns in order to raise their one young baby bat. I have seen colonies of over a hundred bats clustered together in the highest point of a barn in Doylestown, PA. The droppings are small quarter of an inch cylindrical brown pellets. When they are broken they reveal a glittery material; flying insects' wings that make up their diet causes this coloring. If you find these droppings, the bat is roosting above them. Each bat excretes approximately ten droppings a day.

In order to remove bats we have had success using an exclusion process that involves several steps. These steps result in sealing off the bats point of entry after allowing them to vacate, cleaning up the droppings and monitoring the process. Since bats are able to squeeze in openings that can be the size of your little finger, this process needs to be thorough and requires a significant amount of man-hours. Prior to any exclusion, the structure is inspected inside and out by looking for droppings, straining, and other likely bat-friendly hideaways. The majority of the time, bats reside in the highest points of a structure.





Snakes and Bullfrogs

We have successfully live trapped and hand caught garter snakes, common water snakes and black rat snakes. The majority of these snakes have been caught outside clients homes.  However, I have once live-trapped a 36-inch black rat snake that was living in a laundry room. The snake was living on mice and enjoyed the warm pipes.

Bullfrogs can be extremely predatory by eating any smaller frog in its ecosystem. I removed eight dish sized bullfrogs from an ornamental pond in Bucks County. They had eaten most of the tree frogs, peepers and leopard frogs which the homeowners had previously loved listening to.