Our client in Sinking Spring PA was having groundhogs and skunks burrowing under their shed. The homeowners tried to keep them out using 1/2 hardware cloth but they didn’t install it deep enough into the soil. This allowed the groundhogs and skunks to simply dig under the hardware cloth and get back under the shed.
We use a product called Dig Defence to keep animals such as groundhogs and skunks from getting under sheds, porches, and decks.
Dig Defence is a commercial grade, steel fencing material that is installed into the ground surrounding a structure. It is 15″ tall which means that we are able to install it DEEP into the ground preventing ALL wildlife and animals from digging under it.
Since it is made from thick gauge steel, animals are unable to move or bend it. In fact, we need to use bolt cutters and grinders to cut the Dig Defence to the lengths that we need for install. How’s that for commercial grade!
This project in Sinking Spring really highlights the difference between using a DIY Homeowner method and a commercial grade product for keeping animals out from under structures. The 1/2″ hardware cloth would have been much more effective had it been installed to a depth of at least 12″ and had a bend outward to it.
To install hardware cloth in this manner, a trench must be dug to at least a foot in depth and about 6-8″ wide. This allows the hardware cloth to be installed deep enough and facilitate the bend outward which is necessary.
By using Dig Defence, we do not need to dig a trench. We simply place the piece of Dig Defence where it needs to go and tap it with a hammer to get it started. Then, using the Dig Defence installation tool and a pole driver, we install each piece to depth.
Dig Defence works great to keep animals such as groundhogs, skunks, cats, raccoons, and opossum from starting a home under your shed, porch, or deck. Since it is installed flush with the structure, it is sturdy, secure, and is barely noticeable.
We are the EXPERTS at getting animals out from under structures and KEEPING them out! Prudential Pest Solutions is a VETERAN and FAMILY owned and operated pest control and wildlife control company. We are licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to humanely and safely handle and remove ANY wildlife issue you have.
As a Marine Corps Veteran with a degree in biology from Penn State University, I promise you haven’t met a wildlife control specialist like me before!
If animals are constantly getting under your structures and you are tired of trapping and removing them, it’s time to permanenately shut them out!
Dig Defence is the BEST product for keeping those nuisance wildlife out from under your sheds, porches, and decks.
Squirrels, whether they are gray squirrels or flying squirrels LOVE to get into attics to make their home. Squirrels when inside of homes, can cause substantial damage.
Like other rodents, squirrels need to constantly chew to maintain their incisor teeth length. What they chew on is what is of great concern.
Squirrels in attics can and do cause damage to rafters, roofing material, fascia boards, and most importantly, WIRES. There are all kinds of statistics that attribute home fires to rodents and rodent damage to wiring. Your attic is the primary location for running electrical wires, which is why it is very important to keep squirrels out of the attic.
The first step in getting squirrels out of the attic is to make sure that you are in fact dealing with squirrels. Many of our clients are convinced that they have squirrels when in fact they actually have mice.
Squirrels are larger than mice and will sound like you have an elephant above their ceiling. When you hear the noise in the attic is also helpful in determining whether a homeowner has squirrels or mice.
Squirrels tend to be active during the early morning hours and closer to dusk. This is because squirrels will exit the home during the day in the morning and return at dusk.
If you are hearing sounds in the middle of the night only, then it is most likely mice.
Once it is confirmed that the home has squirrels, it is time to find out how they are getting into the attic. Squirrels like to enter the attic directly so looking up high onto the house is necessary.
Common squirrel entrances include gable vents, fascia boards, behind gutters, soffits,ridge vents, and where dormer roofs meet the main roof. Looking for trees and branches overhanging the roof is also helpful in determining how the squirrels are getting onto the roof.
Squirrels will use trees and branches as ladders to access the roof. Once they are on the roof, they will find or create an opening into the attic. After the squirrels have been evicted, it is always a good idea to trim any trees and branches off and away from the roof. If possible, trim the branches back from the house at least 10 feet.
After we have determined how the squirrels are getting into the attic, we have 2 options. Option 1 is where we set traps and install a one-way excluder door over the opening. Option 2 is where we set traps and once all of the squirrels have been caught, we close up the opening. The problem with Option 2 is that you can never be absolutely certain that all of the squirrels are gone before you close the opening.
The one-way excluder door in Option 1 is our favorite method. The one-way door is spring loaded and allows the squirrels to exit the attic but NOT re-enter. When we incorporate trapping on the outside of the house, we can be certain that all of the squirrels have been successfully evicted.
It is very important to ensure that all other potential squirrel entrances are also sealed up or screened off.
Think of the one-way door like someone changing the locks on your house when you leave for work. When you return from work and your old keys no longer open the door, you wouldn’t just abandon your home, you would try to find another way back in.
Squirrels will do the same thing which is why we must ensure that all openings and potential openings are secured. The one-way door should remain in place for at least 1 week to make sure all of the squirrels have been evicted. We like to have the client go at least 5 days without hearing any activity before we remove the one-way door.
Once we remove the one-way door, we seal up the original opening. After the squirrels have been removed from the attic, a thorough inspection of the attic space should take place to identify any damage and perform any clean-up needed.
Squirrels can make a very big mess in an attic. They will go through boxes and scatter insulation all around. Squirrel droppings look similar to mouse droppings but are larger. If you would like to clean up the droppings yourself, please wear personal protective gear and a respirator.
Rodent droppings are known to harbor dangerous diseases that can cause severe respiratory issues to humans. Consult a wildlife clean-up company if you are unsure of the safety of the clean-up process. Squirrels can be quite motivated to re-enter the attic after you have evicted them. For this reason, we like to incorporate a trapping program with our eviction process to remove these stubborn squirrels from the area.
Care should be taken to the time of year when squirrels have babies.
You do not want to evict a momma squirrel only to find a bunch of dead baby squirrels in the attic space. Gray squirrels will have young typically from February-March and from June-August.
Prudential Pest Solutions is Licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to HUMANELY and SAFELY handle and remove any squirrel issue you have.
We are a VETARAN and FAMILY owned and operated wildlife and pest control company. As a Marine Corps Veteran with a degree in Biology from Penn State, I promise you haven’t met a wildlife control specialist like me before! We are the EXPERTS at trapping and evicting squirrels from attics, homes, and properties.
Animals such as rabbits, groundhogs, and skunks love to make their home under porches, decks, and sheds. After you remove the animal by trapping, what can you do to keep animals from out from under your shed and deck?
How to prevent digging animals from getting under your shed?
Digging animals such as skunks and groundhogs are experts at excavating dirt and stone from under and around porches, decks, and sheds to create a den. Oftentimes, homeowners will attempt to block the animals by placing stones or other blocking material at the edge of the structure.
Since skunks and groundhogs are built for digging, they can easily dig under the stone or blocking material to get back under the shed, deck, or porch.
The most effective way to keep animals out from under your structures is to install an exclusion system that goes UNDERGROUND.
Dig Defence is an exclusion system that keeps animals out!
For professionals such as us, we use a product called Dig Defence. Dig Defence is a solid steel fencing product that installs flush to the structure and is installed under the ground to prevent those digging animals.
We use the commercial grade Dig Defence where each section measures 4 feet wide by 15 inches tall. Since the product is 15″ tall, we can ensure that even the most motivated digging animal won’t be able to dig under the structure.
The galvanized steel construction of the material ensures a rust-proof, long term solution to keeping wildlife out from under structures!
Keeping animals out while still looking good!
Not only does Dig Defence keep the animals out from under your porch, deck, and shed, it also blends right in. When installed, the Dig Defence sits flush to the structure and low to the ground. This allows the product to not be noticeable to people while still keeping animals out.
Depending on the height of the structure, more of the Dig Defence may be visible. If this is the case, we install some decorative lattice over the Dig Defence to camouflage the product.
Preventing Wildlife under your porch, deck, and shed
Whether you currently have a skunk, groundhog, or rabbit under your porch, deck, or shed, or you want to prevent that from every happening, Dig Defence is the BEST product!
Animals digging under your fence?
If you have a fenced in yard, animals can often dig under the fence to get into your yard. Dig Defence can be installed along the entire fenceline or just where the animal activity is.
Maybe you don’t need to keep animals out of your yard, but need to keep them in?
Dogs love to dig and sometimes our furry friends can dig themselves to freedom! Dig Defence is strong enough to prevent any sized dog from digging out of your yard and escaping.
Where do we install Dig Defence?
There are many applications for installing Dig Defence including:
Experienced Dig Defence Installers
Prudential Pest Solutions are experienced at installing Dig Defence and other other animal exclusion and prevention products. We are a fully licensed and insured pest control and wildlife control company that focuses on long term animal solutions.
Where do we install Dig Defence?
We install Dig Defence to our client’s in South Eastern and South Central Pennsylvania including:
How to keep animals out from under your porch and shed.
Burrowing wildlife species such as skunks and groundhogs LOVE to make homes and dens under existing structures. Often, we find skunk and groundhogs living under sheds, porches, and decks.
Why not just use chicken wire or stones to block the opening?
Using chicken wire or stones to block off an existing den opening often does not work to keep wildlife out from under the structure.
This is because skunks and groundhogs are BUILT to dig! They can easily move objects blocking their path or simply dig UNDER the obstruction.
Many homeowners try and use chicken wire to screen off the bottom of a deck, porch, or shed. The problem is that the homeowner does not BURY the chicken wire into the ground. This critical deficiency leads to animals being able to pry the wire open or dig under it.
Wildlife Prevention Method #1
We find that the best way to prevent and exclude wild animals such as skunks and groundhogs from making a home under your structure is to use galvanized hardware cloth.
This thick and durable screening is buried approximately 18-24″ deep and bent outwards 90 degrees. Even if the animal digs at the metal hardware cloth, it will always hit the metal and never be able to gain access to under the structure!
Wildlife Prevention Method #2
Another option to keep wildlife and animals out from under structures is to use a product called DigDefence.
DigDefence is a series of metal gates that are embedded at the base of a shed, deck, or porch to create the same type of blocking design as mentioned above.
The key differences between DigDefence and using hardware cloth are that the DigDefence does NOT require trenching or digging. Hardware cloth, although more labor intensive to install, does provide that key and critical 90 degree outward bend to really deter burrowing animals.
Wildlife Exclusion and Prevention Experts
Prudential Pest Solutions is a Veteran and Family owned and operated pest control and wildlife control company. We are licensed by the State of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to humanely, professionally, and effectively handle and resolve ANY wildlife issue you have.
As a Marine Corps Veteran with a degree in Biology from Penn State, I promise you haven’t met an animal removal specialist like me before!
Where do we service?
We service all of South Eastern and South Central Pennsylvania including:
Our affordable pest control services can get your home or business pest free quickly! No need to break the bank to rid your home of pests. Our affordable, professional, and effective pest services can bring comfort back to your home!
Affordable Pest Control and Exterminator Services
Affordable doesn’t mean low quality. In fact, our pest control and exterminator services are professional and effective.
The safety of your family, pets, and the environment are always our top priority!
Many pest control and exterminator companies want to simply spray a magic chemical and hope that it resolves your pest problem.
We use the latest pest control and exterminator techniques to evaluate your home and provide you with the most effective solution to your pest problem.
As a veteran and family owned company, you can trust that we will treat your home like our own.
With a decade of experience and a degree in Biology from Penn State University, you have not met an exterminator like me before!
Why use one of the “big” companies, when they will just send an entry level technician to your house? With Prudential Pest Solutions you will have an experienced and knowledgeable technician that has a mission to safely resolve your pest problem.
Flexible Scheduling and Service Times
We are not like the utility companies that give you large and inconvenient service appointment windows. Your time is very valuable and so is ours! Our appointments are scheduled to be as convenient and timely as possible.
Weekend and Off Hours Appointments
Why take off of work or burn a sick day just for the exterminator? We can schedule and resolve your pest issue on a weekend, or outside of our normal business hours.
Pests aren’t 9am-5pm and neither are we! If you have an issue outside of normal business hours, give us a call or send us a message and I’m sure we can schedule you in.
I had a client show me some animal droppings on their front porch and ask me what they were. Based on the size, shape, and the fact that they were in a pile suggested to me that the droppings were from bats.
Looking directly above the droppings were some shutters. Bats like to hang out and roost behind shutters.
Chester County Bat Removal
We provide bat exclusion and prevention services to Downingtown, Chester Springs, West Chester, and all of Chester County.
If you are seeing animal droppings, we can identify the issue and resolve the problem.
When the warmer months of spring and summer arrive, so do our calls for snake removals. We are often asked how to keep snakes away from your property. In this article, we will look at some ways to lower your chances of encountering a snake on your property.
Snake prevention in Pennsylvania
I should also note that we are located in Chester County Pennsylvania and will be discussing this location specifically. If you are curious about snakes in other parts of the United States, check out this link here.
Most common snakes we deal with in Chester County
There are thousands of species of snakes in the world but only a handful that we commonly deal with in Pennsylvania.
There are only 3 species of venomous snakes that are found in Pennsylvania.
Timber Rattlesnake: found throughout Pennsylvania including Chester County
Northern Copperhead: found throughout Pennsylvania including Chester County
Eastern massasauga rattlesnake: found primarily in Western Pennsylvania
What are the snakes doing on your property?
Snakes, like most pests, require water, food, and habitat to survive. Whenever we are evaluating a property for snake prevention, we always try to eliminate some of these snake necessities.
Snakes in your yard or garden
Snakes are well versed in camouflage and can seemingly hide in plain sight. In fact, many a gardener has been surprised to find a snake hanging out in their garden.
Keeping the grass cut, and removing brush and debris from your yard can eliminate many snake hideouts. A cleaner yard will also help keep rodents and pests away which will also keep snakes away.
Sometimes there is a water source on the property that snakes and their food source are attracted to. If possible, eliminating a source of water can help reduce the chance that snakes will be on your property.
Making your yard less desirable to snakes is the best method for reducing the chances of having snakes in your yard!
Snake repellents can be used on the outside to try and repel snakes from coming onto your property. Most snake repellents are odor based granulars. Read the label on the package and follow it exactly.
I do not often use odor based repellents for a few reasons. The odor may be effective against snakes but it can also be smelled by you! Often the odor is very similar to moth balls. No one wants to enjoy their snake-free backyard and smell moth balls the whole time.
The other issue with odor based repellents is how long they last. Depending on the weather, the repellent may have to be re-applied pretty frequently. Rain will make the repellent last a very short amount of time.
Snakes under your porch
Snakes will utilize gaps, crevices, and holes around your property to make a home. What once was a vole hole under your porch can turn into a snake den!
Check around your porch or deck for holes, gaps, and crevices. Snakes will usually use what’s already there and not create holes. If you do find a hole under your porch (like seen above in the picture), you have some options.
What’s under my porch?
First, you need to determine what is living under your porch or if the den is active. I like to simply cover the opening with some leaves, soil, or mulch to determine whether something is in there or not. After a day or so, if the opening stays closed, then there is nothing there.
Using flour or other tracking substances can help determine what is living under the porch if the opening does re-open. If there are rodents living under the porch, treating for rodents and then closing the hole will help prevent snake infestations.
Trapping Snakes under your porch
If snakes are currently living under your structure, then capturing and removing the snakes are your best method. Trapping is usually performed by using special snake boards to capture the snake. Once captured, the snake can be transported to another location and released.
Once all wildlife has been evicted from under your property, close the openings and continue to monitor for activity. There are permanent exclusion techniques that can make sure no new animals move in.
I was once called to a home that was for sale that was having a snake issue. The realtor was showing the house to some perspective buyers when a snake came out from UNDER the kitchen cabinet and onto the kitchen floor.
Safe to say that those buyers left the house and never put an offer in. We captured the snake AND treated for a rodent infestation. Again, the snake was in the house because there were mice and rodents in the house.
How did the realtor end up selling the house? By stating that the home was “rodent free”
Snakes in the garage
Many homeowners, myself included, have a habit of leaving the garage door open for most of the day. Snakes, whether chasing prey or just being curious, can enter the garage.
During many residential pest control services, the use of glue boards to track and monitor pests is a common practice. Oftentimes, these glue boards are placed on each side of the garage door. Their purpose is to capture pests that come into the garage and allow the pest control professional to gain some insight into the pest pressures around the home.
I have seen and removed many snakes from these glue boards. Many times, the homeowner is thrilled that a snake was captured BEFORE it could make its home in their home!
Releasing a snake from a glue board
If you have a snake captured on a glue board and would like to release the snake somewhere else, simply apply some cooking oil and the glue should release.
Snake Removal Chester County
If you live or work in Chester County and have a snake issue, Prudential Pest Solutions can help.
We provide groundhog control and removal services for Chester County. Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, are large burrowing rodents that can cause extensive damage in Pennsylvania.
Ready to have your groundhogs trapped and removed, click here?
Groundhog Trapping and Removal
Trapping and Removing Groundhogs is the best method for groundhog control. By physically removing the nuisance animal, we can be sure that the groundhog issue is resolved.
We are fully licensed and insured to trap, handle, and remove groundhogs in Chester County. All wildlife is handled in a humane and effective manner.
You can rest easy knowing that when you trust Prudential Pest Solutions with your wildlife issue, it WILL be resolved.
Want to schedule a trapping program? Contact us here.
Groundhog Exclusion and Prevention
Groundhogs and Woodchucks are burrowing animals. Their underground dens can be located under sheds, porches, decks, against building foundations, or simply out in the ground.
We can prevent groundhogs and other burrowing animals from creating dens under your shed, porch, and deck. Even if you currently have a groundhog under your porch, we can trap and remove the groundhog and then provide exclusion services so that no new groundhogs can move in.
Groundhog Exterminator Chester County
Prudential Pest Solutions can trap and remove your groundhogs in a safe and humane manner. Our experienced wildlife technicians are licensed and insured to perform wildlife control work.
With permits from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, you can trust that we can resolve your groundhog issue.
Animal and Wildlife Trapping is a common technique to remove a nuisance invader. Skunks, Raccoons, Squirrels, Groundhogs, and Snakes are common animals that are trapped and removed from properties.
Live trapping is when we capture the animal alive in a box-style trap. The trap is most often a cage trap with a single door that opens to the front.
There is a trigger pan in the back of the trap that will shut the door when the animal presses it. Bait is used in the trap to entice the animal to enter the back of the trap and push the trigger pan.
When the trigger pan is depressed, the door shuts and locks. This traps the animal inside of the trap.
Live traps should be checked DAILY to avoid an animal being trapped for an extended period of time. Daily trap checks also allow you to check the bait and ensure that it is fresh.
Best Bait to Trap Animal
The specific species of animal that you are trapping will determine what type of bait to use. Even more specifically than that, the time of year also plays a part in the animal’s taste and food preference.
Baits can be picked up at the local grocery store. sardines, marshmallows, cat food, peanut butter, and apples are great choices of bait for the homeowner. We utilize some of these baits as well as some commercially made baits.
Commercial baits last longer, have more odor to attract, and are specially designed to attract the animal species we want. The baits are in paste form which makes them easy to handle and apply to the trap.
By being specific with your bait choice, you can help to lower your chances of catching a different animal than you intended.
Where to place your trap
Trap placement is critical in having success capturing and removing nuisance wildlife. When the animal has a den on the property, traps should be placed directly at the opening to the den.
For skunks and groundhogs, this will be on the ground. For squirrels and raccoons, the traps should be placed up high where the animals are.
When placed correctly, the chances of capturing a non-target species are diminished
One-Way Doors help trapping
One-Way doors are trap looking devices that are placed directly over an animal entrance. The one-way door is designed so that the animal can leave, but not re-enter the den. When used with a trapping program, one-way doors are extremely effective in evicting wildlife.
Non-Target catches are any capture that is not intended. Since many of the nuisance animals are omnivores, they will eat many different foods. This means that when trapping for skunks, it is very possible to capture a raccoon or cat.
Timing of trapping is also important to take note of. If you are trapping for a diurnal (daytime active) animal, then simply shutting the trap at night can prevent non-target captures. The same is true if trapping for nocturnal (nighttime active) animal. Shut these traps during the day to help prevent non-target captures.
Trap size, trap location, choice of bait, and timing of trapping can all lower the chances of capturing a non-target species.
Lethal Trapping Method
Lethal trapping can also be an effective method for animal trapping and removal. We discuss some of the ethics involved with this method versus live capture trapping in the Humane Animal Removal section below.
Lethal trapping is using a device to mechanically capture and kill the animal. Most often, the use of a body gripping trap is used. The animal pushes a trigger and the trap snaps and grips onto the animal.
Lethal trapping can and should only be done by a licensed and experienced wildlife control operator.
Where NOT to use Lethal Trapping
There are many circumstances when a lethal trapping program should NOT be used.
This includes situations where:
Traps are accessible to children and people
Pets are present
Non-target animals have access
Pose a danger to the public
As the name suggests, lethal traps are a permanent solution to an animal issue. The traps do not know the difference between the animal you are trying to capture and kids, people, pets, or other animals.
An experienced and trained wildlife control operator should be used when a lethal trapping program is desired.
Trapping and Wildlife Regulations
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is responsible for the oversight and management of wildlife in Pennsylvania. All PA Game Commission rules and regulations should be followed when performing any type of wildlife control work.
We carry permits through the Pennsylvania Game Commission to legally and professionally handle and remove nuisance wildlife.
Humane Animal Removal
What is considered “Humane Animal Removal”? Humane to us means that the animal is not caused any undue harm, stress, or discomfort. This humane approach comes with some tough ethical questions to ask.
On the surface, a lethal trap may seem like a harmful and cruel approach to animal removal. While this may be true for certain applications, on the whole, a lethal setup may be MORE humane than live trapping.
Live capturing an animal causes tremendous stress for the captured animal. If legal to re-release in another location, what are the animal’s chances of survival after release. If an animal is released into a new habitat in the dead of winter, what are the chances of survival?
There are no “right” answers when it comes to the ethics of animal capture and trapping. You should definitely be a conversation that you have with your wildlife control professional before trapping begins.
We will ALWAYS communicate the various options that we provide for our wildlife control program. The safety of your family, pets, and the humane treatment of the animal are always our top priority.
Animal Trapping and Removal Services
We provide animal trapping and removal services for Chester County. We offer many options for animal removal and can explain how we are different than the other wildlife companies.
If you have a wildlife issue, give us a call or text us (484) 401-4361