Winter Wildlife Control

Wildlife Control in the Winter

Winter Wildlife Control
Winter Wildlife Control

Wildlife Control Winter

Winter is a time when most homeowners are NOT thinking about pest control.  It’s true that insect activity plummets outside during the cold months in Chester County, but that doesn’t mean there are no pests to deal with.  Let’s see what kind of pests we deal with in the cold months of a Pennsylvania winter.

Winter Wildlife Service

West Chester, and more broadly, Pennsylvania is home to many different species of wildlife.  Some of these species, like the groundhog, will hibernate throughout the cold winter months.  Other species, like raccoons, squirrels, and skunks will stay active throughout the winter. 

The end of January through March means that many species are entering their mating season.  This is the time of year where it is more common to see skunks and raccoons traveling greater distances as they search for a mate or suitable den. 

Skunks in the Winter

Skunk Removal Chester County

It is not uncommon to see nocturnal animals, such as skunks and raccoons, during non-nocturnal hours as they travel further looking for their mate.  When searching for a den, skunks can dig under sheds, porches, and even sidewalks.  This can cause serious damage to the supporting structure and could potentially lead to the structure being unsound. 

Skunk Problems

Skunks creating a den on or near your property can cause other issues as well.  Besides the damage caused by creating the den, female skunks will have male skunks visiting during mating season.  This increase in skunks can lead to more skunk sprays.  Even if the skunks do not spray, the resulting litter of skunks that will be born later in the spring will cause a big headache for the homeowner. 

Skunk Trapping and Removal

Trapping and removing a resident skunk is a great method for winter skunk control.  If the skunk has already created a den, there are many methods for closing up the hole and preventing new skunks from moving in.  Prudential Pest Solutions are experts in trapping and evicting resident skunks.

Squirrels in the Winter

Squirrels are active during all but the coldest days of the year.  In winter squirrels look for warm and cozy places to make a home.  You can spot a squirrel nest in the winter pretty easily.  The squirrel nest will look like a big clump of leaves high up in a tree.  Since all of the leaves are off of the tree, it makes spotting a squirrel nest pretty simple.

Squirrel Nests

Squirrels will often have multiple nest sites. It is not uncommon to have a squirrel nest in a tree and have squirrels in the attic of a home.  Squirrels prefer the attic of the home for a couple reasons.  The attic usually is secluded, full of fluffy insulation, and high on the structure.  Just like other rodents, squirrels can cause substantial damage to the home by chewing on wires and other features in the attic.

Getting Rid of Squirrels

Squirrel evictions are pretty straight forward.  We locate the entrance that the squirrels are using and install a one-way door over the opening.  The one-way door allows the squirrels to leave the structure but not re-enter.  After a few days, when we are certain all of the squirrels have left, we remove the one-way door and seal up the opening.

Since squirrels are excellent chewers, squirrel exclusion needs to be very sturdy.  I prefer using ¼” or ½” hardware cloth to screen gable vents and other large openings.  Sealant can be applied to entrance holes after a product like Xcluder has been inserted.  This will prevent the squirrels from simply chewing the sealant and gaining entrance back into the home.

Winter Squirrel Trapping

Trapping can also be an effective method in reducing squirrel issues.  In the winter when food is not as available, squirrels are more likely to enter a trap.  We use a professional bait that squirrels love.  Many homeowners can have some success using peanut butter to attract the squirrels into the trap.  Squirrel trapping is almost always done on the outside of the home.

Best Squirrel Prevention Tip

The best method to keep squirrels out of the attic is to remove the easy access points to your roof.  This usually means trimming tree branches back and off of the roof area.  We recommend that all branches and trees be at least 10 feet away from the house.  This is not always possible due to where the tree is planted. 

Eliminating food sources can also help to keep squirrels away from your property. Bird feeders are a common source of food for squirrels. By removing bird feeders or using squirrel-proof feeders, you can make your property less desirable to squirrels

Raccoons in Winter

Raccoon Removal West Chester
Raccoon Removal

Raccoons, like skunks, have a very similar mating season.  Like squirrels, raccoons prefer to den up high and sometimes in structures.  The damage raccoons can cause is more severe than squirrels because they are larger animals.  The raccoon damage we see in the West Chester area is usually when a female raccoon makes a den in someone’s attic.

Raccoon Dens

Raccoons create larger entrance holes into the attic space because they are larger animals.  The hole is usually through a shingle on top of the roof.  The entrance is approximately 4-8 inches in diameter.  Once inside of the attic, the raccoon will create a latrine in one section of the attic.  Insulation is often destroyed by the feces and urine of a raccoon infestation.

Raccoon Trapping and Eviction

Raccoons can be trapped and removed from the area.  Raccoon eviction often requires the need of a qualified roofer to repair the damage done to the roof.  Once evicted, the attic space should be chemically treated and disinfected.

Raccoon Removal West Chester

Raccoons are excellent climbers and can scale just about any material.  This makes it harder to prevent future raccoon issues.  Population control through trapping and removing food sources around your home can serve as excellent raccoon deterrents.  Our raccoon evictions and trapping programs can get you raccoon free!

Wildlife Clean-up

No matter the species, when a wild animal is living in your home, there needs to be a thorough inspection and cleanup of the area.  Wildlife species can carry very serious disease and pests.  When we perform an animal eviction, we chemically treat the attic space for pests commonly found with wildlife infestations. 

Some of the disease and pests found with wildlife infestations include:

  • Fleas
  • Bat Bugs
  • Mites
  • Rabies
  • Mange
  • Distemper
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Hanta Virus
  • Many, Many More!

What wildlife species is causing the problem?

Winter Wildlife Removal West Chester

Winter can be a time when animals are looking to make a home.  Don’t let them make a home in or near your home!  Animals can be beautiful to look at and observe, but they can also be extremely destructive and dangerous when they create a den too close to your home.

West Chester Wildlife Removal

Prudential Pest Solutions offers wildlife control services, wildlife removal, wildlife evictions, and wildlife exclusions.  We service all of Chester County including West Chester, Exton, Downingtown, Elverson, and Phoenixville to name a few areas.

We are a fully licensed and insured company that specializes in humane and effective wildlife removal and handling.

If you live in Chester County and have a wildlife issue, give us a call or send us a message to get wildlife free today!

Additional Wildlife Information