Since 2014, Barefoot Pest Control provides emergency wildlife removal and comprehensive exclusion for homes and businesses throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We have the tools and training to protect your property from any native and invasive species, including:
Pest Library: Squirrels
Squirrels feed on nuts and seeds, but can eat almost any food available in times of scarcity.
Squirrels will infiltrate attics or other ideal nesting sites by gnawing through unsealed or inferior building materials until they have created a hole large enough for easy entry and exit.
Squirrels have two mating seasons, in early spring and late summer. During this time, they will construct temporary nests to shelter, raise, and wean their young. This process takes approximately ten weeks.
Squirrels are not typically found in large groups. Given the right conditions, however, multiple individual squirrels can share a single attic or other prime territory.
Squirrels are a carrier of fleas and ticks, and leave dangerous droppings which can contain salmonella and leptospirosis (“field fever”). They also chew through wood, and can even cause house fires and outages when they inadvertently bite into electrical wires.
The key to avoiding nesting squirrels is to thoroughly exclude these creatures from one’s attic. Our assessment checks the exterior and interior of your home to resolve any potential issues that would allow squirrels entry.
Pest Library: Raccoons
The diet of raccoons is subject to seasonal change. In the spring and summer, they mainly eat insects and fish. In the fall, raccoons move on to the now readily available nuts, grains, and berries. When food is scarce, raccoons raid garbage cans and damage lawns in search of food.
Raccoons require large access points in order to enter a home. In the wild, these creatures typically live in hollow trees and logs, but they will take up residence in homes if there is a sufficiently large entrance. They especially favor attics, seeking out missing or broken vents.
Raccoons mate from February to March, producing a litter of three to five cubs (or “kits”). The mother will nurse and wean her cubs for about two months before allowing them to venture out to forage on their own.
Raccoons typically live in immediate family groups of one or two adults, with a small litter of young.
Unfortunately, raccoons are one of the primary carriers of rabies in the United States, as well as carrying fleas and tick. Raccoon feces can contain leptospirosis (“field fever”) and raccoon roundworm. Raccoons themselves can be a wildlife hazard, and female raccoons will attack people who threaten their young. These scratch and bite attacks can cause significant harm to an unprotected human.
When raccoons are knocking over your trashcans at night, don’t risk confronting them. Without the proper equipment and training, the best you can expect is to chase them away, only to have them come back after you’ve fallen asleep. At worst, the raccoon could attack, putting you at risk for scratches, bites, or even rabies infection. Call in our wildlife control for guaranteed safe and humane removal.
Pest Library: Moles
Moles mostly eat earthworms but will also eat other small subterranean insects such as ants and grubs. Plant matter makes up a very small portion of their diet.
Moles will invade lawns in search of food, leaving their signature damage: raised runways of dirt and grass. They often create large networks of tunnels under your yard, consisting of a few primary routes with many exploratory branches.
Moles create a network of tunnels almost a foot beneath the surface, providing shelter as well as concealed travel in search of food.
Because the amount of tunneling space required to provide sufficient food for a single mole is extensive, moles tend to occur in small numbers. There are typically fewer than six moles per acre, although even one mole is sufficient to cause significant damage.
Moles themselves are not especially dangerous, but their activity is a hazard as well as a nuisance. The tunnels that they dig can be a tripping hazard, twisting or spraining ankles or causing falls. Their abandoned tunnels can also be taken over by venomous snakes and other creatures in search of hidden byways in which to lurk.
While your lawn care professional can “roll” your yard to effect a cosmetic solution for a mole invasion, only a pest management professional can provide removal and exclusion services to fix the underlying problem.
Pest Library: Voles
Voles eat a variety of plants, such as grasses, but will occasionally eat insects and meats.
Voles invade lawns in search of food and places to hide. They are most active at dusk and dawn, creating ground level runways between their burrows in their characteristic winding patterns.
Voles will often take over abandoned mole tunnels, using these structures as a base for shelter and foraging. Their own tunnels are protected pathways between their protected burrows.
Voles are easy targets for birds of prey and other predators. Because voles live fast and die young, they must reproduce quickly. Voles will have up to five litters per year, each containing between three to six pups.
Most of the problem with voles comes to the damage that they can do to lawns and gardens. As with moles, their tunnels are unsightly as well as being a tripping hazard in low light conditions.
Left to itself, a vole population will grow exponentially and overwhelm the local ecosystem, especially if there is a lack of natural predators. This will wreak havoc on your lawn and garden, stripping it bare and leaving your yard a patchwork of tunnels and vole holes. Removing these nuisances requires patience and specialized equipment, so call in our professionals today.
Pest Library: Bats
Almost all bat species found in the United States are nocturnal insectivores, flying forth at night to feed on insects.
Bats can infiltrate through any opening greater than three eighths of an inch. Unlike rodents, they do not gnaw to enlarge holes. However, their flight allows them to reach some otherwise very difficult to access openings.
Bats can be either solitary or social, choosing to nest alone or in large groups. They reproduce during the summer months and then travel before winter to roost in great numbers for efficient hibernation.
Bat colonies vary greatly in size. Because bats produce only one small litter of young per year, the size of a colony depends on how long the group has survived together.
Nearby bats are valuable allies of humanity in the nightly war against insects, especially mosquitoes. However, bats inside the home represent a health and safety concern.
Bats are one of the most common carriers of rabies, and can also carry fleas, ticks and even “bat bugs” (a species closely related to, and nearly indistinguishable from, bed bugs). A buildup of bat guano can also allow fungus to grow. If these fungus particles become airborne, they can present an inhalation hazard as well as spreading diseases such as histoplasmosis.
Bats are protected during certain times of the year and only eligible for removal if they pose an immediate health risk. Our assessment will check the exterior of your home for entry points, and assist you with closing your attic off from migratory or hibernating bats. We will also help you identify alternative locations for “bat houses”, encouraging these helpful creatures to keep your home insect-free while keeping them at a safe distance from your property.
Pest Library: Skunks
Skunks are carnivores, eating small rodents like moles, rats and mice as well as insects. They will also eat fruit and eggs, given the opportunity.
Skunks that venture on to human property are typically seeking to build a den, often below a low deck or foundation footer.
Skunks burrow out dens in which they will hide, sleep, and rear young.
Skunks are largely solitary, but mate in late winter and raise their kits during the late spring and summer. These kits will have left the den by fall.
Along with their signature defensive anal scent glands, skunks pose other hazards to humans. Along with being a primary carrier of the rabies virus in the United States, they also carry fleas and ticks.
Don’t take the chance of being sprayed. Our humane removal is the most effective method of removing skunks from your property.
Pest Library: Opossums
Opossums are omnivores, eating anything and everything. This includes fruits and grasses as well as insects, meat, and even decaying carcasses.
The opportunistic opossum tends to move into abandoned burrows or nesting sites rather than building their own den. This makes any open crawlspace doors or other unattended entryways highly attractive means of opossum home invasion.
Opossums are solitary creatures, occupying abandoned dens singly rather than living in large numbers.
Opossums will have two litters per year of seven offspring each. Once raised, the young typically go their separate ways.
Opossums carry fleas and ticks and all the diseases those insects have to offer. They are also annoying and pernicious scavengers.
These evasive creatures require patience and strategy to safely catch and remove. Call in our opossum experts to deal with these nuisances.
Pest Library: Groundhogs
Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are highly active herbivores. Each of these busy creatures will eat more than one pound of vegetation per day.
Groundhogs usually keep to themselves, but can become pests for homeowners when they enter gardens in search of food. Seeking a cool subterranean lifestyle, they also sometimes burrow under foundations or concrete slabs.
These strong burrowers will make a nesting chamber three to five feet underground containing up to 40 feet of tunnels, which can pose a threat to foundations and machinery.
Groundhogs do not actively form social groups, but they will live in close proximity to each other if there is sufficient food and shelter.
The extensive burrows a groundhog creates can present a significant danger of trips and falls, as well as undermining foundations and other structures if they collapse. Groundhogs are also a vector for rabies, fleas, and ticks.
Groundhogs do not seek out conflict, but are aggressive in defending their burrows. Our humane removal can relocate these creatures to a more appropriate range.
Pest Library: Flying Squirrels
Flying squirrels favor nuts and mushrooms, but also eat seeds and insects.
Flying squirrels can enter attics and living spaces through small openings, and are capable of gnawing openings larger to allow their entry.
Flying squirrels gather in significant groups, and their nests are often constructed of a variety of scavenged materials. Because of their nocturnal nature, they will make considerable noise at night in or out of the nest.
Flying squirrels are active, colonizing rodents. During mating season, they prefer to live in groups as large as fifteen adults along with numerous young.
Flying Squirrel Dangers
As with other rodents, flying squirrels present a variety of threats. The large nests often overflow through internal competition, the losers scattering to create new nests throughout an area. Their droppings contaminate food stores and spread diseases, and they carry fleas, ticks, and other parasites.
Flying Squirrel Control
Once we remove the initial infestation, we thoroughly assess your home to seal off any points of entry. This excludes flying squirrels and other creatures from taking up residence in your home.
Pest Library: Snakes
Snakes are active predators feeding on any small animals they can catch. They typically hunt rodents, frogs, insects, and small birds.
Homeowners will encounter snakes in a variety of circumstances, which vary with the season. In warm months, snakes will often sun themselves in plain view, startling people who come across them outside. During the winter, however, heat-seeking snakes may attempt to make their way inside through holes and openings in home foundations.
Snakes do not typically group together, but some species will gather in dens for group hibernation to share warmth.
Mating happens in spring and birth in the summer. The number of young that a snake will have varies greatly with species, as well as environmental circumstances.
Most snakes are harmless, and, in fact, many are beneficial. Snakes often eat rodents and other nuisances, and do not commonly carry disease. The trouble with snakes, however, is that they are commonly discovered by accident. This leaves a surprised person little time to determine whether the snake is a harmless constrictor or a deadly venomous snake.
Don’t panic when you see a snake. We are available 24/7 for emergency snake removal, and our experienced eyes can determine if the snake is a dangerous species. Count on our effective removal and exclusion to keep your home and yard snake free.
Pest Library: Birds
Various species of birds are adapted to feed on a wide range of foods, from fruit and seeds to insects and other creatures. Each species tends to fill a specific niche, but let us help you exclude them from your property.
Home-invading birds commonly nest in vents, such as dryer or bathroom exhaust vents. They will also nest in attics, deck supports, and windows.
Birds will nest almost anywhere. Starlings, in particular, are well-known for wedging nests into some strange places and quickly laying five to seven eggs at a time.
Each species has different behavior patterns and grouping trends. However, most homeowners only encounter single nests in protected locations around their home.
The most dangerous part of most bird infestations are the nests. The droppings in abandoned nests can propagate spores that cause fungal diseases such as histoplasmosis or cryptococcosis. The nests can also be full of fleas, ticks, and mites, all carrying their own diseases.
Chasing birds out of your property is the first step, but our all-in-one service prevents them from gaining reentry. Finding and sealing off entry points is essential to preventing the problem from happening again, and a thorough search for and disposal of abandoned nests will keep your family safe.
Call (855) 754-6760 or contact us today for pest control on your schedule, including 24/7 emergency service. We are your one stop home care company! From our base in Waldorf, Barefoot Pest Control provides complete protection against home and yard invading pests, termites and wildlife for Waldorf, La Plata, Clinton, Upper Marlboro, Indian Head, and Charlotte Hall, Maryland, as well as Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.