Bears are becoming more and more common in all parts of Virginia, so not surprisingly, bear/human conflicts are happening more often.
Usually, adolescent males cause the most problems during their first spring spent without mom. The period between fall’s acorns running out in early spring and berries ripening in early summer is a time of hunger for bears. Most conflict can be avoided by eliminating food sources, but once a food source is discovered they can be very hard to convince to look for food elsewhere. The important thing to remember is that they are not trying to eat you, just your pet food, garbage etc. if that is any consolation.
Virginia’s nuisance wildlife permit doesn’t cover bears, but that doesn’t mean that The Critter Guy can’t solve your bear problems. With a keen understanding of what makes bears tick, we can make your property much less appealing to your unwelcome guests.
Beavers are another of the modern-day conservation success stories. However, they can walk (or swim) a thin line between valuable natural resource and a pesky nuisance.
While being nature’s architect, they can create wetland habitat for many species of wildlife. This can cause problems when they cut your trees or flood your property. Many times roads and private drives can be flooded, sometimes over night. Beavers are our largest rodent, and they can weigh upwards of fifty pounds. Their diet is vegetarian, most of it coming from tree bark. This leads them to cut an awful lot of trees. After eating the bark, they use the discarded sticks to build their dams and lodges.
Don’t waste your time trying to tear out their dam, they can build back in a night what it can take you all day to tear out. Sometimes they will move out after you tear it out every night for a week. They will often come back in a month or so, when you let your guard down, and build it back better than ever. A large colony can outwork a backhoe.
Sometimes beavers can live in a stream or pond with no dam or lodge present. They will live in a hole in the bank, usually opening beneath the waters surface. Just something to keep in mind if your stream-side trees suddenly go missing.
The Critter Guy is the solution to all of your beaver problems. Trapping is a very effective method of beaver control, as long as it is carried out by an experienced beaver trapper like the Critter Guy. Beavers are very easy to make “trap-shy”, believe it or not. Also, there are non-lethal solutions to beaver problems that can be carried out without harming any beavers, and we are familiar with those methods.
Bobcats, being the masters of disguise that they are, tend to go unnoticed. When they do cause problems, it usually means they are killing pets or livestock. Small lambs, goat kids, small dogs, and domestic cats often find themselves on the bobcat’s menu. Their absolute favorite seems to be poultry, especially ducks.
Recently, there has been a trend of rabid bobcats in the area, not surprising as their population seems to be rising thanks to reduced competition from fox, which have been displaced due to the coyote invasion.
If you see a bobcat, it should have disappeared by the time you read this and go back to the window. If not, it either has kittens, is injured, or has a disease such as rabies. Additionally, if you are a dog owner whose dog has interacted with a bobcat, be careful not to come into contact with blood or saliva, and check the vaccination status of your pet and consult a veterinarian. Bobcats do not tend to pick fights with dogs unless the dog is much smaller, or if the dogs happen to corner the bobcat. These are all signs of potentially dangerous situations.
Any bobcat, let alone a rabid bobcat, is nothing to mess with. We are always ready to evaluate any bobcat problem and act accordingly.
Coyotes are a fairly recent occurrence in Virginia, but that does not mean they are rare. Being highly adaptable, these efficient predators are at home in mountainous wilderness, or hanging out around town. They can readily adapt to a diet of pets and/or livestock. Although unheard of locally, there have been several recent attacks on humans in parts of the country where they are more densely populated. They probably haven’t reached the peak of their population density here yet.
Whether you are concerned with pet depredation in your neighborhood, livestock depredation on your farm, or wildlife depredation on your recreational property, the Critter Guy can catch your problem coyotes. We will also help you understand coyote dynamics to reduce future problems. The Critter Guy has been studying, trapping, and controlling coyotes for over 20 years in southwest Virginia. Our coyote experience can be your coyote solution.
There are two species of fox which call Virginia home; the red and the grey. Identification is a little tricky because the greys have so much red on them. A good rule of thumb is that the tail tip of a grey is black and a red’s is white.
They can both be serious suburban and urban pests when they become habituated to human presence, sometimes acting surprisingly bold. This can cause concern for pets that may end up in a confrontation with these territorial canines, or for children whose curiosity may put them in harm’s way. Foxes carry several diseases and parasites, most notably rabies. Conflicts almost always involve a den with pups, and normally only one or two have to be captured to cause one of the parents to move them.
The Critter Guy has many types of humane fox traps in his arsenal, as well as specialized fox lures. Let our experienced fox trapper handle your fox removal needs.
Mink are small, dark, furry, weasel-like animals that often, but not always, live around water. As fish predators, they often have the weasel tendency to kill far more than they need, and if they find poultry they can get a little bloodthirsty. It is hard to believe that this tiny predator can take fish and animals much larger than itself. Its small size also makes the mink able to get in some pretty impossible places. This makes effective mink exclusion very difficult, but not impossible. The Critter Guy is quite capable as a mink trapper, and is very familiar with what it takes to discourage mink from preying upon your fish or poultry.
The muskrat is a small aquatic rodent with a scaly tail and reddish brown fur. It is primarily a vegetarian, although occasionally consuming mollusks, and is not a predator of fish. The muskrat’s main transgression comes in the form of stream and pond bank erosion. The tunnels it digs for dens and to expose roots can go completely through a ponds dam. A prolific breeder, it can also have localized population explosions, resulting in rapid vegetation consumption of plants that help prevent erosion.
The Critter Guy is familiar with many techniques of muskrat control, from habitat modification to trapping. Let us solve your muskrat problems.
Otters are our largest member of the weasel family, an interesting aquatic animal, and a modern conservation success story. That does not mean that they are free from conflict. The main problem they cause is in the form of fish predation. Your privately stocked fishing hole can become a buffet for otters.
A second problem that often strains otter/human relations pertains to one of their peculiar habits. Otters like to apply generous amounts of fecal matter comprising of slime, fish bones, and scales mixed with glandular secretions to some prominent shoreline feature. This deposit will build up over time as more and more otters add their own signature and roll and slide in the oily mess. This is what otters use as their primary form of social media, a sort of “Facebook for otters”. This is just fine when they do it on a log sticking up in the edge of a swamp, but not so much when they pick your dock or boathouse.
Trust the Critter Guy’s wealth of otter knowledge to take care of you otter problems.
Rabbits are usually not a big problem, but in certain instances they can be. Because of their ability to “breed like rabbits”, one or two “cute bunnies” can turn into a lot more in a hurry, especially in a man-made environment lacking adequate predators to keep them in check. If you are caught in an up-turn in their breeding cycle, your garden or ornamentals can pay dearly.
Once upon a time, the Critter Guy started his trapping career catching rabbits, so you’ve got many years of rabbit trapping experience at your service. The Critter Guy is also very knowledgeable about various fencing and habitat modification options to help vanquish your rabbit problem without harming a single hare.
Snapping turtles are an ancient reptile, so ugly they are cute. They are always ready to try to remove any finger or toe that they may come into contact with. Their lightning reflexes also make them quite effective fish predators in a small pond environment. Sometimes they can show up in strange places, far away from the water that they normally call home. Often, the family canine can take exception to this, with painful consequences. If snapping turtles are giving you a problem, or if one shows up on your property, you know who to call.
If you need professional wildlife removal services, please give us a call!