Give us a call today! (802) 651 - 6863
We specialize in most urban wildlife found in Vermont such as squirrels, skunks, opossums, raccoons, rodents and more!
HEART Wildlife Removal will perform a full home inspection to identify any current wildlife activity, and any areas where potential future activity could take place. We start by inspecting the entire outside area of the home and work our way inside to where the problem areas of the home are identified. The inspection can take anywhere from half an hour to one hour depending on the situation and the questions you may have.
Once an inspection is done of your home, if there are any critters/dens that have been identified, we would be able to come up with a plan of action to wildlife-proof the area if you choose for us to do so. Our team will take measurements and schedule a follow up time for us to come back to evict and wildlife-proof the area.
Some folks decide to make the recommended adjustments and wildlife proof their homes themselves. Our inspection will provide you with a checklist of problem areas of your home to eradicate, and we can also provide you with directions and equipment rentals to properly and humanely wildlife proof your home, on your own.
Interested in scheduling an inspection and talking with a member of our team? Give us a call at 802-651-6863 and we would be happy to assist you!
Once HEART Wildlife Removal has done an inspection of your home, you may decide to have us come back to wildlife-proof the compromised areas. Wildlife proofing ensures that any animals currently living in/around your home have evacuated entirely and have no way of re-entry into/under your home. This provides a more permanent solution for wildlife issues and will prevent any new critters from moving into that space in the future.
We utilize hardwire cloth and the temporary use of one-way doors in order to wildlife proof areas of your home. For more detailed information on our wildlife proofing methods, Click Here!
The wildlife proofing process can take several days/weeks depending on the weather and other deciding factors. *Please also keep in mind that wildlife proofing can only be done at certain times of the year depending on the baby season of the wildlife we are working with!*
A Hava-heart trap is a humane live trap that is a fantastic resource for humane specialists and animal workers alike. It allows for humane capture of a wild animal that is stuck inside, or the capture of a domestic pet that has been lost outdoors. In the state of Vermont, it is illegal to live-trap an animal and relocate them elsewhere. Sadly because of state law, any pest/wildlife removal company that will come, trap and remove an animal from a property will then dispatch the animal rather than release them elsewhere. If HEART Wildlife is ever in need of live-trapping any animal, we will always release the animal outside on that same property!
Relocation is also not considered a humane option. Removing that animal from their territory and bringing them elsewhere leaves them without their food source, and in direct competition with other wildlife in that new territory. These animals generally will only survive a matter of a few weeks in their new surroundings. By relocating, you may also be removing a mother from her young and in turn leaving them orphaned and unable to survive on their own.
We recommend keeping a board (eg. a 2x4 that is the full length of the dumpster from top to bottom) by the dumpster area in case of these emergencies. Leave the dumpster/trash can door open and place the board at in incline position. The animal may wait to exit the dumpster when they feel safest (when there are no humans in the area, or when it starts to get dark outside).
If you happen to see an orphaned animal(s) stuck in a storm drain, there is a way to help! We often see baby ducklings, baby raccoons, and other small critters get swept away by rain (or simply seek a safe spot out of the rain) and end up getting stuck down in the storm drain. The best thing to do would be to call the public works department for the city that the incident is happening in. The folks who work for the public works department are well versed in how to help in these situations, and they have the tools and ability to lift and maneuver storm drain covers for the rescue. You can also try calling the animal control officer for the town that the incident is happening in.
Skunks have notoriously poor eyesight (they are nearsighted) and they are not known for being able to climb well. It is very common for skunks to fall into uncovered window wells, and they generally have a difficult time getting out on their own.
You can try to place a board (preferably wider than a 2x4) at a 45-degree angle incline from top of the window well to the bottom to give the skunk a way to climb out. It may work best to attach a towel/yoga mat to the board to provide some traction for the skunk to grip as they climb out. Another effective option would be to wear gloves and lower a small plastic trash bin (with something tasty inside as bait, like cheese!) on a rope. Ensure the bin is placed in the window well on its side to allow the skunk to climb in and take the bait. Once the skunk is in the bin, you can pull up the bin via the rope and slowly pull them up. Talking to them softly and moving slowly will help prevent them from spraying you while you help. Place the bin on its side outside of the window well to allow the skunk to get out and run away for cover.
Once the skunk has vacated, install a properly fitting window well cover to prevent any other critters from falling in.
They do sell products specifically made with enzymes specifically made to target the scent of skunk. You can find these products at pet stores or can be ordered online. Most of these products are safe to be used on pets, clothing, and household objects that have been sprayed (please read the safety instructions on the product before use). You can also create your own solution at home by mixing hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and a degreasing dish soap. It may take a few of these baths and/or a few days for the musky scent to fully dissipate. For lingering skunk smell outside of the home, spraying white vinegar on the areas that were affected will help neutralize the odor.
The vacuum effect is when a wild animal is removed from an area, another animal will move into that now vacant spot. This is another reason why trapping and relocating wild animals is ineffective.
Another way to think about it; your neighbor moves out of their home next door, leaving that home completely vacant. The following day, a realtor comes and shows this prime real estate to all new potential buyers, and before you know it, you have brand new neighbors who have moved in!
The only effective way to prevent wildlife from taking residence in/under our homes is to ensure all animals are currently evacuated, and wildlife proof the area to prevent re-entry. An empty habitat will not stay empty for long in the animal world, and if you have a resource readily available to them, they will take advantage of that.
In order to help, you will need some basic equipment that you most likely already have at home: gloves, scissors and a towel or thick blanket. Once you are wearing gloves, start with covering the animal with the towel, ensuring the head is covered to prevent biting. If it is a skunk, make sure to hold the tail downwards to prevent them from spraying. Use the scissors to gently cut at the netting to help release the animal. Once the netting is cut, remove the towel and step away quietly to allow the animal space to run for cover.
You can find a full list of licensed wildlife rehabbers here: 2023 Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators . Depending on the species, there are specific licensed rehabbers in the state of Vermont who you can call (check the "Species Accepted" column listed on form to direct you who to call). When you call, you may need to leave them a message, or call a few different rehabbers in order to find someone who is available to help. Wildlife rehabbers are all volunteers, and they have limitations on how many and what type of animals they can rehab. There is no wildlife rehabilitation facility in the state of Vermont (other than VINS, who specialize in birds and raptors), meaning we have limited resources for injured wildlife. You may need to travel or help transport the injured animal to the appropriate rehabber's destination. Please see the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website to learn more about what steps to take if you find an injured wild animal.
Rabies is a virus that affects only mammals, including our domestic pets and us humans. Although all mammals in Vermont can technically rabies, we have a select few that are considered true vectors. Rabies vectors in Vermont include raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, who are the primary carriers of rabies in Vermont.
There is no way to know if an animal has rabies by just looking at them, but there are signs to look out for that could be indicative of sick wildlife. An animal who has come into contact with rabies may appear to be limping, have matted fur, obvious injuries or signs of self-mutilation, neurological or disoriented, vocalizing, overly friendly towards humans or pets, chasing people or their pets, chasing cars, and discharge from nose/eyes/mouth area. *Remember* an animal does not need to be showing these signs to have come into contact with rabies, and the incubation period for the virus will vary depending on the species and where they were bitten/infected.
1.) Call the Rabies Hotline at 1-800-472-2437 (800-4-RABIES) or 1-802-223-8690
2.) If a wild animal (or stray domestic animal) bite you, wash the wound immediately and call your doctor. Call your pet's veterinarian if they were the ones who came into contact.
If there is an unknown or strangely behaving domestic animal, report to your town's animal control officer. You can call your local police department (their non-emergency line) and ask to get in contact with the town's ACO (animal control officer). Not every town will have an active animal control officer, but their police department may direct you to who to call.
If you are seeing a sick/strangely behaving wild animal and/or rabies vector, contact your game warden.
Seeing nocturnal (active during the nighttime hours) or crepuscular (active during the twilight hours) animals out during the daytime hours is totally normal and nothing to be worried about. It is a myth that seeing one of these wild animals out during the daytime indicates sickness or potential rabies. In fact, the majority of these animals are completely healthy, and are simply out foraging for food, finding new den sites, or taking a well-deserved moment away from their young. Just like it is rare to see humans out during the middle of the night, it is still completely normal to see them out working and performing normal activities outside of the daylight hours.
The best way to prevent a mouse infestation in your home is to have an energy audit done and make the recommended energy upgrades. If Vermont Gas covers your area, they may be able to get you access to government funds to help with the upgrade. Upgrading your home will help block up holes and other entry points to stop the flow of mice inside and out. If you don't have Vermont Gas, you can go through an Efficiency Vermont contractor.
Already have a mouse infestation?
Follow the above steps first and upgrade your home accordingly. Once this is done, you can live-trap the remaining mice trapped inside your home and release them outdoors. They make humane traps specifically for mice to help with this scenario.
Mice can fit into any hole that is the diameter of a Bic pen or larger (that's super tiny!). This is important when mouse-proofing your home. We recommend "thinking like a mouse would" to find any holes or compromised areas of your home. Checking your home from the inside-out will help find any openings where mice or other critters can make their way in. Mice use pipes and wires as a highway system in, out and throughout your home. Checking for any gaps or spaces where plumbing or any wiring enters the home (e.g. kitchen sink, bathroom pipes, cable/electrical holes) and filling them appropriately. We also recommend checking your homes siding and foundation for cracks, gaps or holes leading into your home.
If you find these holes, gaps or compromised areas, utilizing copper wire mesh to fill those areas if most effective. You can also utilize foam/silicone, or another kind of sealant in conjunction with the copper wire mesh to ensure it stays in place.
We also recommend installing appropriately fitting door sweeps to prevent entry or any critters.
Ensure any food scraps, garbage and recycling is stored and put away appropriately. Just like with other wildlife, if we provide them with a delicious resource to eat from, or a warm comfortable living space to reside in, animals consider that an open invitation when given the opportunity! Keep open containers of food in the pantry in air-tight mouse proof containers. Keeping the kitchen cooking area clean of debris and any food scraps will also help prevent mice from taking residence in your home.
Rodenticide, although effective, is not only considered inhumane for rodents, but it is also deadly to other wildlife and our domestic pets. An animal does not need to come into direct contact with the rodenticide poisoning to feel its effects and potentially cause death. When an animal eats the rodenticide bait directly it is considered primary poisoning. If an animal eats prey that has been poisoned, it is considered secondary poisoning. We see poisoning in wildlife such as hawks, owls, fox, skunk, coyotes, bobcats, our own domesticated cats and dogs, and so many more. Not only is rodenticide killing unintended wildlife and pets, it also has the potential to compromise the immune system of carnivores, making them more susceptible to diseases. An example of this we are already seeing is in bobcat populations, who after secondary poisoning are more susceptible to contracting mange.
Rodenticide works as an anticoagulant. Our livers make an enzyme that helps our bodies recycle Vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for our bodies because it is used to clot our blood and prevents us from bleeding out. The anticoagulants stop the enzyme from utilizing Vitamin K. If we are exposed to too much of the anticoagulant, our Vitamin K supply runs out and internal bleeding begins. It can lead to uncontrolled bleeding in any part of the body, but it is not always obvious. Other signs of rodenticide poisoning can be difficulty breathing, weakness, lethargy and more.
If you are interested in alternative ways to control the rodent population in and around your home, we recommend learning more about Contrapest and ways to rodent proof your area.